"Why Sunsets" from A One-Star Night: The Video's Story

by - 5:21 PM

Last night as I sat in bed, just thumbing through my Facebook newsfeed and Zak was non-chalantly brushing his teeth (or so I thought - he later admitted he was pretending to floss but actually kept turning around to see what it was I was looking at) I came across a beautiful and slightly familiar looking video, so I stopped. Usually, for whatever reason, I don't stop for Facebook videos. This time was different.

Zak had rented a RED Camera through work in 2014 and was invited by our bosses to go out and capture fun and beautiful footage. Zak had run all over Raleigh one Saturday last September and filmed dancers, a welder, skateboarders, etc. And from that footage he created amazing mini documentaries and ethereal films that have attracted clients to the production company/ad agency we work for, Greenroom Communications. He also happened to catch some footage of me out in a meadow between car dealerships in Northwest Raleigh at the golden hour. That footage wasn't used, though.

Until now, apparently.

Recently Zak also non-chalantly asked me to record myself playing my ukulele "just because he wanted to hear it." I thought there was something fishy going on - I suspected I was actually auditioning for getting to play and sing in one of our clients' upcoming videos through Greenroom as it had been rumored that they were going to need a ukulele player soon. So, I obliged. :)

When I saw on Facebook both the familiar RED Camera golden hour footage of me along with my  recording of me playing "Tennessee Waltz" on the banjolele, I knew this was a creation of Zak's. But I didn't yet get the expanse of all that he'd organized. In fact, I think I've watched it a hundred times now and I'm still processing all that went into it.

Somehow over the past few weeks, since my book's release, Zak had contacted a dozen or so family members and friends I've loved throughout the years; he sent them my poem "Why Sunsets" from my newly released book A One-Star Night and asked each of them to record themselves reading it. The first of the friends whose voices are featured in the video reading my poem, Jessica, reminded me today that usually when a group of people are asked to do a task, you can count on about 50% of them to come through. And, she said, the fact that almost each person Zak asked actually participated meant that people were really in support of what I'd done.  But I think it really means I just have the best friends a person could ever dream of having. I just can't believe it. If my heart were a bucket designed to catch gratitude, you could say my heart is not just running over, but running down the street, into streams, rivers, and out to the sea. And then I'm on that sea, sailing across the world so I can wave at each of my friends who participated from my little gratitude boat. :)

If I can't sail around in my gratitude boat and see each of you personally, then I at least want to thank the following of you sweet angels here:

Jessica Sikora
Emily Harris
Leah Landrey
Caitlin Ortiz
Ketti Kluth
SarahJo Ward
Missy Huff
Robin Joyner
Dinia Silina
Judea Runs Through
Rochelle Mikkelsen
Lina Blume
Juliya Ulyanova
Lizzie McGee
...and Shelley Sullivan who recorded a reading but it didn't fit somehow :)
....and to Zak. My angel. Eternal winner of the Best Husband of the Universe Award.

This means we all love you, Sonja Ciotti. A trailer for your amazing accomplishment... A One-Star Night.
Posted by Zak Ciotti on Wednesday, September 30, 2015

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