Finding the Great Perhaps


Author John Green wrote his first novel, Looking for Alaska, in 2005, but despite the popularity it received, it would take 14 years for it to reach the big screen, phone, tablet or laptop.

Screenwriter Josh Schwartz helped launch a project to portray the novel in a Hulu miniseries, appropriately titled Looking for Alaska.

The first time I had heard of this endeavor was when I was looking for some jobs as an extra in television shows that were being filmed in Louisiana. For reference, an extra is used for continuity purposes for any digital production, also known as “background.”

I applied to be a “debutante escort,” a role that involves me escorting a girl who was a member of a high-class country club in the show. I was hired on, and the adventure began.

My girlfriend and I both worked on the show for that episode and ended up having to shoot a scene where one of the characters sets off sprinklers in the ballroom. It looks great on camera, but trust me, we do not miss shooting it.

We both shot some more scenes for the series, and a lot of filming took place at the Solomon Episcopal Retreat Center in Loranger.

My brother, cousin and some of my friends got jobs as extras too, and while getting paid was great, interacting with the cast and crew was the best part.

In between takes and such, I got to talk to some incredible actors like Charlie Plummer, Denny Love, Landry Bender, CG Lewis and Uriah Shelton. They were all genuine people and always enjoyed hanging out with each other while they were filming in Louisiana.

Looking for Alaska filmed from March to July, and the series is out on Hulu now. The novel is a relatively quick read, and the show is binge-worthy.

The most important thing I took away from those months of creating the show was an essential outlook on life. In the book, one of the most iconic quotes is “I go to seek a Great Perhaps.” In life, we should all be living to find our Great Perhaps or our point to where our curiosity leads us to discover both wonderful triumphs and devastating defeats.

Life is worth living for its ups and downs; no one wants to just sit around and hope something comes around. All of us should be seeking those thrills, so that when we reach our final hour, we are satisfied with what we leave behind and where we are going next.

I have watched the series, and it will draw in viewers for its creativity and adventure because of the writing and input from John Green. Trust me, it is a good watch.