Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Showbiz Suburbia

Here is a brief outline of My Life In Show Business:
about a year and a half ago I wrote a sitcom, or the beginnings of a sitcom.  It was more of an idea on a couple of sheets of paper.  By June of 2006 I had an Oscar winning producer who loved the idea and started helping me develop the script.  By the end of the summer the first draft of the script was finished, but so were my funds.  I returned to the good old USA to make some more money and to film a pilot demo.  By January 2007 I was back in London and had meeting with the producer who liked the pilot demo. In fact she said she was surprised and delighted at how well it turned out. She then set up a meeting with a director.  In February me and the director met up at The Metropolitan in Westbourn Grove.  It was a sort of professional blind date.  You show me yours, I'll show you mine.  The director liked what he saw and wanted to direct the show, with the caveat that he did the casting. (I had hoped that I could play the lead character up to that point, but really, I have no acting experience, unless you count a lifetime of "acting as if" as experience, which does not really translate well on a resume.)  I then reworked the script and the delighted producer said she wanted me to be lead writer, so far she had me earmarked as creator.  Encouraged and now myself delighted I contacted a BAFTA (US equivalent of Emmy) winning writer who also loved the script and the pilot demo and wanted to be involved.  Next thing I know I am out of money again. Big Time. Then the director got a sweet gig on a mini-series with big name stars and was out of the loop for a while.  The producer cut me loose and I ended up back in the States wondering what happened to my dreams.  My friends in the business said this was par for the course.  But I just assumed that things would go like this:

1. Write script
2. Get 2 time Academy Award winning producer
3. Get director
4. Get BAFTA Award winning co-writer
5. Make TV show
6. Get famous
7. Field offers from Hollywood and the Beeb
8. Count money
9. Go to Cannes
10. Get free stuff


So I got to step four.  Only 6 more steps to go. Or do I have to star over?

I have started over in a way.  I am now working on a third draft of the script with the help of a seasoned Hollywood writer/producer who is the big sister of a childhood friend. She is mentoring me and helping me restructure the story.  As a friend. Which feels pretty good. No promises, no pressure.  Just goodwill. She says I have "a talent that cannot be learned or bought." It's enough to keep me going. More than enough, really.

Clearly I am not ready for The Big Time, but I am doing my creative press-ups to get in maximum mental and creative shape.   I feel like I am training for the Hollywood Olympics, and I'm going for gold.

Meanwhile I have a friggin' day job and have to get up at 4:30am so that I can write.  But that makes me like Nadia Comaneci, but without the specter of being bitch-slapped by the USS of R if I take the silver.  But not so fast.  I am stuck in Oklahoma City so that is my personal specter. Hooray for OKC. I am writing for my life.

If I have made to the suburbs of show business, Downtown can't be far away. Sure there will be traffic jams, a bit of gridlock, toll bridges to cross before I reach the Manhattan of my dreams.

Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!

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