My Bucket List of People
We’ve all been given some variation of (if not this exact) prompt in school. Probably several times over. “If I could spend a day with anyone in the world, it would be…” and off you would go on your homework adventure. 99.9% of the time, we’d choose a favorite celebrity of ours. We think it’d be so cool to spend a day to hang out with them. To talk to them about their craft or expertise. To learn from what we believe to be the best at whatever it is that they do.
Now who’s thought of that as an adult? I have. Not only have I thought of it, I’ve become a little obsessed with the fantasy of it. Over time, its’ become a bucket list of sorts. The situation is as follows, however: I have several and specific interests. I think it’s only fitting that I be able to choose multiple people depending on my interest and hobby. Much like how I broke down who would direct my perfect movie based on a Three-Act Structure, here are who I would hang out with based on a particular topic of conversation or activity.
Ground rule: In order for any of my choices to have even a hairline of possibility, everyone on my list are people who are still living at the time of this publication.
Jackie Chan is a living legend. Period. His career as a martial artist, stuntman, and actor spans five decades! I would love to shoot (and help choreograph) a 15-second fight scene with him. He’s so good, he could make me look like a much bigger bad-ass than what I could ever hope to be. I’d like for the fight to be in a modern setting. Something along the lines of the most brutal pillow fight ever…
COOK/SHARE A MEAL WITH ANTHONY BOURDAIN
I’m a huge fan of Anthony Bourdain. His TV shows are some of the most entertaining and well-produced shows on television. I’m currently reading his book Kitchen Confidential and am finding it to be an unapologetic and totally conspicuous reveal of his personal experiences and career. His writing is what I describe as “poetry with a serrated edge.” (Naturally, a book review will follow.) I’d love to pick his brain the way he picks the brains of those dining with him. For me, this would be a tremendous honor.
TALK WORLD EVENTS WITH JON STEWART AND STEPHEN COLBERT
Notice how I said “world events” and not politics. You can try to claim that these words/concepts are interchangeable, but I disagree. These two are some of the smartest people I’ve seen on television. Like Bourdain, more brain-picking. I’d love to speak to them about what’s going on in the world and how they arrive at their conclusions.
When I watch their shows, I never said that I was going to watch The Daily Show or The Colbert Report/The Late Show. I just identify them as watching Stewart and Colbert. Even though Jon Stewart is semi-retired from TV (at the moment), he often makes cameos on Colbert, which is like seeing two long-lost brothers reunited every time.
There also needs to be a round-table show with Stewart, Colbert, and John Oliver. Get on that, HBO!
HAVE A TABLE-READ OF MY SCRIPTS WITH STEVEN SPIELBERG
To any film buff, who else would you choose? Spielberg has created some of the most unforgettable and immortalized stories in moving pictures. Winner of 3 Best Picture Oscars and a winner and nominee for countless others, Spielberg understands story and filmmaking better than anyone alive. I would love to get his feedback on my completed scripts, as well as notes on a few others that are still a working progress. (Note that when I say “a few others,” I mean hundreds.)
I’d probably need more than just one day with him…
TALK ABOUT THE BEYOND WITH NEIL DEGRASSE TYSON AND MY DAD
Neil Degrasse Tyson is a remarkably brilliant man. This guy has an ability to teach, educate, and inspire people about wanting to embrace and understand something that most would never even dare try to comprehend-much less achieve at doing so-astrophysics. Host and reviver of the show “Cosmos” on National Geographic and the host of the podcast “Star Talk” (of which I am a subscriber), Tyson introduces us all to the ins and outs of how the universe works. Known for being a long-winded talker, it’d be hard to get a word in with him. But I wouldn’t care.
My father is an electrical engineer by education and a lifelong Star Trek fan.
The first question I’d ask Tyson?
“Can you help me come up with a blueprint for a working Starship Enterprise?”
Again… more than one day would be required for this meeting also.
WITNESS A RAP BATTLE BETWEEN EMINEM AND LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA
Alright as preposterous as this sounds… who’s in? Lin-Manuel Miranda seemingly burst out of nowhere earlier this year with his history-making history of the life of the “ten-dollar founding father” Alexander Hamilton.
Just let them go a-la final scene of “8 Mile.” I’ll stand back in awe with their epic freestyles.
(See what I did there?)
If there was one man I could bring back…