Why a bump is a like a breakup.

I took a call today from a producing peer who was having a serious issue with a project.  After a heck of a lot of work (a couple of years, actually), the show just blew up.  It was nothing he did.  It was beyond his control.  It was just . . . over.

He was pretty upset.  And deservedly so.  He even said a few things like, “I don’t know if I can go through this again.  I’m giving up producing and going to law school.”

If you’ve been working in this biz or in any biz, then I’d bet a billion buckaroos that you’ve hit a similar bump in the road along your way, and you’ve probably considered law school . . . or your equivalent . . . as well.  I know I have.

And as I explained to my buddy that as hard as it was for him right now, he’d eventually get over it, and find another project.

Sound familar?

If you’ve ever been through a breakup, you’ve felt the same way and probably heard similiar advice.  Because when you’ve just lost something you loved and are miserable, it’s hard to think that you’ll ever come out on the other side.

But you do, don’t you? Eventually, it clears, and you move on, and you when the time is right, you meet someone new.

So, the next time you’re having a crisis with a project–something that you can’t see yourself getting through . . . remember that time you got dumped . . . and how you eventually got over that too.


(Got a comment?  I love ’em, so comment below!  Email subscribers, click here, then scroll down, to say what’s on your mind!)



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  • RLewis says:

    If we guess the project would you confirm it: Porgy & Bess?

  • David says:

    “that awkward moment where you begin to second guess everything you’ve worked tirelessly for almost ten years at.”
    -posted by a director friend of mine just minutes after this blog was posted.

  • Good timing on this article….for me. Unbelievable. Highs lows highs lows highs lows in your grasp out of your grasp…and then it all clears with a big thump. And…time to move on. I am (keeping) my optimistic hat on and getting ready to find what is wonderful around the bend that is right for this project. But it hits you in the gut when you finally realize it has to be over.

  • You have the right attitude Ken. We all experience setbacks in life, and putting my Love Coach hat on, as the author of HOW TO MARRY A MENSCH, from breakups good can come….we just don’t know it at the time.

  • Randi says:

    Oh goodness, if you want to give him some more good advice, tell him not to go to law school.

  • Gayla says:

    Thank you. As helpful as all of your blogs are about the business side of this business, reading this type of emotional encouragement is every bit as helpful. And needed. Good timing! 🙂

  • Malini says:

    My advice for these type of situations is to walk away, take a hiatus, and reacess. Been through this so many times. It’s the worst feeling ever.

  • Wayne says:

    I really like the advise on today’s post. Your comments are true as we all have been there.

  • terry says:

    having been as you say “dumped” one year ago this month- I’m still not over it. Alittle better-but still badly bruised. Having had a triple bump about 15 years ago: busines failure, estrangement from a son , and a political disaster – followed by bankruptcy – that took a few years- I’m totally over it- happy to have survived, be healthy, and recovering some financial strength- I am immensely stronger now than most people I know.

  • Bryan David says:

    Dear Mr. Davenport, et al:
    Since the 1st caveman broken the heart of the 1st cave-woman (because he like her sister better) there is/was & always will be broken hearts. The story’s so old it should be put to music. I did. I’ve just completed the Book & Lyrics to my 14th Two-Act musical about this very subject. You suggested I submit my best show 1st. I did.
    I have a few more when you’re ready…

  • Mgoldsmith@mgproductions.com says:

    When one door closes, another much better one always opens–but LAW SCHOOL? NOT!

  • Margie Goldsmith says:

    When one door closes, another better one always opens — but NOT LAW SCHOOL!!!

  • producer-lawyer-executive producer says:

    Understand the bumps and the rebounds, as I share the same experiences with all commenting here. Theater, love, and most projects. None are without pain. Not if they are worth your love. No need to slam law school,though…

  • Ken, you could write a whole book on the topic of this post. The same principle holds for every area of life. Years ago, a comic performer (who’s name escapes me) had a song that contained “Neva give up. Neva give up – that ship!”

  • And sometimes, it’s the right project/relationship but the wrong time. What is that old saying? “If you love someone (or thing) let it go…and if it’s meant to be it will come back to you.” (?) Sometimes, when you least it expect it…

  • kim says:

    I’ve never been dumped. And my whole life is perfect.
    just kidding. 🙂

  • Mary says:

    I would advise him to travel. Not every country does things the way we do in terms of art and production. Seeing people working in a different cultural milieu up front and personal helps you to reassess what you are doing. Besides Law School is no guarantee. It’s the great myth of reinvention. Every profession has its ups and downs and in the current economy you might as well do what you really enjoy because there is no Rx for the prosperous life. If he really wants to do this — he should work in a law office so he can be sure, this is a real investment of time and money. Know whether you could function in this capacity for 8-12 hours a day is key; it’s not just like the t.v. shows — Hugo Boss suits and gorgeous coworkers.

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