T-to-the-A

Posts Tagged ‘Los Angeles’

Twice the Tiffany for Twice the Clicks

In Playwriting on May 16, 2010 at 12:08 pm

I’m guest blogging for the Los Angeles Female Playwrights Initiative this week!  Bookmark it and get ready for some genius… or, something aspiring to genius… okay, it’s me sounding off on things playwriting and things female.

Or in other words,  CHECK IT OUT!

Story Scaffold

In Essays, Screenwriting, The Daily Drool on May 13, 2010 at 10:33 pm

I just decided that “Scaffold” is a cArAzy looking word.

But to the point… I’m finally FINALLY into pages on my latest project.  It’s been a difficult progression, a lot of hair-pulling and jaw-dropping “WHAT?”s going on in the course of it’s development, BUT, at long last… to script.

And I’m thrilled.

Because now it gets fun.

Because all that agonizing pre-work… the story-tooling and treatment-writing (and RE-re-RE-writing)… is where you get to hash out your problems, swear off writing altogether, come to your senses and re-swear your undying loyalty to the written word, only to run head-on (again) into the problem that nearly sent you over the edge in the first place… all in the hopes of building for yourself a stable and exciting story scaffold into which you can breathe new life via dialogue.   The only reason to torture yourself with front-loading the pain like that is so that you can enjoy (until you start re-writing again, of course) telling the story in pages.

I think about it like a coloring book: outlining the image can be tedious and frustrating, but once you start using all those magical crayons?  It makes the blood, sweat, and panic worthwhile… or at least, most of it 😉

So I’m in the fun part now.  I can breathe a little.   And I can be happy I was so hell bent to make sense of the thing before I dove into this stage, or else I’d be in for more hair-pulling, more cursing, more panic… with no sight of the joy!

And that’s why we write, after all – for the Joy of the thing.

Ahhhh, what a relief it is.

“I am looking for a very good screenwriter”

In Screenwriting, The Daily Drool on May 8, 2010 at 8:41 am

I got this email the other day: (You have to click on the screenshots to actually read them- I didn’t know how to make ’em fit correctly)

To which my initial response was (mentally speaking) Yeah, get in line sister.  Ain’t everyone in LA got some kind of “Life changing” story idea?  EVERYONE?!  But I wrote back- you never know what people are all about…

Her response:  (by the way, it doesn’t look like it’s here, but click on it and it will open up to read)

Wow!  Talk about a hard sell!  But there is just nothing here that makes me want to get involved.  Sounds like a lot of work for no pay, and in all honesty, if I wanted to work for free, I’ve got plenty of my own ideas that I believe in, that I can develop free from the restraints of adhering to someone else’s “Vision” and, with less drama.  Because let’s face it, doesn’t this whole letter just scream “DRAMAAAA-(tongue hanging out)-AAAAH”?

Now, is the producer I’m working with buying me yachts?  No.  But he’s taught me a lot (as did the ghostwriting job before him!) A lot about what you have to be willing to put up with and bend to when working on someone else’s material.  Most lay-people have an idea without any notion of the amount of work it takes to actually develop that idea into a workable, compelling story.  Most lay-people lack the skills necessary to ride the wave from idea (seed) to full blown dramatization (tree) – and instead you wind up trying to make something akin to a story out of a hard lump of unwieldy potential (stunted log-bush thing that needs to just be put out of its misery)  Most lay-people fail to recognize that asking me to devote months or years even, of my time to a project, for free, is like asking an architect to draw up plans for a house, a super-awesome mansion that will be the envy of the world, for free – You wouldn’t do that, would you?  And here I’ve spent my whole life amassing the skills necessary to be able to create something that (most of the time) stands tall, strong, and dramatic – how about a little respect?  (And if you’ve got a few minutes, check out this hilarious post by veeery successful screenwriter, Josh Olsen A History of Violence, on what it is like to be asked to read material all the time by people like Little Miss Email here.)

Which is to say, in all likelihood, were there pay attached, I could scuttle my own projects to the side and at least take a crack at listening to her further.  I fgured my response would either elicit a real offer of some sort, a confirmation of budget, or silence.  Instead I got this:

Now, didn’t she just validate all my concerns?

High risk… HIGH RISK?  I am living HIGH RISK of my own, why on earth would I want to absorb hers?  I moved home to live in my parents’ house so I could focus on my own writing sans LA pressures… I poured my Sallie Mae loans into a high-risk, big-dreams education with no gaurantee of return.  I handed my twenties over to a city that eats people for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert.  I have risked everything to get where I am now… all in the hopes that tomorrow it will all begin to work, to make sense, to fill up the coffers as it does my heart and soul, and she wants to talk to me about risk?

But no, she doesn’t want to talk to me about anything… she’s just looking for a really good screenwriter.

And really, I think it’s a pretty amusing exchange.  She’s got some guts, some determination, and she sounds like a godamned saleswoman – maybe she will find someone to help her get her project off the ground.

But it ain’t me.

Anyone want her number 😉

Woof, silence

In The Daily Drool on April 27, 2010 at 8:34 pm

Well, not a whole lot to mention today, as I worked at my mom’s office and am now totally tired.  I wasn’t doing that much, really, but being there seems to have worn me out!

And  I suppose I do have things to talk about, updates to share, I’m simply too tuckered out to do so at the moment.  Hope you understand, dear readers 🙂

Tomorrow I head to LA to visit some friends, see some theater, and catch up on all things Los Angeles.  I’m very excited, (I’m practically jumping out of my skin at the thought of visiting my chiropractor- FINALLY)  and because I have to get up early to get on the road, I’m going to sign off early and wish you all a lovely night!

Sweet dreams 🙂

The Big Bad Boyfriend Blues

In The Daily Drool on April 14, 2010 at 9:58 am

I’ve barely been gone two weeks… I’ve not yet settled in, there are still shoes in boxes and bits of things in nooks and crannies, and my car keeps having problems.

Rhythm is not present.

Which is why, at every little hiccup, I keep thinking about LA… Like a boyfriend that beats you and then tells you he needs you, LA beckons to me from across the desert.

(sigh)

And strangely enough, I’ve tried twice (unsuccessfully) to get back there already.  Twice in two weeks.  Hmmmmm….

You see, two of my very dearest friends had birthday’s last week, and I had theater tickets to share with one of them, a spa day to share with the other.  It wasn’t exactly a desperate reunion with the Land of the Lost, but I’ll admit I’m missing being able to hit up the ocean in fifteen minutes.  However, since my car keeps declaring itself inadequate, I have to assume there is some higher power at work here, keeping me away.

So I’m in Prescott.

And I’ve got plenty to do, really, so why would I run off right now anyway?

But, like the saying goes, sometimes we just want what’s familiar.  LA may have kicked my ass, but this strange new…. open-endedness?  It’s terrifying in its own right.

Intervention… that’s what this feels like.  And once I’ve kicked the LA habit, maybe the rest of it (my life) will start to make some sense.

Monday-Manic

In The Daily Drool on March 28, 2010 at 11:12 pm
  • Too much stuff left to do, not enough time left to do it.
  • I. MISS. MY. MAC.   
  • The cats are mending their disappointment over their missing perches (couch, bed, chairs, etc.) by laying in the middle of the empty spaces like Egyptian Mao’s… No amount of “MOVE!” and “WATCH OUT”s seem to help.
  • I have entirely too many stacks of “I’ll deal with this later” mail… don’t let that shit pile up, people.  It will bury you!
  • Who wants to come paint my apartment for me?
  • Why do apartments in LA refuse to provide fridges?  Now I have this large refrigerated cube that I can’t sell till I’m moving, but no one seems to by biting.  Refuse to let go for a tuppence, I’m probably going to have to haul it home with me and sell there.  Could be worse, I once looked at a place that provided neither a fridge, nor a stove!
  • Tired.  Grumpy.  And my carpet is DISGUSTING. 
  • Moving to commence Tues. morn.  Expect radio interweb silence for a few days.  Entertain yourself with the lovely FalloutGirl.  That’s where I’d be if I wasn’t here 🙂

Scraps!

In The Daily Drool on March 28, 2010 at 2:22 pm

I’m moving, I’m busy, my shoulders and lower back ache from lifting things improperly (WITH THE LEGS, GIRL, WITH THE LEGS!)  But I have just had a few too-unusal to ignore encounters this weekend to keep to myself:

– I stayed up till 2 a.m. Friday night in perparation for the THRONGS of people I thought would come raging into my apartment to buy my goodies… I got up at 8, made some tea and waited… and waited… and just about the time I was falling back to sleep?  Two CaRaZy ladies rattled my door.  I got up, let them in to a “You’re door’s locked!” that evolved into a running commentary on every blessed item they picked up “That’s interesting, not bad, oh I don’t like that” and “But where would we put it?” for about 5 minutes until they stumbled upon the “FREE” box- a box full of rotten old cell-phone parts that my roomate left behind, some party napkins, and some old phone line-  EUREKA!  CaRaZy, the younger, had found what she was looking for.  It was, of course, all junk, but one woman’s garbage is another’s treasure it seemed.  CaRaZy, the elder, was non-plussed.  i think it went a little like this: 

“What are you going to do with that stuff?  We don’t have room for – ”

(younger interupting with force) “I WANT IT!”

And that, as they say, was that.  The ladies took off with their box full-o-junk, a couple of hoarders.

– I had a dream in which I and three others were stuck in a plummetting freight-sized elevator.  Everyone was upset, but when I looked to my right, Oprah Winfrey was right there with us, freaking out.  I turned to the other two people and shouted with a little too much good humor “Well, if we’re gonna’ die, at least we get to do it with Oprah Winfrey!”  I totally woke up laughing!

– Nicky and Corey got married last night.  It was lovely, it was elegant, the food was delicious and the dancing fantastic.  I broke my shoe (one less pair to pack) and got a blister the size of a half-dollar on the side of my foot- I have slammed it into several boxes and even dropped a wall fixture against it today.  Moral of the story:  Sometimes you just gotta’ kick off your heels!  Especially when your toes are crying

My couch, beloved blue beast with reclining ends, just got bought by a Fraternity.  YES. IT. DID.  That poor thing has no idea what it’s in for… oh the things it will see.  I gave it a pat and a little “good luck” knock as the two boisterous young men carried it away to it’s new home.  I can only hope that as they make it their own, they do so with clothed and tidy butts.

And that’s about it for the updating… for now.  Oh, wait, there is one more thing:  I HATE PACKING!

Penis Straw

In The Daily Drool on March 26, 2010 at 10:46 am

Yes, you read that correctly.  Here’s the deal: last night was my dear friend Nicky’s Bachelorette party.  Now, Nicky is doing it up big this year, not only is she marrying her best friend and long time love, but they’re also having a baby!  So, with baby bump leading the way, we couldn’t do anything that got us into too much trouble… or so I thought.

The night began with riotous giggles over the hilarious Mac-A-Weenie pasta (Last time this little culinary magic made its appearance was at JJ’s bachelorette party.  She got a box of the stuff as a gag, and apparently put it in her pantry.   About three months after that, while making pasta salad for our Thanksgiving pot luck, she ran out of noodles and decided, out of sheer necessity,  to use the box of penis pasta.  A good male friend of mine at the party was really digging the flavor until he looked closer and sputtered a little something like this “Mmm, yeah, everything is really goo- what is that?  Is that…That looks like a c*ck.   What kind of macaroni salad is this?”  Well played, JJ, well played!) 

We also had a blast with the penis tattoos, everyone had to stick one on- cleavage, shoulder, FACE.  Yes, my bestest friend forever and ever, put hers on her cheek.  This is just one of the many reasons I love that girl!  She’s got balls.  Literally.  Right there on her face.

Anyway, the night was a big success, and we all laughed our pretty little a$$es off. 

But then there were the straws…  the glow-in-the-dark penis-shaped straws (with, I’m afraid to say, some fairly unshapen balls) that we drank our sangria from.  Yes, it was ridiculous, yes it was fun, yes it took me a drink or two before I could actually bring myself to use it… but use it I did – and then grab them we did, as we took ourselves, and our straws, to the piano bar and fresh drinks down the way. 

And this bar…  it was rife, no, make that RIFE, with pups… “I just turned 21”  kind of pups.  We were like cougars-in-training, and we got hit on ALL NIGHT LONG.  Now, how about that for ego boost?  10 years older than everyone in the bar, and still drawing ’em in like flies.  It was fantastic. 

We drank our new drinks with our special straws, and laughed when the guy talking to Nicky thought her wedding ring and baby bump were sexy enough to lean in even closer.  It was grand.

Only, I didn’t drink my new drink with my special straw because I couldn’t find it – thinking it had sunk to the nether reaches of that bottomless-pit I call a purse, or else fallen out on the walk over – I sipped from the glass like a, well, like a lady.

Then this morning (and here’s where all of this pays off)  I had a meeting with two older gentleman on a project I am writing.  I had a meeting in which I needed to take notes.  I had a meeting in which I had to rummage through the bottomless-pit-I-call-a-purse for a pen, and damn if that little punk-ass bit of leather and mystery didn’t spit the Penis Straw right out on the table where it bounced not just once, but twice, and then did a little spin before clattering to the hard-wood floor.

Glow-in-the-dark penis-straw at our feet.

Try explaining that. 

Just T-R-Y!

Things I saw in the Fog

In The Daily Drool on March 21, 2010 at 9:45 am

A nearly naked man changing clothes in the alley  –  I wondered if he’d consider doing the same sans fog… then I wondered why he was changing in the alley in the first place… I mean, who gets naked outside Main St?  I tried not to stare at his foggy shape in the distance as he stepped into some pants…

A man in a leather jacket walking too briskly to avoid notice- He came out of a nearly empty parking lot and didn’t look either way before crossing the street.  Something about his walk and the fog had my imagination cooking up all sorts of identites and crimes for the fella, and I tried not to stare at him either.

Two homeless men sharing a smoke over their make-shift shelter for the night.  Santa Monica has an incredible homeless population, possibly because if you’re going to be homeless, wouldn’t you want to be so in Santa Monica?  Near the beach?  With all the sun?  There is one street near the theater I’ve been spending so much time with lately, that they just love.  It’s like Hobo-Alley (I’m sure that term is out of date, but it sounds good with ‘Alley’) Sometimes I have to park there… and sometimes I have to park directly in front of one of their little “tents”… As this was one of those instance, and as you never know WHY a person is homeless, I erred on the side of caution and definitely didn’t stare at them.

Then I got in my car and bore witness to the wonders of driving in Los Angeles fog… (wow, people, really?!)… only to roll up to my lovely little apartment in my lovely little neighborhood, to remember with a sigh how much I have loved living here… the fog wrapping itself around the street lamps, turning the whole place into something out of a movie.

I might not miss the hustle and bustle of this crazy city, but I will miss the wonder of nights like this.

What are all these people doing here?

In The Daily Drool on March 17, 2010 at 2:37 pm

A long time ago, I began working in the food service industry.  I usually worked weekends, because that’s when you make the dolla-dolla bills, and I got fairly used to surrendering those weekending days for the greater good of my bank account.  As a result, my then-burgeoning hermit-self got used to running errands during the week, when all the “regualars” were managing their 9-5’s.

It was bliss.

Gone were the annoying crowds doing battle for broccoli… here was a land open to me and the few other’s who had discovered the joy of a mid-week shopping spree.

It’s a lesson I learned well, and a schedule that I adhere to, to this day.  (It helps that I’ve been in school forever, waiting tables forever, and now am an unemployed writer with wacko writer hours.)

But occasionally I head out at noon on a Wednesday and am completely assaulted by CROWDS of poeple at the supermarket, or the mall, or at the Wherever, and I find myself thinking Where the hell did all these people come from!? with mounting irritation. Don’t they know this is MY Ralph’s?  Don’t they have jobs?  What is the world coming too when Best Buy is busting at the seams at 10 a.m. on a Tuesday?!

You see, the world is my oyster during the week, and everyone else’s on Sat/Sun.