A recent trip to Southern California provided a bit of food for thought. Our daughter Becki was selected as a contestant on Jeopardy. We drove over to meet her; our son Sean flew down from the Pacific Northwest.
Typical of production schedules on a series that must do five fresh episodes per week, Jeopardy films five shows in a day. They turn around and do it again the next day. While the "normal" studio audience attends just the morning or afternoon taping session, the family and guests of contestants stay all day. Side note: Jeopardy has sixty-one answers (the object game is to come up with the correct question) per show. By the end of the fifth show, my brain was woozy with information!
It was the "in-between" times that provided my "thinker" some nourishment. A man named Johnny Gilbert is the familiar voice stating, "This is JEOPARDY!" at the beginning of each show. He is heard at various times, always off camera. He is also the guy who keeps the studio audience entertained between episodes. He has been with Jeopardy for over twenty-five years and has hosted other shows before this one. I think he must be about 110 years old (snicker), but his mind is razor sharp and his vocal chords are the stuff of legend. He has more stories than he can tell in a month, much less a day, mostly about the show or about other things in Hollywood.
Late that day, Cathy turned to me and said, "That Johnny Gilbert sure can talk."
Talking. Telling stories. That has been my life. Put me in the presence of people and turn me loose! Lately, though, I have discovered that I really enjoy writing. Writing focuses my thoughts far more than jabbering words. I can say more in less time and the reader can instantly choose to re-read that last sentence. Or not.
Thanks, Johnny Gilbert, for showing me a picture of the way I have been in the past. Writing has changed things for me.