So in the past few days I’ve consulted with a non-profit on a whole range of creative development ideas, edited some original audio for conspicuous consumption by the public, had breakfast with true American Hero Paul Galanti, worked on a proposal for one of my favorite West of the Mississippi show producers and still found time to work out, drink a local beverage or two, cook some spaghetti and take a drive through the Blue Ridge. So why am I sharing this? What’s it have to do with work? Well just this: it doesn't feel like work.
When I was Vice President of Entertainment at SeaWorld San Diego, I had an office with a brilliant view of San Diego Bay. Every day, without fail, as I reported to work my Creative Director would yell “Welcome to work!” to the chagrin of all of the Operations and Entertainment Managers, Supervisors and staff within earshot to which I would (unfailingly) reply: “You call this work?!”
And that’s just the point.
Sometime between 551 and 479 BC Confucius said: “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” (Or logograms to that effect). Anyway the point is this: fall in love with something to do and do it. As well as you can for as long as you can. The rest will fall into place. I chose theme park entertainment.
I still marvel every time I stand in front of a studio orchestra with a newly composed piece of music or manage a creative session about anew attraction. I am enchanted at every front gate entrance I make at a theme park (thank you Disney for Magic Bands) and remind myself constantly that to have worked for and with Cedar Point, Busch Gardens Williamsburg/Tampa, Sesame Place, Valleyfair, Silver Dollar City, HersheyPark, Aquatica, Water Country USA, Six Flags and SeaWorld San Antonio/San Diego is a unique privilege for which I am ever grateful.
In 1964 as a tot, I wandered into the World’s Fair in NYC and an attraction called “It’s a Small World”. In 1976, 12 years later I walked on stage at Cedar Point and really, I’ve just never left.
Do good work – just don’t call it that.