I’ve been time traveling lately. I should have known this was a risk when I picked up the audio version of The Time Traveler’s Wife from the local library to carry me to and from work. I guess the book should have come with a warning label that time travel is a possible side effect.
My own journey started a few weeks ago when I was contacted by a producer for The Jeff Probst Show. After several phone conversations, they invited me to do the show and informed me that a field production team would be at my house in three days to do part of the shoot and would be flown out to Los Angeles to do the show the following Tuesday. This was my first jolt through time; those three days past in a blink as I went shopping for an outfit, got my hair done (sorry Great Clips, had to upgrade this one), and prepared my classroom for a sub.
The field team showed up on Saturday afternoon. I immediately loved the field producer, a guy that used to work with Jeff on Survivor. (As an aside, my mom asked if I would do Survivor. My response? “I feel like I already have!”) He made me feel comfortable from the outset (not an easy task as I was preparing to film my first-ever real television experience). It was decided that I should don running clothes (so much for the carefully selected outfit 🙂 ) and that we would film at one of my running paths. I perched on a bench, surround by booms and cameras, while the producer knelt over a trash can (his stint on Survivor came in handy here!) just off camera to meet me at eye level. He led me through my story. I split in two at this point, one part of me reliving the early days of the courtship and marriage with my ex and the other sitting on a bench in a park that has only been known to me in my new life working on a project the old me could never have envisioned. The producer was amazing. He was gentle as he led me through the landmines of my past. He even teared up at one point.
As we lost our light, we moved back to the house to finish shooting. At one point, old wedding photos sat in current, re-purposed frames on my kitchen island. It was a shock, the past colliding with the present on the counter top. It was the first (and probably only) time my boyfriend has ever seen a picture of the ex-husband. It’s not like I keep his visage over the fireplace 🙂 All in all, it was a great day that left me exhausted and exhilarated.
Tuesday brought the literal time travel as I flew for almost 5 hours yet the clock told me it had been only 2. The last time I had been in L.A., I was about 11 and I was with my dad. I was convinced I was going to see Jon Bon Jovi on that trip. This time, I wasn’t concerned about seeing any 80’s rockers, I just wanted dinner…err…lunch. I had sure changed in the intervening years since that childhood visit, but Hollywood Boulevard is apparently resistant to time as it looked and smelled about the same.
I was in bed by 7:00 that evening, determined not to shift my sleep schedule for a one night stay. Of course, this meant I was up by 3:00 even though I wasn’t going to be picked up until 8:30. That left plenty of time for yoga. And nervousness. Which led to more yoga:)
Everyone at the studio was amazing. They were all super friendly, über professional, and very real. I got the sense they they cared about their product, cared about each other, and even cared about me. It was a surreal feeling being led to my own greenroom instead of my classroom. I had my hair and makeup done when I would have been teaching equations. Strange. It turns out though that teaching was good preparation for this. I was complemented a few times that I was easy to work with since I talked in sound bites. I had to laugh and explain that it’s natural for me now since I teach 8th grade. They blank out after a couple sentences. I also wasn’t nervous about being in front of an audience. Jeff’s studio holds just under 150 people. Adults. That is so much easier than a cafeteria full of middle schoolers!
What I was nervous about was my story. They came up with an ingenious idea to start the segment that upped the drama and also upped my emotion. That was time travel in the most powerful way. It instantly took me back.
The show went well and oh-so fast. I barely remember the last segment after Jeff surprised me with some current information about my ex-husband. I walked off stage when it was over and made it back to my green room. Another team came followed me in to do an additional interview for their website based on some of the lessons from my book. It was so strange seeing my book in stranger’s hands.
If you have not seen The Jeff Probst Show yet, don’t wait any longer – set your DVR to record. It’s different than other daytime shows. Each episode has a theme and the guests’ connections to the theme may not be readily apparent (it kind of reminds me of the board game Tribond). Throughout every show, the focus is on facing your fears and living authentically and with adventure in your heart. It’s relatable feel-good with with wit.
I soon was headed back to the airport and further time travel. Just for the record, I can’t stand flying from the West coast to the East. The flight was faster due to the tail wind, but my 2:00 flight didn’t get me home until almost 11:00. Okay, pouting over.
After the craziness of last week week where I talked about my past in my present to help provide for my future, life is beginning to settleback to normal. Sort of. I’m talking to other producers.
Oh, and as for The Time Traveler’s Wife? It is a great story and very well written. I highly recommend it. After you read Lessons From the End of a Marriage, of course 🙂