October 27th, 2009
07:45 PM ET


[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/10/27/art.kodak.theater.exterior.jpg]

Jack Gray
AC360° Producer/Writer

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.

Follow Jack Gray on Twitter @jackgrayCNN.

Filed under: 360° Radar • Behind The Scenes • Jack Gray • Technology
soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. @Jewelleigh

    Funny, witty and good looking... Will you marry me? :o)

    October 28, 2009 at 8:28 am |
  2. Annie Kate


    So glad to see you on the blog again. I'm sure you will do wonderfully on your speech and Mr. Klein will be overawed that he has an employee like you. Enjoy yourself out there and don't get into too much trouble!! Hope to see you on the blog again sometime soon!

    October 27, 2009 at 10:09 pm |
  3. @core17

    Glad to see you blogging again! I've missed it!

    October 27, 2009 at 9:56 pm |
  4. Katherine, Atlanta, GA

    Your tweets have truly become a part of daily life for many people – thanks for the "laugh out loud" ... literally ... moments.

    October 27, 2009 at 9:33 pm |
  5. Minou, New York City

    Jack, I always love reading your tweets and I wish I could have been at the Kodak today. I bet you were your sweet,funny self. What a treat for the audience!

    October 27, 2009 at 9:24 pm |
  6. Michelle

    Love getting your tweets. brighten my day. I am sure you are doing great. I'm more worried about Sammy going on a bender while you are away livin large in LA!

    October 27, 2009 at 8:21 pm |
  7. Michelle

    Welcome back Jack.. Have a great time out in LA.
    Nice post, I was thinking the only way to hear from
    you was on Twitter. Thanks for the tweets.

    October 27, 2009 at 7:52 pm |
  8. Lilibeth

    Jack, today was your opportunity to be heard directly by your boss. Any chance to impress him, you should welcome it. I'm sure you were amazing today, as always. I see a promotion and raise in your future.


    October 27, 2009 at 7:34 pm |
  9. Helen, Reading, UK

    As I sit here on my couch (in my brand new fawn coloured Snuggie) I can't help but shed a small tear..Look at our Jack..famous and speaking in public.. Seems like only yesterday I was bugging you with questions from your small, but faithful, band of Gray Groupies. How time flies, eh? Just remember us when you get that promotion! And if you do well, maybe the boss will spring for first class on the trip home – celebrities such as yourself shouldn't have to mix with the Muggles..Hope it goes well for you, maybe we'll see you at the London conference in November? I have a spare couch if you want to save on the hotel bill, ha, ha!

    October 27, 2009 at 7:31 pm |
  10. stephen geevers

    Good stuff Jack. Hang in there and be the most irreplaceable of beings...you. Then find a California bear claw ( not unlike an East Coast honey bun) to make sweet love to.

    October 27, 2009 at 7:06 pm |
  11. Jennifer NC

    Your tweets are great Jack and I am sure you will do a great job speaking at this event.

    October 27, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  12. alex lyrics

    Funny I have that same picture on my page

    October 27, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  13. Lili S.

    I would love nothing more than to hear you speak at this conference, Jack. Lucky people! Keep making your bosses proud.

    October 27, 2009 at 2:58 pm |
  14. Paula, Boston, MA

    Good luck, Jack! I'm sure you know more about Twitter than anyone sitting in the audience. Just throw up later.

    October 27, 2009 at 2:09 pm |
  15. Gayle McCauley Malden,Mass.

    Hi Jack! So good to see you writing again! We miss it like the palm trees and Kardashians too.If you just be yourself ,I'm sure you will do fine at the conference.If your friends (and Jon Klein) don't see that it's your writing skill that has taken you to LA,to speak about writing....Then they just don't get you.It's a gift to be able to make others laugh or to tug at someone's heart through words alone.Thanks for sharing your gift with all of us!

    October 27, 2009 at 2:06 pm |
  16. Barbara

    Hilarious blog, as usual-
    I can't imagine going back to life without Twitter and your tweets!
    They make my day...keep up the funny business!

    October 27, 2009 at 1:47 pm |
  17. @m1ch43lf

    Jack, I always find your cynical outlook hilarious in 140 character format; so, speak as you tweet and you'll do great!

    October 27, 2009 at 1:20 pm |
  18. @therealtwin2

    haha great to see another blog from you again jack.. its truly amazing how you've taken off on twitter.

    Good luck this afternoon, i'm sure it'll be great.

    October 27, 2009 at 1:16 pm |
  19. Victoria Alameda

    Jack you never cease to delight and leave me laughing. You will be amazing only because you can't help it. Good luck. @jonkleincnn and @anderscooper give him a raise.

    October 27, 2009 at 1:12 pm |
  20. Isabel Siaba, Brazil


    I discovered the Twitter thanks to you and I can not live without!
    In AC360, nobody tweets more with us (twitterers) than you!

    You are our King of Twitter, friend! You're in the right place!

    Ah, today is my birthday and I enjoyed reading your post one!


    October 27, 2009 at 1:10 pm |
  21. jamie

    As a follower of jackgrayCNN, i would like to say your tweets are hysterical and that no matter what kind of day i'm having, reading the randomness of the tweets makes me crack up laughing.

    I would actually like to hear you speak with Ms. Frye because i am sure this will be entertaining...try and upload a video!

    October 27, 2009 at 1:09 pm |
  22. Tammi

    It's all good Jack! Have fun and go with it. I'm sure you will do fine and represent well. Your bosses @JonKleinCNN and @anderscooper will be proud!

    October 27, 2009 at 12:55 pm |