September 2

Change Order and Pink Tape

Change Order and Pink Tape

By Deborah Johnson

September 2, 2016

creativity, persistence, personal development

Change Order

I learned what a change order is when remodeling our kitchen. Discovering significant costs associated with a change order, I quickly ascertained that I did not want a change order to transpire during our construction.  However, we had a problem. After the initial demo, happening several weeks before planned, I started sketching plans on graph paper. Now understand, drawing up plans was not my intention for this project. We were going to have an architect or draftsman do this work.

All of a sudden, I ended up in “plan purgatory.” I kept drawing as I understood my plans perfectly, but our contractor didn’t. Ideas were flying around and frustration was building because I didn’t have a solid plan down on paper that everyone understood. I could visualize everything completely. Then I remembered: The pink tape! At that point I knew, “Yes! I can do this!” I ran to my office and located the bag of multi-colored rolls of masking tape we had used in producing my musicals.

The Pink Tape

Change Order 2

Part of the staging in Tsarina The Musical was creating two large rolling staircases. Their movement had to be planned exactly. Why? The liability for groups of actors on a rolling staircase is not a small figure if it rolls off an elevated stage. Our very capable directors directed my good friend and stage manager, Sandy Grajeda, to purchase pink, blue, yellow and glow-in-the-dark tape. Using it proved to be very helpful in marking the black stage for exact placement and movement of all staging.

Back to our kitchen remodel: I started marking our now bare cement floor with pink tape. I even hung a strip from a soffit to visualize where a new wall would be placed. The room was the same in its entirety, but now I also had the pink tape. I did end up hiring an architect to draw construction sketches for the workers, but the framer and the contractor now understood exactly what needed to happen. Why? They saw the pink tape and understood what the plan was even before I had additional drawings.

What Change Order is Happening in Your Life?

The pink tape taught me something. There are times in life where you need to change your plans with a change order. Among those changes could be a forced retirement, the tanking of your business or a significant change in your relationship status. What type of change order is this creating in your life? What is it costing you? It could be costing you time and money, compounded by stress or even illness.

When you are faced with the pressure of change or a change order, take stock of what you have. What did I have? I had pink tape. In addition, I knew I had the experience and first-hand knowledge of what it was like to be under intense pressure with multiple casts the night before the world premiere opening of a musical. In those twenty-four hours, there were costumes that weren’t completed, staging that wasn’t painted and even some scenes that needed improvement and sharpening up. However, when opening night came, magic happened. Somehow, everyone and everything pulled together after those six weeks, (union rules stipulate you only have six weeks to rehearse actors!), of intense preparation for an incredible first show.

Can you Identify your own Pink Tape?

I may never need to use pink tape again, but I will remember the principle as I continue to work on my business. My market has changed significantly in the past years. It has cost me time, money and even added some stress to my life as I’ve worked on a change order. However, the skills I have developed and the experience I have are proving to be advantageous. I am watching what the market is doing and identifying real needs and how I can fulfill those needs. Because of this, experience, and even age, is on my side.

I want to encourage you Subscriber to do the same! You are not too old, too outdated, too unskilled, or too broke to start over or reinvent your life. Part of the reason for my books, Stuck is Not a Four Letter Word and Bad Code is to help others get unstuck and be free from desperate hopelessness. I wrote the songs,The Hero Inside and I Can Fly to encourage others with a strong message of courage and optimism. So the next time you face a change order, find your own pink tape and start placing it everywhere! Why? Because you can do this!

Deborah Johnson is all about using Creativity to expand your business. Get Unstuck and get rid of Bad Code with the book Bad Code: Overcoming Bad Mental Code That Sabotages Your Life! You can reach Deborah the following ways: Twitter: @DJWorksMusic; YouTube:; Facebook:; Websites:;

Deborah Johnson

About the author

DEBORAH JOHNSON, M.A., creator of Hero Mountain® and former president of Los Angeles National Speakers Association, is an international award-winning music artist, author, speaker and National Media Commentator. She also hosts the popular podcast "Women at Halftime." Deborah provides tools to create your ideal lifestyle and work at mid-career or during the halftime of life, getting unstuck. You can live your second half fulfilled, focused and free! Up for multiple GRAMMY Awards and spending over 20 years in the entertainment industry, she's an expert on how to constantly reinvent yourself in a gig-economy. She is also the recipient of the Women's Economic Forum Exceptional Women of Excellence Award. Deborah is the author of multiple books, over twenty albums and musicals and speaks and performs in both live and virtual events.

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