Sunday, June 12, 2011

Jenn's Thoughts: Moving through the OOPS

As someone who has planned events and shows my entire life, and who has now turned this love of planning into a business in Ottawa, I have made and seen some pretty big OOPS.  OOPS can happen at anytime during the planning process, anytime during the show and anytime afterwards.  OOPS do occur in other segments of society, but those are called mistakes.  When mistakes happen in production/shows etc. it is called an OOPS, meaning it is really just a mistake but we are all way too into ourselves and must  make everything a big deal; what is show business with out the drama!

There are even fake OOPS:  Who remembers nipplerama when some young boy band singer ripped the clothes off a large breasted singer? (I will not say their names as I feel that would pay some degree of acceptance to the ridiculousness in what they did).  Out came a nipple and the word "Wardrobe Malfunction" became a household term.  These are not OOPS, these are publicity stunts, to which people are paid to come up with!  OOPS happen on their own, are not intended to occur, and can ruin a show or somehow improve it; it depends on the OOPS and how smoothly things are moving to start with.

Let me tell you about a big OOPS I once did.  Now this was for a government conference but it relates enough to show business.  I was young and it was my first big government job and first big event to plan in  the government.  I am so excited to manage this process, and show these government types how easy it is to plan events!  I had to get a logo  made, and did what I always used to do in the private sector:  I emailed a few friends for some ideas, flushed out the general concept and then would hire someone.  Wow, if anyone knows anything about government planning (which I now do, which also makes me a little sad), they know that this is NOT how you go about business in government.   I emailed three people.  THREE people for ideas for an Aboriginal artist to get an idea on price range.  Of those THREE emails, a mere 2500 people were then forwarded my informal message about "government looking to contract Aboriginal artist".  OOPS.  The fallout of this OOPS was 350 submissions within two days of something we had not actually asked for.  The moc-tel moved faster than gossip that mom's in rehab!  Now that's fast!  The fallout from this experience was that an OOPS happened, and I learned from it.  I also learned that the government has really stupid processes, but now, ten years later, I can say I understand the point behind them!  I really am old!

Last night I had a small OOPS.  It was very small, and still makes me laugh the day after.  I was producing Don Kelly and Friends, which by the way was an excellent show!  I said afterwards that I could carpet the world with my faults, but producing shows is something I can say I do quite well.  When people tell me on their way out that "they have never laughed so hard in their lives", or that "I was having a really hard day and I am glad I came, it really helped" I am reminded why I love producing these shows:  I like to bring joy to others.  I can't do it myself so I hire comedians to do it!  ;0)

Carrying on with my OOPS, we had a nice 50/50 draw.  I came on stage with THE Don Kelly and we pulled the winner, very dramatic, very exciting, we announce the winning numbers.  No hoots or hollers we look at the audience who turn back and say "we can't read our tickets".  It was DARK in the theatre.  I wittily said "um, we'll do this again later!"  (and we did).

I make much less OOPS now, as indicated by the show last night.   The point with OOPS is to make sure that each OOPS becomes a learning opportunity.  If the OOPS can be avoided, let's start with that, but if not then use the OOPS to grow as a person/professional.  The worst thing in the world is a multiple OOPSer.  (not to be confused with multiple orgasms; those are not so bad)  Someone who does not learn from their mistakes is bound to continue repeating them.  We as human beings have to evolve and grow ourselves, but also let go of our ego at times and grin and bear it. (cliche central tonight)

 Many people would quit over some of the OOPS I have personally committed.  I could spend weeks talking about them all, but let's focus on now:  I have learned from each life experience I have had, and continually try to get better at all I do.  There were days when I thought "just screw this, why try", but I do.  I get up each day and try a little harder next time.  Some old dude (I think it was Einstein but too tired from after party last night to bother looking) said "Success is just a series of going from failure to failure with enthusiasm!"  I love that and try to teach my kids the same!

I was going to write more about the show itself, but what was in my head was how we have grown, and how I as a feminist and promoter have to take a few minutes to event pat myself on the back:  Your event did not suck, congratulations!  (if you are heeding any of my advice today, this is important, keep your ego in check please)

Blogging after four hours of sleep the day after an event I have been planning for four months now seems a little OOPSy

Until next thoughts...

jenn h.

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