Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Tune In Tomorrow

Among the most interesting aspects of working in soaps was the degree to which the story (both the fictional one and the behind the scenes one) changed each day. In the fictional world, a character might suddenly end up with a different partner or be played by a different actor. On the behind the scenes side, a challenging day with one set of producers and directors might be followed by a simple day that made you wonder how you had actually survived the previous one. But, because of how quickly things could change, you could be fairly sure that the frustrations of one day could be shelved the next. You might not be able to say "all is forgiven," (anybody remember the short-lived soap-based sitcom of this name?), but you could (and pretty much had to) put your experience of the previous day behind you and move on. Predicted a scene timing wrong? There would be 50 more tomorrow. Didn't get the exact shot you wanted at the exact time? There would be hundreds more shots to come. Didn't see eye to eye with the day's director? There would be a different director tomorrow.

So, while soaps seemed to be--and largely were--an ongoing endeavor, they actually taught me a bit about how temporary things are. Most days, we have experiences we'd like to erase. And many days, all it takes is waiting till tomorrow to do that. We make mistakes, we are beaten down by the people we encounter, we face challenges that can feel beyond us. But, just like on a soap, a new day makes a difference. Just like on a soap, we have the chance to start all over--or at least try something different. We simply have to be willing to put one episode behind us, and move on to the next. And to stay tuned for the next set of pictures on our screen.

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