Thursday, May 20, 2010

Pre-Advance Publicity

Hopefully about this time next year you will be picking up a copy of my autobiography,"Don't Make Me Get Out Of This Chair." As you might expect, it is about my life!

It is not my first autobiography. I finished the first one in about 1986 or 1987. It was a straightout timeline of my life from my accident in 1971, to getting on television in 1984 and ended with my divorce in 1987. It was written in the style of; this happened, then this happened, then this happened. There were plenty of long conversations that took up many pages, some timid sex scenes, and a blow-by-blow (so to speak) of my life and loves at Rancho Los Amigos Rehabilitation Center in Downey, California where I lived for almost a year after my accident. (note: details about my accident, the one that left me paralyzed, exists somewhere on this blog. I will probably repeat it the whole gruesome story in a future blog).

That epic volume of my memoirs also included an epilogue, yes, an epilogue that somehow drew a correlation between the steps I took to become a success, and a ladder of success the reader could take to improve their lives. It bore the ungodly title, Dare to Dream.

You've never heard of it?! It wasn't on the New York Times best-seller list, you say? You never even tripped over it at the $.99 store? Probably because it was never published. Excuse me while I give a silent "thank God" that all of the publishers I sent it to turned it down. I would hate to have it out in the world as a sample of my writing. Schlock and dribble would be a compliment although my mother liked it. But then again, she was excited over my first poop. There is an analogy there somewhere.

Anyway, "Don't Make Me Get Out Of This Chair" will, I promise, make for much better reading. It contains my guts. It contains the real me. As you may have gathered reading this blog, I have a well developed sense of humor (read warped). I honed that sense of humor in the hospital It was my defense in the face of a cornucopia of horror (sounds like a Roger Corman film). In addition to learning at 14 that I would never walk, or do any of the things I enjoyed ever again, I watched friends die and grown men plead for death.

It will make you laugh. It will make you cry. it will make you re-examine everything you've ever thought to be true in your life. Liberals will become conservatives, Republicans will become Democrats, dogs will become cats, and the entire makeup of this planet will become disassembled and reassembled in a manner none of us could have ever conceived. (I swear to you there is absolutely no hyperbole in that paragraph)

I promise you will enjoy it though. When it comes out, please buy enough copies that I can leave a generous inheritance to my grandchildren who have yet to be born.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Explosions vs. Emotions

A lot of my gripe with Hollywood is that there are way more explosions than there are emotions up on the screen. I can only wonder how many times that sentence, or one similar to that has been written in a blog.

I can tell you from personal experience it is because it's way easier for the writer. Knocking out explosions scripts spew out about as fast as you can type. Knocking out emotion scripts is gut-wrenchingly difficult. I am working on a script right now, a twist on the classic story of Faust, about a guy who sells his soul to the devil to further his career. My story could very easily include a lot of explosions and CGI. It might even be fodder for a summer blockbuster. A summer blockbuster that would leave you cold. You would not leave the theater having learned anything about yourself or the human condition, nor would you care if the main character won or lost whatever his goal was.

Although it is tempting to make your audiences hearts flutter while the main character defuses a bomb, it is far more gratifying for the writer and the audience, if you make their hearts flutter over some emotional obstacle the main character has to overcome. The hard part is opening up my soul and filling a hundred pages with my joys and sorrows. The real ones, the emotions we never admit to anyone, sometimes not even ourselves.

So, a few years from now when you are in the theater laughing and crying over the roller coaster ride that will become that year's best movie, and will garner me a multimillion dollar, multi-picture deal, and make my name a household word, remember this blog, and the angst that spilled out of Jim Troesh's blather.

Live long and help me prosper,