Like A Little Kid in a Candy Shop by Morgan Pigman

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015–

The morning began with me scrambling to get my things together to leave for the airport.  It was probably a mistake that I stayed up almost the entire night looking up films, celebrities, and things to do at the festival; however, considering the fact that I threw stuff into my two suitcases, I’ve been very happy with everything I packed…aside from spacing on pajamas!  Whoops.

A friend of mine took Jennifer, Kate and I to the airport so we wouldn’t have to über there.  It began to hit me quickly how excited I was for this opportunity to experience Sundance.  I also hit a wall of pure exhaustion and realized that a nap would be crucial on the plane there so I could make the most out of my first few days without being too tired.

The plane seemed to be filled with individuals going to the Festival.  I caught myself people watching and even eaves dropping on a couple talking about the upcoming movies they looked forward to seeing.  They’ve attended the past five years or so together.  I asked myself if I would try to attend again in the future, making me even more excited for the next ten days.  There was so much to look forward to!

Once I finally fell asleep, the flight seemed to literally and figuratively fly on by.  We were now in Salt Lake City, Utah!  Our group collected our luggage and headed to the bus.  I was surprised at how little snow was on the ground there.  After a quick switch to another bus (due to a potential problem with the air in the breaks,) we were on our way to Park City!  That bus ride went by in a flash because I slept the majority of time as well.  To my surprise, I woke up to an abundance of snow around me which made me smile.

We checked into our condos at Park Avenue Condominiums and dropped our belongings in our rooms.  Grace and I lucked out and got the rooms with individuals beds.  This made us laugh because that meant the boys were going to be snuggling up together at night.  Come to think of it, that was probably evil on our parts but sleep is crucial to your well-being and in doing this we knew we would be getting a good nights sleep each night we were here.

We made our way to the bus stop and somehow managed to get 20 of us together on one bus.  We rushed into the box office with a few minutes to spare before they closed and locked their doors for the night.  Ignite Packages in hand, everyone was so excited.  We were all like little kids in a candy shop.  Off to dinner where we indulged in massive quantities of pizza and garlic knots.  Afterwards we explored Main Street for the first time.  At one point we were all around a fire pit with a few locals who were singing Let it Be together while a young man played his guitar.

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Friday, January 23rd, 2015–

I caught up on some sleep and then headed to Main Street with the boys in my Condo.  We met up with Virginia and explored the HP lounge.  I got to play with the new HP Sprout product and to say it was awesome would be an understatement!  I took a handful things out of my bag and put them on the scanner.  I was then able to manipulate the images and make a post card out of them.  I would definitely like to invest in a product like that!  A few of us then walked up and down main street.  We spotted our first celebrity, Rafi from the League.  We found a neat heated stone bench outside of another lounge and relaxed a little bit while I talked to paparazzi man.  He gave me the low down on the celebrities here.  Talking to him got me excited to potentially run into a few of the people he had seen that day including Ryan Reynolds, Kim & Kanye West, James Franco, and Jason Segel.

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At five 5pm, a group of us did our first waitlist for The End of the Tour with Jason Segel.  Each of us got pretty good numbers considering the size of the venue (+1300 people.)  It was about the Rolling Stone writer David Lipsky and his five-day road trip/interview with David Foster Wallace.  The fact that this was a world premiere and I had to chance to potentially see Jason Segel made me so eager!

On our way to the movie, there was an accident which caused Alex, Jake, Sean, and I, along with everyone else headed to the same place, to be late.  We got off the bus early because we figured running, even walking would get us there quicker.  Looking at the time, we were frantic.  We needed to run the rest of the way to Eccles theater!  There was no way we wanted to loose our good numbers for the waitlist!  Unfortunately, we got there two minutes late and lost our spots.  Jake, Alex, and I decided to wait it out and see if we could still get in.  They stopped letting people in right when we got to the front.  We couldn’t believe it!  Being first in line was so tantalizing!  We were so close!

After what seemed to be the longest couple of minutes, the volunteers told us that there was some seats in the reserved section that were open.  The three of us along with two others behind us were allowed in.  Was this really happening?!  We quickly handed our money over and were ushered to our seats.  How we managed to get some of the best seats in the house was beyond me!  I didn’t really get the chance to look around us because everything happened so quickly and the movie had already started.  Jake tapped my shoulder and pointed to my right and smiled…

Jason Segel was sitting right next to us!  From that point on, I had the biggest smile on my face.  To think this was my first film at Sundance and I got this lucky was unbelievable.  Staying for the Question and Answer portion made me like Segel even more.  Instead of waiting to talk to him after, I made the mistake of rushing out to try and catch the bus.  Lesson learned that buses literally come every 5 minutes here.  To say that I’m bummed that I did that would be an understatement.  Nonetheless, I’m so happy that things worked out and I was able to see the movie.

I met some of the girls for dinner at a place down the road from our condo and had a yummy taco salad for dinner.  We exchanged our first day stories eagerly, smiling from ear to ear.  We could tell this was going to be an amazing next week.

Saturday, January 24th, 2015–

We went to the box office in the late morning/early afternoon to see what was available.  I accidentally asked the sales guys if he “was sleeping with other people” when I meant to ask if he had any tickets for Sleeping With Other People.  Eeek, that made my cheeks turn bright red!  No tickets were available to that showing which meant I was waitlisting tonight!

We went to lunch with a large group of us and squeezed into a booth all together.  At lunch we had a really good view of the slopes.  This made me wish I brought my ski gear to take advantage of the snow while being here in Park City, Utah.

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Mae Whitman from Perks of Being a Wall Flower and Arrested Development was right next to us enjoying a glass of wine by herself.  After lunch we explored Main Street again.  I casually ran into Chris Pine; no big deal or anything that his hands brushed my chest when we ran into each other on the sidewalk as he was trying to get away from a mob of people.  I now understand even more why celebrities keep their faces down in crowds!

The majority of our condo went to the store to get the necessities for group dinner.  We decided on chicken teriyaki & fresh vegetable stir fry, rice, oriental salad, and cookies for dessert.  Although it was a lot of work cooking for 20 people and took a few hours to prep, I still had a lot of fun and really enjoyed making a healthy meal for everyone.

Four or five of us made our way to Eccles and tried to see Sleeping with Other People.  We didn’t have good enough numbers that time which was a bummer considering we went all the way to the theater and waited for over an hour.  Another lesson learned was that even if you think you have a decent number for the waitlist, there is no absolute guarantee that you will get it.  Everything is going to be a learning process but I’m excited to become a Sundance pro by the end of the festival! 🙂

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