Thursday, May 08, 2008

On bottoming to the Mouse

Since returning from my all to brief vacation to sunny Florida, folks keep asking me, “So what did you think of Disney World?”
The best way I can describe the experience? “A lot like a scene actually”

Nothing is “real”, save for the experience you choose to have. The entire environment has been manufactured to create an illusion. Yes, some would argue that the illusion is a false one, a gentrified and “white washed” farce that glorifies so many of the things that are really wrong about our country. Yeah, I suppose you could say that and yes if you wanted to dig your heels into the dirt and grit your teeth while you were there, expressing your displeasure at the whole thing, then go right ahead and be miserable.

Or you can, like I did, accept that yes this is all one grand illusion (my apologies to Styx), relax, and sit back and marvel at how well the machine runs.

So how is this like a scene?

I recently had a client, a woman who sought out my unique brand of skills, who while pleasant and well behaved enough just could not let go. Through the entire scene, as I worked to create a mood and craft a memorable experience for her, she could not stop interjecting negative energy. My compliments would be responded to with small, negative snips. “Oh you are just saying that cuz I’m paying” and other such negative nonsense. Nothing overt enough to derail the scene, but just enough to keep her from really relaxing into the experience and forcing me to work extra hard to keep the illusion flowing.

So what does that have to do with Disney World?

Like traveling to the magic kingdom, she went out of her way to book my time, travel to see me and spent a pretty penny in the process yet the whole time she would not let her self enjoy it. Like the tourist who must constantly find fault, be it the lines or costs or the fact that Swiss Family Robinson tree house is actually made out of concrete (albeit very convincing) and not real wood. Why go to all the bother and expense if you can’t allow yourself the experience?

So yes, bottoming in a scene and going to a major theme park are quite similar. In both cases, you have to relax, let your guard down a bit and accept that yes, this is not real. At the end of the day, I’m still going to be the same person I was when I walked in so sit why don’t I just sit back and give myself permission to enjoy the illusion. Marvel at the craftsmanship that went into creating the moment and above all else, have fun.