When I first moved to LA I was embarrassed with how little I seemed to have going on. Anyone I talked to seemed like their career was skyrocketing.
“I’m producing my album.”
“I’ve got a project in development.”
“I’m workshopping my new one woman show.”
With time I’ve learned their secret. When you’re trying to make a living in an artistic endeavor you’re going to have a lot of down time. Instead of saying, “I’m catching up on old episodes of Two and a Half Men” or “I’m staring at the ceiling wondering how I wasted my youth” it’s better to accentuate the positive.
For the past two months when people asked me how the writing was going, I feigned excitement for this very site. But for the past two weeks I’ve had a different answer.
“There’s going to be a reading of a script I wrote.”
Two years ago Jose hired me to write an animated script called Little Domino about a chameleon who can’t change colors. I’d written something for him before and since he’s the only producer where after working with him I didn’t say a curse word before mentioning his name, I took the assignment.
He Fedexed me a box with heavy hardcover books about reptiles. This was a slap in the face. He paid Fed Ex more money then he paid me for the first draft. It took me a while to get over the indignity, but I cranked out a draft and I never looked at it again.
Let’s fast forward to two weeks ago. I got an e-mail about the table reading. Actors would read out lines I forgot I ever wrote. This was exciting news. I immediately called Jose, but his phone was disconnected.
When we were finally able to speak I learned all of the details. He showed the script to another producer who liked it, but suggested a rewrite.
Whatever you turn in, someone will always want a rewrite. Three weeks later you can hand them the same script and they will say, “I love all the changes you made.”
So on Thursday I will hear an oral interpretation of Carlos the Coyote and Rattler, the two headed snake. I will blame anything I do not like on the revisions Jose made from my first draft and I will salute my brilliance if there is a half way witty line, whether I wrote it or not.
Since I knew I wanted to write about this table read I wanted to post an image of the character designs Jose commissioned an artist to make.
“No.” he said.
“But I have thousands of readers.” I told him. “It would make good publicity.”
“No. Someone will steal the idea. Remember that movie I told you where the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future teach kids about the christmas spirit? Now there’s some movie coming out this Christmas about that.”
“But you stole that idea from Charles Dickens.”
“See, there’s a lot of thieves out there. Why don’t you post this picture instead where we’re trying to broker a deal for Shawshank Redemption Part Two.”