Mr. Marc Miyagi – By @marleygam

By Marley Muirhead

Mr. Marc Miyagi


This week we have been on a strict diet of metaphors. Cinematic metaphors, artistic metaphors and poetic metaphors. The best way I can describe it is by using The Karate Kid. Unfortunately, I have never seen this movie. You’ll have to bear with me as I patchwork the scrapped references I’ve heard. It’s like the middle part of the movie before the karate kid (Daniel, Google tells me) starts to actually practice karate. His teacher and guide through the martial art, Mr Miyagi, has him perform a manner of bizarre tasks like waxing a car. Wax-on, wax-off. From what I have gathered, Daniel completes these tasks confused and extremely frustrated because of the lack of connection they have to karate. Then, the key turning point for blockbuster’s protagonist, Daniel learns that all of these seemingly unrelated, menial activities have laid the groundwork for his karate practice. Not only this, but these activities are responsible for the edge he has against his competition.


Swap Daniel for forty budding creatives and washing cars for silent movies, spoken word and protest placards and you, my friend, have the summary week two at SCA. At least in my eyes. Mr Miyagi is not as cryptic as Marc and our mentors; at the end of each masterclass we’ve spoken about why it’s lessons were applicable to our journey as creatives. In one sense, this means our process doesn’t quite have the same build up of tension as the movie. But for me, more questions have been raised by how conspicuous the purposes of these briefs have been.  


“If this feels hectic now, what on earth is it going to feel like in a month?”


“If we’re stressed now, will I make it to the end of the year?”


“If this week I have had to work late, how much more will I have to work when we have a more demanding brief?”


The real experiences of how full-on these initial briefs have been as has only made the beast to come seem more mythical. Something I like to tell myself in moments of self-doubt is that if a human has done it before then there is no reason that I can’t. It will not be without difficulty and effort but it is doable. But it is really difficult to tell yourself that when you don’t have a sense of what this “doable” thing is. Wikipedia tells me that in The Karate Kid, Daniel surprises everyone and makes it to the semifinals of a big tournament. Not only that, but he overcomes an injury to win the tournament by using the “Crane” stance that he witnessed Mr Miyagi perform at the beach. I don’t know how far this movie could be used to symbolise our journeys at SCA. However, if I stretched the comparison out I think it could work quite nicely. The movie suggests you learn not from what your mentors say but what they do. It means that gaining insight from our mentors’ personal habits could be key to getting the most of this year and to coping. It means to be a sponge. 


(Like the one Daniel used to wax the car. Forgive me, I couldn’t help myself.)

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