I be a good righter.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Who Do We Have To Blow?

No, seriously.

First off, before we get into the world of BJ's and Hollywood. It's contest season and Ras has an awesome post about what to concentrate on here.

Back to BJwood...I've been sick the past couple of days. Which, other than the whole "it's sucky being sick" thing, has been quite stressful. See, I *sound* sick. And, I've been waiting on a phone call that I was sure was coming. It doesn't seem as sure as I thought it was.

Here's the thing, as well as trying to get on staff (pipe dreams, I know) I've also been trying to get an assistant position. I have some experience, clearly indicated on my resume. I'd heard that it was harder to get an assistant position than it was to get on staff. I never believed it till now. I thought I was a total shoo-in for this job. I've got people calling the Executive Producer (the creator) on this show: the EP's former boss, a huge showrunner; the EP's former assistant (from a different show than EP's former boss); the EP's best friend; the EP's dog... you get the idea. Yet, the phone's been silent. I'm thinking I'm not getting the job.

I'm going to let you in on a little secret: I'm one of those annoying people who believes that if something doesn't happen it wasn't meant to be. That doesn't mean I can't stress out about things while I'm in the moment... so, I'm fine with not getting called by this show, but I do have to wonder what it takes to get that elusive assistant or staff writing job...

I started thinking, in my NyQuil induced state, about another friend who's been actively pursuing the same jobs as I. Not on the same shows, but he's been working it. His long-time girlfriend has a pilot that's been greenlit. A pilot that my friend helped shape which ultimately aided in his girlfriend selling the pilot. See, my friend's been trying to be a TV writer for years. His girlfriend's been pursuing other opportunities, with much success. But, his girlfriend stumbled on a great idea. So, the two created the pitch. The girlfriend, who had much more industry cachet, pitched it solo. When the pitch sold, girlfriend made it clear that her TV writing boyfriend had much to do with this pilot. The girlfriend was promised that TV writing boyfriend would be well taken care of, should the pilot be picked up (read: a job writing on the show).

The pilot's greenlit. And my friend can't even get a job as an assistant. All because the showrunner had her people lined up should she (the showrunner) have gotten on a show. Well, showrunner ended up on my friend's girlfriend's show. And, so, as Queen Bee, the showrunner handpicked her staff and assistants. And, my friend is shit out of luck. His girlfriend's put up a stink, but friend's decided that he'd prefer not to be in a place where he's not wanted. So he'll use industry contacts (and the guilt factor -- the production company's been very apologetic to my friend) to try to get another job. My friend made a joke the other day, "who do I have to sleep with to get a job -- cuz, it's clearly not my girlfriend!"

Then we have stories of people like a staff writer on a critically acclaimed show. As lore has it, the showrunner and she had been friends for a long time. They're both Young Adult novelists. She'd been a huge fan of his since long before he became a TV writer. So, he begs her to give up her life and come to LA to be staff writer on his show. In his second season, she agrees. Except, she hasn't watched TV in 15 years. She hasn't been out here killing herself to become a TV writer. She has absolutely zero passion for it. Yet, he's the showrunner AND the creator, so, she gets a job. Of course, she also gets fired in the same year when it's proven that she can't actually write for television (not everyone can) and has to be re-written. This is all lore, of course.

I've just recently heard of something similar happening on a hit show on ABC. Their new staff writer got the job even though they'd never actually finished a script (well, not without the showrunner completely rewriting it), because they knew the showrunner.

So, the answer to the big question:

Check your gag reflexes at the door for the showrunner.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Ugly children.

Some kids are ugly. That's just life. And it's hard to hear people tell you that your perfect little baby isn't so perfect. It's hard to understand that your perfect little ugly bundle of joy can become beautiful. Especially when its webbed feet have just been pointed out to you and now that's all you can see...

I've taken a lot of notes. I've given a lot of notes. I've been around a lot of people who give notes. And, these are the guys I've seen:


1. The Bar Fight Guy.

His response to his perfectly plotted, intricately weaved, ass ugly script is to fight tooth and nail about why his baby is actually pretty, despite the odd-shaped head. He pounds his fist on the table, refusing to hear any bad words, repeating why these particular horns on his baby are necessary to the plot. They're not. And, he's fired.

2. The Guy Nursing His Beer.

His response is to sit there, poker faced, nodding at the appropriate moments. You're not entirely sure if the notes are being heard (guess you'll see it in the next draft). He writes down everything you say. But, you're getting nothing back from him, so you're not sure if you're wasting your time. In fact, if you've completely misread his script, and don't understand something, he won't speak up and tell you that you've misread it. He'll go back home thinking you're an idiot (maybe you are), and won't fix it, because you were actually wrong. But, because he doesn't say a word, he doesn't speak up for his baby, you have no idea why he didn't fix the lazy eye. He's fired.

3. The Bar Buddy.

This is the guy who, when given a note that he doesn't particularly like, will tell you why he doesn't agree with the note. Calm, cool, and completely collected. If you insist that the hair lip is actually pretty unattractive, this guy will spitball with you, plastic surgery on the baby's face. He'll come up with ideas, maybe better, maybe worse. But, you feel that he's interacting with you. He's not saying why his baby's not ugly. He's saying that he wants to work to make it prettier. He's hired.

The Notes-Givers

1. The Guy Who Tells It Like It Is...

This guy will just blurt out: I hated this. No preamble. No, "well, I like that he's got nine toes, it makes him different!" There's nothing you can say to this note. You can't defend yourself against someone's hatred. Because that has nothing to do with your script. The guy hates hairlips. You can tell him you've scheduled an appointment with Dr. Goldstein, plastic surgeon to the stars. But, he hasn't given you an actual note. Totally fired.

2. The Guy Who Hits On You.

This is the guy who has only has praise for your baby. Newer writers (I've been guilty of this myself) tend to love this guy. Who doesn't love a guy who's telling you how gorgeous your baby is? This guy's the most dangerous (again, mainly to newer writers), because you can let yourself get complacent and just listen to him, especially after hours of listening to negative words. This guy just wants to get in your pants. But, this guy's also got a 50/50 chance of being hired. Compliments go a long way... even if they're insincere.

3. The Guy Who Stares.

You're in a roomful of people, all these people are jumping in with their two cents. This guy just stares. He thinks of himself as a quiet, pensive chap. When really, he's just creepy. He's beyond fired. We're getting a restraining order as he's voted most likely to go postal...

4. The Cliff From Cheers Guy

This guy knows it all. And, he's not afraid to tell you. He'll go into full on detail about why, in real life, your baby wouldn't have an abnormally large forehead. Because, in real life, your baby would would actually have only one eye. Because that's real life. And, apparently, you haven't written real life. Even though, many times, the real life version would be very boring (see: all medical dramas) and sometimes you just have to make it up and make it sound believable -- even if it doesn't happen in real life! Depending on how vehement this guy is he's hired. How can you fire a guy for keeping it real?

That's all I can think of off the top of my head. Who've you guys encountered? And, which one are you?

Thursday, May 18, 2006

I Wish I Could Quit You, Dwight.

Wow. A lot of pilots are being picked up. Like, a lot. I was holding out to see if my favorite pilot got picked up. It didn't. And, there's no mention of it anywhere. What the fuck happened? Om...

As well as it being upfronts it's also season finale, er, season. It's both exciting and frightening at the same time. Exciting because usually finales are, like, way good! Frightening because that means Summer's here and we've got 3-4 long months before our favorite shows (and new ones) return.

The one season finale that absolutely astounded me. I mean, I can not *CAN NOT* stop thinking about it: The Office. No, not because of the Kiss Of Death (please don't let Pam and Jim go the way of Maddie and David, Sydney and Vaughn, Simon and Garfunkel. Okay, those last two didn't kiss -- or did they???) it was because of Dwight.

So, in the teaser, Jim tells Dwight that he's telekenetic. Dwight, being Dwight, doesn't believe Jim, and tells Jim to move a coat rack near Pam's desk. Jim concentrates, and lo, the coat rack does indeed move. Dwight is ASTOUNDED. Like, ASTOUNDED. Meanwhile, we cut away to Pam, who used an umbrella to moved the coat rack. Poor Dwight, jealous of Jim's power, spends the rest of the afternoon trying to telekenetically move a bobblehead.

Seriously, I was telling a friend that I love Dwight sooooooo much that I would actually deign to write fanfic about him. So deep is my love for him. Yes, I'm a huge Dwight lovin' dork. A Dwight-ette, if you will. I mean, come ON! He's got the best relationship on the show (though all the relationships are pretty fucking great), he's Dwight. And, well, he's Dwight.

Okay, fine, we're not all rabid Dwight lovers. Fine. But, I am, and if you're not: you're wrong.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Bust Out The Shampoo!

HUGE CONGRATULATIONS TO JULIE (even though they misspelled her name)!

This chick has worked hard to get here. She just recently signed with a manager (at my prodding/pushing/cajoling her to cold call folks -- cold calls DO work). And, within a month or so of signing, this is what happened:

From Variety:

"Seven Arts Intl. has pacted a three-picture deal with "American Pie" producer Warren Zide. The films will be fully financed through a $15 to $20 million all-equity fund that has been secured for the alliance. First pic to come out of the partnership is "Pool Boy," followed by "Autopsy."

First up is "Pool Boy," written by Julie O'Hara. Pic follows the antics of a recent high-school grad who inadvertently becomes a pimp to a mansion full of beautiful girls. Shooting will begin in the fall."

http://tinyurl.com/m4zga (you need a subscription)


He is not in Variety today, but... he achieved something major... after a lot of hard work!

Huh, guess I should get *on* my lazy ass and start writing...

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

4+4 = an eight letter word.

So here's why hope is a four letter word and why, if added to another four letter word, it becomes an eight letter word meaning: Fuck.

Way back when... in Ireland. I sort of, kind of, found out I was passed on by a show that I really and truly wanted on. But, here's the thing: I didn't think I had a hope in hell of getting on it, so I had zero hope. Not even a little. When I finally got the news (weeks later), I already'd guessed that I hadn't gotten on it. And, it didn't hurt at all. Not even a little. And, that was a show I loved loved loved.

So, now we're in the middle of pilot season. And, I had drinks with a shark and my friends last week. I got to see the inner workings of an agent's mind. And, it scared the shit out of me. Around the same time, maybe a bit earlier, I'd started feeling that tiny bit of hope. It was after the meeting that had gone swimmingly well. "I might," I thought, "just be able to pull off getting on staff and getting my husband to stay."

There's a pit, right next to the Hope pit, it's pretty big. It started growing like a cancer after meeting Alice. Because these sharks are circling the waters. They've got clients who have better resumes than mine. They've got clients with better scripts than mine. They've got better connections than me -- or Bob. So, this pit has been growing all weekend, being fed by the vomit draft.

I just got an email from Bob. One of the pilots passed on me. A pilot where I had an in. A pilot where one of my idols (who happens to be a friend) is going to be working. Now, I could call said idol friend, and see if he could put in a good word for me. I don't make those calls. Or, if I'm forced to, I pick and choose who to ask favors from. And I've already asked him for a favor this year. I don't want to be a pest.

Besides, a really bad thing has happened: I had hope.

I know, I know. It's all going to work out. And, normally, I'd be fine. But there's that malignant cyst-like pit, it also has a name:


And just when things were going so well...

Monday, May 15, 2006

An Asparagus Tip

Okay where did that last non sequitur post about dialogue come from? Well, my friends, it came from deep inside my neurotic, addled, completely freaked out that I'm an unoriginal hack writer, brain.

See, I do this thing. I've always called it the "Vomit Draft." (Apparently, this is not a new term). Where you literally regurgitate everything onto the page. And, yesterday, in writing this draft, I spewed chunks. I wrote a particularly bad line of dialogue, which got me thinking about good lines of dialogue (or the dialogue I wasn't writing yesterday -- nor will I write today).

The problem with this way of writing is: You know it's going to get better as it's rewritten. But, you also know it's crap right now. And, really? Who likes writing crap? Those of you who write like this (I know a lot of people who do) know how difficult it is. You watch yourself type placeholder lines into Final Draft, full of exposition, and on-the-noseyness. You know you'll figure it all out later. "But, the important thing," I tell myself, "is that I've just got to get the story out."

I don't really like to talk about my stories to other people. To workshop ideas-in-progress. Because, inevitably, I'll feel that the story's been told. By telling it, it relieves me of my necessary anxiety to get the story onto the page. Last week, I accidentally told my story to a friend. Because I had some concerns about it. I'd realized that a major plot point (after brilliantly coming up with this idea) of another show was the major plot point of this show. Well, kind of. Obviously, I can't talk about it, otherwise I seriously will not get any writing done on it. The friend I'd told (hate her for doing this), used my own words against me! Bitch. Around here, that's a word of love.

The dealio is: There's a short story called "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale." Written by Phillip K. Dick. This particular short story has sired three entirely different movies:

1. Total Recall
2. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
3. Paycheck

I'd mentioned this revelation to my friend a while back. So, here I am, struggling with the fact that my major plot reveal is very similar to that major plot point in another popular series. And, she reminds me of the short story. She reminds me that the way I write my spec will most likely end up being totally different from the series. After all, that series doesn't have a trademark on the condition I'm using to motivate a murderer to murder. Yet, I can't help feeling like a total unoriginal hack.

So, I'm sitting here in a pool of self-doubt. And, it's magnifying the vomit in the Vomit Draft -- apparently it ate asparagus... and I'm blogging instead of writing. Even with the deadline looming. By Thursday I need to have vomited this draft, and rewritten it -- not enough time to come up with a new idea.

And, frankly, I just feel nauseous.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

What Did She Say?

When I was a kid I wanted to be an actress. In high school, I was in all the school plays and musicals. In college I studied theater. On occasion I may have referred to it (in all seriousness) as "The Theatah." Any success I've had as a writer I attribute to studying theater and playwrights and eavesdropping on people's conversations. I have two favorite playwrights (actually three, but these two fit my post's topic, so we're going with two). Their names are David Mamet and Aaron Sorkin. Both of these gentlemen have an insane gift for, what I believe is, truthful dialogue.

I went to hear Mamet speak a year or so ago. He told this story about how, when he was first starting out, he used to drive a cab to make money. But, he would also write plays, and if those plays were well received, they'd go on for longer runs, and he wouldn't have to drive the cab. There were times when he'd write a play, and it'd get a one weekend run, and back to the cab he'd go. So, his motivator was to not be in the cab. "But," he said, "driving that cab, helped me shape my ability to write dialogue." And, it shows.

Now, most people think of Mamet and how much his characters say "Fuck." I think of Mamet more as not having fluid dialogue, because real people don't speak the way most people write them. As in, one person speaks, then patiently waits for the other person to finish speaking before he speaks again... no. There are tons of interruptions in dialogue. And, a lot of repetition. So, here's my very bad take on Mamet (watch a few episodes of The Unit, and you'll see exactly what I'm talking about, if you're not a Mamet-o-phile):

PERSON A: Oh come on. Come on. You don't seriously think --
PERSON A: You can't seriously. No, you can't think that I'd be responsible for --
PERSON B: I'm --
PERSON A: Because I wouldn't do that. You understand? Fuck. I would not do that.

Sorkin, also a theatah guy, has incredibly relatable dialogue. Take The West Wing (first couple of seasons -- ensuing ones don't exist in my world), rapid fire dialogue about a briefcase. Or, a prostitute (from the pilot):

Sam Seaborn: About a week ago I accidentally slept with a prostitute.
Toby Ziegler: [pause] Really?
Sam Seaborn: Yes.
Toby Ziegler: A prostitute?
Sam Seaborn: A call girl.
Toby Ziegler: Accidentally?
Sam Seaborn: Yes.
Toby Ziegler: I don't understand. Did you *trip* over something?

Okay, this is not a typical conversation. Or its content is not. Because, most of us don't know people who slept with prostitutes. Well, I don't, that is. But the flow, the cadence, the repetition of words... it's just how people speak. in fact, my husband and I had a long conversation about toast this morning. The word toast was repeated a lot. World's most boring conversation, right? Who the fuck cares about toast?

But, it was during this conversation that I knew that we were having a conversation that was not unlike Sorkin's style of dialogue with a hint of Mamet. I realized, it's a fairly typical conversation with most couples, or people who've hung around each other for long periods of time, like work colleagues. Words get repeated. There's a cadence. And, Aaron Sorkin noticed it, and brought it into his plays, movies and his TV shows. As did Mamet.

So, I'm grateful for my theatah experience. I'm grateful for having worked in a coffeeshop through college, being privy to all varieties and flavors of conversation.

Now, if I could just figure out how to tell a story well. Speaking of, there's a deadline looming (if you didn't know given my influx of posting recently)...

Saturday, May 13, 2006

The Shark and The Writer

Sometimes writers need a reality check. Sometimes it's better not knowing what machinations are happening behind the velvet curtain. Ignorance can, at times, be better than bliss.

Which brings me to last night's extremely uncomfortable drinks excursion.

Once upon a time, in a land called Hollywood, I'd made plans to meet with an agent acquaintance. She'd passed on me (which is not coloring my view on the sitch in any way, seriously), but did so kindly. We ended up hitting it off, and seemed poised to become friends. Lots of phone calls, lots of emails. Nearly exchanged IMs (I now know that I dodged a bullet there). Seriously, this gal seemed great. I know this is a busy time, so I made plans for a couple of friends to meet me at the same bar after this "meeting," figuring Agent Acquaintance would have better things to do with her evening. Like, her hair.

So, Agent Acquaintance, we'll call her Alice, and I meet up at an uber hip bar, filled to the brim with starlets and studlets. Conversation is very stilted at first. I'm a fairly outgoing, easy to chat with person. So, I try to draw her out, whilst wondering if this is how Alice is at the beginning of all meetings (even though this is not technically a meeting). It's just a little off-putting. But, I figure it'll get better once she's plied with some alcohol (she ordered a Bud Light -- not that there's anything wrong with that)...

It does get more comfortable a few Domestic Light Beers in. I'm relieved. We start touching on various topics, but the conversation inevitably leads to staffing season. See, she's got this client that she's dying to get on a show. Apparently, this client's hot shit right now, and has some spec that allegedly has the town talking (allegedly, because I've only heard this from Alice).

It gets to 8:30 pm. And, I realize my friends should be milling around this bar. There doesn't seem to be a graceful way to exit this "meeting," and Alice doesn't seem to need to get to any place fast, like the hair stylist. So, after much internal debating, I invite Alice to join me in meeting my friends. She's hip to that.

But, I warn her, I'd really prefer that she not talk about the show she's trying to get her client on, because my friend's lobbying to get on that show at the same level. My friend was in a Fellowship a while back, and his mentor and he still keep in touch. In fact, said mentor and he had a meeting not too long ago with a couple other execs, and this mentor and the execs all agreed: They really wanted to get my friend on this show.

Alice had mentioned that she'd spoken to the exec who's overseeing this pilot, we'll call it, "Studio Betty with Secrets in a Small Companytown Splitting a Decision on a Runaway." Sure to be a smash hit. Said exec happens to be my friend's former mentor. Perhaps I'm very naive. Actually, I am. But, at that moment, I saw no harm in our conversation. We were just talking about this great pilot and how we wanted people we knew on it. Little did I know that we were having a totally different conversation.

But, I knew if this show, or Alice's client were brought up, there could be a lot of awkwardness (we writers are sensitive). And, I'm all about avoiding the awkwardness, so I asked Alice not to bring up the former Fellowship, or the show, or her client, or...

Alice and I go meet my friends, Josh (not his real name, but the Fellowship guy) and Stacy (not her real name, who was also in said Fellowship). Josh and Stacy have procured some prime real estate for starlet-gawking. I was impressed. So, Alice and I sit down, order some more drinks. (What is up with this woman's love for domestic beers?) I make the introductions. And before Josh can get his name out,

ALICE: Have you guys read: Studio Betty with Secrets in a Small Companytown Splitting a Decision on a Runaway?

Seriously. She said this. I forced my jaw off the floor, back to its rightful place, and desperately try to steer the conversation away from this topic, whilst fuming at Alice. Josh has no idea of the subtext of this conversation, so is happy to talk about his favorite pilot, the show he's trying to get on.

I finally get the conversation to some innocuous, completely mundane topic, and I breathe a sigh of relief. This only lasts about 30 seconds, however because,

ALICE: So, Josh, tell me about your Fellowship. How did it work? Are they planning on staffing you on anything, or is it all over?

JOSH: Well, it's been over for a while now, but my mentor --


Forcing my jaw back again, I just stare at Alice. She continues to shoot rapid fire questions at Josh. And Josh seems quite happy to answer the questions, clearly thinking Alice is just interested in the Fellowship. But, I know she's not. She's getting ammo. She wants her client on "Studio Betty with Secrets in a Small Companytown Splitting a Decision on a Runaway." And, she's sussing out what her client's competition is. Yeah, Alice is threatened, I'm happy to note.

But, I'm just sitting there, agog, watching all of this go down. Feeling quite guilty because it's kind of my fault that I've brought these two people together. Alice knows exactly what she's doing. And figures out pretty quickly that I'm pretty pissed off. So, belly full of piss water masquerading as beer, Alice takes her leave. I'm happy to see the back of her, her Dorsal fin discreetly hidden underneath her Armani suit.

I then proceed to tell Josh and Stacy exactly what had transpired under their noses. They're shocked and appalled (and I'm very grateful that Josh isn't pissed at me). Stacy and I convince Josh that he's got to call or email his agent and his mentor and those execs immediately. Of course, we're all drunk by this point, but have enough sense to know it's the weekend and that Josh is probably better off strategizing when he's a tad more sober.

I totally get that this is Alice's job. And, I realize I'm just a chick from the midwest who dumbly expects people out here to behave like the nice folks from back home (apologizing to the person who's just bumped into you -- without irony). Even though I've been out here for something like 11 years now. I've still got my midwest naivete. I'd really like to not lose it, because it's a huge part of who I am. But it's nights like last night that make me a little more jaded than I want to be.

I'm now going to be calling every single person I've ever met to rally towards getting Josh on, "Studio Betty with Secrets in a Small Companytown Splitting a Decision on a Runaway."

Fuck Alice.

Friday, May 12, 2006

A Four Letter Word

Yeah. Okay. Jocular posts about Bob and Joe aside, I was actually a little worried. But, it was all for naught, because apparently person liked me. Bob actually seems to be liking me a lot more since that meeting and greets each email with a timely response. I actually get through to Bob on the phone right away. Things are going swimmingly. Well, as swimmingly as they can when one's husband is planning a move to Dublin...

Here's the thing, though. All this time I thought staffing was beyond my reach for this season. I maintained that getting an agent and anything afterward was merely gravy. And, I meant it. I've been happy sitting on the bench cheering my fellow TV writers on, crossing my fingers for them to get on staff. I'm still here, cheering my friends on. But, it's almost as if some metaphoric coach has directed me to get in the game. I wonder if he's John Hannah?

One foot on the field and this new sensation has arisen. It resides deep inside my stomach. It's an amoeba-sized pit. And, it has a name:


Thursday, May 11, 2006

Hazy Shade of Orange Alert: Or how I learned to start worrying so that I'll die of a heart attack by the age of 35.

I am now more convinced than ever that agents speak to one another. For one purpose only: To drive their clients, slowly but surely, bonkers.


My Friend has an agent, called in this blog, Joe. Friend and I are taking a class together on Tuesday nights. A class I convinced (read: forced) Friend to take. This class is fraught with its own internal dramas, but, at that time we weren't to know that. However, on that first night of class, being good dutiful students, we all turned off our cell phones. Post-class, there was a symphony of "DING"s and "BEEP"s as everyone turned their phones back on. It was at this exact moment that Friend realized there was missed a call. From Joe.

Being that class ended at around 10 pm, it wasn't really a good time to call Joe back. But, I convinced (read: forced) Friend to, worried about the all night neuroticization that would ensue. Besides, I reasoned, Joe called around 8:30. Meaning, Joe probably wasn't in the office. But, he left his cell phone number and it kind of sounded urgent. Friend called, got his voicemail, left a message. Which led to a sleepless night fretting about what the phone call could possibly mean. It is, after all, staffing season. Stress alert is now at level orange.

It, of course, turned out to be nothing, really.


I had a meeting on Monday. It wasn't a big deal meeting. But, a meeting nonetheless. See, hubby's agreed that if I get staffed, he won't move to Dublin (pressure, anyone?). So, it was a big deal meeting to me. It seemed to go well. It lasted an awful long time, there was loads of laughter (not just by me), it was just... fun! So, I called my agent, Bob, after the meeting to debrief. Bob seemed pleased with my enthusiasm and said he'd get back to me after he'd spoken to the person I'd met with... this is when I started freaking. On the ride home from meeting.

Let me preface this with, I seriously seriously seriously think the meeting went fabulously. But, I read a lot. A lot of Industry Books: writers on writing, writers on meetings, writers on sex... and the one thing that seems universal? Even if you think the meeting went fabulous, the other person may have hated you, and will express this to your agent. So, you'll come out of this meeting floating on cloud 69 and find out from your agent later that the person you'd met with? Well, they had a completely different meeting than you did.


Third night of class ends. All phones are turned on. I have no missed calls. Great. I get home. Talk to hubby about our respective days. Get ready for bed. Watch Idol (wow, Kat sucked!). It's in the middle of Idol that hubby turns to me and says:

HUBBY: Did I already tell you that you'd had a couple of phone calls?

ME: (watching Idol, can this wait?) Nope.

HUBBY: Chef Friend called.

ME: (um, still watching Idol) Oh, cool, I'll call her tomorrow.

HUBBY: And Bob called. I saved the message so you can listen to it eight million times.

I listen to message eight million and three times. I dissect Bob's every inflection.

BOB (filtered): Hey Boom, Bob Bobberson here. Number's 310-FREAK-OUT-NOW. When you get a chance... (click).

Cue: Sleepless night.

Normally, Bob and I communicate by email. The only other time I've gotten a message from him (see previous blog entry about agents) was when I was passed on by a show I was dying to get on. So, till now, one out of one calls had been bad news. A precedent had been set. Yes, I realize I'm overreacting.

To recap: Two out of three classes have resulted in phone calls from agents. Taking in Exhibits A and B, clearly Bob and Joe have been bored lately, they know my friend and I are taking this class, and they're still fucking hazing us.

Friday, May 05, 2006


The paths are still here. Except, now, they've become two entirely different paths. And really? This whole two paths thing is pissing me off. Because, one path has been defined. The husband's. He's moving to Dublin for two years.

Unfortunately, from his defined path comes two as yet to be defined paths for me. And, that my friends, is the nature of the business. Sure there are meetings on the horizon (well, meeting, but if this one goes well, it could lead to others). There is also that odd directive from that mentorship program to consider from last year. "You WILL apply again." (I am) There's also the new agent. And potential managers (long shot -- but still). So, that's path one.

But, see? I didn't actually think the Dublin thing would happen. I pushed it to the furthest regions of my brain. I'm great at compartmentalizing (read: avoiding) the tough-to-think-about issues. But it is. It's happening. In July.

So, my husband's leaving. And, now, I have to decide if I am too. As much of a control freak as I am, I sincerely wish someone would just say: "This is what you're going to do." And, then I'd have to do that. Because I don't want to have to make the decision to move, and potentially lose traction on my career (that's path two, for you folks keeping count). I don't want to do the part time here/part time there. And, I don't want to say, "Bye, babe, see you in a few." That last one's the path that's SO not happening-- actually, I don't want any of this to be happening.

However, what's most likely to happen is the part time here/part time there. It's the most detrimental to my process, though, because that will = lack of writing. I know, I can write anywhere. I can also find a million of excuses to not write. I'm sorry, that's just the way it is. Which is why I'm writing so much now, because I fear all this disruption will inhibit my creative process. Or, I'll use it as an excuse to inhibit my process. And I'll become this complacent, procrastinating, self-loathing mess (basically, not much different than now).

So, guess what? I'm whining. And complaining. And, really, I should be grateful that my guy's the William Goldman of computers. And, I should be proud that he's so damned good that his company accepted his hail mary counter-offer. Yes, I should know that it's all going to work out and that at least we're both healthy.

But, that's not me. Sorry. I'm a miserable, neurotic mess of a writer who makes excuses and hates others who use excuses, who are neurotic, who are miserable. I hate the placating loved ones saying, "It'll be fine." I hate the religos (read: my dad) saying, "It's His will."

Yet, I can't help being proud of my husband, I can't help being a little optimistic, I can't help being a little excited by the prospect of living part time in Dublin. I can't help loving my Jesus-freak dad.

If you feel it necessary to respond "It's all going to work out." Please don't. Because I'll be inclined to tell you to fuck off whilst secretly being grateful. So, let's pretend you said it, and let's pretend I'm secretly grateful. And, while we're pretending, can we pretend that my husband's not moving to Dublin?