It was around the time that I explained why I was going to Los Angeles – "Soleil Moon Frye invited me to a Twitter conference at The Kodak Theatre" – that my friends’ heads exploded. It was as if I had never before flown cross-country to discuss social media with a TV icon at a Hollywood landmark. They had completely forgotten about that night outside Whisky A Go Go and the woman I thought was Alan Alda.
Nevertheless, I’m thrilled to be in L.A., a city I visit far too seldom. I didn’t realize how much I’ve missed its palm trees and Kardashians.
Frankly, the reason I don’t come to Los Angeles more often is that I have a slight to moderate fear of flying. Luckily, on my flight out, I was distracted by the gentleman next to me; a man who – for reasons known only to his grocer and/or therapist – kept fiddling with a variety of deli meats.
Transcontinental salami aside; it has so far been a great trip. The only caveat is that I’m nervous about this afternoon. That’s when I’ll be joining Ms. Moon Frye (call her Punky Brewster and she’ll cut you) and businesswoman/writer Jane Buckingham (she’ll hold you down while Punky cuts you) for a panel discussion of Twitter. Hardly a seasoned public speaker, I have no idea what to expect of myself. I suppose I should just play it safe and stick to religion and politics.
Of course, our panel discussion is just one of many over the course of the two-day 140 Conference. And while it and the fake Oscar acceptance speech I may or may not attempt to deliver before being ripped from the stage are stressing me out, it’s nothing compared to the anxiety I feel knowing that my boss, CNN/U.S. President Jon Klein, will be there. In. The. Same. Room. Watching. Me. Speak.
Mr. Klein (@JonKleinCNN) is participating in a separate panel discussion later today. I’d like to be the first to say he was amazing and way better than me.
Regardless of my contribution to the conference – whether it be refreshing insight or backstage dry heaves – it should be a fascinating event. Soleil (@MoonFrye) and Jane (@Jane_Buckingham) are incredible people and I’m humbled to be participating alongside them. And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that my friend Mariel Hemingway (@MarielHemingway) is speaking at tomorrow’s session. Wise and beautiful, Mariel never loses her temper when I call in the middle of the night quoting For Whom the Bell Tolls.
As for my friends, for whom the idea of people wanting to read my tweets is second in insanity only to the idea of people wanting to hear me talk about them…well, I’m confident they’ll come around.
140 characters at a time.
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