Since I’ve spent the last 13 years in broadcasting as a sports anchor, reporter, host and photographer, communication is the passion that drives everything I do. I’m a people person and it’s in that positive and productive exchange that I feel my best. Since co-founding Spiracle Media last year, I’ve jumped deeper into the endless world of social media and continued doing something I’ve always felt good doing — telling stories through video. Local television doesn’t give you much of an opportunity to do that in the day-to-day, deadline-oriented setting.
So that brings me to a recent project Spiracle was contracted to do, for a company called Jackrabbit Tech. Jackrabbit wanted us to gather client testimonials that described its courses, and they also hoped to showcase the human side of their product. Since all the shoots were at gymnastics facilities, much of the client reaction surrounded the love of teaching and motivation of watching kids grow in a positive environment. The interesting part of collecting the video was that it’d take me to four locations, in four cities, in four weeks, for an unofficial total of 12,483.8 miles.
Now, traveling isn’t ideal. It’s a lot easier to get things done when you’re at home in the office. But sometimes it’s necessary, and through that necessity, there’s plenty of positives. But you have to start with the right attitude, you need proper motivation and you need to be open to seeing what’s directly around you. I’ve never been one to slack off when 1.) my name is on a project, and 2.) when someone else is footing the bill. When a client puts its trust in me, it’s my turn to deliver.
But let’s get back to the traveling part. Even though it may not be ideal at times, there’s something liberating about flying. And for this project, there were plenty of flights — ten to be exact. Ten times to experience that anxiousness which never allows you to get completely comfortable. Ten times to hear the overhead announcements that no one pays attention to (including me). No, I don’t wish to use my seat cushion as a floatation device. What makes up for it all is the idea that you can be 30,000 feet in the air traveling across the country. That’s still “cool” for me.
The first trek for the project was a trip to Burbank, CA for a shoot in West Hollywood. It was neat flying into an airport named for Bob Hope, and although my favorite stop was the Marriott “City Grill,” I’m okay with that.
The following week took me to Boise, ID, where the landscape was breathtaking. It’s truly God’s country out West. Due to time constraints, I didn’t get to visit the blue turf of Boise State, which was disappointing.
The final leg’s schedule looked like this: fly into Chicago, drive to Dyer, IN, end up in Cincinnati. The drive across Indiana was in many ways just as liberating as a flight. I chugged along in a four-door, eco-friendly Ford Focus hatchback, listening to FM radio. As a Sirius/XM subscriber, I’m not sure the last time I listed to FM radio. Of course, before leaving Cincinnati, I made sure to taste some famous Skyline chili.
As I write these final lines from my seat in front of the glass window that overlooks the gymnastics section of the Kids First facility in Cincinnati, I’m grateful for the opportunity to do something I love. I’m also lucky to have met some great people along the way. It’s all about the people. Everything we do is in vain unless there’s a personal relationship at some level. Everyone has a story to tell and everyone’s different. That’s what keeps me going. The interviews, the knowledge that comes with each individual experience and the opportunity to get creative is what I need. Sure, it’s a crazy amount of travel for a short video, but’s it’s certainly worth it.