Grizzly Bears and Perilous Weather Conditions No Match for DI Alum

By: Kevin Hoban

 TV production is a challenge. It requires taking 1,000 moving pieces and placing them together creatively to tell a singular story. I can’t think of anything that prepared me better to tackle this career than Destination Imagination (DI).

After producing three season of the National Geographic Channel show, Ultimate Survival Alaska, I’m forever grateful that I went through DI. Weather, rivers, helicopters, grizzly bears…with so many variables constantly in motion, changing at the blink of an eye, even the best-laid plan seems futile. Every day in my job is an Instant Challenge.

As a kid, I didn’t really see the larger significance of what we were doing. I liked getting together with my friends, trashing my parents’ basement, and creating funny skits. I never gave much thought to what skills I was learning. Luckily, my parents did, and they had the forethought to enroll me in the program.

                                          Kevin Hoban (third from left) at his DI team in 1994. 

After a while, DI became an addiction. I loved the rush of the competitions—waking up at the crack of dawn, the pressure, the last minute disasters, the thrill of an Instant Challenge, trading knickknacks for more knickknacks, holding your breath as they announce the winners. I can still feel that energy and excitement.

Even as an adult, I volunteer as an Appraiser because I want to be a part of that energy. Each time I do, I’m amazed at the creativity kids as young as five-years-old can display.

The farther I go in my career, the more I understand how those countless hours spent brainstorming, paper mâchéing, painting, and improvising have benefited me. Today, there’s really no challenge in my job that intimidates me. In fact, the bigger the challenge, the bigger the rush I get.

I owe that to my DI training.

           Kevin Hoban on set of “Ultimate Survival Alaska” at the Tordrillo Mountain Range.