It was March 29, 1996 … exactly sixteen years to the day.
That was the day that I first professionally performed as Forrest Gump.
It was the Grand Opening of the first Bubba Gump Shrimp Company Restaurant in Monterey, California.
Here’s an abbreviated list of highlights that have happened since that day.
- Watching, studying, and ‘practicing’ the movie twenty-five times in the first month to master the dialogue, dialect, and mannerisms.
- Working day-to-day, then week-to-week, then season-to-season, and finally year-to-year never knowing if that day would be my last performance.
- Opening twenty-two U.S. restaurants and eight international restaurants during the first twelve years.
- Visiting Hawaii every year for twelve straight years
- Visiting Hong Kong six times in three years
- Professional trips to Japan, Philippines, Australia, Mexico, and Uruguay.
- Posing for over three (or maybe four) million photographs.
- Transitioning from full-time (every weekend) to part-time (about once a month) in year eleven.
- Declaring my ‘speaking business’ was starting about five years ago.
- Struggling and working hard to find my speaking voice and message – entertaining was easy … delivering a meaningful message was tough.
- Blogging regularly since November of 2010 (today’s is #244).
- Joining the NSA (National Speakers Association) and NSA-Mountain West chapter two years ago – career changing.
- Having the time of my life … sixteen years’ worth!
Will I get another sixteen years out of this?
Maybe … after all, life is like a box of chocolates … ya never know.
Next Blog Title: My ‘Little White Lie’
Next Blog Date: April 3, 2012