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Sunday, June 30, 2013

door 13 (@ tedx sydney)

I am more or less inspired by five things.  My friends and family.  People who write well.  The others who don’t.  Actual puppy breath.  Not my hair.  And all of those free on-line TED talks.

Last month TEDx came to Sydney.  I had to go.  I tried to get a ticket but somehow ended up with a filled-out application to volunteer instead.

I nailed it.  

My day started early that Saturday.  Too early, I thought, until I got to the Sydney Opera House and saw the sunrise.  Oh my breathtaking.  If you’ve never seen morning come up over the Opera House, put on your pajamas and look at the picture below.  Look at it!

I am not this pretty at 6 am.

It went uphill from here.

All the food on this day was grown or bred or made by locals specifically for the event.  Produce, meats, butter was whipped up on the spot.  Actual bees were set up in the neighboring park to make honey for the conference.  The food was donated on Thursday and from this edible pile of randomness, the chefs made the most amazing, fresh, healthy meals for Saturday.

I ate a plum the size of a water balloon and the innards of this box.  


My job that day was Door 13 of the concert hall.  Behind my door was where you wanted to sit. The sweet seats.  But you only got through Door 13 if this was the door number listed on your ticket for that particular session.  I assume it was to prevent melees and the stampeding of me. Welcome to Checkpoint Charlie.  Only Door 13 people came in Door 13.  Some disoriented Door 14 people were not happy.  All Door 13 people were the opposite.

But I was probably happiest of all the peoples because once the doors were closed, it was an inside job. I got to stay with my Door 13 people.

With the sweet seats.

And with these five badasses.

Joost Bakker.  A fifth-generation tulip farmer intent on saving the world with recycled pee, minimal waste and growing food everywhere.    

David Sinclair.  An Aussie biologist from MIT and Harvard who wants me and you to stop getting old.  But really me.  

Tom Thum.  A beatbox genius who definitely spat on his microphone.  

Ron McCallum.  Adorable, interesting, blind.  Standing ovation by everyone.  

But the unexpected prize of the day and the reason for this post:  the irreverent Kate Miller-Heidke.  A classically trained singer from Brisbane who became an alternative pop artist.  Her voice is magic.  Whether she's doing a cover of The Real Slim Shady or original material.  "The Tiger Inside Will Eat The Child" will make you eat your child.

And my very very very favorite song of Kate's: "Sarah." About a friend of a friend who went missing at a music festival.  It is hauntingly beautiful and a perfect follow up to her lady part story.