I wished I knew how the stars were aligned during that time or what the weather was like, and what my horoscope was and really, what propelled me to take the risk and adventure of going to the USCAF (US Comedy Arts Festival) in Aspen, Colorado in 2004.
I had want to go to Aspen for the Comedy Festival for a few years. First as a comedian to perform and of course to just 'hang out' in Aspen! That year for some reason I just decided to go. I do not mean planning to go. I just decided to take off and go. I made no reservations at any hotels. I did get my airline ticket at a good rate. I had no idea how I would get to Aspen from Denver as I only had enough money to get to Denver. These facts did not stop me, instead these things intensified the adventure aspect of the trip for me!
I thought about lodging. But, I decided to look up Battered Women's Shelters in Aspen. They exist! So, I figured if worst came to worst, I could always stay at the shelter. It is important for you the reader to know that at NO time did I feel fear, or scared, or worried. Not once, did I should not or could not do this! Not once! Even with everyone (mainly women) telling me how scared THEY would be!
On the plane to Denver about a third of the way there, I met a young woman, Linda. She looked like a free spirit with her long shiny hair, bold silver jewelry, and the ease of youth emanating from her. She began a conversation with me, asking where I was headed. In turn, I found out information about her. She was impressed that I was heading to Aspen to 'hang out.' After we deplaned we went our separate ways. Then, I saw her again at the baggage claim at which point she came up to me and offered to drive me to Aspen!
We stopped first at her friends house in Denver, drank herbal tea with some of her 'hippie' like friends who were absolutely warm and welcoming to me. Then, we began the four hour or so ride to Aspen. I had no idea that Aspen was a four hour jeep ride! Yet, we talked and got to know each other appreciably more. She, was going to Aspen to meet up with her boyfriend who was living in his ex-wife's foundation (he claimed to stay there because he could not afford a place of his own!) The ride was actually joyous and fun! We stopped to eat (I paid) and I took her picture outside the diner.
As we approached a town named Glenwood Springs, she mentioned a hostel that was there, and if I would be interested in staying at the hostel, if not, she would gladly take me the short distance to Aspen. We stopped at the hostel, and I met a young clerk named Florence from Singapore, who pointed out the available rooms and the price of $ 10! When Florence mentioned a dorm room for $ 10 a night and easy access to Aspen, I took it! I thank Linda profusely for bringing me to the hostel, we hugged and she drive away. I never saw her again.
In Aspen, I had the time of my life! I met some more women one night outside a stage door waiting for Robin Williams to come out. He did, and me and my new friends followed his entourage to a VIP party. I thought just following the entourage was enough but my new drunk, but witty friend decided that we were going inside the VIP party! She told me to tell the stereotypical clipboard sentry guy that I Was Whoopi. As in Whoopi Goldberg. So, I walked up to 'clipboard guy' he asked my name, and with an incredible look I said, "You mean Whoopi Goldberg is NOT on the list!" Clipboard guy stammered, stuttered, and began apologizing profusely to ME, at which point I signaled for my assistant, and we entered the party!
Within the VIP I drank, I ate and visually drooled at Ed Norton, Danny DeVito, the creators of South Park, Lillie Tomlin and etc. This party was for the movie, 'Death to Smoochie' and everything was flowing freely.
I left Aspen a champion and with influences and memories that enriched my life. I went to a Def Poetry Jam and came away so utterly witnessing the greatness of the performances that I too, do Spoken Word poetry. When I developed the pictures to see the picture of Linda, her face did not show up. There is a darkened shadow of her. I had another picture where a guy just passing by saw me looking at the skiers on the mountain and said, "You need your picture taken." He took it. The picture came out with sun rays shining down on me, angelic like.
The point of this essay is that I took a chance. I followed my intuition. I let something greater than me guide me! I LISTENED TO MYSELF! I TRUSTED MYSELF! There is the adventure of a lifetime within YOU! LISTEN!