My Life in Craft Services

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Idea for a new book, developed via conversation with a lovely lady with whom I work. Or maybe a blog, on its own … called “My Life in Craft Services”. First entry: “‘-Ey! You want a meatball?” ….

It was a normal day in the west village, a bit brisk, but we were outside on the stoop, taking a little peanut butter and jelly break, and we noticed a drool-worthy smell wafting from a tin truck parked in front of the church, and, both of us having worked on a film set before, we recognized it immediately: Catering at Crafty! Oohh, how scrumptious the scents, how penetrating — we were both Buggs Bunny, floating along the current of cooking meats and roasting vegetables.

This started a spattering of stories between us — that one time she was on set for Stuart Little, the other time I was on set for a few of the projects I’ve worked on, and then we moved on to my first few months in New York, when I was traveling among different film sets, asking people if they needed a hand.

“Did you actually get work?”
“Yeah.”
“Paid?”
“Yeah.”

She and her crew couldn’t believe it. (to be honest, neither could I, really, but there you have it.)

So, that led to us riffing about how to score four breakfast burritos from the cart tomorrow morning. We landed with dressing up our second carpenter in my tool belt, equipping him with my gaff tape, a radio in his ear, and a big ring of keys. For anybody who actually works on set, it’s sort of amusing to make a caricature out of a gaffer or an AD. We were throwing out things for him to say — we’d have to find out which TV show was filming down the street, then have him go up to the chef and start making small talk. “Chilly weather we’re having, huh? Freaking Crazy. Those poor guys are on fire watch and I’m sent over to grab ’em some breakfast burritos. BUt, let’s be real, a little fire would totally toast us up! Lucky you, in that oven of a tin truck!” and, then, come back with four breakfast burritos and extra guac, and four coffees …….

So that’s the idea for my next book. I’m going to go around to different shoots and eat only from craft services. How does that sound to you??

maybe I should eat something

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Ever sit down to write something (completely inspirational) and the second the blank page loads and the cursor blinks at you as if challenging you – daring you – to say something, and suddenly, the only thing you can think of is “hm. maybe I should eat something.”?

I am 36,956 feet in the air, flying somewhere over the border of Nebraska and South Dakota, and I’ve just ordered a cheese plate from a tablet attached to the seat in front of me. A cheese plate and Chex Mix delivered straight to my seat. Oh, and I’m blogging about it. We live in this world of immediacy and convenience and we still have something to complain about.

My question is, is the complaining something to complain about? Maybe complaining is our opportunity to seek improvement. The more we can complain, the more we can innovate and make better. Now, there are some who wish the world would JUST STOP for at least a second, I know, but while it may seem overwhelming, innovation is human.

Take, for example, the guy who invented the little plastic things on the ends of our shoelaces. Who was he before doing that? Just a guy who said “Man, it’s annoying re-lacing my shoes with these stupid fraying ends. We need to make a thing to help prevent fray-age.” Or the guy who invented the hot cup sleeve or those plastic inserts to stop spillage. Those stemmed from somebody complaining. “Oh, this cup is hot.” and “$#!&, I keep spilling!”

Now, the argument is ” do we really need this stuff?” a watch that is a phone, a tablet, iPod, phone, phone watch, ear buds, earphone speakers, and a kindle? No, maybe not always. Maybe a 12 year old doesn’t need every one of those, or a teenager, or a toddler. But imagine how drastically your workscope, workspace, work place has changed since we’ve been introduced to these devices. The designer has a portable office. The writer, too. The service industry is vastly more convenient and accessible now. Especially now that customers are taking longer with each sale to “Pause for text message,” and “pause for instagram photo,” and “wait I have to tweet that,” and “Hold on, I’m checking in on Four Square.”

The marketing world is forced to think outside the box – outside all the boxes. In a world overstimulated, how do you reach your audience? In a world of Fast Forward and Skip This Ad, how can you be heard? Everyone is screaming to be heard, yet no one is listening.

There’s my complaint. So where’s the innovation?