Working in soaps bought me the dream of a lifetime. It bought me on the job training and days with creative people. It bought me a stable bank account and a studio full of lifelong friends and the envy of people I knew who worked in much less exciting jobs.
What it also bought me was a place where I could be busy, often nonstop,
for hours. Talk to anyone in film who has watched soap production, and
you will see the amazement at the amount of material covered in a day,
and the rate of speed at which the production (and pre- and
post-production) moves. It was, and still in a few places, is, a genre
that trains you to think and act quickly.
While I probably walked in the One Life To Live door already inclined to
think and work quickly, my skills in that area only got better, to the
point that, both inside and outside of work, I was on overdrive, always
looking to get more done in an hour, more done in a day.
That skill set has served me well working in news, where "getting it
out" quickly can be one of the most important elements. It has served me
well in other areas, where picking up new programs quickly is
essential, or where culling through large amounts of footage would
otherwise bury me. The only place, in fact, where it has not served me,
is in the waiting game. Whether it is waiting for a response, or waiting for footage, or waiting
for the next project, I am practically hard-wired to stay in motion,
making the sitting and waiting unbelievably difficult. I'm used to
moving forward, so it hurts to stand still. I'm used to generating
fifty-plus shot scenes or an hour-long edited show in a day, so it makes
me twitch to be left hanging.
There is nothing wrong with the training I received. For the long haul, I
suspect it will allow me to accomplish more than I would have otherwise
in my work and in my life. Sometimes, I guess I just need to put that
training aside--to accept that the world won't always move that quickly.
That information and progress won't always happen in a steady stream.
So that, if I am to survive, I need to use the time, but also accept and
appreciate the spaces of time along the way.