ONE WEEK BEFORE TAKE OFF

ImageYes, in one week I will board a magnificent Aerflot Airbus 332 to Moscow (first stop on the Round the World Trip). Flight time 12 hours and 15 minutes. Miles: 6,088. Arriving in Moscow on Thursday May 16th.

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And I begin teaching on the 18th (a 3-day Directing Master Class). So far I know that there are about 50 students signed up. 12 directors have been selected (or have selected themselves) to work with me in personal directing sessions (with the rest of the class observing).

Here’s a couple of interesting items. My host (The Alexandre Mitta Film School) asked if I would mind starting the classes at 11 AM. I usually start classes at 9 AM (I love the energy of an early morning start) but they told me that Russians just don’t like to start that early … 11 AM would be better. Of course this means we go until 9 PM each day (with lunch at 3-4 pm). But then on the third day, Monday, because everyone has jobs, we start the workshop at 5 PM and finish at 11 PM with no break for meals. I guess I’m getting used to this. Well, what I’m really getting used to is that every country is different, in some wonderful unexpected way. One of the true joys of my job. And on this journey I get to visit 10 different countries in 100 days. I am a very lucky guy.

But right now, we still have a week before I leave and I can feel the pressure. My biggest fear: that I will forget something (and I will). Something important (or at least it will feel important at the moment that I remember it). And I usually remember this forgotten item when I am on the plane or in a foreign country and there are those ripples of panic as I try to figure out how to manage without the forgotten item. So this time, unlike every other time, I am packing earlier … started today. TANNER copy

Packing upsets Tanner, my dog, because after twelve years of watching me leave with suitcases he gets it. Nothing worse than a sad dog’s face when you know you can’t explain it to him. Although, if I could, this time, I don’t think I would. Four months! Do dogs have a concept of time?

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