Keeping my fingers crossed

Tuesday morning, I got an email from my buddy letting me know that he’d sent my spec script into his agent.  I spent all that day filled with a nervous giddiness that I haven’t experienced…shit…I don’t want to say “since college” because that can’t really be true – that’s much too sad to be true – but I can’t think of a specific time since then.

Surely, there was the same level of expectation and wonder before the births of both of my daughters, but there was enough horror mixed in that you can’t really put the emotion in the same category.  Horror at knowing you have no idea what you’re doing as a parent.  Horror at knowing you’d be completely helpless if something went wrong.

But this feeling…  remember that feeling when you were sixteen and you had your whole life ahead of you and you could do and be anything?  Yeah…that’s the one.

Please don’t think that I’ve strapped on a pair of rose-colored glasses.   Chances are that nothing will come of this.  I’ve sent scripts, short stories and novels out to agencies before and have gotten nothing but polite refusals.  This case is only slightly different because the script is being passed on directly to an agent by one of his clients, so there is better chance that he will actually read it instead of it getting tossed in the trash by some unpaid assistant that goes through 40 scripts a day.  But even if he reads it, the guy may hate it.  He may get to page 3 and think it’s not worth wasting his time on another page.  He may not read the thing at all.

And even if he does read the thing, and wants to read more, he may not sign me. AND even if he does sign me, 48% of all writer’s guild members are unemployed, so it could be the road to life long poverty.

But still, he might love it.  I could be perfect for a TV show that is just about to start production and will go on to be the most successful show in TV history.   And this agent, could go on to read all the other screenplays and novels that I’ve written and will write in the future and doors will open to me and success will be mine at last.

All day Tuesday I found myself swimming in a fantasy world that started with getting job as a staff writer and ended with me lounging in the cabin of my own leer jet, gazing up at my portable gold plated bookshelf filled with copies of all the novels I’d written and DVDs of all of the movies and TV shows I’d created.

Hope is a pretty amazing thing.  The feeling that maybe, just fucking maybe, your life will turn out the way you’d always dreamed it would…it’s a narcotic.  It’s what keeps me spending my extra hours working on novels that might never see the filtered light of bookstore window.  It’s what makes middle-aged actors bartend and wait tables when they could be in much more stable and high-paying jobs.  That incredible feeling of maybe.

I don’t know, but I imagine that in some ways the hope is almost better than the reality.  I’m sure G.R.R. Martin moans about having to do another reading.  Neil Gaiman probably bitches about taxes and his mortgage.  J.K. Rowling nags her daughter about finishing her homework and complains to her husband about that nasty case of athlete’s foot she just can’t seem to get rid of.

When the dream becomes reality, I’m quite certain that somewhere deep in your psyche you realize that you’re still just one single human, alive for a blink of an eye, living on a spec of dust floating through the infinity of space and that, in the grand scheme of things, your new situation is really no different than your old one.

But, like I said, having not yet achieved my dreams, I don’t know…and I would desperately love to find out.

Published in: on August 25, 2011 at 3:10 am  Comments (4)  
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