Between my job ending, social obligations, play rehearsals, screenplays to finish, trying to build up my running milage, SMRT-TV, planning my birthday party, watching Veronica Mars and otherwise GOING INSANE, it's no surprise that poor mr. blog has been sadly neglected of late.
Thus, I'm officially letting myself off the hook, when it comes to blogging, until next Monday. Hopefully, the ensuing release of pressure will free up the brain bits sadly under abuse.
Veronica Mars? Renewed for a second season? AWESOME. And if you don't think that's fantastic news, then you didn't watch this week's episode -- overall a strong outing, with one truly amazing scene. Awkward and wrong and hawt. If I have faith in one show not screwing up this sort of thing, it's Veronica Mars.
Only one meeting tonight! Well, one meeting and an as-yet unarranged rendezvous with the man who has TICKETS. Tomorrow I am going to the Egyptian to see Empire Strikes Back. I am VERY EXCITED.
My addiction to Glarkware is maybe becoming a problem, because I REALLY want this shirt. It helps that I love my Oceanica Airlines messenger bag so.
SMRT-TV plugs along as it does. Issue 2 comes out this Monday! Very exciting!
I'm sure there was other stuff worth mentioning. In the meantime, though, think happy thoughts about quality drama. It's the best!
For those who have been wondering where I've been, well, the two-word answer is "nowhere interesting." The one-word answer is "meetings." I seem to be meeting people nonstop these days to discuss projects. None of it will lead to money anytime soon, but the comic book may be getting off the ground at long last, the play is going into rehearsal sometime next week, and I'm about to finish a fourth draft of one screenplay and start on the third draft of another (which I'm hoping to have done before May 2nd, even though it stands no chance of winning a Nichols Fellowship award). I enjoy the meetings, they're fun, and I'm helping people and getting help for myself. It's excellent, to be this busy, to have so many different things going on. There is the occasional drawback, of course.
I went to the eye doctor on Tuesday, who was pleased by the oh-so-slight decline of my otherwise healthy eyes. While I wiped the numbing solution from beneath my lids (beat the hell out of the puff-of-air glaucoma test) she asked if there was anything I wanted to mention or ask about.
I thought about it. "There's a muscle twitching directly below my left eye every once in a while -- I know that's a little south of your juristriction..."
"Well, yes. But that generally comes with lack of sleep. And you feel like everyone's staring at it...?"
Just a little bit.
Last night was pretty lazy, though. I was able to do my laundry, continue work on Draft 4 of the thriller, and email out the next issue of SMRT-TV for copyediting and graphics editing (delegating, it turns out, is a bit more work than anticipated). I very nearly got to watch a full hour of TV, even, and that was pretty exciting (though, instead of watching a complete show, I watched the last half of this week's Veronica Mars, which I fell asleep watching on Tuesday, and the first half of Alias, during which I, yes, dozed off). So, the nights are pretty packed, and the past three days at Unnamed Hit Sitcom have involved a lot of running around and doing things. Hence the lack of blogging.
In screenwriting school, we used to read each other's weekly pages out loud -- the writer brought in copies for everyone and assigned roles, and we'd huddle around the little table in the little room and do the best we could with voices and narration. There were only seven of us, three of whom were any good at reading, and I wasn't one of them. But it was still a fun exercise, to see how stuff worked when said out loud. Because it's easy to forget, huddled away in your room, that with the best of luck, people will actually be PERFORMING what you write.
But I've gotten a keen reminder of this recently. That one-act play I was writing in March? Well, it's going up. Performances start in late May. (You may express happiness about this -- I personally am thrilled to death.) But part of why I've been so exhausted recently? We've been casting.
Me and my director, sitting in a little room and watching people act. Well, not so much sitting. Standing. Acting. I've been reading with the actors, see, while the director does his thing. We've auditioned approximately ten actors for each role, running through the sides at least three times with each person, and almost by accident I shifted from reading to acting with them. It's gotten us better performances, the actors are more comfortable, and some interesting stuff has come out of it. But...
When you have to read a scene thirty times, you maybe start to notice the occasional flaw. But when you have to PERFORM a scene thirty times, a scene you wrote, a scene you thought was pretty great at one point, some things get hammered home.
Like, for example, a character just saying another character's name as a line of dialogue. I used to do this a lot, especially in screenwriting -- I always figured that a great actor would be able to take that word and make it his own. But after the twentieth round of "Julie-" "Jules..." "Julie-" (quite literally my lines for the last half of Julie's sides -- no surprise I was off-book last night) I was cured of it forever.
Hence, a new definition for the special hell: reading your own words, over and over again, and not knowing if you'll ever have a chance to revise them.
Cue last night, though, and just writing and rewriting and getting a chance to use all the ideas that accumulated after thirty reads of two scenes.
One more pass before I send it off. Then, rehearsals start!
Good thing I'll be unemployed in a little over two weeks. Busy!
Every once in a while, I entertain the thought of grad school. It helps that I don't have to make a decision for some time, that if things don't work out in LA I can always run away to some small town and read books and get the monkey off my back.
Just did a pass on a writing project, going through and tweaking and writing and rewriting. Feels good, to have done that, to have worked on an essay earlier in the day, writing words that aren't emails. Communicating on another level.
So now I'm about to go for a short run. And then I will shower, eat a banana, and watch some actual, bonafide TELEVISION while finishing up my latest scarf. And then I'll go to bed and read a book until I fall asleep, sometime before 1 AM.
Why am I so excited for all these things?
Because I haven't done any of them in nearly a week. Well, except for showering.
So life's gotten a little crazy. There are no fewer than five projects on my plate right now, little things to do and take care of. Last night I got home at 11, spent an hour answering email, then laid down on my bed to watch Robot Chicken before bed. Robot Chicken is fifteen minutes long. I did not make it more than halfway through before I was sound asleep.
And now, a request. I just skimmed through the AFI Top 100 list for the first time (we're all about strange lulls here at Unnamed Hit Sitcom) and found that the movies I haven't seen from that list isn't as big as I thought; also, I feel like I should try and catch up with those I've missed. Thus -- if you were to pick three of the following as Essential Films to See, which three would it be? Your choices are:
8.ON THE WATERFRONT (1954) 13.BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI, THE (1957) 21.GRAPES OF WRATH, THE (1940) 24.RAGING BULL (1980) 30.TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE (1948) 33.HIGH NOON (1952) 37.BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES, THE (1946) 52.FROM HERE TO ETERNITY (1953) 54.ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT (1930) 57.THIRD MAN, THE (1949) 64.CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND (1977) 67.MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE, THE (1962) 69.SHANE (1953) 70.FRENCH CONNECTION, THE (1971) 72.BEN-HUR (1959) 73.WUTHERING HEIGHTS (1939) 75.DANCES WITH WOLVES (1990) 79.DEER HUNTER, THE (1978) 80.WILD BUNCH, THE (1969) 82.GIANT (1956) 86.MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY (1935) 88.EASY RIDER (1969) 89.PATTON (1970) 91.MY FAIR LADY (1964) 92.PLACE IN THE SUN, A (1951) 96.SEARCHERS, THE (1956)