Trying to Get There: Live Earth India

Tuesday November 25th - 6am EST

I'm up at 'em to face the first challenge of international productions. Through a series of communication errors and my needling persistence to make certain that things were in order, I've been informed that production never processed a visa for me to enter the country of India despite what I had previously been told. This is a process that normally takes anywhere between 3 - 7 business days to get sorted. I've got two. I leave this Friday and Thursday is an official U.S. holiday. After hours of discussions with various people around the globe I opted to make it an early night last night instead of my typical late night rowdiness because I have a feeling that an early start to the day will be what's needed to win it.

I've done my homework, and figured out all of the bits and pieces that I'll need to have ready in order to stand a chance at getting this processed. If I don't succeed, the production may very well be without a lighting director at this stage of the game and that won't bode well for anyone involved. All necessary documents are on a USB key, passport is in my hand, various forms of official ID, and I'm off to a FedEx/Kinkos to have it all printed in triplicate and new passport photos taken for the required documentation.

After that I head to the Indian Consulate General in New York City to beg for an immediate visa. I get there and am not only turned away but also laughed at. I ask around a bit and get a tip on an outsourcing company that has an in with the Consulate. I head to their offices farther downtown and wait in a deep queue for over an hour outside in the chilly rain before an agent has a chance to see me. I've specifically gotten up ridiculously early because I knew that just such shenanigans were likely to arise.

Ultimately, pity is taken on me and they take possession of all of my paperwork. By 6pm EST I'm meant to have a fully valid visa and can get back to the work that I need to do on this production along with dreams of fresh cut turkey and inevitable family fights that are sure to be acquired on Thanksgiving.

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