I truly don’t have many “bucket list” items in my life. Why? Because I assume that I will get to everything I want to do and accomplish in due time. Despite my 43 year old birthday looming, I don’t feel any urgency to get things “in” or done because the proverbial time is slipping away. However, once in a while, life presents you with an opportunity to do something that you’ve never even thought about doing and yet welcome with open arms. I’ve been fortunate enough in the past four years to tour the world with a grammy winning musician (Jose Feliciano), act opposite some very well known movie stars (Giovanni Ribisi, Tom Cruise) and yesterday visit the most famous house in the country (if not the world).
Walt Before Mickey has been quite a journey filled with many ups and downs. An independent movie project is usually rife with pitfalls, challenges and problems. Walt was no different. However, this little film has also provided me the opportunity to meet some very cool and talented individuals including the gentleman that I’m working with pretty extensively these days, Khoa Le. It also provided me the opportunity to take a full tour of the East Wing of the White House, yesterday, and it was a blast.
The history contained within these walls is quite staggering and awe inspiring. You can feel that history, you can see that history and you become part of it by walking those halls. Famous pictures that you’ve only seen in the news or TV that documented momentous events in the makeup of this great country are all around. I not only got to see these rare pictures of JFK, Lincoln and even George Washington but I got to walk the halls where these great men (and many women) made declarations, enacted laws and struggled to keep this country afloat. It was quite eye opening.
I felt so privileged to have this opportunity and be able to share it with some of the people that have become my good friends over the past almost two years. It’s amazing to look at the actual china that Ronald Reagan had dinner on or the glass that Jackie Kennedy drank from or the portrait that Grace Collidge had rendered of herself. The dining table that the current administration, The Obamas, have their meals on daily, was also accessible to us. We even got to see some of the paintings that Michelle picked to decorate the room prominently displayed. There was a wonderful walkway that you could look down through three separate doorways… at the end, George Washington, keeping a watchful eye over all of the proceedings.
The furniture that was hundreds of years old, the silk covering on the walls, the Vermeil collection that is only second to the Vatican in its size and so so much more made this tour stunning. I saw a vintage Steinway piano that was custom made for the United States of America and heard the story of how Harry Truman initiated the renovation of the White House after his own piano collapsed through the 2nd floor. There were so many stories that I cannot possibly write about here. One cool tidbit is that we were rushed out of one room, down a hallway and into another room because Mrs. Obama was making her way from her office to a meeting. Although we didn’t get to meet her, it was very thrilling!
All in all, I’m very grateful for the opportunity and thank Adam Falkoff, Co-Executive Producer of Walt Before Mickey, for getting us the security clearance and the celebrity VIP treatment. I hope to do it again with my beautiful wife and son. Perhaps after our next movie? Many great things to look forward to in the future but I’m extremely happy and content with the present.
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