Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The silent treatment

I was riding on the bus yesterday when one of my classmates took up the seat next to me. I don't know him too well personally, but we made small talk about our screenwriting course and then out of the blue he triggered a memory I had almost let slip away.

So you got any film internships goin' on or anything?

It's not a weird thing to be asked by any means, but in that moment I realized my brain had suppressed the only experience I had with that evil word.

Last summer I applied for the whole enchilada. Disney, Warner Bros, Viacom, Paramount, Universal, any production internship that I qualified for. After no word for a few months, I was blown away when my phone read "Burbank, CA" and it turned out to be the internship coordinator for MTV. Salvation! She liked my resume, gave me a quick phone interview, and left me with a promise that the production department I applied to would give me a call with all the details in a week or two. Congrats.

Guess what? No phone call. If there ever were a time in my life where I had really gotten my hopes up, this was it. I gave a nudge phone call here, a nudge email there. ANOTHER nudge phone call. Nothing.

I suppose, in a way, I'm thankful to have learned this lesson quick and dirty, just to get it over with. That's the big fat "NO" stamp in Hollywood and it sucks. I still get lectured about it now in my seminar. Unless someone hands you a check for your script, you've got nothing but a pat on the back. They'll never tell you no, but they will kill you with encouragement.

My classmate on the bus thought it was worth something to get a call in the first place, and I have to agree. Even their acknowledgment felt like an affirmation that I must be doing something right. The experience bummed me out at the time, but I learned to just be cool. Let it go. It's the first and surely not the last time I'll be given the silent treatment.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Dinner with parents

I turned 22 last week *shivers*

So my parents roll into town and take me out to a classy dinner and, just like every birthday of my college career, they assault me with the barrage of questions I always hate to be asked.

What's your plan? Where are you gonna live? Do you have a job lined up?

FUCK. They're on to me... You mean I can't continue to just live off of your own dwindling savings and sweep my $120,000 student loans under the rug? Rats.

It's such an awful situation. What do I say when I have no real answers? I simply told them the truth, but I told it in a way that sounded like I might have thought about this once or twice. Anything to combat their doubt and salvage their morale.

Yeah, um, I want to move to LA. I want to get any job that will feed and house me so I can write screenplays... I'd like to land a production assistant job, but it'll be close to impossible and everyone else will be doing the same thing. I don't really know what's going to happen.

Imagine! You're a parent who will be in debt until you kick the bucket. Your kid is graduating with an arts degree and is condemned to wait tables for all eternity. This is exactly what you want to hear, right?

Not surprisingly, the spirit of our dinner declined severely when I hinted at the realities of the situation. There is no job or internship and, although I'm scouring the earth, I doubt there will be one when I graduate. I will need A LOT more money from them no matter what. Even if something miraculously pops up, nothing happens overnight and getting set up in a new city will be anything but cheap.

Honestly, I'm working my ass off trying to figure things out. I'm desperate, and have been since day one. Once June comes around it won't come down to effort, it'll be luck.

I think it's time for some dessert, you guys look like you need it.