“This is your Captain speaking”

Currently: January 23, 2011: seated in the middle seat, row 19 somewhere above the mid-west

I’ve traveled a lot as a kid, mostly as an unaccompanied minor. I’m used to being on my own for the whole trip whether it’s just using the bathroom or zoning out to my iPod in the terminal. Today I was a part ‘that tour group’ in the airport. We’ve all seen it: 20-30 kids or students, backpacks in tow, a rainbow of suitcase colors, a herd mentality without a shepherd. At least this time, the 22 of us were not in middle school or going to visit the capital. We are 22 Elon University undergraduate students on our way to witness Sundance Film Festival 2011 in Park City, Utah.

Besides one of our Professors, Ray Johnson, this is all of our first times going to Sundance. It is a program offered for the winter term month for Elon Communication Fellows. We are a mix of Cinema, Journalism, New Media, and Strategic Communication majors. But we are all excited for the movies we will watch during the upcoming week.

To be honest though, I’m equally as excited for celebrity spottings. So far on my ‘to see’ list: Oprah, Shwayze, James Franco, Lady Gaga… and the list goes on. In class last week we actually trained for how to approach and talk to celebrities (even how to deal with their grumpy publicists). However, I’m still a bit nervous I’ll do one of the following:

  1. Scream
  2. Scream and take a picture
  3. Scream and take a picture, then compose myself to go up to them, only to be turned away.

With options A through C, I would be happy since I could brag for years how Emma Roberts ate a scone across from me in Starbucks.

With options B and C, my friends at home would be happy for having paparazzi shots ala Perez Hilton and TMZ.

With options A, B, and C, our other professor, Paul Castro, would not be happy. He has been teaching us his ‘go for it’ attitude, in which we are the ones stopping ourselves from different possibilities the universe has to offer. I still feel unworthy approaching a celebrity, but I’m trying to accept and adopt that Professor Castro’s outlook can making ‘amazing’ things happen. And why not have a personal interview with Jeremy Piven than a blurry snapshot from across the snow bank?

I’ll be sure to keep you updated this week on both my movie and celebrity experiences, hopefully combined in one posting. Right now, I’m focused on getting to Las Vegas and then Salt Lake without my computer battery dying; I still have 30 minutes left of Inception to watch.

– Hannah


About The Spirit of Sundance

A group of Elon University students experiencing the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.
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