Monday, July 6, 2009

That's Life in Hollywood

I will readily admit that networking is not my forte. On the rare occasion I get invited to an industry party, I'm just excited to drink liquor that doesn't come from a can and to eat food that...well...doesn't come from a can. But after a nosh that makes Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest look like a midnight snack, I know it's time to turn on my charm and suck up to who ever will listen.

A few months back, I'm at the wrap party for a pilot I'd worked on. So fueled by liquid courage and room temperature pizza, I nudge myself into a conversation with one of the writers. I'd never heard of the guy, but the Emmy-winning producer of this pilot sure had. Clearly he's got the chops. I hope that he'll offer some insight. Perhaps he saw me busting my hump out there? Maybe he'll offer to read on of my scripts? All these thoughts running through my head as the conversation gets going...

"So what kind of writing do you do?" he asked.

"Comedy. TV and I'm working on a movie." I respond. Not terribly clever, I decided. Time to add a little zinger. "But I have a bit of a short attention span, so mostly TV."

Dammit. Not a great zinger. I probably should have said something like, "Comedy. Or if that doesn't work, infomercials. 'Wow! I never realized how much I needed Pro-Caulk until now.' Pretty convincing, eh?" Remind me to use that line next time.

"Cool. Yeah. It's a hard business. But it'll get easier now that you've been out here for a few years," he replied.
"I hope so," I say, chuckling and drinking the warm remains of my Pacifico.

"Yeah. I mean that's when I started to hit my stride out here."

"Good to hear."
I'm getting somewhere. Just a few more minutes and I'll either have him reading my script or he'll tell me his agent is looking for new people. Right? Something to give me a little hope. I order up a couple beers. One for him, one for me. The conversation resumes...
"So what kind of comedy do you write?"

"None of that According to Jim stuff. I like to laugh during my sitcoms." Zinger #2.
Good one, right?! Wait! Panic! He's not on staff for According to Jim, is he?
"I hear you on that."
"But I really like shows like..."
And that's how the conversation ended. I'm just about to say I like smart comedy like The Office and Curb Your Enthusiasm (cleverly parlaying that into a discussion of specs I've written for each of these shows) when a good looking woman walks up and starts talking to him doesn't really matter. She's good looking. I'm a guy. And that's life in Hollywood.


Anonymous said...

Just a quick little FYI: It's wrap party - as in, shooting has wrapped up.

Anonymous said...

LOL. You're a good writer. Is socially awkward a prequisite for making it big?Then you're on your way

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