Archive for January, 2006
Tonight marks the third visit of the African Children’s Choir to our church. The choir is made up of East African children ages seven to twelve. Each chid has lost at least one parent to poverty or disease. The choirs (there are several) tour for about a year before returning to Africa. Their concerts are always uplifting and entertaining. In addition to giving the choir members a chance to travel abroad for a year, the proceeds from their concerts and merchandise sales helps to feed, shelter, and educate 6000 destitute children. Why don’t you help them out and buy a CD or DVD?
Today was the anniversary of one of the worst days of my professional career. It was on this day two years ago, that the entire crew of the Walt Disney Feature Animation Florida studio were summoned to the multi-purpose room of the studio and given the news that a decision had been made as to the fate of our studio. The Flordia studio would be closing its doors, and I would be losing my job.
Sure, we’d all been expecting the worst for the prior two months, ever since our current film, My Peoples (aka A Few Good Ghosts) had been abruptly cancelled at a similar all-hands meeting. But even still, the announcement felt like a sudden stab in the heart.
The next six months were some of the most depressing ever. I watched my friends and co-workers scatter to the four corners of the world (a flashback to the exodus of students leaving Purdue in the spring). An ever-shrinking group of overhead folks dismantled the studio infrastructure piece by piece, sending the best stuff to California and selling off the rest to former crew members. I’ll never forget walking out of the building that last Friday (Saturday morning actually, Steve Berry and I didn’t make it out of there until 2:30 a.m., not completely finished, but “done”).
Thankfully, I managed to get another position within the wide umbrella of the Walt Disney Company and was soon at work for Disney Corporate Telecom. One year later, I was being laid off again. This time as the part of an outsourcing initiative within Disney IT. I’ve been with the outsourcer, ACS, for almost 6 months now.
Every once in a while, Feature Animation will come up in a conversation and I’ll get to tell a story about the good old days making movies. Telling the stories always puts a smile on my face, but in the end leaves me a little sad as I start thinking about all of the talented folks from Feature that I don’t get to see anymore and the fun we had making movies. Thankfully, I still see several folks fairly often, and have even had the pleasure of working with some of them again at Disney IT and ACS. I also still get together with several of the Ops and Tech guys for the occasional poker game.
I’m amazed it’s been two years already. Life does indeed go on, but I still long for the past.