These partially constructed tops complete with sewn-in zippers but no sleeves or collars or connection to lower sections were in so many different sizes. Looking through these pieces was just bizarre. They were carefully pressed and some seams were even finished. But, I decided that trying to figure out uses for these random costume parts would be more trouble than it was worth. Besides, I had no immediate plans for a show needing costumes for 50 little green frogs!
Looking through that box got me thinking of other WASTED EFFORTS. Mostly what I have thought were my own wasted efforts. I have been taught that there really are no wasted efforts if you learn something in the process. Well, sure, lessons can always be learned, but at what expense?
Writing Children's Theater can sometimes feel like a lot of wasted effort. In the end, you can only do what you can do. As the writer, you can IMAGINE all sorts of wonderful things. As the director, REALITY sets in, and you have to deal with budget restraints, venue limitations, technical difficulties, crazy family schedules, and child actors who have little experience and basically no skills.
Then I remembered an exchange that happened a few years ago during one of my Summer Theater Camps. My daughter's family was staying with us at the time and she and I overheard her 7-year-old son explain to the the neighbor boy about our play.
Katelyn and I looked at each other. "That's why you keep doing this," she said.
I guess what I do really isn't wasted effort after all.