Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Haven't had as much to blog about recently

I've been spending my days sending out resumes when I see promising jobs, and spending most of the rest of my time watching various tv shows on Hulu.

It's nice, but I am starting to get a bit restless. I'm writing more, finishing up the outline for my spec pilot, writing the first draft of another with my roommate, and I've begun outlining my first full feature script.

I had other features that I attempted, that exist at various stages. One I even started writing. It was based on a trip I took to Indiana to visit my then-girlfriend's family one summer. Really I think it was just a means to deal with some of that stuff. It wouldn't have been a great script, so I'm glad I stopped myself as early as I did, since it did not have a very strong outline either. And I have other concepts that I considered writing that I have shelved, but may very well brush off someday and work on again.

This one I'm working on now is a romantic comedy, but not a chick-flick. Chickflick is definitely a subset of romantic comedy to be sure, but while most people think the two terms are interchangeable, they are not. Some of the best, such as "When Harry met Sally" or even the more recent "Knocked Up" have a lot of heart and romance to them, but they are not just chick movies.

Chickflicks are romantic comedies that don't get the real focus of what the story should be. It's about TWO people coming together, much like people do in real life. Chickflicks always have some kind of unrealistically written male who's just there to have a great smile and look good with his shirt off, so the rest of the story can dazzle their audience with the woman's perspective on everything from wedding day jitters to that bitch who's wearing the same shoes.

I know how hard costume people and production designers work. To be honest, they don't get nearly enough praise. But when the entire point of the movie is the costuming and the production design, that's not a movie. That's a fashion show that tries to tell a story.

So in short, yes, I am writing a romantic comedy. Does this mean I'll stop writing action and science fiction and comedy? No. Even if I tried to I wouldn't be able to, because those kinds of ideas pop up in my mind all the time. They're genres that I love.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Dealing with the success of others

Sometimes I have trouble dealing with other people's success. I think it comes down to this: I haven't accomplished what I came out to LA to do yet. Right now, I'm still unemployed (had a promising interview, but then the lazy dumbasses at my old job took my asking for a recommendation call every day for three days as "let's wait the better part of a week and write a half assed email").

I know how hard it is to succeed, especially trying to be a writer in Hollywood. I have this sense that I can't accept anyone else (especially someone younger than me) being good at this, because it leaves less room for me to succeed.

I sit here, unemployed, having spent the better part of this month just sitting around watching tv shows on Hulu. Yeah, I'm learning more about scripted dramatic TV, but really I've just gotten myself into a rut. I was great when I first got fired. I was all over sending resumes, following up with people. Then to be honest, in trying to see the bright side I got to really like staying home and relaxing like a lazy ass every day. I can't keep it up forever, but I certainly can for a month.

It's really hard out there to find the jobs that I need to get me to where I want to go. Nobody who can help you really wants to. So today, I'm getting off my ass a little more. I'm writing a treatment for a feature script, something I haven't done for a while, but think it's time to do. It'll be a sweet, saleable romantic comedy, but written more from the Knocked Up tone and dude perspective than these chick flick movies. I need something to really work on so I can feel like I'm not just being useless. And I need to have more finished projects so I can feel better about myself when saying that I'm a writer.

Ideally, in a few months I'll have finished my original spec pilot, the other pilot I'm writing with my roommate, and this script. Add that to my other feature script, my spec Heroes episode, my experience on my college TV show, and the unused college show pilot I think I'll fix up, I will have a decent amount of samples and can really pursue getting representation and work.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Had a fun night

Tonight was the slightly belated birthday gathering of a friend of mine who was a couple years behind me in college. It was nice to go out to a fun bar I'd never been to before, to meet some new people, and even catch up with an old friend from high school who happens to work with her.

I joked with my old friend that she should be my female wingman, partly for fun, and partly because I had already found a friend of hers to be attractive. So after talking with her friend a bit, I was able to take my new wingman aside and say that I thought her friend was cute. I'm pretty sure she put a good word in for me when she went to the bar, because very soon I was talking to her friend again, and got her number.

Strangely enough, this girl has the same first name as NurseLady (who by the way, has still not responded after standing me up on Thursday night). But she seems cooler. And she also went to my college, graduating two years behind me. She is native to SoCal, but she went to a preppy east coast school so that probably balances things out a bit. I got her number, walked her to her car, and made plans to see her again soon.

I contemplated going in for the kiss at her car, but it wasn't quite right. In the long run, it's better than I didn't, since I could see myself actually dating this girl, rather than just trying to get as much ass as possible as quickly as possible.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

NurseLady is half an hour late. Methinks I'm getting stood up.

UPDATE: Yeah, she stood me up. It's now after 10pm, I'm back at home, and still no word from her. Unless she has some excuse like she got stuck assisting in a life saving surgery, I'm annoyed.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Interview went alright

The job interview went pretty well yesterday morning. It was supposed to be Monday, but right after I wrote the blog post that it was in an hour and a half, I got a call from them rescheduling. But the interview seemed to go well. They said, "we like you" as I was leaving and that's always a good sign. I called my old office to get them to put in a good word for me, we'll see if they actually manage to get their shit together enough to do that. It looks like this job is pretty good, and close to the kind of thing I want to be doing. It's not big and corporate, but there are a lot of people there, and they're actually producing movies and TV shows, so that's kind of where I want to be to learn some stuff.

My friends return today. I had texted BestFriend yesterday, and got a response from BestFriendsGirlFriend asking for an airport pickup. Since I'm still technically unemployed I might as well get them. We'll see if they remember to say Happy Birthday now. If they don't I think I have a very reasonable right to be pissed off at the friends of mine who skipped town for a week and forgot my birthday.

My parents, who are kind of awesome, got me a recliner for my birthday. I was hoping it would arrive here at the apartment before my roommates got back, so it would be a little surprise, but the damn thing hasn't gotten here yet even though it's been 9 days. I think I'm going to call the company today to find out what the hell is going on with this. I want my chair.

Turning to my romantic dealings, MissCrazy is officially out, but seems to have moved past the hating me stage. She wanted to take me out for a birthday drink, but the days when we were both out of town prevented that, and honestly that's probably for the best for now. I don't want a friendly drink to become a "let's hook up just one more time" drink, which will inevitably become a "so are we back together now?" drink.

I met a nurse out at a bar after my birthday drinks. Turns out we come from the same area back east, and she seemed nice enough. I gave her my card, and some douchey guy was getting all clingy with her and she left, but then she texted me an hour later saying she wanted to go out and that guy was just a jealous asshole. I'm seeing her tomorrow night so I'll let you know later if we actually get along well or if that was just the whiskey talking the other night.

I do like that I never got her number in the bar, I just gave her my card. Took a lot of pressure off me. Instead of having to jump through all kinds of hoops as the pursuer, I was able to just sit back and let her come to me. And I can tell that she kind of likes me by the way she's pursuing. But there will be an update on NurseLady later. For now, I want to get some breakfast, watch a little TV on Hulu, find out what's up with my chair, and work on this new feature idea I have.
I can now blog from my crackberry. We'll see how this goes.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Job interview today

I have a job interview in an hour and a half. I still have my entire apartment to myself because my roommates all went on a trip together. They left on my birthday, and not a one of them has even sent me a text message saying Happy Birthday. They kind of suck as friends at the moment.

On Friday night I went out with some other friends for birthday drinks. We had a good time, they had to leave, and I stayed out by myself a bit. I went to this place called Beauty Bar in Hollywood where I met Samm Levine from Freaks and Geeks (who had hot chicks all over him even though he's a short nerdy guy, it must be nice being semi-famous) and a nurse from the same place where I grew up.

I gotta say, especially since I find myself having to fend for myself a bit with my friends being so lame, I'm glad I have the social skills to walk into a crowded bar where I know nobody and have fun for a few hours.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Getting the house ready for Grandkids

I'm back in LA now, continuing the job search. But I felt I should comment on what it was like helping my parents move into their new house. It was kind of surreal, because it was honestly like I was setting the place up for my children to visit.

There were all these toys I had used when I was a kid, and since my mom was a neat freak who raised us all to be neat freaks who took care of our stuff, they were all still in great condition. When I eventually have kids, my parents house will become "grandma and grandpa's house" and they'll play with the same blocks as I did over twenty years ago.

I was especially aware of this possibility because this wasn't just them moving. They had designed that house to be the one they live in for the rest of their lives. They planned on everything. The master bathroom tub has a shower thingy in it so they can bathe grandkids.

It's not like my parents are impatiently waiting for me to knock someone up. Quite the opposite actually. It's just that they prepared for the possibility. And since my birthday is tomorrow, I'm aware of how I'm getting older. When I see people with kids on the street, I identify with the parents, not the kids, and that's frightening to me.

Basically, it's the realization that this whole "growing up" thing is for real. Not matter what you do it happens, so chances are I'll be moving onto the next step sooner than I think.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Holy crap do my friends suck

I'm back in Cape Cod with my parents at the moment, moving furniture and at least a hundred boxes filled with books (we're a literate family, which isn't great for my back at the moment). I'm flying back to LA on Tuesday, which happens to be two days before my 25th birthday.

I'm flying back then instead of staying longer with family because I wanted to spend my birthday with my "LA family", i.e. my best friends out there that function as a surrogate family of sorts. It's easter/passover weekend, which makes things trickier, but I'm hoping on a decent enough crowd so I can have a fun night.

A couple good friends of mine who live out in Venice are going to be out of town, that sucks, but I'm not upset about it.

Here's what I am upset about. My roommate, who has been my best friend for almost a decade, is taking off early in the morning on my birthday with his girlfriend to spend easter and the week after that with her family. That sucks, but I could understand. But they're also bringing along our other roommate, the guy who went to college with my best friend and is visiting LA for six months and staying in our loft. So the three people I live with, and consider to be good friends of mine, are ditching me as a unit.

I try not to let this kind of stuff bug me, but it's been building for a while. First my best friend and his girlfriend become inseparable to the point that I feel like I'm a guest in their apartment rather than it being her staying over at our place. I've been in love before, I get how that goes.

But then the best friend's buddy from college comes to stay with us. I'm not even told that he's coming until he's already bought plane tickets from the UK. I figure at least I'll have someone to kick around the apartment with when BestFriend and BestFriendsGirlfriend are off doing whatever together.

But once he arrived, it was like the three of them became a new unit. Stuff continued to happen with me having no idea. I'd come home and propose doing something together and find that they were all on their way out the door to a show.

Basically, it comes down to this, as lame and "1st grade" as it sounds. I feel like I'm not my best friend's best friend anymore. I feel like I barely qualify as "good friend" at this point, and if I moved out of the apartment I'd probably never see the guy.

And that really sucks, and it's lame, but I can't really bitch to friends and family about it, so the blog was here to catch my angry typing.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Anachronistic Blogging whilst traveling

I just took a red eye flight from LAX to Boston, and I'm now hanging out in my little sister's apartment at Boston College. During the trip I blogged old school style, by hand, into a notebook. But since I am a child of the internet generation and my sister is finishing up a philosophy paper before we head out for some breakfast, I'm going to copy down what I wrote.

Sitting in the Virgin Terminal at LAX. This terminal sucks. Nothing in the way of food. [EDIT: to clarify, there was an empty CPK cart, a fish and chips restaurant place with no tables, and Burger King]

I had a double cheeseburger from Burger King and feel like I'm going to hurl. How did I eat this shit when I was a kid? Has it gotten worse since then? Or have I just gotten old and spoiled by food that wasn't cooked in a grease trap. Need to make Guinness Burgers again soon.

That's what I wrote as I was waiting to board. While the terminal was weaksauce, the actual plane was pretty nice. I approve of Virgin as an airline. There was this remote control thing that handled the TV, movies, and even let you play video games. I played DOOM for the first time since I was like 12 years old. Made me feel strangely nostalgic. The dude next to me on the plane played it for like 4 straight hours, what a beast. After I landed in Boston, it was really early local time, so I went and got some Dunkin Donuts coffee, and paused to write this in my notebook:

4/2/09 5:45am
Virgin Terminal is shared with American Airlines. Just walked past a remodeled spot where I used to wait to pick up CollegeGirlfriend [EDIT: I wrote her actual name in the notebook but won't here. This is the girl I was with for 3.5 years who is now engaged to a friend of ours]. Made me a little sad/nostalgic.

Then I got on the T with my Dunkin Donuts coffee and wrote this: "Holy shit, did I miss this city."

I had to transfer to two trains, and ride the slow, trolley-esque Green Line to get to BC, but I didn't mind. It was early, it was quiet, and I kept seeing stuff that I recognized that had changed subtley since I left for LA. I'm far enough from college that I can really look back fondly now. Even though it's way too early to be awake and the weather is that classic New England dull overcast gray, it feels really good to be back in the city I call home. Now I'm relaxing at my sister's place, and in a few hours I'll get picked up by my dad to head down to Cape Cod, see the new house my family built, and carry heavy shit into it. I'll be applying to jobs from here since I brought my gargantuan laptop with me, and maybe I'll even get some writing done.

I actually just thought of a good idea for a feature script as I was writing this. Getting fired was fantastic for my sanity, and for re-evaluating my priorities. Granted I really need to find a new job ASAP, but I feel like I'm in good shape with that even in these troubling economic times. I had lunch with an agency assistant yesterday who's pretty connected and she said she'd contact some people for me.

So with that, I'm going to enjoy my little sojourn back east, and revive my creative spirit.

And carry heavy shit with my dad.