Stories You Were Born to Tell

“MODERN FAMILY: there’s a show I feel like I was born to write,” my friend said to me. “It’s like, I can anticipate every. Single. Joke. Before they get to the punch line, I already see the set-up and I know the payoff.” Makes me think of watching cage fights, with George St. Pierre or Miguel Torres in the ring, and I’m  anticipating the shovel punches and the fist-elbow combo thrown, and when his opponent’s going to shoot or if it’s a deke! and instead follows up with a kick, and I know he does this by avoiding deceits flowing
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Advice

“My catchall, general advice to everyone who moves out to Los Angeles is this: if there’s anything else you can do, anything else that’s your calling, go do that instead. It’s a pat answer,” he admitted, “but this is just too hard…” Which immediately raises the question: why is it hard? Because people will be mean to you? Because the hours stretch long and your social life sums to nil? Because you’ll be overworked, underpaid, and unappreciated – conditions your mother conditioned you into believing you’d skip right over because you were a unique snowflake? It also prompts the follow-up
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Sell Yourself

You could tell he was a best-selling author the moment he stepped on the elevator. It was in the smile: the smug smile of success of someone who needs success to smile. If that didn’t tip you off, then the collared shirt with his name embroidered over his right tit and the words “Best-Selling Author” embroidered over his right tit did. His beard resembled a furry cat, a tawny feline that perched onto his chin years ago and never left. Instead, the pussiness seeped into his pores and oozed throughout his persona: the entitlement in his strut, the condescension in
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No One’s Listening

Jeff sat. He was new blood. A transplant. Like a minted quarter, shiny and uncirculated and fresh to death. Seated around him, three individuals who arrived a month previous. All whom sang the song and danced the dance required to get established in this town.  He had every opportunity to pop questions, to mine for nuggets that’d make his transition easier. Finding even one morsel would make the effort worthwhile. Competition’s fierce, and that one byte of data might separate him from permanent resident status or a return ticket in three months with nothing but a story. And he squandered
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Can’t Be Done

“You can’t be an assistant and a writer,” Teddy said. Why? “None of the assistants at the agency want to be actors or writers,” Teddy said. “They wouldn’t have time to do both. It’s just not done.” He forgot. That every day in Los Angeles was another day someone back home said wouldn’t be done. He forgot how many friends wished us good luck (zippo,) how many thought this was a pipe dream we’d never execute (∞.) Leaving home, leaving behind the foundation of a career, family and friends to live in a city with no home, no job, and
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Internships – Part Two: First Interview

He glanced at the resume. Read it aloud, a clear as Ever indication this was time primero he laid eyeball to C.V. ink. “Shogun Sushi,” mumble mumble, “Rutgers University,” mumble mumble, then stopped. Where they always stopped. Asked what they always asked. “What’d you do for Maxim Magazine?” Eric offered one takeaway, other than his narrative on the crapshoot that is procuring an internship: “Be clear about what you want to do. The last guy they passed on because he said he didn’t know what he wanted.” So when he posed his question – what do you want to do
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Internships – Part One: Getting an Interview

“It’s rolling the dice,” Eric said, “trying to get an interview for one of these internships.” On the second day of his internship, his boss presented him a stack of resumes. “He told me, ‘go through these, find five candidates to interview for the last internship spot.’” “When you’re given 50 resumes and cover letters, and told to get it down to five, you look for any reason to discount someone. That’s how I eliminated the first half: I looked for any reason to not consider them. Typo – gone. Poor formatting – gone. “One guy, trying to be funny
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Sidebar: My Self-Deception

Sidebar: My Path Don’t remember who said it, but there’s something about the quote, paraphrased below, that sticks like beach tar to fleshy foot: “Self deception is such an insidious thing; not only are you lying to yourself, but then the lie covers its own tracks, so you never realize it existed to begin with.” The words ring in my ears, like the shrill WHIRL WHIRL of a distant police car, or the smoke alarm cutting through a dream, as I decide between the Plunge or a Toe in the Water. Reason tells me the latter. Lay the foundation, build
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Breaking into the Entertainment Business

Introduction There’s something insidious about the breaking into the entertainment business. Glim and glamour lure like praying mantis pheromones, secreted in heat, right before the female lops the top and dines on dome.  Nor can the heist be accomplished remotely; stories of landing The Break via telecommuting from Akron, Ohio are far and few between. The general consensus is to make something of yourself in this business, make the trip to Tinsel Town. Put out or get out. Put up or shut up. Then you move out to Los Angeles, the Ellis Island for wannabe Entourages and Starlets, only to
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