It just hit me. Five days ago I had the privilege of directing one of the few people who have been in space. (More about the shoot later...it was for Science Museum of Minnesota, and videos are on the way!)

Holy. Cow.

After my friend (and go-to audio dude) Tom Forliti took this photo of Commander Fossum and I, we were walking back to gather our gear and Tom turned to me and said, "That guy. Forget celebrities. He's a real hero." I stood there, letting it sink in. He was right. Wow. Just...wow. A real astronaut. Amazing. 

NASA Commander Mike Fossum

NASA Commander Mike Fossum

But, what left me in awe of Mike Fossum wasn't his witty intellect or patience on set. It was something I couldn't put my finger on until now. Something, that came from inside. 

L to R: Director/Producer: Erica Hanna, Director of Photography: Scott Hoffman, Commander Fossum, Actor: Jack S, Assistant Director: Sean Skinner, Audio: Tom Forliti

L to R: Director/Producer: Erica Hanna, Director of Photography: Scott Hoffman, Commander Fossum, Actor: Jack S, Assistant Director: Sean Skinner, Audio: Tom Forliti

You see, as we were running through scripts with him we explained that most of the people watching the videos would be a bit lost if he went into great detail about experiences, so we were going to try to keep things easy to understand. He simply smiled, and shortened up his answers. But, throughout the process one thing never changed. Whenever he talked about his experiences, the energy around him shifted and he got a distinct sparkle in his eye. Sure, all of this may sound cheesy...and honestly, I don't care-because it's true. 

We kept asking him questions about the "tough" parts about being in space. He talked about being required to learn Russian, and even fixing a toilet in orbit. But, no matter what he talked about...whenever he brought up his job, and any task that had to do with his job, he'd just smile with a calm, contagious grin. 

I left the shoot on a high, and to be honest...that's how I leave all shoots.

Excited. Grateful. And shaking my head in disbelief, realizing that this is my full-time JOB now.

Wow. Creating beautiful things...as a JOB.

I really hope all of us can find that thing that makes us feel an inner glow and grateful grin, whether we're directing/being on a space walk...or, tearing down gear/fixing a toilet. Because I don't care what anyone says, the "worst" parts of your job can still bring a smile IF you're living your passion.

And as I think of the lights, cameras, creatives, collaboration, and the magic happening on set at each shoot I realize one thing: this...this is my "space." 

 

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