Saturday, October 17, 2015

Where Were You Before?

It is reasonable question. After all, few of us, whether younger or older, just dropped in from Mars. We each have a back story--short, or quite long--that informs how we think, how we react, and how we work now. As I go from place to place, I am fascinated by people's stories. Are they living their dream, or is now just a step along a path for them? Was getting here easy and straightforward, or did it take the persistence they may not have realized they had? How does where they came from affect who they are each day now?

I am, of course, not just a listener for other people's "where were you before?" stories, but a teller of my own as well. My elevator pitch version tends to include working in news for the last few years and in soaps for a long time before that. Sometimes, sitcoms make their way in. And most of the time, all of the other odds and ends remain left out.

Hearing other people's stories teaches you a lot--not just about their paths, but about where they fit in a world, and about how they think. I am finding, however, that I also learn a lot from telling my own story. As I detail my soap story, I begin to understand how I am used to learning from the people around me, as I did for so many years and with so many mentors on the soaps. I begin to realize how I became more assertive in my opinions, as I remember being empowered to do so there. I am reminded that I was a part of television history in a way, as I see that the genre I'm talking about barely rings a bell with some of my listeners. And I am bolstered by the adaptability that becomes clear as I talk about my transitions between genres.

Where were you before? Wherever it was, no matter for how long, it is almost certainly informing what you are doing now. Where was I? A lot of places. And each one of them goes along with me as I make my way through where I am now, and where I am going.

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