Welcome to the first entry of my blog, dear reader.
It’s 72 degrees and partly cloudy with an offshore breeze here in sunny Venice, California. Those of you up there in Canada probably don’t care. But here in Southern California, the weather is always the first order of business. Which is strange because it rarely ever changes. Even on the news, our cheery, super-tanned weatherman (usually with a fake name like Johnny Mountain or Dusty Rhodes) will just repeat the same line over and over again: “Tomorrow we’re looking at 72 degrees and partly cloudy, followed by 72 degrees and partly cloudy on Tuesday, and let’s check our five-day forecast, temperatures will remain steady through the weekend, with a nice 72 degrees and partly cloudy.” Put a parrot in a tanning bed and the result will be a weatherman.
So we’ve got weather out of the way. I promise I won’t ever mention it again.
I have a confession: I’ve never blogged before. I’ve never even read one. I’m not much of a web surfer, I’m afraid. Just a little email throughout the day and that’s about it. Hell, I’m still on dial-up, which is the Internet equivalent of two cans on a string. But I’m not afraid of a little experiment and “blogging” may be just the thing to get my feet wet in this wondrous digital stream we call the Web. Who knows, after this I might even try one of those “chat rooms” I’ve been hearing so much about, where you can flirt with 45 year-old men disguised as horny coeds.
So who am I? What makes me so darn special?
I am a real live, actual, 100% genuine screenwriter in L.A. One of probably millions in this city, “developing projects” and praying that somebody, somewhere likes one of my scripts enough to make one. They say in this town writers are “a dime a dozen,” but, in reality, you could probably get fifteen for a nickel. (Hell, I got talked into blogging for Maissoneuve in exchange for five free back issues!). “Throw a rock and you’ll hit a writer,” they say. I don’t know who “they” are but “they” are right. I didn’t realize this until I moved to LA from New York (where writers still get a little respect), and went to a local café in Santa Monica to do a little work. Everyone around me had their laptop out and on every screen was the all too familiar “screenplay format.” Text. Dialogue. Text. Dialogue. Dialogue. Text. My heart nearly stopped. Everyone has a script! This is another thing they say in L.A. Again, “they” are right. Whether or not I was “special” before moving here, I definitely was not “special” anymore.
So what is it like to live the clichéd life of the Hollywood writer? Hopefully this little blog will give you a glimpse into one guy’s experiences in this crazy town. To give you a hint, life as a writer here (if you are talented or lucky or both) can be somewhere in between the fun, glamorous vision you see of Hollywood on TV and the miserable, solitary existence portrayed by Nicolas Cage in Charlie Kaufman’s “Adaptation.” It isn’t pretty, but at least the weather’s nice. (Oops, I broke my promise).