I used to spend hours preparing to direct on One Life to Live. Surrounded by large and small set plans and outlines of scripts before and after the ones I was directing, I would think through, sketch out, and rehearse in my head how my scenes would look. The shape of things might change once I was in the studio, but I always wanted to show up prepared--prepared to answer questions, prepared to make decisions, prepared to make my scenes the best they could be.
That was a long time ago. These days, a lot of the work I do requires
little advance preparation. I show up, address the editing or production
needs at hand, and go home. Yet, I'm realizing that even the simplest
of tasks does, in fact, require some preparation. Some days, preparation
is sleeping during the day to prepare for an overnight shift. Other
days, preparation is making sure the home bases are covered to meet the
needs of a new wrinkle in the schedule. Still others, preparation is packing enough
jackets, tea bags, and snacks to weather any number of working hours in
any type of climate.
While the work is clearly different, and I am no longer surrounded by
floor plans and shot numbers, good preparation is no less important than
it was then. Back then, preparation enabled me to work efficiently, defend my positions,
and adapt on the fly. And I supposed those are not bad skills to have, especially when you're not
washed up yet.