I often refer to myself as a work-o-sexual. I am head over heels, weak at the knees, butterflies in my stomach in love with my career as a TV comedy writer. Nothing turns me on like a good joke. Nothing is more romantic than an evening with Final Draft. And absolutely NOTHING is sexier than hearing sweet nothings about my script.
There is only one problem: my career doesn’t love me back.
Like any good-looking narcissist, this industry is charming and seductive. It lures you in with its glamour but immediately makes you feel small compared to its grandeur.
Ever since I graduated from college five years ago, I have been in an up and down relationship with this narcissist. Of course, I can count all the good times on one hand – maybe two when I’m feeling generous. Every once in a while, I’ll stop to remember the happier days: my very first joke on national television, my first story credit, my second story credit, a sincere compliment from an esteemed producer.
But more often than not I’m fighting with my career. I desperately await responses and sob when it rejects me or tears at my self-esteem. There’s nothing quite like the roller coaster of emotion that happens when I’m finally notified of a new email and find this message from my agent:
They didn’t respond to the material….Same producer on [this show] as [the other]…which may have openings….but likely more mid level…and again, didn’t love your material….In this particular case, I think [your webseries] hurt [you] most.
Granted, agents are known to be the dirty armpits of this industry. Still, there’s always hope that something nice will come from the person who calls himself your advocate. But like my mentor once said, “hope kills you every time.”
At the very least, it would be nice to have a moment of honesty with this business. How I wish I could tell these agents that they’re narrow-minded with no creative instincts. How I wish I could tell these arrogant producers that their shows are trite, unoriginal and poorly written. Yes, it’s harsh. But for all the negativity this asshole of a career throws at me, doesn’t it deserve an ounce of its own medicine?
I realize, of course, that such a rant can only exist in my own head. No matter how mean this business is, I do not want to break up with it. Why? I couldn’t really tell you other than I am inexplicably in love with it and can’t let go. .
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