Tuesday, April 7, 2009

So You're Saying There's a Chance!

Even though I was Undeclared for most of college, I always knew I wanted to be a writer.

Unfortunately, I've encountered many struggles on my quest. Literary agents have never taken me seriously. I’ve never had a mentor. Nobody has ever taken me under their wing and shown me the ropes.

As a result, I’ve had to do it all myself. I’ve had to be creative. I’ve had to be proactive. I've e-mailed successful writers and asked for advice. Most haven't written back, but when they do, it's positive.

I promote my work on other blogs, message boards, movie forums, fan sites, and facebook. I’ve been kicked off a number of sites for mentioning my blog. But I don’t apologize…I put time and effort into my writing. I just want people to be exposed to it.

I feel like it’s the only way an ordinary guy like me could ever garner more readers and progress. Sometimes, I daydream that if I meet the right person with the right connections, I could be a professional writer.

I just need to get my foot in the door. Last Saturday night, the door opened slightly.

A young, talented, successful, Famous Comedic Actor/Writer was invited to the same party as me. From his movies and interviews, he seemed like an ordinary dude; someone that could be approached; someone that would take the time to help an aspiring comedic writer like myself.

The party started at 4 am, so I slept from 11-3am so I could prepare. When I rose at 3am, my eyes were sealed shut, and there wasn’t a chance I was leaving my warm, cozy bed. But then my mind started running wild. I had the chance to meet a comic force, and I couldn't pass it up.

I zipped quickly down the streets of New York. My ipod blasted in my ears, and I felt a surge of energy. It was nearly 4 am, but I was feeling pretty good.

When I entered the party, the Famous Comedic Actor/Writer had yet to arrive. The bar was busy and smelled of liquor, cigarettes, and Pineapple Express.

To pass the time, I made small talk with 2 Canadian girls. We spoke for a good thirty minutes about education and the Canadian government. It wasn’t riveting, but at least they were nice. I explained my man-crush on the guest of honor, and how I naively hoped he could help me as a writer.

A few minutes later, the nice Canadian girls found some friends, and quickly ditched me.

I mingled and chatted with a few other partiers. There were good looking people, cool people, Funny People, and a few Freaks and Geeks. The highlight had to be speaking with Crazy Legs Conti; a competitive eater who hailed from Belmont, MA. He provided me with enough entertaining stories for several blog entries. He was explaining the secret to downing 100 hot dogs when the Famous Comedic Actor/Writer entered the bar.

It was time.

I let the Famous Comedic Actor/Writer relax and do his thing before pouncing on him. I was definitely nervous. I had less confidence then a 40-Year Old Virgin. I felt like I was trying to hit on the hottest girl in the bar. But he was just a guy. Why was I so nervous?

I finally gathered enough courage to speak with the Famous Comedic Actor/Writer. I stepped in his direction when I noticed who joined him at the table; the 2 Canadian girls form earlier. This would be perfect.

I approached the 2 Canadian girls and said hi. They barely acknowledged me. I explained that I was gonna say hi to the Famous Comedic Actor/Writer, but they warned me that it wasn’t a good time. He was in a bad mood. I rolled my eyes and thought to myself: “Ok. I’ll just chat with him next month…are you kidding me? I’m not here just to Observe and Report. I’m here to take a chance.”

I decided to heed the girls’ advice and drop by the bar for another drink. I gave the Famous Comedic Actor/Writer some time to get into a “better mood.” I started getting nervous again.

As I doubted myself, someone Knocked Up into me, and jarred my concentration. I looked up and realized it was 5 girls I knew. They were all very friendly, and they were all hot! This boosted my confidence immediately. I could talk to five attractive girls at once; why the hell couldn't I talk to this guy?

Without hesitation, I introduced myself to the Famous Comedic Actor/Writer.

Me: Hey…I’m sorry to bother you while you’re with your friends.

Famous Comedic Actor/Writer: It’s OK.

Me: I’m a big fan of your movies. I actually work at a low-income high school, and a lot of my students like you. If you’re ever around, and would like to volunteer or something, we’d love to have you.

The Famous Comedic Actor/Writer avoided eye contact and had no intention of complying to anything I asked of him.

Famous Comedic Actor/Writer: I don’t like high school. I dropped out. It’s stupid.

He may have been joking, but it felt more like his attempt to send me away.

If he thought that was bad, wait til I got to the writer part...

Me: Well…I’m also a comedy writer. I wrote my blog on the back of my card. I know you’re busy and this isn’t the right time. But if you ever have a chance, maybe you could check it out. It would mean a lot to me. Thanks.

I slid my school business card across the table.

Famous Comedic Actor/Writer: There’s VERY LITTLE CHANCE that I’ll ever be doing that!

I’ve been rejected before, but ouch! I felt like I’d been stung by the Green Hornet.

And to make it worse, the 2 Canadian girls that I befriended earlier completely ignored me. I regretted telling them that I looked forward to meeting the Famous Comedic Actor/Writer. They probably labeled me as just another “crazy fan.”

All I could come back with was...

Me: It was nice to meet you. Your movies are funny.

It was over. I hung my head as I trudged away.

That’s when I realized: I have nothing to feel sorry about. I told an artist that I appreciated his work and asked for advice. I imagined what a teacher, doctor, or architect would do if someone said: “You’re good at what you do. If you have time, maybe we can chat sometime.”

But I guess the timing just wasn’t right. No matter what I said, it was going to be a SuperBad experience. The Canadian girls were right; he was in a bad mood.

As I retell the story, I'm in good spirits. In fact, the more I think of it, the more excited I am.

There's very little chance he'll ever look at my blog. Do you realize what this means?

He's saying there's a chance!

When I hear from the Famous Comedic Actor/Writer, I'll be sure to let you know all of the wonderful things he has to say.


AJ said...

good luck! i've always wanted to be a writer, too, but i live in a tiny hick town and no one writes around here. they shovel dog crap out of thier yards and play "cow chip bingo", which is actually kinda fun.

mgm said...

cleverly done!

Anonymous said...

You're talking about Paula Poundstone, right?

Trevor said...

Paula Poundstone... I liked her a lot when I was younger.