The whole point of me coming to LA was to pursue acting and writing. However, mundane stuff like sorting out a visa, finding a job, finding somewhere to live, buying a bucket and other daily occurrences make it hard to solely concentrate on these two things.
For example, today has been spent going to the DMV to try and register the bucket. The dirty waddling b*****d who sold it to me gave me his solemn word, swore on his mother’s grave in fact, that it would cost me a maximum of $40 to register the truck. MAXIMUM, tops, at the very most 40 dollars to transfer it to my name, was what he said. So seeing as its a nice day, and the fact its daytime and the Bucket is a night owl, I decide to walk, just in case. Google Maps informs me its a 26 minute walk away, give or take a minute. About 20 minutes into the walk I realize that I forgot my wallet in my house, good work by me. I decide to plough on, Ill at least find out what I need to do to register it and get an estimate for the price.
I get there at about 4.58 and it closes at 5. There are still about 50 people here. So, I get my ticket number 591, and wait, seeing 541 being served next. It was a good estimate by me. So wait and wait, finally get to the desk with my pink slip, ask the lady if she could check how much I have to pay to register it. She checks the computer and tells me eight sixty seven. For one dumb stupid moment I think, Jesus, that’s brilliant, only 8 dollars and 67 cent, thats unreal. This look must have beamed across my face as she then says “Thats 8 hundred and 67 dollars, not 8 dollars…”. Apparently the truck had not been registered since 2003 so it owed penalties. The dirty lying waddling b*****d. Walking home I’m not too pissed off, gut feeling was something was up with the whole affair, only 400 dollars but still, the fact of getting mugged was the worst part. I haven’t felt mugged like that since my buddy sold me a guitar for €100 and it was worth half of that max. And it broke a string first time I strummed it.
Then a song comes on my iPod, Atlas by Battles.
This is some song to pump you up before going out at night or clubbing. Not so good when you realize you have just been done even more than you thought. So Im power walking home, swinging the arms, song blaring, Ill get that b*****d somehow, it takes me about 14 minutes home, Google Maps should have considered the circumstances! I then remember his number was in the ad for the truck. Go home, borrow my roommate’s phone, ring the prick. It rings twice and is followed by the delightful message “Sorry, this number is no longer in service”. It even repeated it in Spanish for me to rub it in. Surely I dialed the wrong number, try again, the dirty waddling b*****d. After that I’ve more or less given up on him. I might ask about his status when I call out to the golf club about caddying but as it stands I have 4 ads on Craigslist to sell it and a week or two grace to drive around in it.
So these annoying little everyday occurrences distract highly from the acting and writing. In fairness I had no acting classes scheduled for today so not too bad. I was, however, planning on writing but it never happened. Life got in the way.
My whole approach to writing was this. I watched a load of Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm. Loved them. Started to write down everyday stories that happened to me and around me and wove them together to come out with about eight episodes of my own for a sitcom I wrote. So sent them in to RTE, got a bit of good feedback, bluffed my way through a few stages, but at the end of the day I was someone with no experience and was applying to write and produce(and star)in my own sitcom. At least thats what I told myself was why they didnt take it further, obviously nothing to do with the quality, obviously, ha. TG4 and BBC both gave good feedback but ended in the same result. I didn’t really have any gauge to use for standard of writing as I have had never done it before and wasn’t really in that environment spending 5 or 6 years in college.
So, I decided the best place to go was LA to learn the business. Luckily enough for me, a writer lives in the place directly across from me. Im not fully sure what he’s written but my roommates told me a few feature films and working on a reality show now thats being developed. So, he called in earlier and told me ways to try and break into the writing business.
Firstly he told me keep the sitcom episodes, they could be the stuff to get the big break in a few years. The key is to get in the door as a writer’s assistant. There you can sit around the writer’s table, then after a while start throwing out your own ideas, if they’re liked you get bumped up and pretty soon you’re a writer on the Office(it was on t.v at the time). He told me he knows of plenty of writers who broke in this way, some even ended up playing parts on the shows. The way in, one of them anyways, is to write an episode for an existing show. So, he took the Office as an example, as I was watching it, and said try to write an episode for that. I’ve been given a script for the Office before and it was brilliant, so well written. It’ll make you laugh out loud just reading it. And the reason its so good is that you can visualize the characters in your head already, as opposed to someone reading a script from a complete unknown with characters they’ve never seen on screen trying to imagine anything. I presume if you give them a work of brilliance its a different story but until that happens, writing an episode of the Office or some other show seems the best way in. Good to know at least.
Thats the easy part over with, finding out what to do. Now all I need is an episode to pop into my head. I just have to get that dirty waddling b*****d out of there first.
Song of the day, which came on my iPod after Battles, was The World At Large by Modest Mouse, good to chill you out, era shur didn’t we have a great lunch together on Saturday after all, ha.
After watching that video I just saw Things I Don’t Remember by Ugly Casanova, pretty class.
Glad the office script is usefull 🙂 i must say i’m getting a great kick out of reading your stories….they’re great for passing a few mins away when i should b working.
why don’t u film a pilot episode of the script u wrote (just on a camcorder) and put it up on youtube? u never know, it cud get picked up. lots of people, especially musician, have got signed up through doing that. just a thought.
I might give it a go. There’s a class camcorder in my house as well. All I need now is a crew, actors, etc. Should be easy to sort.
haha ya, u r in LA, how hard cud it b to find them 🙂