Wednesday, January 31, 2007

guilty as charged

Above is a picture of my friend while we were sitting and watching the sun drop into the Pacific. He has an apartment one block off the beach in Santa Monica not far from the pier. Not a bad friend to visit for a week...

I didn't have consistent internet access in California so I'm posting this from last week:

I was only at CHA for one day. I have a week planned of meeting people, networking and pitching some scrapbooking related TV show concepts while I'm here in LA, spend some face time with all the people I've been sending emails and voicemails to. I've been extremely fortunate to have two people watch Scrapped, "get it" and want to help get something bigger going. One is a woman that's gotten other TV shows off the ground and travels in circles of people who have some tasty programming currently airing on networks, the other is an actor friend of mine who has actually been pitching Scrapped to people with more bullish enthusiasm than I have myself. It's given me some tenacity.

I was a little bummed yesterday because I got the news that a meeting with the strongest lead, a production comany that has a dozen shows very similair to what we're shooting for on DIY, HGTV, Discovery, etc. had to bow out because they are no longer accepting unsolicited pitches, meaning they have a creative team of content developers and to avoid potential lawsuits they only make shows from concepts their team has come up with. This was discouraging because we had talked to a producer there that really liked our idea and we were going to present it to the VP of development, ie. we made it through the first couple tiers of hooking something up. That was one of a few things happening this week but still a drag. Now I'm focusing on giving everything else this week 110% and seeing what happens.

I asked my actor friend what it was like living in LA, the movie and TV mecca of the world, working your butt off perpetually working towards the next level, looking for a break, hustling, networking and living in the shadow of extreme success. I thought it might be like being an athlete in training and constantly living outside the olympic villiage. You catch glipses of the final events on TV, all lined up for viewers in a format where years of work comes down to 45 seconds with a final decisive conclusion. It sounds romantic but I just looked at it as foolishness. :0) Why bother with all the striving and emotional roller coaster? It's unpredictable, chaotic and pretty much sinking everything you've got into crap shoots with horrible odds of winning. Could it in some way be like a gambling problem where you're perpetually focued on the jackpot and in denial of the losses? My friend talked about how he'll go and see a movie and watch half a dozen trailers and say "there's another bunch of great movies I didn't read for" but also talked about all the decades of fantastic projects he's worked on, where he's traveled and who he's had time getting to know. He obviously takes joy in the process. He loves auditioning, loves working and obviously doesn't mind the thrill ride. He'll get a call for auditions and his face lights up when he's on the phone. Sure the winning is fun, finishing the race is something to be proud of in itself but he also loves the training.

He scored some VIP passes to see Bruce Hornsby last night at the Malibu Arts Center which is a small venue and very intimate. I'm a fan and looked forward to the music. Being there reminded me of what a diferent world I live in. In a venue so small you can actually see someone on stage without a jumbotron, in a place where I walked by Jackson Brown just standing around in the hallway a foot away, a place where people that I've listened to and had one way relationships with for years are making small talk... I felt the weirdness even more, the gap between "making it" and working it. As I sat down in the catwalk, in this dark quiet place away from everyone else and saw Bruce Hornsby play close enough for me to see the expressions on his face I closed my eyes and had a beautiful moment. He was a little arrogant, obviously had some bigger venues with "more important" people to play for but fundimentally it was him doing the thing he loves and it was speaking directly into my soul. It made me set aside the warm fuzzy celebrity sightings and remember the core reason of why we got started in whatever it is we're doing: we love it. If we find ways to make a living at it then hey, bonus! If not, we find joy in the times we're able to just do our thing.

What's your thing?


At 12:14 AM, Blogger Melissa O. said...

OK, you asked a packed question so here is my packed answer : )

I guess I have a lot of things, some that make me money, some that cost me money and a few that are free : )
I enjoy teaching at it's purest level: me, the students and a goal. That light going off in a persons head, knowing you had some part in putting it there, awsome. Wish more of my paid workday was filled with those moments because they make me remember why I am a teacher.
Photography and building the stories that go with the photos is my expensive but worth every penny thing. So much emotion can be seen and felt in one photo, one journal block.
In looking at teaching and photography though I see my favorite thing, my reason for wanting to teach and take photos, my daughter. She is a performer and my favorite thing is to just enjoy and be a part of the show : )

At 5:58 AM, Blogger wes said...


How do I get the balance and self awareness you've got scrap bunny?! Way to go.

From everything you've posted I bet you're a good teacher. I have a lot of respect for your profession. I think teachers are underpaid for the responsibility and pressure they work under. You have influence in childrens lives when they're impressionable and forming their perspective on themselves and the world they live in. Sadly, sometimes tachers have more investment in a childs behavior, encouragement and discipline than some parents who are working two jobs and overwhelmed themselves. I'm glad that's one of your things. :0)

Do you teach English or grammar? Your posts always have good strcuture and seem thought out. I'm always one step away from the composition of a text message...

At 12:33 PM, Blogger Melissa O. said...

I teach computers to 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th graders. I have 26 classes each each with other 600 students total. That is how I am on the computer all day : ) I am not balanced and am horrible at spelling, just good at using the spell checker : ) I am taking Stacy J's LOM class on and it is really bringing my joy in this craft back. Plus I have been carrying Scrapped in my work bag and watching the why I scrapbook segments at lunch, such a punch of encouragement.


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