i'm a loser
To start with the positive and work my way downward (so bail out quickly if you like) I had just a fantastic day yesterday. I got up early for once finding out that 9am on a Sunday actually looks just about the same as 9am on a weekday! to have breakfast with my recently arrived new transplant of course hes a screenwriter friend Dan. Dan, like many of the newly arrived, lives in the hood. Dan did not quite realize this when he took the apartment, not knowing the ins and outs of Hollywood as I do. So I saw his new apartment, and its small but pretty nice. When I asked who his neighbor is, I was amused to hear the girl next door works for the infamous and scary-prolific screenwriter Ron Bass; I guess it says something about the wages he pays. We went to probably my favorite dive diner Sittons in North Hollywood and talked about boys and clothes.
Then M. and I saw Three Kings. I loved it. Everything about it. Technical aspects, acting, directing, writing just superb. And different. And odd. And still sneakily under the guise of a big Hollywood movie.
Then we did the poor-mans shopping circuit: Ross Dress For Less and the 99 Cent Store. Let it be known that I fucking HATE shopping with a passion. Especially clothes shopping. But I had a really good time. I got a hip green blazer (reg. $170) for $40 and black ass-kicking shoes for $30 (reg. $80). Ran into crush since 4th grade Susannah (an actress who just got done touring the nation in Steve Martins play) and the junior-I-went-to-the-prom-with-because-my- girlfriend-dumped-me-5-days-before-the-event Gretchen, who is apparently also living in LA, singing. "You can get my CD on Amazon!" I introduced them to M. and there was a second of that weird women looking each other up and down thing. But it was good to see them. I felt almost embarrassed to have been in there, like, "Look at us, were shopping at Ross. Weve made it!!!" Then lets just say I spent 18 dollars at the 99 cent store. Thats about 36 items none of which I need.
We finished up the night watching the season premiere of ER on tape and eating my favorite cheesy LA food Chin Chin. Bad Chinese food and ER. Nothing better.
so Friday wasnt quite as good. I had rehearsal so I missed the LA journaler dinner. Sucks. Then Todd and I headed to our favorite dive bar, The Chimney Sweep, in the valley to meet some people. We walked in and didnt recognize the place. No, the furnishings, Nina our Russian waitress, the stale peanuts, everything was the same. What was different were the suit & ho crowd milling about, yelling, "I love this place. How did you ever find it?!" We were a-fucking-gog. Apparently Keanu Reeves has been coming in lately for some reason and I guess where theres smoke theres fire because Nina said the place has been increasingly like this. After an hour of sulking and not being able to hear ourselves talk, we headed to the divest of the dives, The Starlight Room. If possible, the Room had gotten even less popular in the last 6 months. Its quite irksome that wed go to the Sweep some nights and be the only people there. What was worse were the looks on the faces of the real regulars. Like the fat hick every day and night crowd. They looked like that dude on The Gods Must Be Crazy when confronted with the Coke Bottle. Just confused, man. Listen: I want Nina and the crew to make more money, but not at the expense of our spot. Not a good night.
After rehearsal on Saturday, I returned to my apartment to find the long-awaited letter from the Academy: the Nicholl Fellowship! For the last 5 weeks or so, since I learned Id advanced to the Semis, it has been in the near back of my mind constantly. I worried when 4 weeks turned into five, and honestly, Id pretty much assumed I didnt make it to the finals. I opened the letter: Nope. You lose. You suck. Go home. It was only temporary. You really actually stink. Bye bye.
Ignoring the random nature of the judging: practically, what this means is that of 4200 scripts, mine was deemed one of the best of 230. Then one of the best out of 120ish. Now 10 scripts have moved on leaving me back being one of 120. Being simple about it, the 10 are better than me. Then theres me and my 110 loser friends, and were better than the 120 who stayed in the quarters, who in turn are better than the 4000 riff-raff. But see: these are only non-professional writers. Writers Who Dont Get Paid To Write. And while those that do wouldnt necessarily fare well in the competition, it does mean that the 10 and then my 110 are still fighting for a few spots at the table along with the thousands upon thousands who for whatever reason didnt enter the Nicholl.
However, the fact of where I reached in the contest has gotten my script to about 30 serious no-foolin production companies (about 20 of whom have not yet read it). One loved it and is trying to push it through and look for other stuff for me to do, and another presumably liked it because Im having lunch with him tomorrow. So this crazy thing has helped me. No doubt. But the fact remains:
I lost. I lose. I am a loser.
Things got even worse when I arrived at work and remembered that today Slamdance announces their winners in their screenwriting competition. So I logged onto the web site and didnt see my name anywhere. So I suck even more, along with the 1487 others there. And thats it. Nicholl happened, and Austin and Slamdance rejected me. Thats it for the competitions. I just hope Im not eligible come next year to participate in Nicholl. Bad judgment-havin motherfuckers.
This is definitely not the time to bring this up cuz Im a pissed little monkey, but, whatever. So for a lark I wrote a dumb little survey that a bunch of readers and journalers decided to take. Great. And most of it was a lot of fun to read. However, I didnt ask anyone to take it, nor did I pimp it, or promote it. But most of those who did take it, I thanked publicly and privately, and meant it. But now Im upset because a few who took it and posted it as their entry for the day, decided that they were far too clever to simply answer the dumb thing and chose rather to editorialize like some unfunny cyber Waldorf and Statler: "Oh, thats a real stupid fucking question!" "Im not answering that one, you dumb-ass. Youre sick!" "You are a scumbag for asking that." Shit like this, I get. Seriously. (Note: those who simply passed on a question or two or, with levity, or suggested I was warped, Im not talking about. You I like fine.) Listen: I didnt invite you to talk shit about something I wrote. Either take the stupid survey for the very low level kicks it offers, or dont! Maybe I should take some peoples entries and post them and then break them down critically. See how your ass likes it. (Sigh. Deep breath.) Im not as mad as this is coming out, but this is my first real experience with the ego/pettiness of the online journaler world, and, judging from some of the public flame (is that the word?) wars going on in some of the journals I read, it wont be my last. What a fucking shame, this.
In closingthe As and Giants ended surprisingly successful seasons yesterday. If I was wearing a hat, Id take it off to them. (And so long to Candlestick. I, for one, will miss you.) Meanwhile, the 49ers barely beat the fucking Titans yesterday. Ouch.
The Larry King Happy
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