If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” Milton Berle
Building A Door
In the last blog I wrote, the 70 year old singer songwriter, “Rodriguez”, is becoming successful in the US because a Swedish director decided to make a movie of his remarkable life. His success was a gift from the universe. But, some of us in midlife, need to see a vision of something. A vision forms and defines the specific door that we want to open to enter a new career, or interest of any kind.
For example, the well known 86 year old comic Jerry Lewis, opened such a door by directing a slated for Broadway stage-musical adaptation of “The Nutty Professor”. The original, 1963 version he directed and co-authored, is a take off on “Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde”. Only in that show, a “secret formula” is developed in a lab “unleashing a love-struck scientist’s inner crooner”.
The New York Times, in Sunday’s 7/22/12 edition, reported Mr. Lewis, was not sought after to participate in this adaption. Instead, like most of us, he had to see the possibility and make it happen. To start with, there was a lot to discourage him. Physically fragile, he required a scooter to get around and earphones connected to microphones so he could hear. Even worse, up to now, he has never overseen anything in musical theater. He’s also rusty. The last feature film he directed was in the 1980′s.
His lack of recent experience and physical problems are further compounded by the possible risk to his reputation. He’s creating a new work that’s likely to cause critical assessment, which is a common consequence of developing any craft. Why risk his reputation while he’s ahead? He doesn’t have to prove himself at this time of life. Clearly these are all good reasons to avoid the project.
Instead, when Michael Andrews, brought the project fully formed to Mr. Lewis’ attention, it was the fulfillment of a secret ” prayer” Mr Lewis had harbored for a long time. Andrews had experience playing similar roles to the character’s of Julius Kelp and alter ego Buddy Love in the Nutty Professor. But, he was uncomfortable doing the new project without Mr Lewis’ “blessing”. To Andrew’s surprise, Mr. Lewis saw a new vision and built a new door to ride through when he said, “Blessing? I’m going to direct it and your going to play those two characters. This made it happen for both of them and the show is expected to open soon.
Making Your Vision Work
Is there a vision, or a door for you to build? Mr. Lewis admitted he was scared. But, he also said he’d felt nervous and tense in the early stages of several projects that became great successes. In other words, being scared wasn’t a deal breaker. Don’t let the challenges of change stop you. If you want some help with building the door, check out my e-book. Otherwise, know that anything is possible.