Random Guilt

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Something I never understand is the issue of feeling guilty, when you haven’t done anything wrong. Completely stupid stuff, such as… if your buddies ask you to head out boozing. You initially give a maybe, 50/50 answer. In all honesty you are leaning more towards no. Then, in a moment of weakness, you commit a “Era shur why not, I’m up for it”. Quickly followed by you realizing, nay, bob hope, seeing as its a 12 o’clock sober situation on a Tuesday night. In Cork. Which is key. Not L.A. However, your one “Yes” is then guilt tripped on. To the stage that you think you were the one after setting up the whole thing, and you then decided to back out at the last minute. It is great fun. So, if you are an ape like me, you feel guilty for some reason, like you let someone down. Pure dumbness. 

On the other hand, it is a good sign. It really is time to focus for me. Seeing as I have the time to do it at this moment, progress really does need to be made with regards to the writing. Especially as today didn’t reach the heights I was hoping for. I didn’t use my burst of energy from last night to the fullest at all. I’ll call it one final day of preparation. Podcasts were playing over and over again all day. A bit of a quantity versus quality issue has arisen though. An hour’s podcast might give me 3 sentences of information that are actually beneficial to me. I think it could be the end of them, too time consuming, even when I only have them playing in the background. I ended up re-listening to a few thinking I had missed out on stuff here and there. I didn’t.

Another thing I realized today, was that the advice I am obtaining from different writing websites throughout the internet, might not be the best thing for me after all. There is a load of info online for writing tips for sitcoms and all that. A load. Too much. It got to the stage today where I was reading contradicting articles, so who do I go with?! What do I do now?!! As if these things are gospel, or a maths equation. Again, pure dumbness for me initially thinking I really needed them before I could get going on the re-writes.

Enough with the structure lessons and all that. What I need, and the key thing for the script, is quality dialogue and a tight story. I can edit it down and re-work it again when I am finished. Parts which have been highlighted already for me need to be changed. I know what I have to do already! What I also realized while reading all the articles today, is that the majority of people who wrote them, never really went on to do much. Not sure about you, but I’d prefer advice from people who started at the bottom, and then did X, Y & Z to get to the top. There were no gurus of sitcom giving out pages of advice.

In fact, two of the best things I saw today, were two quotes from the same writer, Graham Linehan, which were used in a few articles. One was along the lines… “If you think you have a great episode written, read it again in a month, and then decide”. The other “Rewrites sometimes means you have to actually start again from scratch and write a new episode”. Like the podcasts, maybe wading through a few hours reading, for those two quotes alone, might have made it worthwhile? Who knows.

What I need is to get back some random, bizarre events into my life. Or at least get my blog stories from L.A back circulating around my head once again. Who would have guessed that I’d miss the gay gym so much?! A few events occurred today, that would have been perfect if I was trying to write a sitcom about a Joe Soap in a small city where not much really went on. However, seeing as I’m basing the sitcom in L.A, I need to get my mind frame back to there. It helps having the random, odd events occurring on a daily basis to keep the ideas coming. Plus, if nothing else, they provide more interesting and bizarre blogaruus. I feel bad about the lack of them recently. Not sure really why, I’ll just put it down to random guilt I like to feel every now and again. From this day on as well, I will not allow any day to be less than productive to the brim! I am turning into a broken record.

Song on, like the podcasts and articles I read, there was maybe only a sentence or two in that blogaruu of actual significance…

Foreigner

Urgent (Remix) - Foreigner

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Self Help

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I’ll start with an idea which I had this morning. I think, that, like the way restaurants have the Michelin star rating, and hotels also have a star rating, surely, surely hairdressers/salons should have something similar. Some kind of rating system, to help out the poor, defenseless customer. Then, apes will not be fooled into thinking that a place might be good on appearance or price alone. It would also provide concrete proof that a hairdresser might actually be qualified to cut hair. Rather than it seemingly being purely based on the fact he/she is wearing black, and his/her hair is an extreme shade of colour, be it blonde, red or purple/black. I’m kind of surprised this system hasn’t been implemented already. Has this mini rant any connection to the 2 haircuts I got last week? The ones that have made me now sport a nice afro shrub kind of look? Perhaps.

Anyways, I have decided that the main objective for the coming week, or two, is to re-write my sitcom script. I need this as my calling card so to speak, so it must be improved, until it is perfect. Only one person really to blame for it not being done already. Yes, that person is you. When I last went to San Francisco, I purely went to write the first draft of the script. Literally, thats all I did besides sleep, eat and gym. I had no other distractions. Another handy thing, which coincided with the trip, was that I had creativity spilling out of me, from incidents and events going on every day around me in L.A. I had a pool to draw from. Although looking back, and comparing it to my current situation, I had an ocean to draw from. I need to reignite that spark, to get my brain flowing again.

With that in mind, I have decided to self educate myself some more until I feel the flow returning. My writing knowledge and foundations are unknown as it is, so any help I can give myself will be worthwhile. Yesterday I copped on to why my laptop’s memory is full to the brim. Not really with all the music I have, like I had thought. It was all the writing podcasts I had signed up to before, and then completely forgot about. These are actually turning out to be gems. You can get a load of free podcasts related to writing, screenplays, film making, sitcom tips etc on iTunes. Whatever about the books I am reading, which are helpful, parts of these podcasts are brilliant, as they answer questions I have had for a while. Ones which the books weren’t really answering. I would highly recommend checking them out if you are ever trying to write something. Especially if you don’t really having a formal background in the field. And are pretty clueless. So you are relying on good old fashioned home education.

Some of the podcasts are fairly long, up to an hour, so I have been trying to weed out the key info I need. Some of the best points I got today were: 

 – Don’t have too much information in the script. Don’t be too descriptive.

 – Remember it is a visual medium that you are writing for, not a literary one (Sounds obvious, but it can turn into a book at times for me).

 – All about the arcs. Ensure your story outline is good before you start.

 – What’s your point? Say it, make it funny, get out.

 – Have a collection of work. Do as much as you can, to show a range. T.V scripts, short movie scripts, feature scripts, the more the better.

 – Write spec scripts for other shows!

The first and third will help me re-focus for the script re-write. Cut out the flowery details, kind of thing, which I think I may have an abundance of, re de de. Such as, re de de. The last two are ones which I badly need to cop on to. Without spec scripts, to accompany my original pilot, it will be harder to get a break. Apparently. I should really have copped on to this point already. Seeing as I am at the stage now where I need to optimize all my chances, I need to get these things done. 

While I was going through other notes as well today, in my day of home school, I saw something I wrote down from one of the acting classes. That is you probably need to sacrifice relationships to pursue a career in this line of work. I am beginning to see this more and more. It is not that I am avoiding people, it is just having to prioritize what I want. I just don’t want to get into a rut of familiar ways or old habits seeping in. Self discipline and self motivation are the toughest two areas to maintain at times. Have to plough on though, no-one else to hound me into doing any of it.

Just by writing all of the above, I think it has rekindled some of the motivation and creative spark again, wuu huu! Along with the help of Sigur Ros’ fine music, I can feel a flow coming back. Self medicate through the struggle!

To finish on a good note, for me, a step in the right direction was made towards a visa today. C’mon the dream, shine on! One final thing which was in some acting notes I read through earlier, was how it is always good to change your daily routine, in some way. This then will stop you just going through the motions, and make you more aware of your surroundings. Which is meant to be useful for acting out daily events. Loosely, and I mean loosely based on that, I might try a vlog soon. Ha, I’ll wait until something exciting or fun happens first though!

Song of the day is…

Yeasayer

Sunrise (Pocketknife Remix) - Yeasayer

One last song actually, just came on my iTunes, jive on!

Stevie Wonder

 Part Time Lover – Stevie Wonder