Hollywood on the Potomac
By guest contributor Michael Stack
Last Tuesday, Ford’s Theatre hosted a very special performance of Come From Away for veterans and their families. Sponsored by The Home Depot and Washingtonian, more than 400 veterans, service organizations, and Members of Congress were treated to an inspiring musical based on the true story of a small Canadian town that cared for more than 6,500 stranded airline passengers in the week of September 11, 2001.
Ford’s Theatre director Paul R. Tetreault welcomed veterans and introduced Sen. Johnny Isakson for brief remarks. Veterans Administration Secretary Robert McDonald also addressed the crowd and expressed his gratitude to our men and women who serve.
We weren’t expecting to run into Jay Carney, former White House Press Secretary to President Obama, at the Amazon Red Carpet for Transparent at The US Naval Memorial auditorium in downtown Washington, DC last week. His wife Claire Shipman (co-author of The Confidence Code) was simultaneously being honored at the Japanese Residence by Nobuko Sasae for her third forum on women, a dialogue that seeks to empower young professional women. However, since Jay is the senior vice president for global corporate affairs for Amazon, he was at the screening. “We’re two working parents,” Carney told Hollywood on the Potomac. “It’s hard. I wish I were getting to see her event.”
We asked Carney what it was like to transition from the White House to corporate. “When I left the White House, I was lucky enough to be able to take some time to try to figure out what I really wanted to do. If you had told me as I was leaving that I was going to go work for a company, just one company, I probably would have said, ‘I doubt it.’ I thought I wanted to be more independent doing a variety of things, but after a while I realized that one of the things I liked the most about my White House experiences is they’re different from my journalism experiences. I was on a team and part of something that had nothing to do with me. It was much bigger than me and much bigger than any one person. You can’t replicate the White House experience, there’s nothing like it, but the thing I really like about Amazon is the diversity of what we do.”
First of all, we’d like to thank the fig lady who served up platters of the fresh fruit smothered in walnuts and covered with Stilton cheese and offered in abundance at The Hill’s 50 Most Beautiful annual event held this year at The Observatory at America’s Square on New Jersey Avenue. We’re not sure if the ‘beautiful’ people were tempted by the high carb appetizers, but we liked them so much we went home and googled a recipe.
“While it was an honor to be named to the list a few years ago,” Neil Grace told Hollywood on the Potomac. “It armed my friends with a lifetime of one-liners from the profile. I will never live down ‘I love fun socks.’ You can’t take it too seriously.”