Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Size of Your Elephant Doesn’t Matter

Pop quiz. You have a refrigerator and you have an elephant. How do you get the elephant into the refrigerator?

Jace Hall, the executive producer of ABC’s alien drama V, posed that question at a panel I attended last Saturday called EMERGING as an ARTIST in Today's Global New Media World. He pointed at a guy in the first row for an answer.

“Get a blender!”

The audience gave an obligatory chuckle. Jace explained that funny guy’s answer was actually right in line with most people’s answers. Chop it up, shrink ray, fold it in half, etc. – all variations on the same theme – it can’t be done easily. Jace went on to say, “If you ask a six year old the same question, he’ll say ‘I open the refrigerator and put the elephant in it.’ “

His terrific point, if you haven’t figured it out already, is that we create obstacles where they needn’t be any. We’re the ones who decide that the elephant can’t possibly fit inside the fridge. We picture the fridge in our kitchen and Barnum & Bailey's Jumbo rather than a walk-in fridge and a baby elephant. We see the obstacles so instantly. Why not learn to un-see them?

The other panelists – Kelly Hu, Sandeep Parikh, and Mitch Allan – all spoke to the same point. If you want to be an actor, writer, musician, or any form of artist, no one is stopping you but you. With the power and reach of the Internet plus the wide availability of tools and resources at a nominal cost, it’s easier than ever to have the artistic career you dream of. All you have to do is do it.

Inspiring words that definitely resonated with me as I come into my own as an artist. This summer, I’m writing, writing, writing while going to auditions and producing two short films, one of which will be my directorial debut. No more waiting around for opportunities. I’m creating my own.

Get ready, Mr. Elephant. It’s refrigerator time.


  1. Great post Theresa! Very inspiring :)

  2. Thanks Mike! It's definitely a story I'm going to keep going back to myself. :)