Throughout the life of an entertainer, we evolve and our perception of tools changes. Like most beginners, I was concerned about costs. How much is it?” Really, I can make it cheaper than that”, are words uttered out of my mouth. Hours, days, and in a couple of rare cases, years later, I’ve finally built the tool or prop that I needed. I like to call this stage one. I can do it better than and cheaper stage.
In stage one; I was both Superman and Einstein all rolled up as one super person AKA Superstein. I was a master craftsman at all tools and was able to make it cheaper and better than what was being sold. Nothing was out of reach from web design, sewing, building, and tooling props, and marketing all were skills I possessed at the highest level. I learned over time, I lacked most of these skills once I worked with somebody who really was a master at their craft and did it day in and day out. Things they could do took minutes and 95% of the time was 100% better.
Stage two is the reality that the person making the product has done some research and development. My “cheaper” version works but has some issues. It could be the quality of the material, the craftsmanship, lack of the right pieces, or just that I did it wrong. At this point, I come to the realization that the price the person or company is charging is not that outlandish, and if I want to be a professional, I should use quality-tested tools. An additional benefit, if it breaks, gets lost or if it needs to be replaced, I can simply call the manufacture and have it shipped to me anywhere in the world. Problem solved with one phone call.
Stage three is when you have reached the point in your career that you want to stand out, you need to be unique and the cost is not the priority it is about branding and image. I’m at this point in my career where I am having props built, hiring professional photographers, and working with people who have the skills and passion for the things I lack. I am still Superstein around the house fixing things that save money, but, there too I’m learning a professional gets results faster and many times more efficiently than if I tacked the problem myself. The best part is while they’re doing the “to-do list”, I’m outperforming and doing the things I love, allowing me to enjoy life more. I’m not sure if there is stage four, but if there is, I’ll let you know when I reach it.
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