Thursday, June 30, 2005

The journey continues

OK, it's finally official! I got my official notification from the ABC/Disney Scholarship. Such validation I have not felt in a long time, a very long time. The first sentence read your proposal for a TV series titled " The Outsiders " shows a tremendous creative potential. Probably that's a just another piece of Hollywood fluff, but it sure made my day.
Narrowing my focus to writing rather than trying to be an actor/writer is probably one of the better decisions of my life. Not that the idea of acting is ever off my mind, my focus is on writing. I'm glad that God gave me more than one gift. I honestly believe that by the way. I just feel blessed that I've been able to follow my dream for these many years. A lot of people are never able to do that. My dad, who spent thirty years working at the Post Office when he actually wanted to be a cop, told me one day, " Don't spend your life doing something you hate. "
That's the advice I would offer to anyone. We're not here for very long, sixty, seventy, maybe ninety years, that's not much. It's not long. The older I get the more realize how short of a time it actually is. The other piece of advice I have always offered to people is a quotation I heard from Ross Perot years ago, long before he ever ran for president. I saw him in an interview on Sixty Minutes. He said " Never, never never never give up! " In retrospect, he didn't exactly hold up to that quote during his presidential campaign. Nevertheless, I took his advice to heart and made that my motto. In other words, if you hang around long enough, and you don't die, something good is bound to happen.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Basking in the Afterglow

OK, so I've had a couple weeks to get used to this business of being a winner in the ABC/Disney scholarship and I have to say it feels pretty damn good still! The actual announcement and press conference will take place in the end of July, so I have until then to get my ducks in row, so to speak. I will get roughly a week, two weeks at the most of publicity. I need to develop a strategy to strike while the iron is hot. Thank God I have experience in this business, because it is so easy to get caught up in the excitement and not be ready. That's happened to me more times than I can count. If only I had it to do over again ... oh well, such is life.
So, my days now are taken up with finishing up a few websites and starting yet another spec script. This time, I'm writing a spec for Desperate Housewives. Up until now, I've almost always written procedurals, cop dramas. I'm trying to create a diverse writing portfolio that includes a procedural, a one CAMERA sitcom, a three CAMERA sitcom, a character based show, and a medical show. Of course, I have my screenplays for feature films, but generally I won't be showing them to the same people I'm showing TV scripts to.
Such a business! It will pay off handsomely when I succeed but at the moment the task of writing all those scripts is a bit daunting. I love to write though so I really don't mind.
In addition to the ABC/Disney scholarship, there is an ABC/Disney fellowship, and the CBS mentorship that I'm still submitted for. I say prayers all the time about winning one or the other of them in addition to what I've already won. I'm not a greedy bastard, I just know how beneficial winning one of these prestigious competitions can be to my career. What a wonderful place Dreamland is!
At this point, I can't actually believe that anyone with the possible exception of my mother would still be reading this. The idea of a blog is so bizarre. Who the hell wants to read my stream of consciousness thoughts? I'm writing this using voice recognition software which makes it a whole lot easier for a guy who spent the last twenty or more years typing with a mouth stick. I've got the crooked teeth to prove it!
Well, back to Desperate Housewives. I've got an actual produced script that I need to read, and episodes to watch on tape. It's a pretty good show. I met several of the people on it including the producer Marc Cherry. Who knows? This is a crazy business! But I frigging love it! (frigging, i.e. well, my mother's probably reading this so I won't write the way I usually speak. )
That's it for now. Tune in next time; same blog time, same blog channel!

Sunday, June 19, 2005

It Frigging Happened!

So it happened! I came home from the store and there was a message from Gloria at the Media Access Office. I return the call, and with a nervous voice, Gloria says, " You won! " " Oh, my God! "
Yes, I won the ABC/Disney scholarship! I'm still floating!
The prestigious scholarship not only validates twenty or more years of struggling to make it again, it gives me the opportunity to get an agent as well as getting recognition from the industry and the ability to get a network pitch meeting (nearly impossible for person in my position as a relatively " new " screenwriter) The scholarship will pay me to complete the script for the pilot episode of a TV series titled " The Outsiders. " in addition, it buys me a computer, and provides funding for me to produce a two-minute commercial for the TV series.
What's the series about?
The Outsiders is about an alien from outer space who crashed on Earth fifteen years ago. He became world-renowned, his face familiar to nearly everyone on earth. His name is Alan Ray and he is green in scaly. His fame granted him money , women, and power. Now that fifteen years have passed since the crash landed here the glamour and interest has worn off. Nobody cares anymore and Alan can't get a job at any thing except a Star Trek convention.
So, he hits the streets of and tries to make it on his own. He doesn't have any particular earth skills so tries for a job at a fast-food joint. The manager is very excited to meet Alan, even gets his autograph, but when Allen asks for a job, the manager turned him down flat saying that nobody would want to buy food from a green scaly guy. Reality hits Alan square in the face.
He tries for a job as a receptionist, but because he has only three fingers and all three have suction cups at the hands, he can't type. On his planet he was considered buff, a strong man, but here on earth he is as weak as a kitten. He can't get a job anywhere.
He's forced into the streets where he meets a variety of society's outsiders; recovering alcoholic/addicts, homeless people, veterans. The one thing all of society's outsiders have in common is that they are accepting and in fact inclusive of each other.
The series follows Alan and a handful of other characters through Allen's journey of discovery.
Anyway, congratulations to me!

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

The posting begins

 And, so it begins. To get up to speed, I'm currently waiting to see if one of my two script submissions is chosen for the ABC/DISNEY Scholarship. Both proposals, "The Outsider" and "A World of Their Own" have made it into the semi-finals. I'm supposed to hear this month. On the other front, I submitted my Without A Trace spec "Teardrop" to the CBS Mentorship program, after guidance and encouragement by CBS VP of Current Programming, Christopher Davidson.

In addition, I sold two screenplays "Harlem" and "In Memory of Me" to Warning Film. With luck both films will be out in about a year.

As far as acting, I'm currently working out in an improv workshop run by Andy Goldberg, founder of "Off The Wall." There, I get to work with people who are better than me, and I get to laugh so hard I cry.