Friday, March 05, 2010

Experiencing that Instant.

I had a rough day today; in terms of work I was completely overloaded right from the time I stepped through the door. I had a set-back, left work late and generally had one of those days that conjure up a real scanner-darkly kind of post.


I also had an epiphany this week.


That epiphany enabled me to enjoy - a magical moment. I was in that instant.

If I were to describe the circumstance; it would most definitely be droll to most. If I were to explain the moment, it wouldn't really register with most either.

But it did with me; and that's what I care about. And that's what I'm going to share.


A radio spot. That's the premise for this story. A radio spot here, where I live and work, is no biggie. It's a print ad in audio form. At my place, we try and keep it minimal, uncomplicated and hint at sophistication, because it is the easiest thing to do.

The brand expects it, we can't flog the brand. And so it's reasonably quiet, our radio spots.

Historically speaking, many radio spots have re-defined the way products have been marketed. The radio ad's versatility, it's pure power to transform a simple text message into an aural wham! sits high atop a snow clad mountain somewhere, where only the brave, the crazy diamonds, the swashbucklers tread.

That's historically and quite literally speaking.

Let's move on.

So. The magical moment.

Notice how I'm breaking it down. Drawing out all possible air, wings, legs this experience could use to show you how magical this moment was.

The English talent was perfect, he always gets it pat in one or two takes, he's pleasant, charming, no-nonsense and a complete gentleman.

He left with a hand-shake, well wishes for the weekend and a nod. The more we see and work with him, the more we like the guy. He's swell.

So, the next talent was the Arabic talent. He wasn't here yet. No biggie, we still had time - the takes were perfect for the first spot remember?

I sit down to a nice tall mug of hot, black coffee. I like it here, it's quiet, it's good wooden panelled floors, the couch is perfect. I strike up a conversation with our producer.

We start with work, as always, meander through simple conversation about the weather and life and then I ask the question I always ask, "Do you love what you do?"

"Yes, of course! This is what I've always wanted to do"

Our exchange is half an hour opened a portal. To another dimension in my head. I started hearing between the lines, every simple story or anecdote had a hidden message, it was spiritual, it was direct. His take on his life choices, and his thoughts about people, situations, unravelled into another script that made a whole new set of thoughts for me.

"Take marriage, for instance, when you marry for love, he could be a pauper and you'll still stay, because you love him. Doing what you love, is pretty much the same thing, you're never in it for the money," he said.

"When you start organising a marriage alliance, then there's a whole lot of research into whether the person can provide for you, partner with you in achieving a certain status or life goal, matches up to your reputation of who are what you represent, which is nothing, you're just trying to set something up for yourself. It almost feels like one of those dead-end job hunts."

"One small mistake with a person you don't love, is a huge issue that you carry with yourself, if it was someone you loved, your ability to accept that flaw, overlook it, forgive it even, is infinite."

"When you do something you love, the darkest days, are just challenges, just another few hours in your journey toward something you know is so worth the pain. Marriage, love, investments, emotion - take anything you want as an example, and the allegory, it's the same."

Dark days are dark days no more. They are just nights of patience. When you do something you love. When you find someone you love. When you know what you want. :).

And so it continued, our conversation travelled on.

"Having passion but no science to back it, only results in an adrenaline rush."

You could have all the intention you want, all the ideas in the world...but if you have no science (knowledge) to give this intangible intentions life, then it is a waste.

"Experiences makes you, your ability to observe and internalise them and convert them into something useful, creative, experiential, your own - that elevates you to a view that only you can have. It's called vision."

It is here, me hearties, that our second talent walked in.

My mind was racing. Positivity, the sheer brilliance of the exchange, the feeling like I had a conversation not with a person, but a fellow soul. It was heart warming, reassuring and most importantly powerful.

I smiled and shook hands with our talent, he was peaceful and ready.

He took the script after having a leisurely catch-up with everyone, stepped into the voice booth and did a mock take. 25 seconds. The producer and I watched the console and measured the seconds. I furrowed my brow for exactly 5 seconds, I mumbled, about 20 seconds to myself, just a quick mental note.

I glanced over to the booth window, smiled a little, and waited for the producer to say his peace.

The talent spoke before that.

"You want 20 seconds? You've got it."

I raised my eyebrows in surprise. How the hell did he hear me? Did he hear me? I glanced over to the producer, who for some reason, flicked the switch, without a second thought and said, "...and we're rolling..."

What happened after that, people, I cannot describe, but can only say - was magic.

In one full swoop, Talent 2, read from a script he barely had for 2 minutes, with such familiarity, speed and confidence that it created a zing not only in my brain, but the entire room.

For one complete moment, everything, and I mean everything, just came together - fused into one pulsing ball of energy. And it was done.

I almost jumped from the couch, but I stood up like spring and started to clap with such joy, I have not experienced in years!

I strode up to console and waited with bated breath. "Was it okay, is that 20 seconds?!," I asked.

Producer, incredulous himself, slowly selected the recording bar and then looked up and said, "20 seconds..."

I had to laugh. I don't why, I just did. It was one of the most amazing moments of clarity, strength and joy. I didn't know why, I just felt elated!

I shook Talent 2's hand, shook my head, and paced the room for a good 5 minutes, before the energy dithered around me. Like fairy dust.

I had experienced magic in a completely ordinary moment.

I had experienced that instant.

Post script:
The set-back? We got two digits wrong - in the telephone number. Usually, that would have completely bogged me down. But here's the thing, it didn't, hasn't and still won't. I'm still high from that moment. And two digits, hell, nothing (!) is going to take that away from me. Whoo!

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