5 Lessons in Achieving Goals from a Hollywood TV Show Taping (Rules of Engagement)

My husband and I are just back from a week long trip to Southern California.

While there, we had the chance to attend a taping of the show Rules of Engagement starring David Spade, Patrick Warburton, Megyn Price, Oliver Hudson, Adir Kalyan, and Bianca Kajlich.

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I found the taping process fascinating.

We live in a society where we want to achieve our goals faster and without error in order to move on to the next thing. During this taping experience, I was reminded of how important the process is to achieving goals, whether personal or professional. Here are a few things that stood out for me during the taping.

Patience is key. We sat through 4 hours of filming for 1, 20 minute episode. That’s 12x as many minutes as they need for the end product. Most scenes were shot 3 times. We were told this episode would air in 4 to 8 weeks. Is anything worth waiting for immediate?

Re-write the script as you go. Each time they shot a scene we noticed that parts of the script were re-written. A word here or a body language change there. I assume they’ll review the tapes later to pick the best shots. Sometimes to achieve your goal you need to explore different options to identify the best fit.

It takes an army. The number of people on the set during the taping – writers, producers, directors, camera men/women, hair, make-up, costume, set designers, starring cast, extras, editors, assistants, the comedian who entertained us in between takes – seemed infinite. Great things don’t happen alone. Find supporters who will help make “it” happen.

It’s ok to make mistakes. Sometimes a scene was re-shot because the actors forgot a line or laughed uncontrollably at a co-star. They gave in to the mistake, laughed it off, re-centered themselves and then shot the scene again. If you make a mistake, let the mistake happen, get it out of your system, learn from it, re-focus and try it again.

Make a Fuss. In between scenes the actors were swarmed by folks fixing hair, powdering faces and adjusting clothing. Or they were reviewing their lines. Directors and writers were reviewing tapes, making suggestions for cropping, actor placement, and re-writing scripts. There were no breaks or distractions. There was constant action and what seemed like a big fuss. Do you make a big fuss and take constant action to achieve your goals?

When sitting in front of our TV watching the final product, we don’t see the hours of taping, the re-writes, the fuss, or the mistakes. I’m excited to watch this particular episode because I experienced the process.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I forget about how long the process can be in order to achieve an end goal that feels good.

Have you ever attended a TV Show taping? What was your experience?

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About Stacey:

Hi and welcome to the Brave Communicator blog where I write about communication as the path to well-being, trust, and influence.

I share insights, observations and interviews with brave communicators. I invite you to take a look around and bravely join the conversation. Learn more
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