This is a phrase I have been hearing since almost the first moment I started doing production. My friend and personal hero, Marty O’Connor used to say this all the time. In fact, I would imagine he still says it. The basic premise is that taking time to make the stage clean matters. Running cables straight, finishing a job correctly, cleaning up trash, and resetting the stage to an agreed upon “normal”, are just a few examples of what this phrase means to me.
I have heard it so many times, it feels like something everybody knows and everybody values. We have had a few conversations about this part of our ministry lately and it is interesting how easy it is to lose sight of or to get comfortable with how things look.
At my house, when something needs to make its way back upstairs, my wife likes to put piles at the bottom of the steps to remind the kids to grab what belongs to them and take it to their rooms. It is amazing to me how easily that pile becomes invisible. We all just end up walking right by it, like it isn’t even there, and as a result the pile keeps getting bigger and bigger until we cant take it any more…or we have guests coming over.
When was the last time you took a good look at your stage area? Your booth? Backstage? Has the pile at the bottom of your steps become invisible to you? If you had guests coming over, would you be embarrassed by all the piles?
Keeping the stage clean is a simple yet foundational element to everything else we do. Take a walk around with eyes open, and take your piles up to your room.