As the postponed trip to Cleveland loomed closer, all my hard work paid off. I’d written two of my own Care Bears scripts that were approved and put into production. Five scripts -- two from Howard and three from outside writers -- had been completed, story-edited and were under review. Everything was moving along on greased rails.
But something was troubling me. It hit me as I was driving to work on a Monday morning. I stopped at a red light alongside a woman in a minivan. The passenger seat and two back rows were packed with happy children on their way to school. As the light changed and the woman turned left and I turned right, the problem dawned on me.
I was writing scripts, story editing, building a career. But I’d been building my house on sand. I’d watched my share of cartoons over the years and done research on how the children’s television business operates, including the impact of toy manufacturers. But I had a gap – actually, a gaping void. I didn’t know my clients, my ‘end users’ well enough, and I don’t mean the toy manufacturers.
I was producing fruit without having gone to the root.
I walked into Lori’s office. It was late in the afternoon and I said I needed to leave early. She looked up from a script and asked, “Where are you headed?”
I answered, “Toys R Us.”
She nodded and as I started from her office, she added, “What took so you long?”
I turned to look at her. She was smiling a small smile, already back to the script.