April 15, 2012

My Theory on Takes

I had one of those a-ha! moments in the shower today. I always feel like quite the grown-up when this happens, like maybe this is what they call wisdom just settlin' down on me.

I thought: I bet the term "takes" (as in movie takes) is actually short for "mistakes (mis-takes)". Maybe everybody but me has already figured this out, but that's not the cool part.

What if the movie industry didn't shorten "mistakes" to "takes" because dropping a syllable makes for quicker communication but because they didn't like the negative connotation of the prefix "mis-"? This condescending prefix means "wrong." And, in the movie industry, they know they're working with humans (and sometimes animals) and that it's nearly impossible to get a scene right the first time.

No harm, no foul. They don't mind doing it a few times to get it just right (I'm sure they get quite irritated after 20 or so takes, but who wouldn't.) And, the thing is, we as the viewers don't have to watch all of the takes unless we want to. Often times they add them as bonus material with the purchase of the movie and you can sit around and laugh at the cast flubbin' it up all over the place.

We laugh at them because they're getting it wrong. Just like we get things wrong all the time. Us humans. We're all so similar about some things. But we don't judge them for those takes. We know they gave us a good movie in the end. It's all part of the process, right?

Yet, when it comes to us normal, non-famous people, efforts and attempts in our lives often come out looking like mistakes, like bad things to frown over. We feel shame for them. A lot of times, people don't laugh about it. Or they'll say "You'll laugh about this someday."

I'm thinking I'm just going to go studio-production-style on this failure business and say that I will not add a negative tone to my personal actions in the past. They were takes, people. This is a work in progress.

Take #__: Giving up on a hobby that you used to enjoy. But really, discovering others that light you up anyway.

Photo taken by my father, c. 1987 (?)
Take #__: Failing to yield to an SUV. Still not my fault. Grrr... But I learned a serious lesson about defensive driving that day.

c. 2005
Take #__: Yeah. This happened. And then un-happened, if you know what I mean. 2005 was a year with a lot of takes. Again, wouldn't know what this was like unless I'd done it.

Photo taken by Carolyn, a family friend. c. 2005
Take #__: Not standing up for what I wanted. Not caring enough about something going away until it was already gone and (of course) I suddenly missed it. Now I know to love the things I have when I have them and refuse to let them go (please ignore the picture right above). (Multiple takes are allowed, remember?).

c. 1998
Thank you, shower, for somehow revealing that I'm not the only one living a life. We're all doing it, we're all making it interesting in our own ways, and it's not supposed to be right all the time.

PS: Australian shepherds are awesome. So is dog sledding. And being a bride. But not getting in a car accident. Ever. (I know, I've been in three).


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