Sunday, August 14, 2005

Under Pressure

So...I have many contacts/old friends/old workmates in the industry asking me what the eff I'm doing. As in, why aren't I out there selling and actively interviewing for assignments.

They mean it in the nicest way. With that strange quizzical look in their eye. The industry concensus appears to be that I'm beyond ripe, and a bit crazy to not be making money in LA.

Sigh. It's really hard to explain. They don't quite buy it when I say Mom's health, or that I'm depressed about said situation. Probably because I'm still extremely productive when depressed.

I think what it really first fear of failure. Never really had it before. Afraid I'm going to let down all the silenced people I'm trying to represent. That voice in my head keeps saying "'re not ready yet."

Best summation of the cognitive dissonance in my head is Neo and Oracle in the kitchen.

NEO I'm not the One.

ORACLE Sorry, kid. You got the gift but looks like you're waiting for something.

NEO What?

ORACLE Your next life, maybe. Who knows. That's how these things go.

And meanwhile I've got all these powerful people in my life waiting for me to jump off the building toward the helicopter.

Just had this whole conversation last night, and last Wednesday, and I'm getting ready to go to an industry BBQ where I have to have it all over again.

I'm such a fucktard. How long are movie people trying to help willing to wait before they rescind their kind offers?


nicholasjcoleman said...

Probably not very long. :(

I spent about 5 years selling myself short, and in retrospect it's so much time wasted. Now that I just plow forward, fear of rejection and all, I've had a lot more success than I had thought I would in such a short period of time.

My dad is getting older, and he's so excited and part of what I'm doing now--I only wish I had not been afraid before. Because I'm about 5 years behind now, and that's 5 years of my success he won't get to share.

I know that no amount of encouragement will immediately change your perception--but come on! Look at the things you've already accomplished! You've got nothing to fear... you'll be rejected from time to time, but it's necessary to reach the big payola.

Take advantage of the opportunities in front of you right now... you're blessed to be in a position to have them, much less act on them. And think about how ooey-gooey happy you'll feel when you get that first phone call with hard-work rewarded...

Anonymous said...

Speaking of David Lynch (from your other post)... maybe you're waiting for the Cowboy.

Yeah. I think Lynch got it right on Hollywood with that one character. It's like your success is controlled by your own inner freak -- and every one of us is scheduled for a showdown. A mysterious process, but I have no doubt you can do it.

I predict that you make it soon. And that the gum you like so much will come back into fashion.

So go meet the Cowboy, grrl, and see what he's got to say.


Anonymous said...

I should mention that my Cowboy tells me I still suck as a writer. Oh well. Fuck me for getting an honest inner freak.


Anonymous said...

Oh, no. Wait. That was my academic advisor. With her bevy of smart, thoughtful criticisms of my chapters.

Professors, cowboys. They're all the same.


MoDigli said...

Fear sucks. It's totally paralyzing and makes us lose our confidence. I have not a clue what it takes to make it in Hollywood; except maybe some crazy outgrageous confidence that catches ppl's attention.

But I can see just by reading your blog that you are talented. And you went out to hollywood with a dream in mind. I'm remembering that final comic in Mom's Cancer, where Big Bro is watching the van go down the highway and saying how you and mom and Nurse Sis are going for your dreams because it's now or never. Well, you're more than half-way there! Don't give up now! I say swan-dive right in. Just put the fear on the back burner and jump right in. If there are so many people who are willing to help you right now, then that means you've probably also got friends who love you enough to break your fall if your swan-dive fails. good luck Kid Sis! I think you can do it! :) Go for it!

Anonymous said...

I would not dare to presume to understand the intricacies and nuances of your chosen profession. However, speaking as someone who has been practicing in the law for 7 years, and alternates between feeling like someone good at it, and someone who's still just learning; also, while starting at a new firm that should be excellent but is revealing itself to be anything BUT...

There is one credo I tell new members of my profession, and one I keep trying to remind myself. I came up with it, and it's this:

Better to commit sins of action rather than sins of inaction.

Leia -- use caution, and use reason. But when you've already done that, GO WITH IT.

Fortune favors the bold.

Fortune may also trample the STUPIDLY bold, but you are many things -- and stupid is not one of the predominant ones, by a long shot.

Like parenthood, there may never be a PERFECT time to put yourself out there for your career -- but that doesn't me you won't find a certain sense of perfection once you take the figurative plunge.

I trust you'll do well. Call it a gut feeling I have. ;-)


BrianFies said...

You haven't figured out yet that everybody's a fucktard?


Anonymous said...

Yeah, and some of us are fucktards without people waiting in helicopters for us!


Kid Sis said...

Cowboy up!

Kidding. Wish it was that simple.
Notice the was use instead of were. I fully realize for some it is that simple.

A working screenwriter pal of mine had to explain I keep erroneously applying the acting rules to the screenwriting rules and that it's not the get more than one chance as a screenwriter, it's just one read per script. That made me feel a little better.

My biggest problem is my trusted advisers think my cancer script is ready to be bought now...but then my trusted professor/mentor actively working on the script with me said it was okay now, but that if I overhauled the structure it could be The Big Chill of my generation. A zeitgeist film, were the exact words. But of course, that means at the earliest I'd be going out with it in December. And always in the back of my mind is the worry, will Mom be here in December? Nicholas hit the nail on the head.

I don't know what to do. I'm leaning towards overhaul. But is it because I want to make an important film, or because it means I get to hide alone in my office and type anonymously for a few more cherished months? Hmmmm...

Thanks for weighing in. I do appreciate the perspectives and support.

Mo and MIM, thank you!!!

Bri, but they're fucktards with CONNECTIONS!!!! I know, I know. I'm a Made Man, too.

And NN, no one's buying you can't write. Please girl. Pretty much no one gets into UCLA on their first try. Only so much BS I'm going to take from one of my BFFs.

Anonymous said...

Yes, my dear Hamlet, action... it "puzzles the will."

"Conscience doth make cowards of us all,
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprises of great pitch and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action."

"There is special providence in the fall of a sparrow." All things happen in our lives for a reason. 'Tis time you made your move, nevertheless.

-- And the readiness, the *readiness* "is all."


Anonymous said...

PS. I'm serious about not having any helicopters waiting for me. A Made Man, you are. Use those connections, grrl!


Anonymous said...

Perhaps a compromise is in order? Would it be possible to commit yourself to a disciplined day a week of preparing the cancer/ rom-com script -- sorry that's kind of unwieldy for me. I'll just abbreviate it the "FC Script" for "Film re Cancer Script", or "Finding Chemo" -- for its hoped-for greatness, while spending the next 3 weeks seriously gearing up your others for, at the very least, respectable pitching practice?

Not having read your actual work, I am shooting in the dark, but I am assuming that you, like most other practiced and published writers, have your own 'voice'. Would pitching another non-FC project allow you to at least get a sample of your voice heard, thereby whetting a potential appetite for FC?

Just a thought.


Kid Sis said...

Crap. Good one at that, MIM. True, dat. So, new plan...concentrate on Divas Inc.

NN, I'm waiting for you. Just don't have a pilot's license. How long does it take to upload one into my brain? I'd quote you something lovely, but all I know right now by heart is comic book stuff by Warren Ellis and Brian Michael Bendis. Lots of F bombs.

Neil said...

You know, if you're too shy about using your great connections, why don't you just send them my way -- then you won't have to worry about them anymore. Just trying to help a fellow screenwriter! You know how helpful we are in Hollywood.

Anonymous said...

Finding Chemo... that's hilarious.

You know, you have GOT to get this out there. Somebody needs to make people suffering from the big C laugh. *That's* real therapy.