Saturday, April 24, 2010

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Troesh

I often feel like there two completely different sides of me. So different are these two sides they are almost at war. One side is the public side; the Jim Troesh you see on TV, the me that schmoozes at Hollywood parties, meets with executives, hangs with famous people like Jack Black, promotes Jim Troesh, and performs on stage. The me that goes to the store, talks on the phone, pays the bills, writes the screenplays, magazines and other things like this blog.

Then there is the quadriplegic Jim Troesh. (I was 15 in this picture) That is the part no one knows too well. The part of me that deals with muscle spasms, manages caregivers and their multitude of personalities, deals with nursing registries, doctors, medications, and intense regime of morning and nighttime care, as well as depression, anger, jealousy, envy, and everything else that goes along with being paralyzed from the shoulders down. The part of me that tries to connect with a body that I cannot feel. The part of me that thinks I should have dealt with all of this years ago.

Occasionally, these two opposing forces meet on the pages of my screenplays, and I'm able to spew out my feelings. That is when I am writing at the top of my game, writing stories that someone without my disability couldn't possibly write because I have a unique perspective. When I'm in that zone I feel that it's all been worth while. Maybe like war veterans turn screen writers must feel.

On any given day, one or the other Jim Troesh may be in charge. Most of the time, quadriplegic Jim rides in the back seat and public Jim takes care of business. Occasionally though, quadriplegic Jim takes over because things like bladder infections, muscle spasms or a unique gift God saved for quadriplegics called autonomic dysreflexia force themselves into the forefront. On days like that, I wonder about my ability to make it in this business at all.

I guess that is why I'm here. Mine is the unique blessing of having the gifts to share this feeling, these thoughts with the world. As hard as it is to say, I guess I am thankful for all the adversities I'm given, because I've also been given many blessings. It is those qualities that I share with readers of this blog, and any and all who have ever read or seen my work.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Website Building, my regular job.

My "regular job," one of the beasts that drag me away from writing is building websites, and designing ads and posters. Here's a few samples. I've mentioned many times before that the hardest thing for me about writing is clearing everything else out of the way so I can work. Number one on that list is doing things to make money. I can't wait until I can earn my living with my writing, but until then I do what I have to do Sometimes I get pulled away so long I lose my motivation. Especially after all the hours of quadriplegic bullshit. It takes three hours for my caregiver to get me up in the morning and two to four to go to bed. Between that and all the drama that everyone has, I get burned out.

It seems though that just when I'm at my lowest, something comes along and remotivates me. It might be seeing a movie like "Shutter Island" that is still under my skin, (how does a writer do that?), watching a well written show like "Modern Family," or I sometimes have the pleasure to meet writers whose work I genuinely admire. One of those is Vince Gilligan, the executive producer on "Breaking Bad." I am a huge fan of the show, partly because it stars Bryan Cranston, who was kind enough to guest star in my TV sitcom pilot "The Hollywood Quad," but mainly because of the incredible stories he's written. I hope some of his talent rubs off on me.

I ran into Vince Gilligan at several functions this last year and found him to be a very nice man. I've heard the same thing from a lot of people who've worked with him. By the way, I've been lucky to meet several top people in the entertainment business, most of them with names you'd recognize and was very happy to discover how nice they were. I know that goes against everything written in the tabloids, but it's still true.

I've digressed. Vince Gilligan has inspired me not only with his writing, but with his personality. He has always taken time to answer my questions, as does his assistant Kate Powers. Previous to "Breaking Bad" he was exec producer on "X Files."God, I would love to write on a show with him. He has a way of making his audiences feel exactly what his main characters feel. Amazing stuff.

Please tell your friends to visit m blog. I will update at least once a week. My hope with this blog is to inspire new writers, especially those with disabilities, and to share with you the entertainment business from my point of view.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Motivation Smotivation! Writing's A Pain Sometimes!

You can't really talk about writing or a career as a writer without discussing motivation. There's nothing like the fire that burns inside me when I launch into a brand new script or article. But, there are days, today for example when sparking up that kindling is next to impossible. In my head I always know I'll need to edit it, send it out for notes, rewrite it a few more times, send it out again, and start work on my next project long before I can see any money.

Perhaps that's why this edition of "My Perspective" has been so long in coming. Sometimes, I must clear everything else off my plate before I can start. It is very easy to think you're having an active career by writing something, submitting it, then waiting for the bucks to roll in. I have found myself guilty of that many times.

Especially as a quadriplegic writer. It takes me two to three hours to get up in the morning, so after breakfast I often go in my office and reward myself for the hours of repetitive bullshit I've just gone through by diving into and watching all the latest TV shows. I tell myself I'm keeping current on all the latest productions. After all, I've got to watch for trends and stay current. I don't want to be sending out specs of shows no longer on the air. That argument is especially powerful when I've spent all morning training a new caregiver. I have to push past my overpowering urge to procrastinate and start committing words to digital screens. I'll be honest, some days are better than others.

I post pictures of people I've met and others I've worked with, and often forget how important it is to stay in touch with them. Sure, I post a picture of Elton John, or gloat about successes, but do I jump back into writing the next day, or spend several days basking in the afterglow?

I've been an afterglow basker for years, which is why I'm signing off until next time. I need to write some new stuff.