When I was at ABC, particularly during the back half of my time there (after I'd been away and come back), I was quite often the resident eternal optimist. Or perhaps I was just a realist with a good attitude. Having been out in the cold world of looking for work, I had a keen appreciation for my job and my paycheck, and for the luck of being in a place where people generally understood me, and almost always challenged me.
It would have been easy to be pessimistic when we worked later than we
were supposed to, when my directing career moved slower than I wanted,
or when we heard the announcement that the soaps were cancelled. Yet,
while I certainly had moments of gray--okay, darker than gray--thoughts,
it was the belief that something better could--and would--happen that
kept me going each day. If I went in each day believing that the day or
the week or the show would be good, there was a reasonable chance that
it would be.
A lot of time has passed since ABC, and I sometimes wonder if I am still
that eternal optimist. Do I still believe that saying it's a good day
will make it one? Do I still believe that people are mostly doing their
best, and that if I do mine, it will be enough? Do I still believe that
whatever I have trumps whatever I don't, and that I am lucky to be where
I am because it is better than being nowhere at all?
I have thought many times over the past few years that my eternal
optimism was gone--snatched away in a combination of unemployment and
disappointment. It turns out that it was just in hiding. For better or
worse, I think I remain an eternal (or at least a most-of-the-time)
optimist. Because it's a whole lot easier to be happy that way.