Words of Wisdom

Wisdom from Alumni

Network, Network, Network, and then Network some more. Your degree does not entitle you to a job. At the end of the day it comes down to who you know. Try to have a database of 1,000 people by the time you graduate – that’s not unreasonable, My goal is 50 per day. It spend about 3 hours a day doing it.


Participate in industry organizations for your related field. USITT, ESTA, USA, IATSE among others. Think big, why not participate in all of them? Plan on spending $50-250 per year for EACH! Don’t make excuses for them being too expensive, nobody cares. At first it may appear you’re not really getting anything out of your membership, but when you graduate you can say you’ve been an active member for 4 years. This is important – it demonstrates you can follow through. Also the rewards are there when it comes time to get a job so I’m asking you to trust me on this.


Go to the USITT Conference, If you can only go via the free stage floor only pass – fine. Go to the bars with the exhibitors and designers & professors from other colleges, never eat alone or with only NWMSU students when you’re at a conference. Collect a business card from every booth, write on the back if you had a conversation with the person. If you did have a conversation with someone mail a hand-written thank you card after the show. It flatters the person considerably and very few others do this –which gets you noticed. Custom Thank you cards can be professionally printed for about 50 cents each. Here’s the good part – They can include one of your portfolio photos, glossy, on the front cover and the underside of the cover can include your contact information and a link to your online portfolio. Leave the bottom panel blank when you order it so it appears as if you just happened to have the card for any occasion.  If you don’t want to hand write your message in phenomenal penmanship check out www.sendoutcards.com. You upload your photo, type in their address and your message. They print and mail it for you. If you store all the business cards you just collected in outlook, you can upload the file to them and they’ll mass mail custom cards to everyone. You can even have them do it in your own handwriting. I’d be happy to put you in touch with a local rep who can get you a discount on their services.


Taking business cards with you is a no brainer but many college student’s don’t. Pay about $50 for custom, glossy or raised ink, business cards to be professionally printed. Use a production photo or your headshot in place of a company logo. Don’t use your own printer unless absolutely necessary – it screams college student and doesn’t impress anyone. You want to impress, you want to be noticed. You are the cream that rises to the top of the coffee – that’s how you get hired for the better gigs and how you get paid more than everyone else. This applies for Actors at auditions as well as anyone in any industry.


Join mailing lists and forums – actually participate-. Subscribe to all the free magazines –actually read them- Live Design, Stage Directions, PLSN, Worship Technologies, Lighting and Sound America (KC Stage is $30 and puts you in touch with the locals) among others. If you’re going into management or business in any capacity read the Kansas City Business Journal and The Independent (Elite social magazine for multi-millionaires – They hire production people for every event mentioned) for Kansas City.


Set an appointment with a manufacturer’s representive, you can usually spend an hour with them over dinner, learning, and they might even pick up the tab. This is good for both Conventions, and when you’re out of Aladine & Bearcat bucks the week before finals. Also, they can give you a Scholarship money (or a grant for your next lab show) – even if they have never done it before. They’ll write if off their taxes so they win, and you win. ETC Spends $1.2M to go to USITT each year, an extra $1,000 is not a lot of money for them. Especially if you know several of them by first name and you go back 2-3 years. This also gets you the good scholarships and more importantly summer work.


Establish large networks of people on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Ning and any other site you would like. Join the blogs of your favorite authors. Professionals spend 1 hour per day in this type of work.


You’ll also be surprised how much knowledge from these resources will seep in  by the time your design classes come around. Even if you don’t fully understand what everyone is saying when you join, over time more and more will make sense to you. As you read the articles you’ll see many of the same names appear frequently. Learn about them, their companies, and their competitors. Introduce yourself.


Learn about the companies who advertise repeatedly, learn about their competitors, and strategic partners (If you do Lighting, an Audio company can provide great recommendations as they work with several lighting companies). Learn about them locally and nationally – Barbizon, PRG, Bandit, BMI are some. Learn what firms are designing the shows mentioned in the articles – usually there is a credit mentioned in the articles. Figure out what designers you like and what ones you don’t like is also just as important. Go meet these people at the networking events. Contact the president of the companies YOUR FRESHMEN YEAR and have them provide a quote or word of advice for your papers. Ask for permission to call them on occasion –very occasionally- if you have more questions Try to contact them every 6-8 months thereafter. What this will do is establish a personal relationship with them. They wont want to hire you if they have just met you and you’re ‘just another college graduate’. They hate hiring college graduates. They want to hire someone with 3-5 years of experience – or severely under pay you to make it worth all the added stress of training you to fit their company & the real world. By contacting them your freshmen year and keeping in contact the entire time, they’ve watched you grow, succeed, and you’ve just earned 4-5 years of experience In their eyes. It also enables them to keep you in mind when it comes to their hiring plans. Deciding to hire an employee is a big decision for many firms. If they know you’ll be available in 6 months, there’s a good chance they’ll include you in their annual plan if they’re growing because it’s less scary to them than hiring someone off the street today. This also works great for internships.


If you want a couple scripts to use when you talk to CEO’s let me know. They also work for authors and celebrities. (the person who taught me used this technique to contact John Grisham)

Bottom line, Get out as early as you can and start marketing yourself. Establish personal relationships with everyone you possibly can. Learn from the industry just as you do for your classes.


One more thing, Do what you say you’re going to do, when you say you’re going to do it. If you take a class/job/show/practicum assignment/whatever, you’re agreeing that you’re going to do the work, you’re going to do it on time, and you’re going to do it to the best of your abilities. Get it done. If you’re not up for that, don’t accept the responsibilities and let other’s down. There’s no surer way to guarantee you don’t get a well paying job.


Don’t wait to be invited. As a transfer student I always felt on the outside and not really a part of the department; I was always waiting for someone to include me. One day I was on the dock talking to Laurie O’Leary and she said the secret was to just start showing up to do stuff whether anyone wanted you there or not. That was really what made all the difference. Seems simple, but I had to be told.


I think the biggest thing that I wish I knew when I was attending Northwest that it’s really important to treat everyone you work with with the same level of respect. You never know if that freshman deck hand is going to have have ties to a big commercial producer someday and this is definitely a business where if you treat someone well they are going to remember you down the line. If you don’t treat them well they will probably remember you too.


The great thing about the Theatre Northwest program is the amount of opportunity it provides for it’s students. But, just because the school produces 13 shows a year doesn’t mean that you have to be involved in 10 of them. Put quality in front of quantity. I think if I would have done this I would have had more confidence in the work I was doing and ultimately each project i did would have had more artistic integrity.


Don’t put too much stock in one project. Your senior project is no different than your first black box.


Finally, sometimes it isn’t important to be ultra arty when working on a project. Not everything has to mean something and, you are doing your audience is a disservice if you are trying to spoon feed them the story as you interpret it. Sometimes a little bit of suggestion can be a great thing.


Read plays, go see plays, and be a part of plays.  The more you read and see, the broader your knowledge base will be.  You’ll encounter ideas (especially in terms of design) that you might want to use in a future production.  And for education majors, picking out what play/musical your school will perform in the coming season is HARD.  The more plays you’ve read and seen, the easier that process becomes.  Also, for education majors, it’s very important that you broaden your horizons as much as possible while you’re still in college.  If you only did acting in high school, devote a lot of time to tech while in college.  Remember, when you get a teaching job, you’ll probably be not only the director, but every designer as well.  It’s very important for you to be well-rounded.


Something I wish I would have realized before leaving NW, was the fact that NW was the place to “try” more. Though I was a performance major I wish I would have done more things from a technical perspective; give a shot at doing some lighting design, maybe even set design. I dabbled in writing and directing but no safer environment will exist than the stages of Northwest. Same goes with performing – the chances to be play any role in any show will never be as easy as it is in school! Take advantage and know that NW may be your only chance to do certain shows…if you are even considering auditioning for something, DO IT!


I also should have DEFINITELY done summer stock from the very first summer I had the chance to. It would have not only helped me for the remaining years of school but would have also put me that much ahead after graduating.


I SO loved being at NW and look at those years as some of the most fun times I’ve had. Enjoy the time and ALWAYS GIVE THE RUNNERS WHO RUN BY DURING TRACK SEASON YOUR RESPECT :)

Stage Managers - Mainstage

The best advice I can give to anyone about stage management on a main stage is just to keep your cool and make sure you have everything under control. The key is to always be striving to know everything. Even if you don’t know about something that is going on, act like you do and work you’re hardest to get things under control. As a stage manager, you are looked to for guidance and help when anything and everything happens. And trust me, anything and everything will happen. You have to just stay calm and work to resolve the problem without letting anyone know it’s a problem.


Also, always talk with your director everyday. I was able to really establish a close working relationship with my director and that always helped in the long run. It creates a sense of understanding. I would just know what to do I would do it. The director wouldn’t have to even ask me why something wasn’t done or to do something, because I already knew that they wanted it done. That knowledge comes from knowing the director and talking with them. The thing you have to remember is that your job is to make everyone else’s job easy. You do all the rough work in order to make things go smooth and easy for the actors, directors, crew, designers, etc. It is a lot of work, but it is something that is really rewarding in the long run. When you see that show and you call it for the first time, you know that you made it happen, and that is a great experience.


The last bit of advice that I can give, is always know when to be nice and know when to put your foot down. I always tell my casts that “I can be your best friend or your worst enemy and that’s up to you to decide.” That statement is the honest truth. Your job is to make sure that everyone is having fun and there is a fun and productive work environment, but you have to make sure the fun doesn’t jeopardize the productive aspect. Making sure people are on track and getting there stuff done is your main job, the fun comes secondary. But you have to make sure there is fun. Its really a hard thing to master, but it comes with experience.


The most important thing to consider as a stage manager is your level of organization. As a stage manager you are the “go to person” for the entire production. If someone has a question about the production they are probably going to come to you to answer those questions. Before each production meeting I go through my rehearsal reports for the entire week and create an agenda to send out to the production staff before the production meeting. (If the production meeting is on Friday I’ll send out an agenda Thursday evening.) By creating the agenda I am refreshing my memory about everything that came up in rehearsals during the week and I am also making sure that the design staff is prepared to discuss any and all questions that came up in rehearsals.


Here is a list of no brainers and maybe a little wisdom for you all. Hope it helps!


  1.     ALWAYS be prepared
  2.     If you do not have the answer, do not make it up.
  3.     If YOU have a question, ASK!
  4.     Always have paper and pencil
  5.     Have extra of everything.
  6.     When starting your SM kit, start early, buy a little at a time, helps with cost and you will think of more things to put in it.
  7.     Communication is GOLD! Keep open communication with everyone.
  8.     With communication, double check that EVERYONE on production crew is getting e-mails
  9.     Contact groups, they are your friend.
  10.     Talk to your director before auditions even happen, about what they are expecting of you, what they expect out of the cast and crew, and what they want to accomplish with this production.
  11.     You should have several meetings with the director about rehearsal processes, rehearsal schedule, odds and ends about the show, etc.
  12.     Do your job. If that means you have to get on to a cast or crew member then DO IT!! Don’t be afraid.
  13.     Be organized!
  14.     Keep everything until the end of production. You may need it to complete prompt book
  15.     Start preparing your prompt book early. It will take some time.
  16.     Your prompt book should be easy to read, easy to find information.
  17.     Have a special notebook/notepad that is just for the production.
  18.     Take good notes.
  19.     Always send reminders about due dates, fittings, etc; cast and crew members tend to be forgetful at times.
  20.     Be early. If you expect your cast and crew to be one time, then you should be too.
  21.     By on time, I mean set up, ready to go, BEFORE the beginning of rehearsal.
  22.     Be a “Know-it-all” about the production.
  23.     Have fun with the production and be proud of the work that you are doing.

Stage Managers - Second Stage

My wisdom as a first time SM for college is to make you that you are at the top of your game. I feel like I was the biggest failure when my show was over. I was coming on to my first SM job as my fourth show of the school year with 16 hour to have under my belt. I took way too much on and I felt like I was drowning. The main problem was the communication. Things were changing and the right people were not getting the right information. Other problem was that the show was becoming a bigger production than it was suppose to be. I was not as ready emotional as I thought I was. The problem I had was that I was too passive. What I have learned is that I need to be more aggressive in getting information to the rest of my team.  I think if we would have had more time to but the production together everything would have gone more smoothly. However the show is now over and it went well however there was flaw from my part that I was not happy with but they now have become a learning experience.

One of my big lessons was that make sure that actors and crew are under a complete understanding. If there is a condition that is in a understanding at the beginning of a process of the show all parties need to up hold their parts. Also write everything down!!!

Directors - Second Stage

The biggest advice I can give to directors is really understand your script and how your cast is relating to your script. I find that with lab series, the cast gets very worn out during the rehearsal process. Your doing a short script in up to a three week rehearsal process, and when you can run your show twice in one night, after two nights, your cast is burnt out. The key to keeping your cast fresh is to alternate work nights with full runs. This away, worknights might not include everyone or might not have everyone there at the same time or for very long. This gives your cast a break without actually taking a night off. The problem with nights off is that your cast won’t always keep fresh with what you did the night before, and you as a director need rehearsals to see how your cast has taken your notes from the night before. So here is an example of how I scheduled my rehearsals in order to give my cast breaks yet keep work going.


Monday: Full Run two times


Tuesday: Work School scenes and Family Scenes


Wednesday: Work Support Group and Monolouges


Thursday Full Run two Times


Friday Off


Saturday Off


Sunday Full Run


So this away you got plenty of runs, yet you got your usual weekend off and a lot of work done. By doing all of this, your cast is sure to stay fresh and not get burnt out and lose progress on your short lab series show.


I think the thing that I learned most about directing while at Northwest was that 90 % of directing is preparation. In order to be prepared it is important to be in constant communication with both your cast and design staff. I found it important to hold individual meetings with designers and cast to discuss concept and characterization. These informal meetings allowed for simpler and more productive production meetings and rehearsals. It is important to remember that you are directing your peers, but remember that you are the director and as long as your prepared your cast and design staff will trust your decisions.


The Second Stage series is a step-up from the Black Box. A bigger stage, bigger production crew and bigger budget! For the most part, they remain completely student produced productions. So that means more people working and learning together to try new things.


Since cooperation is a huge part of these productions, my main advice to future Second Stage directors will help make that cooperation easier; choose your production crew wisely. I cannot stress that enough. Since you are the director and the one is probably proposed the show you will have the responsibility of choosing your team that includes the stage manager, sound, set and costume designers, props master, running crew, possibly publicity manager and even your actors. Finding a balance is the key. Your first choice will be people who are talented and capable of pulling off the job to your needs and satisfaction. This could be many people, especially coming from the good breed of Bearcats! So next you have to find people who you can get along and work well together with. That group probably includes a lot of your friends as well, but you don’t want fun with friends to get in to the way of getting the show produced. So like I said, finding a balance is your best hope. It is no secret that drama (and I don’t mean the art form) thrives within our theatre department, so finding the perfect group to avoid that drama at all costs is your goal! Start with your stage manager. That person will be your “everything” during the duration of the show. He or she needs to be a person you can trust and lean on, yet not be afraid to give responsibility to. They must be able to help you with your needs and keep you on track to. You both must communicate openly and honestly with each other. Yes, they can be a friend and probably should be because you will be spending a lot of time together. Just make sure you know when it is time to work and time to play. With the designers and other members of your team, you know you want to find the best; the people who have the talent and ability to do their job at your expectations. They must be people who are able to take direction from you and from your artistic concept, but still be able to handle it on their own without you holding their through out the entire process. Again, communication is a must for these relationships between you and them and with them and each other. The design team should work together for the creative integrity of the show. If some of them don’t necessary get along, make it clear at that beginning that if they are not professional, then they can be replaced. This is the same way with actors as well. Of course you want the best people for the roles and positions, but you all don’t have times to play games. You have a show to do.


Having a mess of people working together on one show can be catastrophic! Things won’t get done and people can loose all professionalism. I know it can be hard with a small department, but find personalities that mesh and people with a similar artistic vision to yours. The production will be better if you all get along smoothly!




Assistant Stage Managers - Main Stage

My wisdom to a future aspiring ASM or SMs make sure that you ask a lot of questions. If you have any doubt about something ask no matter if this is your first show in the world or your millionth. In theatre it is better to be safe than sorry. If you see something that you find that is unsafe tell someone right way. Someone might have over looked something.


On a more personal note, make sure you take care of yourself. This means psychical, emotional, and mentally. Going into college is hard for everyone. Sure it is nice to get out on your own but it is important be smart in your actions. If you are too stressed out just take a breath and step back and look at the bigger picture. Ask yourself is this really worth what this is doing to me?  If you don’t think you have time to eat make sure you grab something quick. It is important to stay healthy. If you become sick this may cause trouble farther along in school and in the production. Do not wait to go to the health center. As long as you get a note, your teacher will be understanding. Professors would rather you go get checkout them to get everyone else sick.  DO NOT use saying that you are sick as a reason to skip class! If illness happens during a show get check out as soon as you can. If you are a ASM tell you SM asap. If you are a SM tell your director and ASM what is going on. Anything with your well being it is important to take care of yourself. Another thing is that there are events in our lives that we cannot control. If there is a death in the family go to your family and if you feel like you cannot continue on with your duties make sure you express your feelings. No one will look down on you. Allow yourself to grieve because if you do not it just became harder on you later.


The last thing is to make sure you do not take on more than you can chew.  Allow yourself to breath between shows. Do not work back to back if you will be heavily involved. This is not to scare you but you soon pick up more than you can handle very quickly. Everything will be effected in if you do. You will be not getting enough sleep which really important! Underneath it all it is important to say no. I wanted to do so much but I got too busy and I feel like I missed out getting to know people because I never left the theatre.  But have fun! My wisdom is out of experience not to scare you. And stay on top of your homework!!!!


Designers - Main Stage

I started the process as soon as I knew that the design position was mine. I would suggest the same for anyone. Start the wheels turning in your head immediately, that way when you move things to paper you already have an idea.


Probably the number one tip I can give a future main stage designer is to use your mentors and staff members! They are there to help you and actually want to help you. They want you to succeed, so they will make sure of it. It is not their responsibility to do everything for you because they do want you to learn, but they are always there for advice, opinions, assistance, or just someone to vent your struggles and frustrations. During my show my costume mentor was my key to a successful design. She is the costume history queen, so I always could rely on her to make sure I was staying in the proper time period. I asked her opinion a lot because I knew it was a well-educated opinion which had my best interest in hand. She always made sure I stayed on top of things and got things done in a timely manner to avoid stress and last minute freaking out. She also was a huge help in getting the show built and up on stage. She has tremendous skill to physically get the designs made the way I designed them. I could not have done the show without her.


The other staff members and design team were great too. Working together with the director, set, lighting, and sound designer, and props master is a must in order for the show to be produced smoothly and artistically solid. All positions can help each other by tossing ideas back and forth and making sure you are all on the same page and heading in the right direction. The final, complete production will benefit from the whole group working together.


I can’t say it enough; good communication must exist. Producing a main stage production is a lot of work and dedication and involves a lot of people. Use the people around you for any possible assistance and I guarantee a better outcome then without it.

Directors - Studio

The Black Box series is a fantastic way for students to get a start at producing a show all on their own. All of the responsibility of the entire production lies in the hands of yourself, one technical director, your cast and possibly any one else who is happy to help out of the goodness of their hearts. (But more than likely, those nice people are busy working on some other show as well, so basically it will come down to your small group anyway.) Yes you also will have a staff member mentor too, but their involvement is limited, mainly because the point of the Black Box series is that they are mainly completely student produced. You are in charge of everything from the artistic direction of the show to the budget to the publicity…EVERTHING! It can be tough and a lot of work in a short period of time, but you will learn so much from all the main areas of a production.


With that being said, the main advice I can give you is to make sure that what you plan to do for your show is doable. For one, the Black Box is a limited space. You only have so many options for set design. Don’t try and be way over the top if is something that is too unlikely to get finished and done well. Also, you will not have very much money which can also limit what you do. Make sure that you budget so that each area of the production can use the money to get what they need. Don’t forget set, costumes, props, and the main one people often forget; publicity. Posters and programs can be pricey these days. If you need something, you are responsible for getting it. Try not to rely on the main shops to get your supplies and materials. Most likely a main stage production will be going on at the same time and that show will get priority over yours for things that are needed. Communicate with the shops before using their stuff, because it might be something that can be worked out. Time is another limitation. Black Box productions go up pretty fast and with all of the other shows going on at the same time, and then pile on school and work on top of that, time can get away from you really fast. Set a schedule and stick with it. Always be willing to be flexible too, but the more you stay with the agenda, the more efficient things can get done. Make sure you are aware of all of the limitations so that your production can pull off with as little stress and disappointment as possible.


Now, even though I mention the limitations, I don’t want to discourage you from taking creative risks. The Black Box series is also about experimentation, so don’t be afraid to use original ideas and innovative concepts and designs. Go ahead and try something new and different; just make sure it is doable.

Designers - Second Stage

I would say the most important thing to know and consider, is that you are a participant in the production of the play. This means a few things. First, it means you are at the mercy of the Director, and this will be the case for every show you design from here on out. Your job is to help the director realize their vision for the play through your design, whether it be lighting, scenic, costume or sound. Second, it means that you have a say in those initial meetings where the production concept is being formed. Don’t be afraid to voice your opinion on your ideas and the ideas of your peers. As a side note to that, it will be hard to have your opinion respected if you have yet to do any analysis or research for the production. Lastly, being a participant means being a member of a team. As a second stage designer, you are also typically all of the positions that fall in your realm. Understand that all of the other designers are going through the same thing, and you will need to help eachother in the labor that is involved with each design. On that same note, don’t try to do everything yourself; it is O.K. to ask for help.


The other staff members and design team were great too. Working together with the director, set, lighting, and sound designer, and props master is a must in order for the show to be produced smoothly and artistically solid. All positions can help each other by tossing ideas back and forth and making sure you are all on the same page and heading in the right direction. The final, complete production will benefit from the whole group working together.


I can’t say it enough; good communication must exist. Producing a main stage production is a lot of work and dedication and involves a lot of people. Use the people around you for any possible assistance and I guarantee a better outcome then without it.

Production Managers - Studio

The best advice I can give is just to make sure you pre-plan EVERYTHING, sit down with your director and talk through absolutely everything that he/she wants to be presented onstage. I wouldn’t say you’re a designer but I would definitely say you’re the TD, ME, Costumer, Sound and Light Board operator and anything else that has to do with implementing the show. If the director needs a scenic piece for the show, you go and find it or build it if you have to. So make sure that you understand everything that the director wants to convey; know the concept and the style of the show.


The next thing I could say is to know your space, the helps big time in trouble-shooting. If something goes wrong, it really helps to know exactly where to look to fix it. Also know the unique quirks about the space, how certain doors don’t close just right, or how the dimmer pack sounds under a full load; these are things that will most likely come with experience but anything that you can find out before tech week the better. Be very familiar with the equipment that you will be using during the run of the show, know what buttons to use and which to stay away from, if there is an instruction manual, read it! Also know you audio equipment, especially your CD or other audio media device, know how long it takes for the track to play after you have hit play.


During the show, there is no stage manager to tell you when cues go, so you have to talk to the director and find out where each of them go and what each of them do. Write all of these cues in your script (you should have one!! and read it!!) in the exact place they should be called, and then when the time comes to run the show you will be prepared to execute these cues. These cues can include light cues, sound cues, video cues and deck cues – a deck cue is something that happens on stage such as a scenic piece that moves or say a cigarette drops from the ceiling (personal experience). Before the running of the show check you space that you run the show from; what are your sightlines, what can you hear and what things can’t you see or hear from that vantage.


Just because these are smaller shows does not mean that you can neglect the procedure. Studio shows are a good time to start the habit of practicing your personal pre-show procedure, for example mine is as follows: get there fifteen minutes before my call (most likely no on will be here at this time) turn on the dimmer pack and the amp racks, do a dimmer and a focus check or test all of the lights and make sure they work and are still focused to the correct spot; then do a sound check and test levels and my CD player then double check that the CD is on the first track ready to play; next I check my equipment, make sure everything is working properly; then I check and make sure I have everything I need such as my script, an extra copy of the show CD, a flashlight, and some sort of tools (I keep a multi-tool such as a leatherman) for emergencies; I usually then go to the director and see how they are doing and if they need me to do anything before the show and then I usually get something to drink, use the restroom and wait. These are all things that help prevent problems during the show, and if you do find a problem during this pre-show procedure you and ample time to fix it.


The other thing is that just because you are alone on this show doesn’t mean that you can’t ask for help, if you are not that strong in a certain area, go ask someone who is; but understand that you are responsible for this show and how it is. The position of Technical Assistant is a great way to put your foot in the door for technical theatre, to get your feet wet with a small scale show that teaches you time management and trouble shooting early on. These are the shows that you will look back on and go, wow that’s where I started, I am so glad I did that before trying to tackle a bigger project. Theatre is all about learning, and no matter how long you are in it this will always be true, and you have to start somewhere.