Change your tomorrows

I’m a big Project Runway fan.  I’ve watched it for several years now, through both networks and the lawsuit that threatened it’s existence.  Some years are more interesting than others and some casts are more engaging than others.  This year has been an in and out year for me.  Thursday’s are especially fatiguing as I intern in a casting office that day.  So my TV watching isn’t very regular and I keep forgetting it’s on.  The cast this year has been not great, but above average.  The producers don’t cast the strongest designers, they want the most interesting mix of personalities that will make for the most gripping television.  After all, people want to see conflict not humming sewing machines.

One of the designers that really jumped out at me this year was Anthony Williams, an African American from Birmingham Alabama.  He made a statement on the first show that “it was hell being black and gay in the ghetto”.  And with that, he took my heart.  He is hilarious in his musings which were frequent and unsolicited.  Unfortunately he was eliminated last past week as his stylings had fallen into a rut and he was turning out the same dress in a different color.  As he stood alone on the runway waiting for Heidi to give him his auf wiedersein and his cheek kisses he once again left us with a classic.  He gracefully thanked the judges and said “this isn’t the last you’ve heard from me.  I still have breathe in my body to change my tomorrows.”   Indeed.  What a reminder that the path we are on can be altered at any moment if it no longer incites our passions.  And just because the Project Runway people deemed him no longer fitting for their competition didn’t mean he couldn’t continue being a designer any more.  He  didn’t take their dismissal of him as a death sentence of his designing career and now he must become something completely different.  He has it within himself to take what he’d learned, refine his process and tweak his direction.

At any point, a direction can be changed, an alteration made.  Nothing is written in stone, even if the overwhelming evidence makes it seem so.  You still have breath in your body, change your tomorrows.

Not so fast

I was catching up today on numerous e-blasts and emails I get on various subjects and professions from advertising to entertainment to frugality to marketing to story pitches.  As Tess McGill said, You never know where the next big idea will come from.  One of them was referring to the impending sale of Saturn from GM to Penske Motors.  It quoted a source in the Detroit Daily News that said it’s in the final stages of negotiations, “was at the 2 yard line” and was expected to be signed in the next 24 hours.  Great news for not just the Saturn dealers but Saturn owners everywhere.  Their brand was going to be continued ensuring the value of the cars they owned.  Everyone remembers how Oldsmobile sales plummeted, trade-in values sank and service issues arose after GM announced it was discontinuing the decades old line.  Everyone connected with Saturn wouldn’t have to deal with the same issues and problems.

Not 6 hours later as I was driving up to visit my niece and nephews, the news cast said the deal had fallen through, Penske was not going to buy the line, GM was going to phase it out in less than 2 years and another brand, not quite as venerable, was disappearing from the landscape.  What struck me was how fast it all happened.  This wasn’t a baseball or football game where outcomes can change on a dime.  In a sporting event, that’s supposed to happen, or at least the possibility of it changing always exists.  This was a business negotiation that had been in the works for months and poof! gone.  The changing business climate isn’t just the brands disappearing but the speed in which the change is happening.  Staying flexible and agile will be key going forward for any business concern, be it a one person voiceover business or a multi national multi platform entity.  The old rules won’t apply anymore, in fact I don’t think they’ll ever apply again.  Exciting and scary at the same time.

Thank goodness I drive a Geo, oh wait, that doesn’t exist anymore either.  See, that big giant eraser IS trying to wipe my very existence away.  I’m not imagining things.