TEAM ~ or ~ The Show Must Go On

There are so many acronyms for the word TEAM aren’t there, but I think the most appropriate is Together Everyone Achieves More.

So often in life we try to carry on by ourselves when it would have been so much better if we’d used all the resources available to us from within our team.  Team doesn’t just relate to your work team.  It could mean your family, your friends, your sports team or any other team or group you’re a member of.

The power of team was really highlighted to me last night.  My hobby for the past 26 years has been amateur drama.  I started singing in musicals then moved on to plays.  This week I’ve been performing every night in the local theatre in a production of Charles Dickens’ “David Copperfield”.  As usual, I arrived in the dressing room around 6.40pm and together with the rest of the cast got busy getting into costume and applying make-up for curtain-up at 7.30pm.  At around 7pm the director called us all into the largest dressing room. There was a serious problem and we weren’t sure if the show could go on – the man playing David Copperfield had been knocked off his bicycle en-route to theatre and had just arrived in A&E by ambulance where he was awaiting x-ray, stitches and Lord knows what else.

I’m sure you can imagine the feeling in the dressing room at that point.  We were all worried about our leading man but we had an audience of around 100 people waiting for a performance.  Could we really send them home? Could we really put on a performance?  The decision was taken.  The Show Must Go On!

A rapid re-casting of some of the other roles, an announcement made to the audience and curtain went up at 7.35pm, not bad all thing’s considered. The audience were on our side, you could feel them willing us to succeed, and were sure as hell weren’t going to let them down.  There were a few hiccoughs, hardly surprising really.  We put 2 intervals into the play and by the time the second interval arrived the original David was back from A&E (we’d sent one of our members, a doctor, to collect him from A&E) stitched, bandaged, bruised and battered but determined he was going on that stage.

A further announcement to the audience that the original David was now back and the cast would go back to it’s usual roles and the next Act opened to rapturous applause.  We were stunned but in reality we weren’t surprised.

It was an amazing feat to be pulled off by a group of amateurs, something like that could have finished so many other groups, amateur or professional, but it shows just what can be achieved with the right passion, attitude, ability and resources.

It reminded me of my team – friends, family and business contacts – without whom I’d never have got through bankruptcy.  In fact, without some of them I wouldn’t be here today to be able to write about it.  They’re all listed here. They’ve all been thanked individually and this is my way of thanking them publicly

Take a look around you and identify your team, in whatever shape it takes, because with the right team behind you your Show really Can Go On and when it does, make sure you thank them and show your gratitude.

If only we’d opened our eyes!

Wasn’t it a great weekend?  I think most of the UK was bathed in sunshine – and in October!

We spent Saturday on a local beach, miles of sand, plenty of rock-pools and great surf (not that I’m a surfer but it’s good to watch).  My son had a whale of a time and was totally exhausted by the time we got home in the evening – but not too exhausted to bargain a later bed-time so he could stay up and watch Merlin!  6-years old and already he’s learning the art of negotiation.

Sunday was a relatively quiet day, I’ve been a keen member of amateur dramatics since I was 14 (so that’s 26 years now – where does the time go?) and I was in rehearsal on Sunday afternoon for a production of David Copperfield which opens on 12th October.

Sunday evening my partner and I were talking about what a lovely weekend we’d had and realised that whilst we’d had a great time, and my son said it was his best weekend ever (not sure if I should take that as a compliment but when you’re 6 I guess 3 weeks seems like forever) and we realised that a great, fun-filled family weekend had only cost us £10 + petrol.

How did we manage to do so much and spend so little?  Well, we packed a picnic on Saturday; a couple of sandwiches, some crisps, some fruit, biscuits and squash.  Somehow, it doesn’t really matter what you pack, it always seems to taste better in the fresh air doesn’t it?

We had an ice-cream as we left the beach (and had a bit of a shock as we discovered we’d had a parking ticket – the less said about that the better! Might be time for us both to get our eyes re-tested, neither of us saw the pay & display signs or machines in the car-park!  If only we’d opened our eyes.  I strongly recommend that wherever you go, you’re on the look out for parking machines and that you pay the required amount)!  But, that aside, the weekend itself cost us very little.

A quiet night in on Saturday then a home-cooked roast lunch on Sunday (with help from my son) prior to rehearsal.  My son loves coming to rehearsal with us, the other half’s in it too – it’s his own fault for taking me to the read-through, he kind of got talked into helping out and before we knew it he had a part!

But it’s a great educational experience for my son.  He loves watching the rehearsaling (as he calls it), then we have to hire or borrow the DVD so he can see exactly which part mummy has and then he wants to know the rest of the story and comes out with the sort of questions that only 6-year olds can ask and leave me feeling totally out of my depth.  With David Copperfield being Dickens, we’ve since had to watch Oliver umpteen times and A Christmas Carol.  My son doesn’t even realise he’s being educated. Through rehearsals he’s learning the different relationships between characters and why they do certain things.  All free fun for him and will stand him in good stead when he’s older.

I’m not suggesting you rush out and join your local Amateur Drama group (although you might find you enjoy it) but I’m merely giving an example of how something I thought my son would find dull and boring has proved to be a no-cost way of entertaining him.

It’s surprising the things we already do that can provide great entertainment for our children if we give them the opportunity to get involved.

What is it that you already do that you could involve your children in for little or no cost?