Part XXXXIII: Paper Tigers
We did not change as we grew older; we just became more clearly ourselves.
~ Lynn Hall, Where Have All the Tigers Gone?
The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control
your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward.
~ Amelia Earhart
In 2002, following 9/11 - prior to the culmination of my serious soul searching and meeting Rev. June - I had an unusual shift in my business. I look back and see how exquisitely the Universe was attuned to my innermost feelings about my business and my waning passion for producing events.
All of a sudden, there was a completely new type of booking that evolved for the corporate clients that I manifested. The clients who were referred to me didn’t contract me to coordinate their events. They instead requested that I hire a certain kind of talent for their events – specifically look-a-like performers and sports stars – the real thing. I had a lot of experience with look-a-likes, but the sports world was entirely new to me.
I had previously mentioned events that I produced at ESPN Zone in Anaheim. For these events, I hired a great “Tiger Woods” impersonator along with a real deal sports star – Lisa Leslie, the beautiful WNBA Basketball Star and Gold Medalist.
The manager that I dealt with at ESPN Zone was so impressed with my offerings that in 2002 he began sending clients to me who had already booked the venue so that I could propose the talent.
Early in the year, one client had a huge event in two Anaheim locations simultaneously.
For ESPN Zone, I booked “Tiger Woods”, Lisa Leslie, and the Laker Girls. For the House of Blues, I booked the “Cher” impersonator and the “Blues Brothers Review” - the latter were outstanding first-class impersonator/performers, the best in the industry.
Then during the year, other large corporate clients contracted me for similar bookings at the sports venue.
But my largest coup that year was the Amersham Health event for the Society of Nuclear Medicine convention in Los Angeles. My client, an exhibitor at the convention, hired me to provide sports celebrities for their booth for the entire three days. Each year for the convention, in different cities, they had created a sports theme at their booth with autograph signings for their visitors, and for Los Angeles, they decided on a basketball theme. Unless you are a real sports fan, you probably won't recognize the stars that I hired. Jaamal Wilkes and Norm Nixon were renowned “Showtime” Lakers of a past era. A.C. Green was recently retired from the Lakers. Ann Meyes Drysdale is a legendary basketball star, one of the most famous female athletes in the world and wife of the late baseball great, Don Drsydale. And then there was Bill Walton, NBA Hall of Famer and NBC and ABC Television Analyst and Broadcaster.
I'm 5'8", Bill Walton's 6'11". No, my hand is not where you think it is. :-)
The legendary Ann Meyers Drysdale is on the right.
Showtime Laker Norm Nixon
Nixon signing autographs for visiting doctors
You might find it interesting to note that I had no idea who any of the sports celebrities were that I booked until I researched and hired them. Initially I had no contacts or resources in this area. I just asked my Universal Senior Partner for advice and the doors just opened seamlessly to all the contacts and agents I needed. For Amersham, I had an intuitive feeling to call the UCLA sports department, and the man I was connected with gave me the direct numbers to Bill Walton and Ann Meyers. I didn't know who they were, but he assured me that my client (a pharmaceutical company) would jump (pun intended) at the chance to have them appear. He was right.
I am probably the least sports-oriented person you could ever meet. But you know that I had learned to always rely on the All Knowing Presence for my answers, and I always received them. You want sports stars? The Universe has sports stars. And Marilyn has the Universe on speed dial. :-)
I may not have been familiar with these sports celebrities, however, at Amersham’s booth, doctors from all over the world were waiting in long lines to meet these stars and have them sign the Spalding autograph balls that I had ordered. Oh, and they had a chance to shoot a few hoops in the mock basketball court that was set up. It still held no personal interest for me, but the clients and guests had a good time and it was a fine reprieve from my years of coordinating "off-site" events.
For many of these sports-themed events, I contracted photographers to take still shots for the client and souvenir photos for the guests. There is an interesting process in event photography called "green screening." The computer is programmed with a background scene, for instance, a real basketball court or a golf green, and the photos taken of the guests with the sports stars are then placed digitally over the background, so the final photo looks like they're standing "on location." The photos are placed in frames and by the end of the event, guests have their souvenir shot standing next to the celebrity.
So looking back, I see that the events during this time were transitional in nature. The Universe was providing an opportunity for me to “loosen” my hold on my business and be weaned away from producing large events. I was given the opportunity to handle components of the events without the responsibility of the entire event. The profits were not as large, but I don’t think I really knew what was happening…I was just going with the flow. I just knew that things were not the way they used to be and I didn’t know what I was going to do in the long run. I didn’t realize it then, but I was being guided to give up the “lesser” for the “greater.” And I had no idea what the “greater” was.
But at least I wasn’t jumping through hoops doing huge events. So to speak :-)
A vacuum was being created to provide the space for an unexpected greater good to fill. The Universe no longer cared about my making a living. The Universe was more interested in my making a life.
To be continued...
Private Reply to Marilyn Jenett (new win)