I used this phrase in something I wrote a lifetime ago, and I repeat it here, to expand on his original concept. Which I probably never would of come up with on my own, however, the sentiment may be garbled from the original article he wrote in Starlog roughly 30 plus years ago, and may need updating as well.
The concept is relatively simple which I go into at the link provided however, to reiterate and bastardize, your workplace is either a sandbox or a litterbox, and you should act accordingly. If you remember from kindergarten, when you played in the sandbox with your friends, and everyone in kindergarten was your friend when you played in the sandbox, you built a community, roads from your castle to the next one, shared your shovel and pale, and generally had a great time. Because you were playing. In the sand.
Now as you all know, a litterbox is used by a cat, to do its shall we say business, and when it’s done, it gets out. No playing allowed, encouraged, or even available. If you’re the owner of said cat, you need to clean up after it every once in awhile. I’d quote an actual length of time here if I’d ever owned cats and had to perform this action myself, however, I’m deathly allergic. To cats, not sand.
Some of the more astute among you may be saying to yourselves at this point, ”But wait. I’ve seen a cat use a sandbox as a litterbox!!!“ It is for you that the rest of this article is intended. Simply because, it doesn’t happen overnight.
A process like that takes time. When you get hired, you’re having fun, meeting new people, adapting to your workspace, and generally having an overall good time. For awhile. This awhile could last years, if you’re lucky. However, you might one day get passed over for a promotion. Or moved to another office, or worse, cubicle. If not another location within the company entirely. Hopefully, you don’t have to pack up your family and move them too. You don’t get the raise you wanted. Someone else gets put on the project you worked hard to get. Suddenly, you realize you’re on your own, and maybe it’s time for an entirely new situation. Your sandbox has become a litterbox.
These types of things happen all to quickly in the business we call show, and for all the wrong reasons. As an actor, you may get the part you audition for, however, you might not like the director. Or, worse, you like the director, but you don’t get the part. You read for a part, and get a different one. Not necessarily a bad thing, however, it’s not what you were expecting. Remember, its not Show Friends. Not be confused with the show Friends, which was actually quite funny on a more than an occasional basis.
If you’re not part of the cast, and you’re a crew member, it’s even worse. There is a specific pecking order on every movie set, and unless your the director, or most of the time, the producer, you’re answering to someone else. Now, this may be all fine and good if you end up in the sandbox situation described previously. Everyone works together for the common goal of a completed film, on time, and hopefully, under budget. This situation is magnified for The 168 Project, which you may have read about either here or elsewhere. There is a specific timeline, and deadlines have to be constantly met, all the while putting together a ten minute short film in week. It’s not for the faint of heart, and it’s certainly not for those who would turn the sandbox into a litterbox, simply because, there isn’t time for that.
This will be my 3rd year in a row creating a short film based on Bible verse within a week, and the theme this year is “Hearing God.” Pray that I do, and that He speaks through me, on this incredible journey, which I have chosen to undertake. Again.
72 and sunny in Redondo Beach.
Adjust your expectations accordingly.