Use What You Find

732. Join me in inspiring truly powerful people. Each day I will add a new thought, story or idea to support your quest and mine.

I am in Holland for the next 7 days and since I didn’t get my act together and get 7 posts ahead, this will be archive week at The Direction of Intention. This was originally post 468.

Sometimes I have the ultimate theatre mentality. Once, in college, I was running a spotlight for a musical; the tube from the fan to the bulb housing fell apart in the middle of the show and between cues, to keep the light working, I was able to build a replacement tube with a paper cup and duct tape. Use what you have. It need not be permanent. It only has to work for a while. The show must go on but no one need know how poorly it is constructed. Sometimes that’s the magic.

This used to drive John crazy. He is a real builder, a master woodworker. John built some stage sets for me that will be here long after they drop the bomb; the only thing left on earth will be the sets that John built. I’d say, “John, it only has to look real, no one will know.” He’d say, ‘I’ll know.” Now, that is a true artist! Once I was hired to provide a set for a commercial featuring the Mutant Ninja Turtles. There was a desert scene: I hauled in sand and dumped it on the floor. I pulled some scrub from the canyon by my house and stuck it in the sand. The producer was thrilled. The real non-construction was for a scene in a cave. Since it was a film my cave only needed to hold together for a single day. Old flats, cardboard, the sand from the desert set mixed with some good goop and lots of runny paint. I stuck it all together with a staple gun and duct tape, stood it up and prayed the turtles didn’t hit the walls. I told John about my cave and he said, “I don’t know how you live with yourself.”

It’s been a long time since I’ve designed or built a set. But, my “use what you find” mentality still comes in handy. Today I needed to ship a painting and it was too large to get into my car and too awkward to carry. The shipping place was only five blocks away so I scoured the building for a hand truck. No luck. I hit pay dirt in the basement when I spied an old wheelchair parked next to the garbage. I tied the painting on to the wheelchair with an old rope and like Nurse Ratchet gone rogue I wheeled my patient through the city to the shipping place. I think I added local color to the neighborhood. Some nice Dutch folks took my picture. Some people along the way gasped and parted as if I was the Loathly Damsel. Their horror might have been commentary on my packing job. The woman at the shipping place called my packing “Frankenboxing” though she gleefully applauded my method of transportation. Both were high compliments. Being from the theatre, I knew that, in such a moment of appreciation from a stranger, it was appropriate to take a bow.

One Response

  1. wonderful read!!! I spent many years working with what I got to get where I need to go and today, I take a bow.

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