I be a good righter.

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.


  • At May 13, 2006 9:51 PM, Blogger Whaledawg said…

    First, what's wrong with domestic beer?

    Second, if the show you're refering to is the Tina Fey project you should probably change the pseudonym you use.

    And delete this post.

  • At May 14, 2006 12:08 AM, Blogger BooM said…

    First: I'm a beer snob.

    Second: The show I'm "refering" to is not Tina Fey's pilot -- or is it? But, that you may have incorrectly guessed at the pilot, makes me wonder why you think I should change my pseudonym? Isn't a pseudonym, by definition, pretty anonymous? And, even if it weren't, how would this post (or its deletion) help or hinder me or my writer friends?

    In fact, who's to say this story is even true?

  • At May 14, 2006 6:07 AM, Blogger Whaledawg said…

    Well I assumed that if you chose a pseudonym then anonymity was important to you. If the show was what I thought it was then the name wasn't doing it's job.

  • At May 14, 2006 9:56 AM, Blogger BooM said…


    Thank you very much for your concern.

    I am really curious, however, why you would think the post is potentially damaging? So much so that you thought it warranted deletion?

  • At May 14, 2006 10:12 AM, Blogger procrastinatrix said…

    I think the crux of the problem is this:

    Pseudonym -- "Studio Betty with Secrets in a Small Companytown Splitting a Decision on a Runaway."

    Name of several pilots in the mix this year:
    Studio 60
    Ugly Betty
    Secrets of a Small Town
    Company Town
    Split Decision

    Tina Fey's pilot = nothing to do with any of these.

  • At May 14, 2006 10:17 AM, Blogger BooM said…

    Ras, as usual, is absolutely correct. The pilot I mentioned (if it is actually a pilot, and if the story is actually true) may or may not be included in that list of pilots I chose to amalgamate.

  • At May 14, 2006 11:19 AM, Blogger Whaledawg said…

    I am really curious, however, why you would think the post is potentially damaging? So much so that you thought it warranted deletion?

    I meant delete my post had I figured it out.

  • At May 14, 2006 11:37 AM, Blogger BooM said…

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  • At May 14, 2006 11:41 AM, Blogger BooM said…

    Ugh. I don't know how to edit comments. Here's what I'd just posted, with the idiotic portion edited:


    But, even if you had figured it out, I don't see how or why that could hurt me? Sorry, I'm just trying to track the logic, here. I've written an entry about an agent named Alice, who's apparently very good at her job. She be a total bitch.

    If Alice exists, that is.

    Please, help me track the logic here. What am I not seeing (pretending that I'd actually named whatever show it was)?

  • At May 14, 2006 11:58 AM, Blogger Whaledawg said…

    Well if you don't care if people know why would you use a fake name at all?

    I assume if it's worth it to you invent names then it must be worth it to you to ensure that the real names remain unknown.

  • At May 14, 2006 2:14 PM, Blogger Shawna said…

    I'm confused now. Can I get a hug?

  • At May 14, 2006 2:46 PM, Blogger BooM said…

    I think, Shawna, that the confusion was all mine. I think that whaledawg thought he'd guessed the show I was talking about (if it exists) and thought that I should change the fake name I'd given it. And, he was referring to this fake name as a pseudonym, which I've always understood to mean: pen name.

    So, I thought he was telling me to change my moniker. And, I couldn't understand how that would affect anything.

    But, I think he meant for me to change the false name or pseudonym of the show...

  • At May 15, 2006 11:14 AM, Blogger Shawn said…

    **rubs temples**

  • At May 15, 2006 11:31 AM, Blogger BooM said…

    I know. I be stupid...



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