Sunday, July 20, 2008
Ten Things I've Done Since the Layoff
Big changes in recent months: the cute little title insurance company at which I’d worked was bought out by a big, glamorous title insurance company, which shut down our corporate office and sent us all packing.
At first, I had a pretty plucky attitude about this. I badly needed to stop dithering and shift back into the entertainment industry (a film degree isn’t good for much, but it’s a whole lot more relevant in television production than in title insurance), and sudden unemployment provided me with the perfect opportunity to do just that. Also, the unemployed downtime would, in theory, give me an opportunity both to launch into a big new writing project and to focus on getting an agent for Charlotte Dent.
The best-laid plans of mice and Morgan: it hasn’t worked out that way. Here are things I’ve done since getting the boot:
Rediscovered how shamefully wretched I am at job-hunting. Extensively rewrote and reworded my résumé. Applied and applied and applied for production jobs online. Heard nothing back. Reminded myself that nobody finds entertainment jobs by responding to online postings. Reminded myself that all my prior production jobs came via recommendations from people I know. Damped down my lingering USC issues and went to a career fair at the film school. Felt old and out of place and loser-ish amongst all the fresh-scrubbed recent graduates. Made a game attempt at chatting up representatives from studios and production companies. Came away with nothing to show for my efforts, save for a free t-shirt (thank you, Disney Interactive) and a rejection letter for a job I hadn’t applied for (thank you again, Disney Interactive).
At the urging of an agent, rewrote the book in first-person and resubmitted it to her. She passed on it anyway. Shopped around the new first-person version to more agents. If anyone suggests it might work better in third-person, the brilliant Dan Liebke advises I go on a Batman-esque spree of vigilante justice. Sounds good to me.
Decided to audition for a community theater production of Pirates of Penzance. Spent a couple weeks getting my unused coloratura soprano back in fighting condition by trilling about my apartment (“Climbing o’er rocky mountain/Skipping ri-vu-let and fountain”), thoroughly annoying my neighbors in the process. Gave myself innumerable pep talks. Trekked out to the auditions. Couldn’t find the auditions. Slumped home in disgrace. There’s a metaphor about my entire summer in here somewhere, but I’m too discouraged to root around for it.
Went to Spokane for a trip down memory lane. Spokane, to the best of my knowledge, does not have a Memory Lane. It does, however, have both a Candy Cane Lane and a Christmas Tree Lane. Spokane’s sort of awesome that way.
Failed to update my blog with anything resembling staggering frequency.
Starting from my apartment in the Miracle Mile district, walked to Glendale, just to see if it was possible. Answer: possible, but not optimal, at least not on a hot July day. After a long, dusty trek through Hancock Park, through Hollywood, under the 101 Freeway, through Little Armenia and Thai Town, through Los Feliz, along Griffith Park, over the 5 Freeway, over the Los Angeles River, and through Atwater Village, I ended up in Glendale, heat-sick, dehydrated, and thoroughly sorry for myself.
Watched too much afternoon television. Assembled my Law & Order (Original Recipe) All-Star Team: Jerry Orbach (of course), Jesse L. Martin (because he’s a song-and-dance man at heart), S. Epatha Merkerson (because she’s a Battlestar Galactica fan), Sam Waterston, Jill Hennessey, and, for a touch of controversy, Diane Wiest over Steven Hill.
Brainstormed ideas for a new screenplay. Got distracted and derailed. Wrote a slash-fiction story under a pseudonym instead, which some kind soul (or souls) nominated in four categories for a slash fiction award. Have yet to return to work on the screenplay, most likely because it does not involve Sylar groping Mohinder inappropriately. Perhaps that’s the entire problem.
Furthered my love/hate relationship with Battlestar Galactica. Watched as the list of characters I still enjoy following (joyously despicable Baltar, foxy Felix Gaeta, scary/sweet Six) got dwarfed by the list of characters I’ve grown to despise (vindictive Roslin, ineffectual Adama, self-absorbed Starbuck, self-righteous Apollo). Attended a Los Angeles Times-sponsored screening/panel, where I stood in line for far too long for far too little, but met some pretty awesome people in the process. Decided to put the kibosh on attending any more fan events, as I don’t like long lines or big crowds, and I’m genetically incapable of squeeing at the appropriate squee-worthy fan moments.
Got excited over the slew of promos for the new season of Heroes, especially the one featuring Mohinder dangling from the ceiling whilst shirtless. Decided there was nothing so awful about Season Two that couldn’t have been fixed with judicious doses of naked Sendhil Ramamurthy. Got less excited over the promo featuring HRG lecturing to a petulant Claire about the Great Evil Out There. Realized I haven’t missed HRG and Claire much during this eight-month hiatus. Hoped the writers really, really work on making Claire a better (read: less odious) character this season.