Tuesday, May 20, 2003

Out There

It is four days until the American premiere of my new series, Out There. We just got a "Best Bet" mention from TV Guide, which is huge, and we're waiting for other reviews. Ironically, Sesame Workshop officially replaced me as the Executive Producer today. Michael Bourchier, the Australian producer with whom we partnered on the first season, is going to take over. I am very happy with this choice. Michael will ensure that if the show goes forward, there will be continuity and quality.

I must say, though, that I'm heartbroken. It was my choice not to return to the show (I need to earn a living, and they're not ready to re-up for another season) - but I am still so sorry. The realization that I won't be going back to Australia this year is a shocker, as they'd say in Oz. It feels like a kick in the gut. My favorite director (Stephen Johnson, raised in an Aboriginal community) emailed today to say that he thought he saw me chasing a dragonfly outside the window and thinks my spirit must be dancing.....which just made me feel worse. I heard a kookaburra call on an American cartoon yesterday (it's used here to evoke a jungle atmosphere), and my heart ached to be back in the bush. I feel so connected to that hot, dry, majestic country.

For the moment, I am in mourning. I've been listening to the Australian roots music CD "Dirt Music" in my car, and just living in that melancholy vibe. I am quite certain that although I have finished this particular project, I'm not done with Australia yet.

Photograph © 2003 Sesame Workshop. All Rights Reserved.