2 months in LA and the bitterness seeps right in...
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?"
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