A Word as a Weapon of Mass Production

There’s this word I use which helps get me out of bed in the morning.  It gets me out of my office at the end of the (traditional) workday and helps me face the work that awaits me at home.  It makes me do my taxes.

Over the last year or so, I’ve noticed that I say, “OK,” before facing reality. Lying in bed in the early morning, waking up and wishing I could stay in bed a little longer, ruminating about the day’s tasks, I say, “ok,” and then I get up. It’s a simple word. It’s a shame, actually, that it’s such a common word. As someone who works with words for a living, I have a rich tableau to reference, and “ok” is my go-to word? How dull!

Perhaps saying ok somehow has the power to propel me into action mode. I don’t know when it happened, when ok became so powerful. I also don’t know how long it’ll last. And it wasn’t the result of seeing The Fault in Our Stars, which uses the word in a meaningful way.

What word helps you deal with challenges? Early this summer, I served as on-set dialect coach for the pilot episode of DIG, the new series from NBC Universal/USA, and in collaboration with Keshet International. The set was in Jerusalem, and it was an international production. Cast and crew included members from Hollywood, Israel, Ireland, and France. The producer from Los Angeles faced the behemoth task of putting it all together in a remote location- a holy city and cradle of several religions. Add to that the element of filming in Jerusalem’s Old City at the beginning of heavy tourist season and constructing the set – an archaeological dig, built within an actual ancient cave. (with no cell reception!)  If this producer didn’t need a “power word” to get him up in the morning and facing the day’s challenges, then I don’t know who does. Despite the challenges, the pilot was coming along, with plans of continued filming of the rest of season one on location in the holy land.

And then during a brief scheduled hiatus, the region was suddenly in the midst of a military conflict, replete with rocket attacks, sirens, bomb shelters and the whole shebang. It was drama to rival the best film and television, but real, not reel. Our break was extended by a week, and then another week, and then the call came that the production was to be moved elsewhere, understandably.  All the arrangements made so far in advance for the production now had to be changed. New sets! New locations! New crew! It was the mother lode of overwhelmingness, and I’m sure our producer needed a big “ok” to face this new reality. I’m unsure however, if his word was “ok.” Perhaps he used something else. Maybe his word had four letters. I didn’t want to bother him by asking.

The show premiers in March and has already received an order for additional episodes. I’m sure the finished product will be fantastic, much more than just ok.  We all face daunting tasks. We all face the music at some point. Unexpected changes are part of life. For now, “ok” does it for me. What word does it for you? Let me know, because I might need to borrow it.

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