When it comes to pharmaceuticals, I do my best to “just say no.” I rarely take any pill or medicine. The kind of drug abuse that seems unnoticed in our society is that which is advertised everywhere we look. But for this trip someone told me about Ambien. “Take one and you sleep eight hours straight and wake up feeling sharp and crisp.” When dealing with jetlag, for me, staying up on the first day isn’t that tough. The problem is that I wake at about 4:00 the next morning and then I’m beat that next afternoon. So, on this trip, I popped one Ambien the first night and, on day two, I woke up after nearly eight hours to the memory of my alarm clock ringing. One point for pharmaceuticals.
I was “on camera” from the get go, and now our two week film shoot is over. No more wardrobe concerns. It’s so great to spill on my shirt and not send out an SOS for fizzy water. (A great remedy for oil and sauce splatters–a fact of life in European restaurants for someone as well-mannered as me.) I can change my shirt whenever I like–rather than wearing the same one for five days in a row as I do when making a TV show (to minimize “continuity” concerns when filming). I don’t care if I get a cold sore (I’m fever blister prone only when I’m over stressed and working too hard…which I only am and do when I’m filming). I don’t care if it rains (which is a major headache when making a TV show, as sunshine brings out the colors and the people and simply carbonates whatever we are featuring). When filming in cloudy weather, we work twice as hard for half as long. I don’t care if the schnapps pub is empty (last week, in Salzburg, it was, and I had to holler “free schnapps” to get those rustic faces laughing and twinkling around the bar). I don’t care if street musicians are disturbing the peace (last week I had to politely pay a bad flute player to be silent…tough to do diplomatically…but every bad flautist has his price). Simon and Peter (my Biblical named film crew…director and cameraman) flew from Munich to Seattle with some precious carry-on baggage: about 20 hours of hi-definition video film from which two dynamite programs–Vienna and Salzburg/Austrian Alps–will be edited this month. (Our new series airs this September across the nation on PBS.)
As they flew to Seattle and I flew to Madrid, I felt thankful to be able to collaborate with such a talented, hard-working, and committed-to-quality team. Working hard with the right people is a joy. Next stop…Spain!