When my parents and I arrived at the majestic Fremont Theatre in downtown San Luis Obispo at dusk, the buzz and excitement swept us away. Soon after taking our seats, my sister and her fiancée joined us and it wasn't long before the festival's dynamic duo, managing director, Charlotte Alexander, and the artistic director, Wendy Eidson, kicked off this electrifying awards show.
At the beginning of this red-hot event, I had to face my fears. SLOIFF's board president, Paul Metchik, called me on stage to accept the President's Award. I stood in front of hundreds of people in the sold-out audience and gave a short acceptance speech. Terrifying but exciting! Awarded for my years of volunteer service, serving on the SLOIFF board of directors, and helping to create the local winery participation in the festival, I couldn't have been happier.
After the filmmaker awards the great actor, James Cromwell, presented Mr. Bridges with the King Vidor Award. Let me tell you, the Dude still abides. During the Q&A, he was warm, charismatic, honest and downright likeable.
At the after party, held at the nearby SLO Masonic Lodge, local wineries and restaurants provided delicious sips and nibbles, while the celebrity guests of honor mingled with the ecstatic crowd. What a celebration. A truly incredulous night that I'll never forget!
|Here I am on stage at the Fremont Theatre—facing my fears and feeling grateful.|
|Jeff Bridges, receiving his King Vidor Award.|
I'm thankful I was able to share this incredible evening with my parents, my sister and her fiancée. A special thanks to my mom for gently, but firmly, pushing her way through the reception crowd to make sure she got pictures of me with both Jeff Bridges and James Cromwell. Big smile!