The one where Kyle rides this sitcom device into the sunset.
This week on Havas Lofts Sydney: Kyle faces the unique challenges of writing scripts when you know the language but not the slang (which also conveniently serves as an metaphor for this entire program).
Before I gained experience pitching new business, presenting to clients, reviewing creative, going on production, or in any other skill that I’ve learned during my time in advertising, there’s always been a single thing that I knew could help carry me.
I make the words real good.
Writing, has for the most part, been a given for me. I don’t pretend I’m some kind of word wizard (although that would be cool), but language has always been a bankable commodity — something I could count on and even take for granted.
But my experience in Australia has shaken things up. It’s not that I’ve faced a language barrier here, but there’s just been enough doubt in my command of expressions and idioms that I found myself, for the first time in a long time, asking lots and lots of questions.
Questions like, what’s a stat they track during an AFL match? How about disposals. Or if you wanted to say someone liked to keep it simple, what would you describe them as liking? Well that’s “meat and three veg” (also, it’s very much NOT “meat and potatoes.” I’ll leave it to a nearby Australian or Google to explain to you why).
But that’s the thing about asking questions, they often lead to more interesting places then you ever imagined. So I didn’t just keep my questions to expressions and idioms, I opened up a whole bag of em and started tossing them out to anybody who’d make eye contact with me. What was the agency like a year ago? How does the village manage to work so well together? What do Australians care about? What are their worries? Who wants to get lunch?
And so I went. Asking questions, occasionally embarrassing myself, and even a couple times offering up an answer of my own (Charlotte if you’re reading this I’m talking about transcripts. Also, hi Charlotte!).
And after my questions I went out and experienced the culture and city first hand. I saw the lights, live music, took the ferry to the beach, and talked to strangers. I ate Vegemite on toast.
But perhaps most importantly, I did the work. I drafted scripts, helped edit video, organized interview footage, and brainstormed new ideas. I did exciting work. I did boring work. I was on the team at Havas Australia and I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity to be a guest in the very special thing they’re building there.
From back here at my desk in New York*, it feels like we’ve reached the end of this show’s run. So just like any sitcom, it’s one last time that everything is still essentially the same and yet somehow, everything is different.
*I’m actually writing this from seat 7D (aisle, naturally) mid-flight on my way to Port Douglas where I plan on splashing around in the ocean and getting a first-hand look at the Great Barrier Reef. It’s a much-needed vacation after a grueling month of world-class blogging. But for the purpose of this blog post, let’s pretend okay? Cool.