If I sneeze twice in the same day, I assume I'm getting sick and should probably stay in bed with the covers pulled up over me and a fresh-squeezed orange juice IV drip. Because I'm a wuss.
While Michael Chobot was battling acute myeloid leukemia last year, a disease which essentially kept him at death's door most of the time, he accepted a gig editing and mixing the sound for a PBS documentary, worked day in and day out on it, and eventually not only completed the thing but wound up being nominated for an Emmy for his work.
Tonight in New York City, PBS's An Original DUCKumentary will go up against four other news-documentary projects in the category of Outstanding Music and Sound and Michael Chobot's name will be announced alongside some of the best sound technicians in the business. I guarantee that it would've been the first of many awards to come for Mike throughout what was sure to be a long and distinguished career in television and film.
Mike was brilliant at what he did. Flat-out brilliant. He brought a kind of wide-eyed excitement, contagious passion, and twisted sense-of-humor to being a producer and engineer that I have to imagine made him a joy to work with, and of course he had talent to burn. He wasn't just going to be successful, he was going to be a star -- and he was going to have an absolute blast doing it.
If it hadn't been for the fact that he came up against one challenge that was simply too unyielding, one competitor that was too ferocious for him to overcome, he would've been up on a stage collecting Emmys and very likely Oscars for the rest of his life. I've never been more convinced of anything.
Michael's family will be there tonight in New York City to hear his name called among the nominees and potentially even as a winner. They'll be there to personally witness his professional legacy and to revel in the honor and, yes, glory bestowed upon him by his peers. While I'm sure it'll hurt like hell to know that he's gone and can't be there himself to enjoy the recognition for his immense talents, I have no doubt that they'll do what I'm doing 3,000 miles away: celebrating. Celebrating Mike's moment. What was sure to be the first of many.
Good luck tonight, Mikey. I love you and miss you.
Sound Hunter: The Extended Interview from Greg Harriott on Vimeo.