There is as much greatness of mind in acknowledging a good turn, as in doing it. (Seneca)
Happy Thanksgiving! Given the holiday, I wanted to blog about the many things that I’m thankful for. I’ve been blessed with a wonderful life, even if it’s a difficult one, and to me it’s important to take the occasional step back and appreciate everything that I’ve been given.
It goes without saying that I’m thankful for my family and friends, as well as my continual health and security. I’ll probably never live a pain-free life, but I’m fortunate to be here to be typing this blog in the first place. Those are the basic things that of course I am glad for. Yet I’m also lucky in that there are many other things I think I should be acknowledging right now. That’s what this blog is about.
In absolutely no particular order, these are the moments this year that I’m thankful for, and I’m sure I’ll think of even more after this is done.
- Sports Night. I’ve always been grateful for Aaron Sorkin’s Sports Night, which is the single most influential piece of work in my life, both professionally and personally. But since the show started to re-air on FXX a few months ago, I’ve had the joy of rediscovering it each day. It reminds me why I do what I do, and why I can’t do anything else. This year, there’s a particular resonance. Since I was 14, the top line on my bucket list has always been to meet Josh Charles. I was shocked when he reached out to me recently after an article I wrote about him. Hopefully, we’ll get to do an interview together soon, and the kind words he said to me via Twitter will stick with me the rest of my life. I can’t express how amazing it is to have someone I’ve held in high regard half my life compliment me, but that just happened.
- Auto racing. Thanks for this one goes to my friends Rutledge Wood and Michael Trucco, because after I covered their exploits at this year’s Grand Prix of Long Beach, I found a new passion for auto racing. I got to cheer on my friend Tanner Foust as he medaled at X Games Los Angeles, the day after I was able to ride with one of his teammates in an actual race car. And last month I was able to watch the IZOD IndyCar series finale. It all adds up to a bunch of cool memories that I never thought I’d ever have.
- Criss Angel: BeLIEve. Working on this show for Spike has been one of the great experiences of my career. I have relished the opportunity to rekindle my childhood love of magic by interacting with the best in the business. Beyond that, though, I am so grateful for how Criss and his team have treated me over the last two months. They’ve brought me into the fold like I was one of their own. They’ve said so many nice things about me that it’s honestly struck me speechless. This is a gig where I can really see how what I do is making a difference, and that’s priceless. My career is built on helping people, and it’s been such a joy to say I was part of the success of this show.
- Monday Mornings and Wedding Band. I’m putting these two together because they were both short-lived TV shows, but they were around long enough to become two that I really loved working on. Monday Mornings changed my perspective on medicine, let me take the first step toward conquering my fear of hospitals, and finally enabled me to meet Jamie Bamber (even though I still think he thinks I’m a huge dork). Wedding Band was just a fun ride all around, whether it was my interviews with the hilarious cast or my tweeting with co-creator Josh Lobis. I really felt like my support of the show was heard and appreciated. And Josh let me pretend I was the sixth member of the band.
- The Voice. A permanent fixture on this list. We wrapped Season 4 and we’re halfway to the end of Season 5. There’s always so much to love about this show and everyone I’ve gotten to work with because of it. So many memories were made this year: Adam Levine giving me a pep talk when I needed it, or pointing me out in the crowd at Maroon 5’s Staples Center concert; Blake Shelton suggesting I might be high; Carson Daly calling me part of the family; getting to see Tony Lucca perform in San Diego and Chris Mann in Anaheim, the latter of whom pointed me out when he asked who in the room was Team Adam. All these folks are my extended family and I’m always thankful for them.
- Aaron Sorkin. This year, I finally had the chance to meet the man who inspired my career. And he told me that I made his night. Again, this is going to be a compliment I’m going to remember for the rest of my life.
- My Comic-Con chat with Bear McCreary. My first in-person interview with my favorite composer struck me speechless when he told me that he and Human Target creator Jon Steinberg were fans of my work, and how they appreciated my support of their show. I had never realized quite how much of an impact I had until that conversation, and considering how impactful that show was for me, it’s a tremendous honor.
- Catching my first baseball at a Padres game. The kid in me’s been waiting all my life for that to happen.
- More baseball memories. I don’t know what was more humbling – talking to my old college classmate who’s now the Padres’ hitting coach, and finding out he remembers me after all these years, or getting to interview Brian Lawrence, who I used to daydream about pitching alongside.
- Finally getting to do that interview with James Wolk. It only took me three years, but I pulled it off (you can read it here), and I managed to not screw it up. I may actually be interviewing James again shortly, so it’ll be interesting to get to ask him what he thought of the piece. That’s always fun.
- Reuniting with Mark Valley. One of my favorite actors, and Mark has always had a special place in my heart since Human Target, so to get him on the phone for Body of Proof and have him remember me and still think of me highly? It was pretty stupefying. Ultimately, what I want to do in my job is leave an impact, and interacting with Mark was proof that I have done that, in some small way, in the life of someone that’s important to me.
Really, I have so many things to be thankful for. That my job allows me to sit and talk to people, that many of those people are folks whose work I’ve loved, and that I can then go and help people and hopefully form meaningful friendships? I’m in a really amazing position. I probably won’t change the world or do something epic, but to sit here and think of all the little moments – all the compliments, all the laughs, all the people I’ve met – I am more thankful than I can ever say.
Here’s to a happy, healthy and safe Thanksgiving all around.