Today is the last official day of classes for the summer screenwriting program. Tomorrow evening, we will send off our 2005 class with a gala banquet with friends, faculty and alumni, an awards ceremony, entertainment from the students, and a keynote speech by theater and film producer, Doug Urbanski.
Doug has 25 years in the business and has garnered a truckload of awards including two dozen Tony Award nominations, British Academy Awards, Dramadesk and Cannes Film festival prizes. I know Doug in another context as the regal and solemn lector at our beloved 5:30pm Saturday vigil Mass at St. Victor's in West Hollywood. I was given the initial heads-up that Doug was a kindred spirit from, well, Peggy Noonan. (And yes, I did enjoy name-dropping that...) I am very pleased to have Doug meet the Act One community, and to hear the surely sage words of counsel and advice with which he will help us send our newest Act One alumns into the fray.
It's been a wonderful summer program, in my estimation, thanks largely to our new Director, Christopher Riley. And also to our amazing Act One faculty, staff and alumni who have been busy all summer brooding over this class, and making every sacrifice so that their experience would be as good as it could be. We have high hopes for this very talented group of young people.
We still have two and a half weeks with the Executive Program students, before sending them off into the streets and suites of Hollywood. Several of them have already landed jobs. It's very exciting to see how God is not wasting any time getting them in place. Do keep them and all of our students in your prayers.
I leave at Midnight Saturday for Maine, where I will spend three days with my family in the Belgrade Lakes region recovering. Then, I'm off to Orlando for another Legatus speech.
The 2005-2006 speech season is filling up. So, far, between now and March 2006, I will be in the following cities doing the various schticks: San Diego, Seattle, Baton Rouge, Chicago, Las Vegas, and good ol' Lehigh Valley, PA.