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Back from the Future

My time in Los Angeles last month was more than I had hoped for. Mostly I worked, which is why I returned. It wasn't an easy decision -- leaving my family behind and going back to LA for a month in the midst of our traveling. I worked on eight different TV shows and Pilots in three weeks. I put the dream year on hold for a reality check and a bank account infusion.

When I first sat back down to cut ADR for an episode of Smallville, I was nervous. It had been a year since I had been in the chair, there was a pile of work, and I didn't have long to get it done. But within a few minutes muscle memory kicked in and it was as if I'd never left -- in a good way.

I also got to spend time on some From Here To Uncertainty stuff -- one of the several exciting projects that Brenna and I have been dreaming up this year. Part exit strategy, part passion. I finished shooting some video that Brenna started when she was home. We're doing interviews with two different friends, both of whom are starting ventures beyond their day jobs, looking to change their lives. It's the beginnings of what we hope From Here to Uncertainty will evolve into after we return.

One friend is starting a small pasture-raised chicken operation, and the other is creating elaborate animatronic Halloween props. It's going to be a little while before we get the footage cut together, but when I first got back to France I pulled out the DV tapes and loaded them onto the hard drive. The whole family stopped what they were doing and started watching the raw footage, the kids 'shooshing' us if we talked over the interviews. Owen and Ella didn't watch because they were particularly interested in raising chickens or creating Halloween props. They watched because of the passion with which our friends spoke about their ventures -- it's contagious.

If the only thing my kids get out of this year is the instinct to choose passion over safety, then it will have been worth everything we've spent, and everything we sold, to make the year happen. We're trying to teach our kids, among other things, to find their passion, and then live life around it. Hopefully, it's a passion that can provide a living. If not, it's still important to feed and care for it, which is precisely what I had stopped doing in Los Angeles before we left -- I fed my job more than myself or my family. I left everything I had at work.

Brenna and I have made the decision to take the family back to Los Angeles in August. I'll pick up my work -- more or less where I left off, hopefully minus the twenty years of baggage that I had accumulated. My task will be to bring passion to my work, and continue working on the plans Brenna and I have made with the same commitment we have now.  And, of course, to keep the bonds I've forged with my family in the enforced-closeness that extended travel creates. Easy - right?

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Reader Comments (8)

Amen and bravo! Passion is the key. xoxo

May 31, 2010 at 8:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterCoral

Well done!

May 31, 2010 at 8:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterJeanie

That's awesome Bob, your a wise man making wise decision for your family and your passions! I have so enjoyed your journey... may these next couple of months be the best yet! Bless U!!

May 31, 2010 at 9:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterLisbeth

Hi Bob,

If you are a bit like me, you may want to print the two last paragraphs of this credo you have written today, frame it and hang it somewhere on a wall where you can see it every now and then. Like me you maybe need a reminder every now and then.


Jun 1, 2010 at 1:15 AM | Unregistered CommenterWinfriend

Hi Bob..

I understand, perhaps uniquely, what you're laying out here.. Having been in Washinton a year last weekend, I was recently looking back at having traveled to Los Angeles for Pilots, and what its meant to NOT be 'in the chair' for most of that time..

Its hard to not leave everything at work, especially when you're at work as much as we are.. I too will be returning to L.A. in the fall to infuse the bank account, but also because I really miss doing something that I really like.. Albeit, most of the creative process has been sucked out of the job due to the time constraints placed on the project/s, but I still love the work..

Somehow, I've got to find a way to follow my passion and share my true love with my family (my wife) who will be a thousand miles away.. Maybe I'LL frame the last two paragraphs of your credo, frame it and hang it somewhere on a wall where I can see it every now and then (thank you Winfriend), lol!

I've enjoyed following your family's odyssey this year so much.. You are all amazing individually and together, which is amazing in itself.. Somehow this fall, in all of the 'extra' time we have to do it, I'll check in with you to find out how you're doing with this and we'll compare notes.. I know I'll get a lot out of that, and hopefully you'll get something, lol! I hope that the last couple of months are filled with new adventures and enlightenments, and less anticipation for what you've left behind.. Love to you all, Eric H.

Jun 1, 2010 at 9:15 AM | Unregistered CommenterEric H.

So many of us have lost our passion and just continue to live day to day, in some type of Merry-Go-Round existance, that provides food, shelter and clothing but does not feed our soul. I, in a way, feed mine through teaching art to children, but there is so much more than that. I am not sure if I even remember what my passion is or what my soul longs for.
I have a passion for my children, grandchildren and wonderful son's-in-law but that does not feed everything. You have inspired me to look at my life closer and remember the dreams I once had.
Thank you for showing and teaching my grandchildren how to find their passion and hold on to it so that they can incorporate it into their every day lives. If they are able to do that, and live their lives as good stewards of this earth, then you have suceeded. The two of you are wonderful parents, a grandmother cannot ask for more for her grandchildren.
All my love..........June

Jun 3, 2010 at 6:14 AM | Unregistered CommenterMOM

Isn't it amazing what a little perspective can do? When I got back in "the chair" I too was amazed at how much like riding a bike it was. That was one of the gifts I got from our trip - the ability to go back to my career with not only renewed energy, but also to reconnect with the creative passion that got me there in the first place. And maybe a better shot at balancing it with my other passions in life as well.

I'm looking forward to reading about the rest of your family's adventures, and to see what comes next. Enjoy the altitude in Cusco - and watch out for the llamas!

Jun 4, 2010 at 11:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterMarc

your adventures have been a blast to follow. Livin' the dream.

Sep 23, 2010 at 3:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Hedge

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