Weird Story of Serendipity...

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Vince Maskeeper, Nov 24, 2004.

  1. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

    Jan 18, 1999
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    [...not the John Cusack movie].

    this post will be long, but I hope to make it worth it... you'll have to let me know how I do.

    Five months ago, I packed up my car and moved from NE Ohio (where I had lived since birth) to Los Angeles California. Since I arrived in LA, things have had a weird way of "lining up" for me:
    I scored a great internship at 20th Century Fox and met some really great people there.
    I found a perfect living situation with great roommates within 24 hours of arriving in LA (and it was about 5 minutes from Fox, where Iwas working at the time).
    the week my internship ended, I moved immediately into a high-paying job working in post production for television (despite having no documentable experience in the field)...

    It really has been the charmed life since I got here- as if I was being steered in the right direction at every step.

    In my job as a sound editor for TV, I work on several network and cable TV shows. While a large part of my schedule has been "variable" - with me working on one or two episodes of some show, then moving on to another-- there has been one show which I have worked on almost every episode of the season, it's called NOW TV (No Opportunity Wasted) and it airs on the discovery channel.
    So, for lack of a better term, N.O.W. TV is really "my show."

    The premise of No Opportunity Wasted is pretty simple: the host (Phil from CBS's The Amazing Race) finds someone with a dream, and gives them 72 hours and $3000 to fulfil whatever fantasy they have- and camera crews (High Def camera crews in fact) follow around the contestants and document their quest.

    The show has featured a couple of interesting stories so far: A guy who used his money and time to go to Pro Wrestling school and pursue his dream of becoming a WWE wrestler (despite being 5'5"), A guy who dreamed of ocean diving but first had to conquer a fear of sharks, a couple of kids who wanted to make an indie film, a guy who wanted to reform his college rock band, etc...

    While a few of the shows have gone to far flung locations (I recently worked on one that went to Paris)-- 75% of the contestants on the show are in Southern California...

    So I came into work the other day to work on the most recent episode of NowTV. The first part of my job involves sorting out the various types of audio that I get supplied from the video editors: and i usually find it's easiest to start out by going through the episode and sorting out all the music clips...

    As a result of this approach, my first pass through the episode usually features only music: so for the first 10 minutes or so I have no idea the premise of the episode or the contestants. In fact, because the video plays on a monitor that is just outside of my peripheral vision, I usually don't know anything about the episode until the second or third pass.

    Anyway- as i make my way through the episode and sort out the various music clips, the video on the playback monitor automatically jumps to the location that I'm currently working on. As I made may way through the epsisode, as some point i took a 2 second breather and happened to glance at the TV screen.

    On the screen was a guy in a security guard uniform, standing on a city street. Something about the scene looked really familiar. Since the majority of these film in LA and the surrounding area, I thought maybe I recognized it from a different movie of TV show-- however there was SNOW on the ground- so it couldn't be SoCal.

    And within a second or two I got an overwhelming chill rush over my body. The security guard in the shot was standing on Main Street in Downtown Kent, Ohio- the very small town which I had moved from 5 months ago. I had lived not 5 minutes from that very spot for the past 20 years.

    Now, for some of you, i'm sure seeing your town or neighborhood on TV is no big deal. However, I need to stress that Kent is an extremely small town: if Kent is covered on the local Cleveland news, it is a pretty big deal. The only time there are camera crews in the 44240 is every May 4th to cover the anniversary of the Kent State shootings. Kent does have a State College within its borders, however the population of the town nearly doubles when school is in session versus the normal population!

    And this wasn't just ANY tv show, but a TV show that I work on. The chance of me working in the job I currently have are pretty slim to begin with, as are the chances that some national reality show would go to my hometown-- however the idea that both unlikely situations would collide in such a weird way was just shocking to me...

    I had no idea that this show, which I've now worked on for 3 months, had ever been to my town. I had no warning when i sat down, alone, in the control room and started working on the episode that I would be greeted with images from my tiny hometown (including the university i attended, the camera shop where i got my film developed, even the local travel agency!)...

    Based upon the dates given in the episode- i realized this was filmed back in April when I was still living in Kent, and in retrospect I even remember a girl in one of my evening classes mentioning that she saw a camera crew on campus following some girl around. I wonder how close I came to actually crossing paths with the camera crew of the TV show I would be working on a half year later... Heck if anyone would have told me I'd be living in LA back in April I would have never believed it-- let alone everything else that has happened.

    Another weird moment that makes me feel like i've been guided... I just had to share this weird story of coincidence...
  2. Tim Hoover

    Tim Hoover Screenwriter

    May 27, 2001
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    You know what would be really spooky? If they were doing a story on YOU...moving to LA and pursuing your dream [​IMG]
  3. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator

    Oct 30, 1997
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    Aberdeen, MD & Navesink, NJ
    Real Name:
    Sam Posten
    Awesome Vince. Spooky but awesome!

    I've had experiences like that a couple times in my life, the strangest was during the first week or so at college I was hanging out with some brothers at a fraternity I wound up joining, and we were just chatting about what our home towns were like, and I mentioned the name of the small town I was from, and one of the brothers replied 'Hey. I know that town, my aunt lives there and she's like the town witch, nobody much likes her, she lives alone up on a hill on the main drag'. I about exploded, but I kept my composure and asked 'Is her name Eileen?' and he replied 'yeah, how did you know?'. I couldnt contain myself and simply blurted out 'That's MY aunt too!'.

    Turns out the guy and I were like second cousins or something, never knew each other existed, and wound up 1000 miles from home in some dorm room chatting about our homes with each other when we discovered that we were related.

    You cant make stuff like that up.

  4. JustinCleveland

    JustinCleveland Cinematographer

    Dec 23, 2002
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    Madison, WI
    Real Name:
    Justin Cleveland
    Six billion people in the world, but you always manage to run into someone you know wherever you go.

    Great story, Vince, thanks for sharing it.
  5. Alf S

    Alf S Cinematographer

    Apr 23, 2000
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    Real Name:
    Cool story!

    Try this one on for size...(kinda long)

    Back in '96 I was set up on a blind date with a new co-worker that worked in another department in our building. We agreed to go out to a local hang out to get to know each other.

    We met and had some good talks about the usual blind date stuff. We discovered we both went to the same college at the same time (83-88), knew some of the same folks, and stranger still, she was good friends with one of my college roomates and as it turned out they studied on and off at our apartment yet I never during that time met her while she was there..(and no they weren't an item). [​IMG]

    Flash forward to the early 1992 and I'm working full time (at a different company) and hanging out with the "Happy Hour" crowd at work and on occassion hanging out with a young lady co-worker there once and a while. On occassion when I'd hang at her apartment we'd see her upstairs neighbor come and go and all my friend would say is the neighbor is quiet and friendly and travels a lot. Never once met this neighbor while visiting the apartment.

    Now flash forward to my '96 blind date..we're hanging out more and more, and when I go to her apartment, it turns out SHE was THAT neighbor I never saw back in the 1992!

    Needless to say things all came together and we had a good laugh about how many times our paths ALMOST crossed, and wondered if it was divine intervention to have finally met face to face.

    To end this tale, we got married in 1997 and have a wonderful little girl now...[​IMG]
  6. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

    May 8, 2001
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    vince, nice update on your career. i was wonderin' (not that long ago actually) about how it was panning out for you. glad it's goin' well....
  7. Chris Hovanic

    Chris Hovanic Supporting Actor

    Jan 3, 2003
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    Ive often thought of writing all the strange "Serendipity" type things that happen to me down so i can remember them.

    One of the more interesting.... while going to school I was working on a project with some classmates. For some reason we had to compile our addresses and I find out one the guys in my study group lives in a house that I spent my first 6 years in.

    In the same study group another guy's sister-in-law cuts my hair who also cuts one of my co-workers wifes hair. (and no I did not get a referal from either of them)

    Its a small small world!
  8. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer

    May 9, 2002
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    Since 2006
    Real Name:
    Cameron Yee
    Alf, that's a great story. I'm sure it was a great tale to tell at your wedding too!
  9. David Galindo

    David Galindo Screenwriter

    Mar 30, 2003
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    Holy crap! Great story! Sounds like a really fun job. [​IMG]

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