A week prior to the “Man in the Moon” event, my name was forwarded to Kristina Ribali, Social Media Director for FreedomWorks. It was because of my local blogging about National and Utah politics, that she invited me to be backstage at the “Free the People” Speaker Series, to blog, tweet, facebook, what I saw. I didn’t know what to expect, I had never been given such an opportunity to an event as big as this was. But I gladly accepted. Kristina also invited me to be part of the pre-show to “Free the People,” which was to air over the internet. Again I didn’t know what to expect, I’d never been interviewed before! I was given permission as well, to bring my video camera, to take pictures and talk with anyone. I had complete access! Wow! I was excited!Arriving with a friend of mine, we were ushered through the gates, to the backrooms where we would set up. I was introduced to other bloggers as they came in, fully expecting to see other known bloggers in Utah. I was the only one. The diversity of bloggers there was great! Brenden Loy, a self proclaimed Left centrist was there, as was Michelle Ray who was our Libertarian. I found them to be really good people and it was a privilege to meet them!
We set up our equipment and set out! I tried to stay out of everyone’s way as they were planning for the show. Speakers were showing up. So was the wind and rain! The Man in the Moon had set backs and the crew was concerned with the props. The fact that my hair went completely uncurled and started to frizz was such a minor thing I didn’t dare ask if someone had a curling iron! So alas my 2 minutes off camera time was met with wind blown hair! A great first impression! You can see my portion of the pre-show below.
It was the atmosphere and the people that mattered though. It was calm, orderly, genuine! I’m sure nerves were being rattled just a bit, but I never saw it. These people were professional and they (and decidedly me) wouldn’t panic unless we had to. But how could panic ensue, with such faith promoting people? It couldn’t, nor did it. The only set back that I knew of was that the pre-show was stopped because the winds were just too much and the connection to the internet was at a minimal. But it was OK!
Opening the door to where I was set up, I came face to face with Glenn Beck, already speaking with the rest of the bloggers. I tried to come in as causal as possible! Mr. Beck has a gravitational pull about him. Like him or not, his presence commands respect. He was kind and soft spoken like he gets at times when he talks about topic he cares about. He was gracious with his time, as short as it was, and was genuinely interested in our conversation. He appreciated our efforts to be involved at the grassroots level, and asked to keep doing it, as we could make a difference together. He took a few pictures with us and then left to finish preparing for the Speaker’s series.
At that point the “Free the People” event had started. Kristina was incredible, asking various speakers to come and interview with us. She was going non-stop! One by one, as time permitted she brought them back to our room. In walked Saratoga Springs Mayor, Mia Love, who is running for Utah’s 4th Congressional District. Following her was Freedom Works’ Deneen Borelli, and then Arizona Congressman David Schweikert, ending with Utah Senator Mike Lee. (All of those interviews can be seen in up coming posts)
The night went extremely fast with never a dull moment. As Glenn Beck was on stage, I was backstage right behind the producers. Watching Glenn on the screen I heard him hinting to the audience of the Man in the Moon2, now in production for next year. The cues were right on, the choir and Glenn’s story was in sync. Not a sound could be heard from the audience, and if I’m not mistaken the light rain had stopped. It was an amazing moment. I looked around me and I was standing next to Rafael Cruz, Senator Ted Cruz’s father, and Matt Kibbe, President of Freedom Works, was on the other side. Even in the back we could feel the power behind the story. The host of the evening, (forgive me as I don’t remember her name) leaned over to me and she said, “you could hear a pin drop, its so quiet.” I replied, “That’s what happens when the Spirit moves.”
After the show I was again offered to come backstage and see the goings on before the “Man in the Moon” production. I was excited for the chance to come yet again.The next evening at the Man in the Moon, I had ran through torrential rain. There goes my done up hair again. Oh C’est la vie! That’s life! Umbrellas weren’t allowed in the USANA Amphitheater, and I wasn’t the only one getting soaked. At least this time I wasn’t going on camera. But I did take pictures! I was able to meet Raj Nair, host of Liberty Treehouse. I saw Buck Sexton but didn’t approach him as he was speaking on the Blaze Radio. Talking about the crisis in Egypt I imagined. On stage I was able to meet David Barton of Wallbuilders.com and thank him for his books that taught historical truth!
And once again I met Glenn Beck. He was pacing it seemed a little nervous about the show being partly shut down to the projectors potentially being damaged by the rain. $600,000 and he’d have to pay for each one that was ruined because of water damage. Earlier a prayer, lead by David Barton, was given with specific request to let the rains pass by the amphitheater. It was amazing. Within 40-45 minutes the skies cleared with double rainbows behind the stage. Glenn was still nervous though, the crew even more so. What was the plan? I knew I had a maybe a minute, but I went up to him and wished him luck! He placed his hand on my arm and said in his quiet voice “Thank you.” Quickly he noticed that my jean jacket was still soaked from the rain. I said it was ok, that I would dry, and that everything would be ok. He smiled, asked where my family was sitting, I pointed off stage left to the grass. Again, he was genuine and as much as I wanted to sit down and have a conversation with him, I thanked him for the privilege to be backstage and left to be with my family.
The Man in the Moon shared the story of the Gospel. Love one another, be kind to each other, serve and lift each other up. We are writers of our own stories and we decide if our characters are heroic or tyrannical. I was shown that by Glenn Beck and his “Man in the Moon.” I am so grateful to have been given such extraordinary memories. Thank you, Kristina Ribali, and a deep thank you to Glenn Beck for providing the opportunity.