In a time of economic hardship... I amazingly managed to swing a pretty cool second job at a Screenwriting store in Westwood for a few shifts a week. A writing STORE, right? That's amazing! (Hence why I used amazing in my sentence earlier). We writers often have to hope for a coffeeshop job or a bookstore job and still we roll our eyes, slouch, and shuffle to work.
Only in LA could there be such a small specified store surviving even during a recession. And moreso, suddenly I have gone from writer and student to advice giver and tech support.
I'm great at the tech support. I can get a person around Final Draft and many programs over the phone just fine. I've used the stuff before on my computer. I've been there before. But the advice... I must admit I'm burning out quick.
I realized right away that... in these times... everyone is looking to make a quick buck. And somehow... SOMEHOW... they think it is in writing the great American screenplay. And they show up at our store ready to write their life story out.
Yes. It's usually their life story. I don't know why. I personally would rather jump off a bus versus tell some of the stupid things I have done in my life to anyone. Not to mention, I'd have to paint a picture of myself as who I really am... which includes being very selfish, prideful, whiney, and hot tempered (I have good qualities too... somewhere).
Or worse, it's about a topic. Say, abortion. There's nothing more I want out of my escapist theater going experience than to be hit over the head by a heavy handed topic. I'm not saying characters can't handle the heavier situations in life, but I'll just say that when I get these phone calls, the mention of characters don't come up.
Also, people keep trying to hire me. To read their script. To proofread their script. To write their script for them. I have to smile very politely and remind them that I'm going to be expensive. Somehow, they don't like that. And to that, I say... proofread, rewrite, or even write your own goddamn script. Please. Why would you expect me to do that unless you're going to pay me a lot of money? Remember that selfish quality? This is where it comes into play. My free time is limited, and it's very important to me.
Lastly, and this is what's really been bumming me out... I don't like many of the writers I meet who come into the store. There are some great people, but listening to the pretentious stereotypical comments I've heard for the umpteenth time come out of someone's mouth (My manager didn't like my script, my manager doesn't understand my brilliance). I don't care. And I don't like you.
Yesterday I helped out in a class and I watched all of these writers in a room talk about how much they disliked these professional and recently purchased scripts. Like, somehow by bashing an A-List writer... they are suddenly better? Hello! Which person goes home with that paycheck? The A-List writer.
And that's who I want to be. I just can't let all this burnout get to me. I have to put on another smile, walk over to the structure section and say "how can I help you?"
Anyway, I'm always working on deadlines and reading until I can't stand to read any more work. I'm really burnt out. And maybe a little cynical.
Last night I read a very unprofessional script. It's my job to make them better and I am constructive and helpful. My goal is to make them more professional and that's what they pay for. But sometimes it's not easy. And sometimes it's very fustrating.
On the writing side of my work, I'm very lucky recently. I just got a paying job as a researcher-cowriter for a documentary. It's going to pay hourly with backpay if it makes a profit. And the kid's script is doing well. In fact, I have a meeting tonight.
All this makes me tired. I've actually been meaning to finish an erotica I started writing months ago on literarymary, but no luck.
I -gasp- might be a littler burnt out. I know I need to keep chugging along... but I think I have to go easy on myself and still make time for freetime. Comic con is in 2 weeks, so I'll get a little mini vacation besides the day I have to work at the Dark Horse booth. I'm using the money of script coverages to pay for travel and all the **** there I'll feel the impulse to buy (our booth is next to the lego booth... it's very dangerous for me).
That's what I am most days. I cover screenplays freelance recently and it's actually quite good money. I think it's why I haven't been on forums. I already feel exhausted from critiques as is.
So... I didn't win for best feature screenplay at my school. A guy who wrote a script in honor of his brother who passed away did. I couldn't really hold a candle to that. I did, however, share a win for Best Short Film for this comedy I wrote. It was a romantic comedy set in an STD clinic... it was kinda hard not to fail with a golden premise like that....
Overall, graduation weekend has been a flurry of parents, funny looking robes, and shoes that become inhospitable to feet once a nice pool of sweat accumulates in them. I ended it by having a day at the beach, roasting some marshmallows at sunset, and pondering what the first day of my non college insituted life would consist of tomorrow. I have been in school since I was a 5 years old in kindergarden and I haven't stopped until yesterday, at 24. I feel like I should be in mourning, just thinking about that. Then I remembered I'm going to LA to Dark Horse on Monday, I have a short script overdue from last week for my friend's thesis, and a buttload of notes and tips from my professors to polish my thesis and embark on the next story I have lined up.
Then it feels like mourning is too time consuming, and I'm okay.
So, my school has their version of the Oscars at the end of every year for the best material in film school. And I've been NOMINATED for Best Feature Screenplay for my thesis, Coffee Spoons. I nearly peed my pants this morning when I found out and I still haven't been able to focus at my Dark Horse internship all day. My boss is a Chapman alumni, so he knew what I was blathering on about at school.
Anyway, I just want to scream my head off. I haven't been able to get the notes for my thesis revision from my advisor yet... but he must have been the one to nominate me... so he can't have hated it.
AHHHH!!! It's so cool! I have to go by a dress becuase it's a blacktie type event!
But I need to focus and finish this application for the IFP Emerging Narrative Competition which is due tomorrow. But all want to do is get drunk and plan how I'm going to do my hair.
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