This week I had a large scale artistic project, a musical, blow up in my face. I was the writer and associate producer. It had a large financial backing. It had a team behind it. It was an incredible concept that had “huge success” written all over it. And it turned out that the business model behind the project was flawed from the very beginning, long before I came on board. So, the plug was pulled ten days before the launch of the project—something to which I gave my heart and soul.
Painful. Annoying. Near heartbreaking.
When I got the news, I needed some time to think. I had to take a long walk to clear my head.
Do I give up and throw in the towel? Do I abandon the project along with everyone else? I wanted this to succeed but my heart was just ripped out. What was I supposed to do? I still believed in the concept as long as it was tweaked a bit.
We couldn’t throw the baby out with the bath water. We had components of a show that could still be saved for the future. Sets were already built, costumes sewn, a cast album near completion, orchestrations written, and a pop song from the show ready to go on the radio.
On my walk I saw a couple of old houses being knocked down to make way for new construction. But before knocking down the old houses, they were being gutted, stripping the copper wiring from inside so it could be resold or used for new buildings.
When all seems lost, when the thing in front of you looks like a pile of rubble—there’s almost certainly something salvageable from the site of the wreckage.
I’m taking my musical, revamping it slightly for a different audience, keeping the copper wiring—the album, the costumes, and the orchestrations—and living to fight another day.
Bad things happen, even painful things. That’s inevitable. It’s our response to those bad things that dictates what kind of life we lead.
Find the silver lining in every situation... or the copper wiring. Things won’t get easier right away but you’ll be giving your future a fighting chance.