Colleen's thoughts on writing, directing and coaching, and her unique take on life itself!

Thursday, May 24, 2007


When I worked more than full time as a mainstream media journalist in TV, radio and newspapers, my life was all about deadlines.

I would think far ahead to make the most of my available story gathering-writing-editing time before the deadline.

I was constantly thinking hours, days, weeks and even months ahead of the present time - especially for television news - to make certain I would be able to have all the elements of a story lined up, contact the right sources, get enough - and the correct - background information, shoot the right visuals, and so on.

Not for just one story, but several that I would be covering in the future.

In addition to doing the larger stories over a period of time, there were those on which I would report during the day. When, again, I would think ahead: I'd write and edit the story in my head before I was back at the station so I could barrel through, getting it done properly (sometimes my stories were a little visually/audio complex) with narration voiced, in time to build it in the program.

When I worked at combined TV/radio stations, I'd also file stories for the radio station.

I always enjoyed doing the lead story for TV newscasts, but of course that means the story has to be done *before* everyone else's stories get on the air! Which means I had less time to get it all together.

I *loved* my work, to be sure. I feel that pure journalism is a true and honorable calling.

But ... The management of news operations (commercial and non-commercial) drove me batty, so I left. Every time I took a job in radio or TV news, I felt like I lost IQ points. I can't afford to lose any, let alone many.

The same time line pressure of deadlines is true for newspapers, which also have their own serious management problems.

When I left journalism, the energy change was so great, my legs felt wobbly - as if I had been on a small boat for a long time and stepped onto land. I had to regain my land legs and start to think in real time. That took many months - and I couldn't help but note all the stories and information I found missing in newscasts--

But I digress.

While deadlines exist for every aspect of our lives - from anniversaries to graduation to taking tests to making dinner - it's as important, perhaps even more so, to think in real time and not create faux deadlines.

Old school Hollywood and lots of actors actually believe that if you haven't "made it" by the time you're 21, you are TOO OLD! I described a very talented actress to a long-established talent agent in Hollywood. He was very interested. Until I told him she was 27. "That's ancient here," he responded.

Well, guess what?

Another talent agent told me that the demand for *older* actors (30-60) was greater than the younger age category these days.

You are where you are. You are the age you are. If you're good - or better yet, great? You'll get work.

In short, while I love to live in the moment, making the most of every day? I don't see myself on some sort of living deadline, because face it - I could get whacked by a car any moment, and never see it coming.

It's all about that balance thing. What makes for your most fulfilling life? Go for it, and do it in a way that brings happiness to you and yours as you take the journey.

It is always, in all ways, the journey that matters and what will be remembered most fondly, not the destination. Reaching a goal only means the beginning of another journey.

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