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?