I recently shot a spot for which we cast a few adult actors. The actors were fantastic, and couldn't have been nicer people. So my heart broke a little when we made the hard choice to cut their footage from the final spot. It was the right creative call – it made the spot better. But I felt sad knowing their work (and their compensation) ended on our shoot day. It's all part of the business – this kind of thing happens all the time – but it's a rough part.
On set, when the actors wrapped and made their exits, one of them stopped at video village and said, "seriously, y'all, thank you for the work." And it gave me pause.
Advertising folks love to complain about work. There's too much work, too tight deadlines, too many hours, too few bodies to do it. Complaining is negative and contagious and it makes it hard to roll up your sleeves and just do the thing after you've wasted fifteen minutes bemoaning the task at hand. Complaining is toxic.
So here we are in the ad world, awash in projects to whine about, and this woman is stopping to thank us for offering her work – the chance to put some hours in and earn a paycheck. To earn a living. Because that – that's something to be grateful for.
Work is hard. As I type this sentence I can practically hear my dad Frank saying, "that's why they call it work!" And he's right (as he often is). It's hard. It's frustrating and tiring and it's very easy to get caught up in wishing it was easier to do all that we do day in and day out.
But the doing, day in and day out. It deserves more credit than we disgruntled ad folk would like to give it. Having a place to go and a job to do, day in and day out. Putting in hard hours and consistent effort and bringing home some bacon. That's not easy to come by for a lot of people. Earning. Day in, day out. (And to be one of the lucky stiffs who likes what she does!)
On the best days I'm thinking about this, and even the slog of completing time sheets is belied by a quiet joy in doing productive work. In earning. On a bad day, I'm not even going near my time sheets. Always, I'm trying to shift my focus, to be mindful of the value of a steady job. And to do mine with a grateful heart, time sheets and all.
Thank you for the work.