This Is Show Business, Not Show Fun

Posted Friday, June 03, 2011

In 1989, I got my undergraduate degree in Speech Communication, which doesn't really explain how two years later I was touring the country on a bus and truck production of The Sound of Music, as the Wardrobe Supervisor. We opened in Frederick, Maryland, and when the curtain came down at 10:30pm on the last performance, all the scenery, props, lighting, sound equipment and costumes would be loaded into two tractor trailors, for the first time.

Have you ever packed for a long trip, laying all your things out on the bed, then piling them in the suit case, only to find that no amount of jumping on the lid will allow you to close that zippper? Roadboxes and scenery littered the parking lot in the moonlight, waiting their turn to get loaded onto the trucks. The trucks would fill up, equipment left forlornly standing still waiting to make it into the pack. Empty the trucks and start again, and again.

The night sky turned to early morning sky while I stood with the other members of the road crew, watching the loaders wrestle roadboxes. We were new, our first tour, and from my old photographs we looked like twelve year olds. The Technical Director, Cliff sauntered over. He was not new, and he was a cowboy from Colorado, giving him sauntering rights. He barked at us to go help the loaders. The Audio Engineer, new, complained that 'was not going to be any fun'.

The Technical Director cut him off but directed this at all of us, "This is show business, NOT show fun! Now get to WORK." We did.

The parking lot was finally empty and the trucks packed. We zombies finally climbed into our tour bus. Cliff popped open a round of celebratory beers, and quietly admitted, "You've got to make your own show fun.

Call it a mantra. Call it a motto. I keep coming back to those lines "This is show business, not show fun. You have to make your own show fun." Alright yes, I have enjoyed a twenty year career in theatre, but that doesn't mean it isn't appropriate in other settings.

I've used it quite often this past year in my Etsy business. Filing sales tax returns are definitely not fun. Neither is entering 6 months of sales receipts. I like to make pretty things, why do I have to have a business plan? I hear Cliff's words again. It's all about perspective. I will learn to love Quicken Accounting software as much as pink satin.


Lilikins said...

Love this entry... great lesson (and evokes some memories of my own for the "good old days") said...

Good luck on learning to love Quicken as much as pink satin! :) Love the lesson--life is about our attitude!

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