Warning, the following is an introduction to myself and where I came from, so that you the reader might better understand where i'm coming from. This is in part to help you relate, but mostly so that I can vent a little before giving you any new information with which you can use.
Hello, welcome to this blog.
Let's see, what's the first question, ah yes, from Suzie who writes: "Who the hell are you, and why should I spend countless seconds reading this?" The former I can answer, but I regret the latter is for you to decide.
I am.... a writer! But then again, so is anyone who puts pen to paper, chalk to sidewalk, or pee to.... well, you get my meaning. What kind of writer... well that has yet to be determined. Since I am not currently getting paid to do such work, I dabble in this and that... this being the blog and that being both television spec writing and feature film writing.
I did not grow up wanting to be a writer or even work in the film industry. Up until the age of thirteen I was heavily into Lego's (another story, another time). When I moved the summer before high school from New Jersey to Florida, I was happy, I had a chance to completely reinvent myself, and when I sat down at the school two weeks into the new school year I had to pick my electives. It was then when I saw it, like Moses's burning bush, TV Production 1... I was ecstatic. I had spent the previous year helping to film the school's basketball games, because I was that kid, the one who just wanted to help everyone. When I told my school councilor that I had made my decision, she entered it in the computer and I saw her face scrunch up, and I could tell what was coming. The class was full and I had to pick something else.
I asked if it was possible to get into it next year, and while it would be, I would never advance to the actual production class, number 4. My fate was sealed, I chose typing since I figured I'd be doing a lot of it in the next 60 years of my life as some office drone. I realize my life would be completely different had someone dropped that class, or if I had registered earlier, but i'll never know...
3 years sped by, and before I knew it the summer before senior year was upon me. I was almost exactly the same person I was when I had arrived, except for hitting an old lady with a bike (again, another time), nothing really happened to me. Figuring I could waste the summer indoors again, playing whatever game I could find or reading books till I fell asleep, I got a job. Not just any job, but one held by many a starving Hollywood scribe before me has held. Nope, not a waiter, that's for actors. I found myself working at a Blockbuster Video, right down the street from my house. It wasn't until this point that I was truly a film fanatic, I would go to the movies with friends, or by myself when no one was around, but I mainly stuck to big blockbuster movies, never venturing to far outside my comfort zone.
Then one day I was putting tapes away and I passed by the independent film section and saw a little movie made by a guy in New Jersey about a retail clerk and his directionless life. Clerks was one of five movies I rented (for free, perk of the job) that week, and for the next month. I loved every second of it, and then I found out he had a second movie, Mallrats, and a third, Chasing Amy. I don't mean for this to turn into a Kevin Smith love fest, but I do have to hand it to him for introducing me to movies that could be more then just big explosions and even bigger stars. I started to devour the entire independent film shelf, which I quickly learned held a few other gems, and a lot of crap. I also took Drama for the first time, and I really broke out of my shell. I became every one's friend and I finally had realize that part of me that was missing, and that something was growing inside of me.
It didn't happen quickly, it almost took another 3 years for me to fully realize what the hell had woken up inside of me. I think I can place my exact moment of breakthrough to sitting in the math/science building in college and looking around at my fellow students. They all seemed like they had the burdens of their respective worlds thrust upon their shoulders. My grades hadn't been fairing well either, even after a switch over to business (an attempt to emulate my father). I had been lurking around the school radio station, trying to find something to do with all my free time and something just clicked on. I called my parents and told them the news, the silence was deafening. In my excitement I didn't think how this news would take my parents, they are a fairly liberal, easy going and somewhat nutty duo, and they give their children a pretty free reign, but to let their boy go off and do something that had no safety net in place... let's just say they were left hoping for the best.
I spent about a year and a half in the film program, I completed one screenplay, one spec pilot, and a smattering of sketches. I worked on 30 short films and one feature. When I received my degree, I looked around at all my fellow graduates and started to wonder if they felt as ripped off as I did. I didn't feel like I was prepared to go out and start making movies, I barely felt like I was ready to get out of bed and find a job. I spent the summer on a couch in my fraternity house finishing up a 3 credit class I needed, and mostly just watching TV and reading the new Harry Potter. Right after my birthday, I packed up my car and started on a road trip back to New Jersey... I don't know exactly why I didn't think to move to LA right away. My guess is that I was homesick, that I wanted to be around something comfortable and thinking that they shoot films and TV in New York, I could find something. And I did, I worked for 2 weeks on a foreign film as an office PA, where I learned how to navigate the NY Subway System, drive a cube van, get groceries, and how to wear the wrong shoes.
After that I ended up working at a bookstore for 2 and a half years. Between work, video games, movies, and TV; I didn't do much. And I sadly dragged a friend down with me into a pit of despair of my own making. We could have spent all that time writing the next hit movie, but mostly we slept and ate and worked. The one bright spot was taking a Second City intensive during one summer in New York. I spent an entire week crafting new scenes in the morning and discussing them and then in the afternoon, learned the basics of improv. I made a good friend, who continues to do improv today, following her dream.
My family was getting ready to take a cruise around the Mediterranean, and as I had never been out of the country, I went along. We visited Spain, Italy and France, saw Barcelona, Rome, Pompeii, Pisa, and Monte Carlo; and when I got back to the states, my father offered me a trip to Israel with him as he was going on business. At some point between these trips I decided that it was now or never, at 24 and very little in terms of a goal in life, I decided to pack up my entire life and move to LA to pursue "The Dream". I started asking friends already out there for advice, most of it was vague and sometimes hard to understand, but I knew I couldn't stay in New Jersey and hope that David Letterman would come in and point at me, as if to say, it's your turn. Coincidentaly, he did come in one day, but I was too chicken shit to really bother the guy.
So at then end of October 2007, I packed a few bags, shipped my car off and boarded a plane. I had no place to live, no job, and very few friends I could count on for help, but I felt something pulling me there. I had to go, I had no choice.
It's 8 months later, gas prices have skyrocketed, there has been one strike so far and another one that that's looming, but i'm not very worried. These things happen, and will happen again.
Next: The first 8 months!