The summer started with the aforementioned car crash as I left Flipside. I was extremely lucky to be able to walk away from the accident and that my son was following me to give me a ride home afterwards. The wreck really threw me for a loop. I spent the next week house sitting for some friends of mine in Austin which gave me the opportunity to curl up into a fetal position and try to figure out what I was going to do. I am extremely grateful that the Participate! team supported me during this time. I hope that I am able to show them how much they all mean to me.
Eventually, I was able to pull myself together and started the search for a new vehicle. A minivan would serve as a much better vehicle and thanks to my father, I was able to purchase a 2005 Chrysler Town and Country. After talking with my family, the decision was made that I was not needed at home immediately and I hit the road to Michigan for Lakes of Fire and beyond. Getting back on the road was refreshing and allowed me to re-evaluate the direction of the film. I realized that the focus of the film had been too wide making it difficult to tell the story of why participation is such an important topic.
But if the focus of the film was too wide, what should be the focus? While I was at Lakes of Fire, I talked with many of the participants about this and realized that the film should be more focused on ways that people are bringing participation to their local communities. I realized that I had found many examples of this, such as 1st Saturday in San Diego. As fate would have it, I was talking with the organizers of Chitidarod. I quickly realized that this event would make a perfect backbone for the film and create a great story on which to explore the topic of participation. In light of this, the Participate! team is currently working on planning for a two month shot in Chicago to capture the full story of the Chiditarod and many of the people that this event has touch, transformed and inspired.
The rest of the summer was spent slowly making my way to Miami to spend time with my family via PEX, Firefly, Atlanta to help build the 24/7 Timestar, back to Boston for FIGMENT and collect my stuff. Unfortunately, things ended up way more complicated. I got strep throat and was unable to attend PEX. Instead I spent the weekend in Washington, D.C. delirious and stuck in a house during a major storm and black out. Nothing in the world can prepare you for being that sick and stuck unable to drive to electricity. And the final straw of the summer was totaling my new van on the way to Atlanta. Yes that is right, two cars totaled in one summer. Thank god I have such great insurance. After the wreck in Richmond, I decided it was time to head to Miami and the timing couldn’t have been better. I arrived in Miami at exactly the right time to be able to lend a hand to my family.
My family has been amazing. My father took me car shopping and we were able to get another mini van, a 2007 Chrysler Town and Country. My mother and father insisted I go to Burning Man and I was able to join the crew of 24/7 Timestar for the drive across country. I volunteered to document the Timestar, you can see the pictures from Burning Man here; general Burning Man Pictures, Timestar, video of Timestar.
I am currently back in Miami helping my family and enjoying some much needed downtime. I was able to attend Alchemy, a regional Burn in Georgia and Afterburn in central Florida. I am now focusing my energy on getting back to the film and planning the trip to Chicago for Chiditarod. Stay tuned here for some videos and clips from my trip over the past year. Like our Facebook page to stay up to date with progress and to see the videos as they come out. Thank you all for being a participant in the film and looking forward to what happens next.