I made my way with Yahmpy to the Plough and Stars on Friday Jan 30th. The initial plan was to go the night before but President Obama was in town and that meant a lock down. In all these situations I am keen to test the film so when I spoke to the guy behind the scenes in the Plough on the Friday let's just say there was much merriment when he suggested I upload the film to YouTube so folk could just watch it from there. I say much merriment when of course I mean something else entirely. Things were sorted very quickly though and the rest of the evening was spent meeting old friends, making new ones and watching Yahmpy dodge hypothermia.
So to the day of the premiere and again I was keen to get in and ensure all was ok with the film. You'd be amazed just how many people book the film months in advance and then test their equipment 15 minutes before it's due to be shown. No fears in Philly though as all promises were solid and it would be shown on two TV's so huge that you imagine the only other owner of the type is Tony Montana.
Graham Wilson appeared which was handy as he was MC for the day and we all made out way up to the An Gorta Mor memorial for a blessing from Father Brady. I said a little prayer for the film too. See I had no idea how it would be received and whilst everyone else is on a mission to drink as if prohibition was coming in on Monday, I'm still standing like the naked art model seeing if anyone wants to paint me.
Thankfully, there was nothing to worry about. People showed fantastic respect to the film (Not easy in a rammed pub) and anyone who did fancy chatting was immediately told that they had had better ideas. The standing ovation the film received was a warm bath experience for me and the questions afterwards were insightful and fun to answer.
Philadelphia has a lot of solid Tims, most of whom have gone unrecognised for far too long but the likes of Seamus, Fitzy, Timothy, JohnJoe, Martin, Joe and the rest will live long in my memory.
After the success of the day, it was time for a chill out. I put myself in Graham's hands as we drunkenly wandered the streets of Philly looking for bars and restaurants. It sounds crap eh? It was absolutely brilliant as we just shot the shit and I could relax for a while.
Sunday morning, up with the lark, the zombies were slain.
By now I was exhausted and took the opportunity for some much needed kip post-match before taking in the Super Bowl that night.
Thoughts wandered to California as I was leaving for there in the morning despite dire warnings of storms and flight cancellations.
The bigger concern for me was I was taking my film to Sonoma County, a place I had never even heard of before I'd agreed to go, to be shown to be people I'd never met in my life before.
How's that going to work then?