Simply look around and view it
Anything you want to do, do it
Want to change the world?
There’s nothing to it
How many of you recognise that as a couple of verses from the agreeable ditty “Pure Imagination” performed by Gene Wilder in the 1971 film “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”? And how many thought I was hitting you with a familiar trope about how wondrous I expect my time at the school to be? Well for those in the latter group, you weren’t far off…
The chance to mine this classic movie for a bit of source material and dubious metaphors was too good to pass up, primarily because the feeling I had when Marc offered me a place at the SCA reminded me of how Charlie Bucket must have felt when he purchased a Wonka bar and found the final Golden Ticket. A ticket that grants the bearer entrance to a magical venue where dreams become realities, and realities become dreams.
I have wanted to work in Advertising for many years, but life and personal circumstances meant that I never pursued it. That’s not to say that I lived like Charlie, in a house where all four of my Grandparents occupied the same bed 24 hours of the day (imagine the bedsores! Unbelievable), but pursuing my ambition just wasn’t a top priority for a time.
I happened across the school by chance on the interweb one day. It looked too good to be true. I said to myself “Now wouldn’t that be grand?”, applied for a phone interview and didn’t really expect much to come from it. Something did come of it.
I was invited to the final selection day of the year. I didn’t have my ticket yet. This was the Ad school equivalent of standing outside the factory gates and being given passing glimpses and whiffs of the wonders inside. Tantalising. Everything about my day at the school confirmed to me that it was my own personal Wonka factory, my own personal candy land of chocolate rivers, gummy bear trees and snozberry flavoured wallpaper (and don’t tell me no-one’s ever compared Marc to Willy Wonka before).
I got my whiff, desperate for more, but knowing it was now out of my hands. I’d tried my best, but with so few places left, it still felt like it was a very long shot to secure that final golden ticket.
A few days later, feeling very despondent as I walked to the train station having just finished another soul bruising day at the office, a number I didn’t recognise flashed up on my phone. A London number. I immediately knew it was Marc calling with the bad news. Greetings were exchanged and Marc got right to it. I felt a huge dry lump in my throat, and my legs wobbled as I waited for the smacking disappointment. Suffice it to say I was surprised and pleased…just a bit.
The rest, as supposedly “they” say, is history.
Well no, not at all. This is literally just the beginning of the story. I’ve got my ticket. Now like Charlie Bucket, I’ve got to recognise that my time at the factory depends on me.
I’m sure there will be some Augustus Gloops who fall foul of the suction pipe after trying to drink from the chocolate river. There may be some Veruca Salts who feel their invite is an entitlement. Maybe some Violet Beauregardes will end up biting off more than they can chew. Don’t be any of these characters.
I intend to continue being like Charlie. Honest, grateful, industrious, never presumptuous. And with my eyes fully open and appreciative of the delights that will surround me.
And maybe if you’re like Charlie, you might just be given the keys to the factory and a ride on the great glass elevator hurtling into a quite wondrous future.