Every month I make a "to do" list of the shows, events, appointments and other activities I need to accomplish. For the month of January I decided to entitle that list "The Road Back" because this month is all about the road back at Grinder Productions.
The Road Back is not an easy one. Already this month I have started this blog, as well as made extensive changes in how the company operates and promotes itself. The business and marketing plans have undergone massive changes, and while it's still too early to accurately gauge the results of these changes on our bottom line it has produced, at least within me, a new-found optimism - I'm feeling better about the company now than I have in many months. Along with these highs there have also been lows, to be sure - trying to run a company with no staff and no budget isn't easy, even if it's only for the short term. I've thought and re-thought through a lot of my ideas, abadoning others and embracing new ones, often accompanied by pain and uncertainty.
Tomorrow I will launch on this blog the marketing campaign for the set of shows that will mark Grinder's return. On Saturday I will be holding auditions for The Hollow and we'll be into the Agatha Christie production once again. On Monday I will sit down and lay out the events that I would like Grinder to pursue over the month of February (you'll finally get to hear about this whole "Dating Disasters" idea!). So by this time next week I should have a very good idea about how things are going. Are people willing to embrace the new Grinder? In what ways? How have I been able to reform my own processes over the past month and a half? Can I predict with confidence that the horrors of 2007 will not be repeated, and that these shows will go up on time, on budget and be worthy of the price of admission?
Time will tell, of course, but if nothing else I do have a certain degree of confidence in my abilities this time around, though I'm not about going to get cocky about it. The mere fact that I can express my thoughts on the screen is testament to a change in my outlook: gone is the automaton of production that I was last summer, churning out show after show after show with no other motive than to get it done and carry on to the next. Now I see with a more critical eye, I listen receptive ear, and I work with a more open, intellectual, creative mind.
Better or worse is anyone's guess. Different? You can take that to the bank.