Fun Joel's comment on my last post about the Nicholl reminded me that I'll be in Los Angeles for a wedding during the first week of July. Of course, Friday and Saturday will be full of wedding stuff so if I actually want to visit anyone, I'll have to stay an extra few days. So, I made plans to do just that.
But now, I'm rethinking it and while I fully expect to be bombarded with insults and chastised for my naivete, here's why I'm waffling --
First, let's go back --
Last year, when buses from Louisiana arrived in my small town and I found myself in the middle of Katrina recovery efforts, several Hollywood folk offered to help. Here's the thing. They didn't know me! I was a name they remembered, but they wouldn't recognize me if they sat next to me on an airplane. I didn't solicit their help. Yet, they offered. How did they know I wasn't building a swimming pool or getting lyposuction with their contributions? How did they know I wasn't a prison inmate scamming people over the internet? They didn't! They just trusted their guts and they trusted me.
To prove that their trust was not misplaced, I made sure that I accounted for every cent and mailed verifiable proof of that accountability to each contributor who went through me. I've sent thank you gifts and notes of gratitude from people who received help. Still, it just doesn't seem like enough.
I want to meet these benefactors face to face.
I'd really like to sit across the table with each one, look them in the eyes, squeeze their hands, and tell them how very grateful I am that they aren't self absorbed, macho money mongers. I want to thank them for pausing in their insanely chaotic lives to touch hundreds of somebodies they will never meet. And, I want to thank them for diluting my cynicism of mankind.
Corny as it sounds, that was my plan -- contact each one, set up a lunch or meeting, and tell them that the world is a better place and I am a better person because they give a damn.
Then, I read a post -- a sort of, but not really, tongue in cheek confession by a wannabe writer about how shallow she is and how her communications with professional screenwriters, regardless of how they are presented, are really nothing more than a plea for that person to get them a writing job or better yet, hand over their own. The pros that responded to the post said things like "classic" and "how true" or something along those lines.
I wanted to throw up.
Not only do I not want to be like that, but I can't bear the thought of anyone even thinking I'm that shallow. Yeah, I know it's the way the game is played -- get a champion and use him for everything he's worth. Set up a lunch, hit him with your smarts and don't let him leave without your script in his hand.
I can't do it.
You see, I like people. And sure, I want to sell a screenplay and I'd love to be a professional screenwriter one day but I don't want to live in a world where every time I smile or wink or shake a hand, the person on the receiving end is wondering what I want. I don't want to share a lunch with somebody knowing full well that the other person is waiting for me to hit him up to read my script. That's my agent's job. Can't we just share a pizza while you tell me about your exciting life and I try not to bore you with mine?
In a former job, I got called "steel magnolia", "iron nads", and other unflattering names meant to compliment a woman with backbone. But, some days, I just don't think I'm cut out for Hollywood. Others, I'm a cockeyed optimist -- or, at least a dichotomous one.