Friday, July 30, 2010

Finding Writer's Gold

I could say I was taking a break, but really I was looking for distraction. Rewriting my ninth draft was making me anxious. After successfully defragmenting my C: drive, I turned my attention to cleaning out old files from My Documents. That’s when I stumbled across a one-act play that I honestly didn’t remember writing.

At first, I thought I might have written it with my former writing partner, but after checking the creation date in the file properties, I realized that wasn’t possible. When did I write this thing? I read it over and over. It wasn’t bad. Funny, fresh, and snappy. Where did it come from?

And then I smiled, because I knew. It came from me.

Two years ago, when I set out to be a solo writing entity, I didn’t have a single completed script to my name. Now I’m writing so much that I have pieces I have forgotten I’ve written!

The one-act was a delicious find. The writer’s equivalent of finding twenty dollars in the pocket of an old coat. I clicked through my writing folders. They were packed. Completed scripts, short film drafts, pilot pitches, outlines for a handful of features, virtual whiteboards filled with ideas – a beautiful mess of creativity. Treasures collected over months of exploration, inspiration, and being a writer.

I know I’m still a baby writer, but on that day, I felt triumphant. I tucked the confidence boost into my mental wallet and returned to rewriting my ninth draft. The tenth draft is almost done.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Fictionless Friday: Sledgehammer and Whore

This blog post from Josh Friedman (screenwriter and executive producer of The Sarah Connor Chronicles) is hands down the best illustration of the phrase “truth is stranger than fiction.” Seriously, best story ever. Enjoy.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Schprechen sie Tweetenshlize!

I joined Twitter late in the game. Only a year ago to be exact. Well past the days when Kogi BBQ was making a Korean taco truck the newest LA food craze and Ashton Kutcher was proving himself to be more Internet savvy than most tech CEOs. Like most people, I just couldn’t grasp the point of the whole thing. Microblogging? Really? What was next – microteaching? Microjobinterviewing?

But eventually I caved and signed up for an account. A few minutes ago, I sent my 409th tweet. 409 thoughts, pictures, questions, and opinions shared with the global Internet community. And it’s been wicked fun.

No, I’ve never tweeted about what I ate for lunch. I’ll be the first to give props to Conan O’Brien’s Twitter Tracker sketches for brilliantly ridiculing the mundane tweets of celebrities. Still, if a fan in North Dakota really enjoys hearing that Jessica Simpson had tacos for lunch, who am I to judge?

Because ultimately, as humans, we just want to be heard, acknowledged, and validated. And we’ll take it where we can get it. Being on Twitter and having over 100 followers might mean nothing to you, but it feels pretty damn good to me. Knowing that some of those people actually read what I have to say feels even better. And if just one of my kooky thoughts or random pictures brings a smile to someone’s face, then the circle is complete.

This weekend, I’ll be tweeting non-stop from the geeky halls of the 2010 San Diego Comic-Con International. Check out my profile page at to see what I’m up to. Follow me. Or don’t follow me. But rest assured, I will be microblogging the day away.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Long and Short Hair of it All

Christopher Pitta at the Salon 3 is a genius. After years of attentively cutting my hair to match whatever magazine photo or celebrity headshot I brought him, I finally said to him one day, “Do something.”

His eyes lit up. “I’m going to give you the haircut you should have had all along,” he said as he expertly snipped, explaining the unique weight of my hair and describing its tendencies as if it were an independent being.

An hour later, I walked out with the best haircut I’ve ever gotten in my life. It framed my face perfectly, was relatively low maintenance, and looked amazing. I loved it! And I’ve gotten the same hair cut for the past two years.

Until now.

At a recent MAPID event, guest speaker Ron Taylor, VP of Diversity Development at FOX, spoke to the fact that most television networks still feel diversity casting can be too edgy for traditional audiences, so they tend to cast diverse actors in more conventional roles – Asian doctor, Indian IT guy, Mexican mechanic.

His words resonated with me at the deepest level. I can’t even count the number of times I’ve auditioned to play a reporter, nurse, or doctor. I’ve never minded - work is work. But on this particular night, Ron’s words took me in a totally different direction.

I booked nine television roles in 2007. Since then, I’ve only booked two. One in 2009 and one so far this year. The number of my auditions has significantly decreased too. What happened between then and now?

I walked out of the Salon 3 with my perfect haircut.

It’s hard not to draw parallels. Now before you protest that I should be free to be whoever I want and that talent is talent no matter what I look like, let’s remember that this isn’t reality we’re talking about here. This is showbiz. There’s not a lot I can control when it comes to my acting career, but I can control my hairstyle.

So I’m letting my perfect haircut go and growing my hair to a more conventional length. New headshots will follow. Don’t cry for me Argentina, because ultimately the goal of any actor is to work. To book jobs, gain experience, and move forward. I’m simply doing what I need to do to create the most opportunity for myself.

As for Christopher Pitta, he’s still a genius. You should all go see him. To me, he’ll always be the guy who gave me a new goal in my career – be successful enough to get my hair cut any way I want. Then I shall return.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Fiction Friday: Invisibility Cloak Not Necessary, Part 2

Click here to read Invisibility Cloak Not Necessary, Part 1

It’s hard not to be in love with Harry. Everyone is, really. Sure, some of the girls gossip about Ron Weasley’s red hair, but they’re only setting their sights on him as a way to get closer to Harry. Why would any girl in their right mind be attracted to Ron Weasley? Walking ball of disaster, he is. But he’s Harry’s closest friend and that gives his life meaning.

We talked once, Harry and I. On the walk back from Hogsmeade last spring. The entire school was walking in clusters, some larger than others, up the grassy hill. I was by myself, of course, sipping the last of my pumpkin juice and thinking about the way Harry scratches the back of his neck. A few of the first years were walking too close to the Whomping Willow when it decided to take a swing at them. Everyone had the sense to duck except for one clueless boy who got swept up by his robe. The Whomping Willow sent him flying into Draco Malfoy and his thuggish clique. Everybody on the hill started laughing at the sight of this first year boy knocking them down like bowling pins. (I read about bowling in a Muggle book.)

I started laughing too. The day was beautiful, and for a moment I forgot that I had no friends, that my Ravenclaw housemates had collectively decided to leave me a loner rather than include me in their conversations, their world. I laughed for perhaps the first time all year.

And then he was there. Laughing too as he walked right past me. Hermione was whispering something into Ron’s ear, so Harry turned to me and said, “That’ll teach him, huh?”

I froze like an idiot. Harry Potter was talking to me. Offering a connection. It caught me by such surprise I just stared at him, mouth agape, completely confused. I had dreamed about this moment for so long, but it didn’t look like this. I had the conversation planned in my head like a road map. Where I would be, what he would say, how I would relate to him easily and intimately. We’d talk about missing our parents and how we both thought Professor Flitwick was tall for a goblin. It was my fantasy, after all.

But this wasn’t right. I wasn’t prepared for our first conversation to be about something as trivial as the Whomping Williow attacking some clueless first years. So before I knew what was happening, I opened my mouth and said, “No!”

Harry crinkled his brow, taking my outburst as an answer to his question and attempting to understand its meaning. As the realization of what I did started to wash over me, I was rescued when Hermione finished with Ron and possessively grasped Harry’s arm to get his attention. Harry turned away and it was over. The trio walked ahead, deep in conversation, deep in love with each other.

I fell to the ground and buried my face in the warm grass, closing my eyes, cursing my pathetic response time. How many people did Harry Potter talk to outside his inner circle? Not many. But for some otherworldly reason, he turned to me and I blew it. I would always be that weird girl who said “No!” on the walk back from Hogsmeade. My story had been made. My future determined.

I am in love with Harry Potter, but that love will always be mine, never his. I’ll keep it in a jar by my bed, wear it across my shoulders like a cape, bury it deep behind my sad eyes. If the Dark Lord kills him, I’ll be at his funeral. Standing alone in the back, weeping for our missed connection. Ron and Hermione will look over at me and ask each other who I am, but they’ll never really understand. Why should I care if he lives or dies? Harry Potter has no idea who I am.