I be a good righter.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Coffee v2.0

And I just can't hide it. I know I know I know...

Ugh. Stop.

But seriously. I really am excited.

Here's the thing. I've written about networking before, and its importance to our careers. Thus far, networking hasn't worked for me, as people keep passing on my scripts. Maybe I suck as a writer. Dunno. What I do know is that I've been working one particular relationship pretty hard. Not because he can do anything for me, well, he can, but... I don't assume that he will.

This guy is my personal god. For many reasons. Some things have something to do with him, others don't.

1. When I was writing a pilot a long long time ago in a class, I was told uncategorically, that my script could not be as dark as I wanted to make it. That the subject matter of said script was so bleak that it would turn off any network (at this point, it wasn't the norm to write pilots as samples, though I did any way). I listened to my teacher and my classmates and ended up with one Disneyfied mess of a pilot (I wanted a little more f/x or HBO). When the Fall season premieres premiered, there was one particular show I was very interested in. It dealt with similar subject matter as my pilot (not at all the same, just a close genre). As I sat there watching it, I realized that the writer went exactly the way I'd wanted to go in my pilot. The way that my teacher and classmates assured me that I could not go, because it would turn people off. This writer proved to me that I was right in my instincts. Which had nothing really to do with him, but more to do with my confidence in my instincts. I've never let anyone talk me into anything since, if it went against my instincts.

2. About halfway into its first season, I discovered that the creator had a website. I read every single page on it. When I got to his "favorites" section, I found out that he liked the same music as I. The same books as I. The same movies. He was like my twin from another mother. On his site, I also found his "how I got my foot in the door" section. Apparently, he wrote a letter to a writer he really admired and asked him for a shot. Said writer gave him a shot, and he's been working ever since.

So, being me, I wrote him an email. I decided against telling him about my writing (though I did a little). Instead, I talked about our similar music tastes, where I grew up (Minneapolis) and how living there shaped my musical background (I pretty much lived at First Ave and 7th Street entry).

2a. One day, Mr. BooM and I went to buy a new car. We didn't really have the money for it. But we couldn't avoid it, as our old one had died. As we were driving home from our new purchase, I (I really hate to admit I do this, but I do) put out into the universe this one thought: "please let me get a job so I can help pay for this car." Then I flashbacked to my early years at Starbucks and amended the thought: "please give me a sign that I'm on the right track in pursuing my writing career and let me get a job that's related."

What happened next was kind of cool (note: this was five months after I'd sent the guy that email): The song that was on the radio ended. Okay, that's not the cool part. The cool part was, the next song that came on was the theme song to this guy's show. Freaky, right? The song gets occasional radio play, so it's not THAT big a coincidence. Except...

I get home, still singing the song, and open up my computer. I check my email, and, uh, there's an email from the guy (!!!). He says: "since we have so much in common..." He goes on to illustrate that we have even more in common than I'd originally thought, "I'd love to read your script. However, I've got all my scripts assigned for this year, if we get picked up next year, have your agent send a script over." (He did, I don't hear back, I assume they've passed -- but, I find out later that hip-pocket agent never sent the script).

3. A year later, we're about to embark on season three of this guy's show, I'm doing the find-an-agent dance. I've sent out my latest pilot and my WAT. I get a call from [my now] agent saying he thinks my pilot's perfect for the guy's show, he knows they're looking for a low-level writer, and wants to send my script to agent's friend (a N-W exec at the production company). Oh, and agent wants too rep me. So, awesome! Agent sends script over, I email guy for first time in a year, he remembers me and says he'll call the exec and request that she put the script at the top of the pile. She does. She reads. She passes. I cry. Agent replies, "onward."

4. We live in Dublin. Earlier that year, I'd seen something happen, not that great, in regards to an actor on this guy's show. Apparently word gets out about what actor has done. Apparently my name gets out in association with the evening that this thing happened. So, the guy emails me. I freak out. He wants me to talk to the legal department. Apparently, I'm not in trouble (phew! I hadn't done anything wrong. Innocent bystander and all that). I talk this over with Mr. BooM, we're both unsure if I should do this. We decide that I should. So, I do. I engage in a long email exchange with the guy. He's grateful. I end up losing a friend over it all. It's really sucky. The guy ends up saving a shitload of money on his show. He says thanks.

5. My hopes for getting a job with the guy are dashed when his show is canceled mid-season. I've just moved back from Dublin and, sadly, had high expectations. Crushed, I email him, telling him how sorry I am about his show, wish him happiness. He emails back, asking if I'm able to see the show from Dublin. I email back and tell him we're back in LA, I invite him out for a drowning-your-sorrows-Guinness. He politely declines, he's far too busy on his new show. Can I do coffee?

Sidebar: I think coffee's great. In general, I do. But when people forego dinner/lunch/drinks for coffee, I assume it's brush-off city. So, I'm being brushed off (in my mind) by this guy that I adore. But, since he's him, and I'm me, and I'd kill to have brush-off coffee with him, I tell him I'd love to. He says to email him in a few weeks and we'll set it up. I think to myself, yeah, this is the brush off.

5a. I delay emailing him. I'm beginning to dread the brush-off coffee. There are too many things I want to ask him about. To tell him. Mostly music-related. I'm buliding this up into this big thing in my head. Mainly because I'm a neurotic freakazoid. Finally, yesterday, I email him (I also freak out about how to word an email to gently nag him into having brush-off coffee with me). I manage a breezy "if you've got the time," I also add a little "hey, I just read this incredible book about this era of music that I think you'd love if you haven't read it already..."

I get email from him this morning. "Do you eat sushi? Can you do lunch at '[insert fancy sushi place]?'"

I've been upgraded. I think he's read that book. I think he liked it.

Or, maybe lunch is this year's coffee...