Imagine being an megawatt actor and your agent calls to tell you you’re going to be on a speedboat tour of freezing cold Lake Mead in mid-autumn. Afterward, you’ll explore the other side of the Hoover Dam on a raft down the Colorado River. And you’ll do it all with a bunch of journalists. It’s probably not the kind of call you’d be used to (or relish), but Taye Diggs answered it anyway.
The actor/writer/singer felt that it was important to support the National Park Foundation in its push preserve, protect, and appreciate the United States’ national parks. Especially in our current era — when the parks feel under siege.
The Lake Mead National Recreation Area, just 30 minutes outside the city of Las Vegas, attracts about seven million tourists every year. A few weeks ago, as the National Parks Foundation continues to support its “Find Your Park” campaign, Diggs was one of them, climbing aboard a boat with a bunch of journalists and bloggers.
We often see celebrities on lavish vacations on large bodies of water, so it wasn’t a particularly farfetched idea to see one traveling the line between Arizona and Nevada on the cooler side of the Mojave Desert. But to be perched atop a motorized raft while Taye Diggs lounges next to you is an experience no tabloid can recreate.
Donning a Cousteau-esque red beanie and taking the helm of the raft, Diggs looked like he was having the time of his life with people he had known forever. He took time to smile (yes, his teeth are actually that perfect), introduce himself to each journalist (charm-game on point), and make every effort to remember names (he called me “Joy” one time, but it’s very forgivable). When there was space for questions, he was happy to oblige.
“The city is like a drug,” he said of his commitment to the outdoors, “and I love it… but sometimes I will crash and not even realize it. I spend so much time in New York and LA and I love the city lifestyle. I love the energy and I find it inspiring but ofttimes, I forget that coming out here — into nature — is a completely different kind of energy and that leads to a completely different kind of inspiration for me, selfishly as a performer.” He pauses, adding. “I have three kids and the older I get, the more I realize how important it is for them to be in contact with nature.”