Tuesday, August 2, 2011

What's Your Agenda, Frosty?

Last year I had the privilege of meeting Peter Guber, box office genius and bestselling author of Tell to Win.   Whenever I find myself wanting to hit the "delete" button on past musings about my life, I think of him. His advice reminds me that the best way to connect with people is through personal storytelling.

This is not one of the most emotional stories I have told here, but it illustrates the benefits of being goal-oriented at any age.

Some of you know my "three-quarter" sister, Angela.  We're "three quarter" sisters because we have the same dad and different mothers but our mothers are sisters.  Go ahead and read that again if you need to.  I'll wait.  Hello Jerry Springer!  I know.

Ange was a great companion for creative pursuits. Make that co-conspirator. We didn't just write and draw and play and sing together the way most siblings might do.   We almost always had an angle.   Sometimes it was altruistic.  Sometimes entrepreneurial.  Sometimes just plain ol' ego; a deep desire to be on stage.    

One day when I was maybe nine years old, Ange and I set out to accomplish our entire agenda in one full scale theatrical production. 
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The "stage" was a long walk-in closet in Angela's bedroom.  The space wasn't that deep but the width scaled the room and it had bright green bi-fold doors on each side that functioned perfectly as "curtains." 

We created a script which I remember as a slightly twisted version of Frosty the Snowman.  Mind you, it was the middle of summer.  (That's me with the bright pink scarf.)

To us, it also made perfect sense that if you're going to go through the trouble of creating a play, designing costumes and converting a closet into a theatre, you need to sell tickets.  Of course.

This part of the memory is actually more fun when Angela's mom (my step-mom and aunt) tells the story. She clearly remembers the doorbell ringing and a line of people at the front door. 

They told her simply, "We're here for the play." 

Then after seeing the confused look on her face, they clarified, "We have tickets." 

I don't remember how many people she actually let in the house, but I know from the pictures we had an audience.   They enjoyed it and we enjoyed it.  We made some money and got to be stahs(That's "stars" for those of you not from the greater Boston area.)

Goals accomplished. 

Next time you find yourself sitting in a long, painful meeting or wearing a giant pink scarf in the middle of summer, ask "What are our goals here?" 

I guarantee it will make the experience much more rewarding for everyone involved.

Enjoy,



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21 comments:

Sarah said...

lol...jerry springer is right! good business sense at a young age. how great is that?

Sarah said...

hmm...my comment didn't show. wonder why..

Bruce Coltin said...

Yes, you do have to sell tickets. Too many bloggers, who don't understand that, die a quick death. It is not a matter of "Build it and they will come."

Kristen said...

You're certainly correct - I had to take a moment to read that bit about your sister again. Wow!

It is excellent that you had the foresight to invite an audience. Shouldn't it be obvious to everyone, though it isn't by any stretch, that you need an audience to put on a show? Great story.

Charlene said...

Ya know Bruce... I hadn't even thought about the "selling tickets" part in relation to blogging but you're totally right!! Great insight!

plainolebob said...

i was out front scalping tickets

Argentum Vulgaris said...

Three quarter sister, an interesting concept. Thank you for waiting while I read that again.

Re the title... I once asked my 7 year old granddaughter what she thought I would be when I grew up... "Old" was the reply, I never asked again.

AV

Matthew said...

New visitor - just thought I'd say hello, seeing as I enjoyed this piece. :)

lifechick said...

Great story. Wish my siblings and I had been more enterprising!

3/4 sisters, huh? I'm not a mathematician, but I have to wonder what the fraction would be if your mom and your sister's mom had been half-sisters. Hmm. I think I may have just given myself a headache.

For what it's worth, I believe there's a Monty Python line applicable to pretty much any situation.

P.S. to AV: funny story!

Charlene said...

AV - don't feel bad... "getting older" is the BEST scenario. Soooo much better than when you stop getting older. That could really ruin someone's day. LOL!

hungeryjack said...

Nice post - frosty the snowman pictures ..Keep Posting


Ron
frosty the snowman pictures

Tammy said...

I love how this blog helped me to make an important decision that I have been trying to make. So Thank You!!!!! You never know how your words are going to touch someone. :D

Charlene said...

Cool! Thanks Tammy!

Marlee said...

This was a great story, I remember putting on plays when I was younger too, but we didn't have tickets we had and "entrance fee" which usually consisted of brownies or something. Great blog, am a new follower!

http://marleeindebt.blogspot.com/

About JollyJilly said...

Hi I'm a new follower from the Monday mingle.
Really enjoyed your blog
Please come visit me anytime
Www.jollyjillys.blogspot.com

allenaim photography and design said...

story telling defintiely IS the way to hook readers...I enjoyed yours! :) The Jerry Springer quip is classic :)

Anitra said...

I have to admit that I'm still pausing to think about the 3/4 sister thing :-). Great writing.

I found you on Tough Cookie's Monday Mingle. I'm following you now. Stop by when you can.

Tough Cookie Mommy said...

Hi, Charlene. I think that letting our minds wander to those moments in our lives is definitely a good way to get inspired and motivated in terms of goals. You look gorgeous in your new photo. As always, it is a pleasure to pass by and connect with you.

P.S. Have we hooked up on Facebook yet?

http://facebook.com/toughcookiemommy

Megan said...

Loved this post! And thanks for the link to Peter Guber...I'm going after that book tonight. Beautiful blog..and beautiful scarf! Thanks for sharing!!

Anonymous said...

Awesome blog!

3 door wardrobe said...

First time poster here at your blog --- please keep it up! I'm enjoying the reads.

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