Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Revisions on Pink

In the production of television, there is a system for making sure everyone involved is "on the same page," literally, when scenes or lines change. Changes, or "revisions," as they are often called, are Xeroxed on pink paper, and if things change again, further revisions come out on different colors. By the time you're done shooting (particularly, in my experience, on a sitcom), the script can be an array of different colors. But if the system has worked correctly, the paper colors have helped ensure the efficient implementation of the revisions.

In life, rarely does anyone give you a colored piece of paper to tell you that things are going to change. If you're lucky, maybe you get a few clues. Or a few minutes of warning. Or a text message. Or an email. And then it's up to you to react, the best you can, in time for the "cameras to roll," "the scene to be captured," and the story of your life to turn out differently than you imagined.

I have often been annoyed by the distribution of pink pages. Either they come just as shooting begins, or they contain tiny word changes that don't seem to warrant "killing a tree," or they radically change a scene that I liked the way it was. But as revisions come fast and furious in life, there are days when I kind of wish I could see the pink pages first. They wouldn't keep change from happening, but they could at least give me a "heads up," at least make it so that everyone around me is reacting to the same pink page information. I don't mind adjusting to change--sometimes a few revisions can make the story better. But every so often, wouldn't it be nice if the revisions in your life came not by surprise, but by Xeroxed pink page?

I suppose, however, that it's up to us to listen for the word changes, and watch for the changes in action. We may not always be on the same page as those around us, but if we keep our eyes and ears open, we can actually manage life's revisions, even without the assistance of a pink page. And hey, we'll be doing our part for the environment--saving a tree and sharpening our adaptation skills, all at the same time.

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