So this blog goes against the direction of the last, but in lieu of recent events, it seems a fitting tribute. KMPI got our start years ago, no one new me, we weren't big...it was just me and my crazed ambitions, and my semi-supportive girlfriend who, lets face it, for awhile thought I was probably suffering from an over-active imagination. When TAPs, or Ghost Hunters, first aired on Sci Fi network, it wasn't just some docu-drama, it was a voice for the many people and groups that, for the most part, were doing something unique and forward, and wasn't mainstreamed like it is today. Most people didn't believe it, or understand it, and there certainly wasn't such a fan-based sub-culture of science geeks, spiritualists, and skeptics that could get these three opposing forces in the world into one room at one time for a common theme or goal.
Ghost hunters changed that. They came on like a fire storm, and in their wake, they left the trail they blazed wide open for people to come out of the closet and join the movement that IS the paranormal. Paranormal became true to it's name finally, "Along-side of Normal", or "Parallel to reality" instead of the ostracized group of teenagers tromping thru a cemetery at night. We became unified to a cause, part of something greater than ourselves, and the dark and macabre history so many buildings had tried to hide came seeping out in truths, bit by bit, by the investigators. The voices of the dead were echoing across televisions across the globe, we could hear them and the world could hear us. This wasn't just a hobby anymore, it was a way of life for many. And like it or not, TAPs became the example we all set forth...many of us differ in styles and beliefs and structures, but no group is immune to the shadows of the shows they watch.
That's not to say TAPs has it 110% right, either, but to finally SEE an example, let others create something from that mold. TAPs broke the ground for many of us, and it came back for season 2 and paved the way for the other shows to try to catch up.
Now, I sympathize with Grant's leaving, because as a group leader, I feel his pain. Whatever his reason, when he went to talk to Jason, you could just tell, the guy was burnt out. With everything, the travels and the shows and the TV filming and book signings and so on, the guy probably hasn't been able to take the time to watch his kids grow up or spend time with his family. And I can relate...burn-out is high in this field. Most groups are lucky to remain past their 1st or 2nd year. The fact that KMPI has held on as long as we have is impressive, for sure, but I feel for TAPs, because the immense popularity of the show probably magnifies the burn out rate ten-fold. I can remember a few times where I asked myself..."Is this even worth it anymore?" and honestly, I will probably again someday, but I always seem to come back. But the time and energy, the money and equipment, the sleepless nights, and the continual disappointment of cancellations and not finding anything builds up on you over time. No one is immune to that.
I believe Grant is leaving TAPs, for sure. Will he stay gone? Who knows. But anyone in this field who's been in this field long enough knows...you might suffer the occasional burn-out, but you never lose your passion for it. Maybe it was something at home. Maybe it was the new group dynamics. Whatever the reason, with a heavy heart, we all say goodbye to Grant Wilson from TAPs and wish him well on his new endeavors, but I think we all know he wont be gone long.