Saturday, November 27, 2010

Saturday night. Babysitting for the sis.

The sky is more dark here - the air more crisp.

By my apartment, the sky glows at night. The air is damp with the moisture from the river. The city beckons from my home. It's steady heartbeat drumming back and forth on the PATH train.

I'm watching television. "In Her Shoes" One of those typically girly movies I tend to get sucked into. Even though I've seen the movie so often I could conceivably quote large portions back - gestures and all. My boyfriend always laughs at me whenever he sees one of them on. He knows I can't avoid them.

I still see myself as a girl sometimes and the older I get, the more I realize growing up isn't something that's just done by a certain age. It's something that happens in fits and spurts over the course of your entire life. I still enjoy the girl in me. The girl who watched "Tangled" with her niece today and was completely wrapped up in the fairy tale of the princess finding true love and parents who love unconditionally. The same girl who was the only adult laughing - unabashedly so - through much of what I considered a funny and heart-warming movie. Seems to me more adults could use a dose of childhood in their lives.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Unmistakable – when you walked into a room

Unforgettable – with a laugh you made your own

Undeniable – the passion to live your dream

Unbelievable - to be blessed in knowing you

Jesse was frequently in my thoughts even though we weren’t in constant contact. I was thinking of him more often the last few months – between his big basketball game – his impending move – and text messages about his script.

I find these days – thoughts of Jesse are my constant companion. He’s there when I wake up and when I go to sleep. He’s by my side throughout the day. His voice – his enthusiasm – his unwavering belief in me will spur me forward to fulfill my dreams.

It’s not a cliché that Jesse’s spirit lives on. One needs to only look at how many lives he touched. And it won’t just be in the amazing foundation his family put together or the scholarship from his former boss – it is truly in each one of us that he’ll continue to thrive. His love – his intensity – his desire to always do his best – to go that one step farther – will inspire and push each of us to be our very best as well.

As he said in his last voicemail to me - "Hey this is Jesse T. and the place to be." We all wish your place was still on earth.

I love you Jesse – you will be forever missed.
In Loving Memory

Jesse came into our lives on a sunny day near the beginning of spring a few years back. He stepped off the elevator on the 4th floor at Grand St, resume in hand, hoping to land a gig. His bravado made an impression and luckily we had an opening. Jesse worked with us thru three projects – two features and a tv show.

I remember the first day I introduced myself to him. He was sitting near my desk – on the other side of the wall. It was memorable to me because I’m not known for talking much to anyone let alone introducing myself – but I was determined to change my shy ways so I took a chance and said hi to him. Jesse put me at ease immediately with his charming smile and firm handshake.

Jesse impressed everyone here because he was not just a hard worker – he was also a thinker. He wanted to learn. He didn’t simply do his job and go home. He asked questions. He paid attention to how things worked. He read the call sheets – he studied the production reports – he critiqued the scripts. He was a sponge – soaking in as much information as he could possibly contain.

We spent many late nights together – waiting for the tv show to wrap – eating Mooncake – doing our work. It was always a source of comfort when he was here as Jesse would frequently pop back to my area – checking to make sure I was doing okay.

Near the end of the tv show, we started prepping a new feature. The writer/director needed an assistant. My boss asked me to put together a list of candidates. Jesse was the 1st person on my list. I knew he’d excel if given a chance. This seemed to be the perfect opportunity for him. He got the job and over the course of six months we became more than co-workers we became friends. We leaned on each other for support during the long late stressful days & nights. Jesse helped me stay awake one particularly late night when I was prepping the script – coming back in from Nyack NY just to help me out – I didn’t even ask – he just showed up because that was the type of guy that he was.

I told someone yesterday I felt a little like Lucy to his Charlie Brown – he was often found at my cubicle – humping my wall – peppering me with his "daily barrage of bad jokes and uninhibited sexual references" - singing songs - practicing some rather impressively cheesy dance moves - talking about his woes with women – asking advice about work – discussing his dreams for the future - or just generally shooting the shit. My “door” was never closed for him.

For his birthday that year – I bought him a book entitled “What’s Going On Down There? Answers to Questions Boys Find Hard to Ask.” It seemed apropos. I wish I could remember the message I inscribed inside its cover – I’m sure it was something sarcastic and fun to make him laugh. We surprised him at the end of filming that day – in front of the entire crew - much to his embarrassment. Jesse was also the kind of friend who never forgot your birthday – trekking out to the great hinterland of Joisey for my 30th surprise party.

He had a great critical eye for scripts. When I finished my first spec – he was one of the 1st people I showed it to for comments. He read it right away, meeting me at the Starbucks down the street to go over it in minute detail. His opinion was invaluable. He helped make my script stronger. I was looking forward to being able to repay the favor by reading his 1st script when it was done.

Jesse once told me it was an honor to be reading my work but as always the honor was mine to have known him and be able to call him my friend. He will be forever missed. I love you Jesse - continue making magic and movies in Heaven.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Seems I'm down to posting once or twice a year. It isn't for lack of effort - I definitely visit my blog more often - hoping to write something. It isn't for lack of material - God knows there's been plenty of drama going on between now and last November. It is more this - at this juncture in my life I'm tired of complaining because i feel that is what my life has been reduced to - complaining - and nothing gets more old than incessant complaining about the same old shit day in and day out.

So I'll attempt to summarize and just point out the facts:

I was out of work during the entire writer's strike which proved to be a bumpy time in many ways. I found out I can't even garner an interview outside my chosen field - or find work even as a temp - which is unsettling to say the least. The best I could manage was some babysitting gigs. It was also during this time, without work, that my finances took a rather nasty nose dive requiring some creative juggling on my part to keep things afloat. My older blind dog hit a major rough spot with her health - various problems that all added up to a whole lotta dough and stress. Thankfully she's oodles better now. My own health decided now would be a good time to crap out as well, but that's a rather long boring story with lots of unsavory details. After much money and many doctor visits I'm in a healthier place than before. My condition is chronic and will require continued care but my overall health is more stable than it was pre-crapping out. Finances have improved as well.

Things in the love life department are eh. Still in love and all that mushy stuff but feeling the itch - after three years - to have more than what we do. Logistics seem to be creating rust in the mechanics of making it all happen though. I'm facing a decision - stay or move on - which I'm loathe to make.

Work is the usual insanity. My former boss man really went to bat and got me back to the world of the living after my health had relegated me to being a recluse. I ended up doing the feature I mentioned in my last post and to make things extra interesting juggled the tv show at the same time. I got to be on set - which I love - but now that the feature is done am back in the office - which loyal readers know I hate.

Movie was definitely more low-key than the last feature I worked on but it wasn't without its own set of dramas.

As for the tv show - we're in our final season - doing double our normal block of episodes which keeps us all in the gravy for a good long while. I was hoping, b/c after all hope springs eternal, to get on set for this final season - or at least more so than I've been allowed previously. I beat my drum loudly for this to happen. Alas it was not meant to be as here I am - chained and back to the original desk I had when I first started working with these guys over three years ago. I've also been forced to swallow a rather bitter pill (per one of our ep/writer's words) when it comes to some advancement I was led to believe I would get - it was instead handed off to an upstart PA with scant experience in the field. My bitter pill is still stuck in my throat. I'm looking for other work but when one is in a niche field with a niche job on the wrong side of the states - opportunities are few and far between. It may be time - once this job ends - for me to make a move back out to where I began my career in the first place. In the meantime, I'll continue working on my writing and look towards the future and not the past.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Here's the lowdown on what's gone on since April:

The crazy pilot I mentioned in my last post got picked up for eight episodes. The series portion was just as insane as the pilot but spread out over about five months - more than five hours sleep was a rare thing during that time. We managed to crank out five episodes before various factors shut us down - about a week BEFORE the writer's strike. My last work day, for at least two months, is tomorrow. Post production will continue on till probably December. The three scripts we still owe the network ain't gonna be written - not only because of the strike but also because the show is barely holding it together on the stilts it calls legs. Even if the strike didn't happen - it seemed unlikely the scripts we owed, were they to be written, would ever get filmed. Our newly announced timeslot is just another coat of pink paint on the rotting dead elephant everyone's ignoring.

The second pilot I worked on was sadly not picked up by the network. I think the creators are still hoping to breathe some life back into it at some point but as always that's a crap shoot.

The tv series I worked on suffered thru a difficult season. It was a hard ride for all involved - including the viewers - and we were all grateful to get off as fast as we could when filming wrapped. It was only recently picked up for another season and normally we'd all be back at work in a couple months but that's all dependent on when the strike ends now.

One of the movies I worked on came out in theaters and has been getting great reviews. That was definitely a highlight this year - having a movie all of the crew can be extremely proud to have worked on premiere AND getting to see my name in the credits for the first time ever.

The same group of people from that movie may have another project starting in January but we're waiting on that all important "official green light" to happen. If I'm lucky, I may have my choice of two jobs - movie or tv show.

On the writing front - I handed off that spec. Of the four important decision making people I gave it to - only two of them have read it. Those two both liked it - one suggesting I also do an original pilot as well. Something I plan to work on during my time off. Of the other two - one has a legitimate excuse for not reading it - he works like a dog and rarely has time to sleep let alone read my spec. The other though is just plain lazy and quite honestly pissing me off. He's been outta work since the tv series finished for the season and his excuses are getting lamer by the day. The latest was that it was just too soon to get his head back into the show and read my script. I'm disappointed and a little disgruntled.

Right now I'm working my way through the various temp agencies trying to find something to keep things afloat during my "vacation from the biz" and so that I can properly enjoy my favorite time of year. It's looking rather bleak though - the pay rate at most of these places is so low I'd end up spending more traveling to work and paying for someone to watch my dogs than I would earn at the actual job. Seems it may be cheaper to stay at home and make the best of unemployment for a while.....

Friday, April 27, 2007

Never say it can't get worse cause sure as shit it will certainly get worse - usually in ways you couldn't even imagine.

I didn't do this fatal flaw on Tuesday but what I didn't know was that someone else had tempted fate for me......

Couple weeks ago, the writer on one of the pilots I worked on emailed to ask me for a working draft of the script. Seems they were planning on doing some re-shoots.

I never heard anything else about it and figured they didn't require my services for the re-shoots.

I figured wrong.

Monday was a slow day at the office. Around six pm, a friend writes to say she just got handed tickets to a concert that evening at 8P - can I go? I wasn't doing anything and said sure, why not.

I pack up and am out the door by six thirty.

By 7:30P, my cell rings. I don't recognize the number and let it hit voicemail. About an hour later, I'm on line getting snacks and decide to check my voicemail.

It's the first assistant director from the pilot calling to say he heard pages were emailed to me and was wondering when he could expect to receive them.

I call him back, get his voicemail, and say I hadn't heard anything about pages, that I would look into it tomorrow, but that I wasn't aware that I'd be working on the re-shoots.

Oh silly silly Wabbit.

I then decide to check my email via my cell and realize pages were indeed emailed to me - about ten minutes after I left the office. No warning. No nothing.

The first AD texts me to say not to worry, it's been taken care of and we'll talk tomorrow. But doesn't explain what he means by "taken care of."

Next day, I'm on the bus to work when the production coordinator for the pilot calls me. Says they are waiting on me to prep the pages so they can distro to the crew. I say the 1st AD told me it was taken care of. She says no, we just gave the pages to the actors so they could learn their lines - we didn't give it out to anyone else.


I get in, quickly prep the pages and put them out.

Couple hours later, the production coordinator calls me - we work in different offices just to make things more interesting - and says the 1st AD just got different pages from one of the producers with a new scene that wasn't part of the pages we put out earlier. Do I know anything about this? And of course, I know nothing.

I call the producer, ask about the pages with the new scene. It goes something like this:

Producer: Yea the writer sent them out last night. You didn't get them?

Me: Nope.

Producer: Really? He didn't send them to you?

Me: Unfortunately not. Can you foward them to me? (meanwhile the writer is on a plane flying across country for the re-shoots the next day)

Producer: Yes, but I only have them in PDF, not in Screenwriter.

Me: So I'm guessing I shouldn't have put out those goldenrod pages earlier today since these replace them.

Producer: Probably not.


Get the PDF of the pages. Furiously type them into the script and get them sent out as quicly as I can. My email went something like this: Please find attached the 2nd Goldenrod Pages. The attached pages REPLACE the 2nd Goldenrod pages that were put out this morning.

About two hours go by and then my phone rings again. It's Emily in (insert state). Emily in (insert state) needs me to email her the script in Final Draft so a different writer can work on some more revisions.

This causes several alarms bells to go off.

First being I don't know this Emily chick from a hole in the wall.

Second being - a different writer? What the heck? There is ONE WRITER on this show and he's on a plane right now.

Third being - the program we used on this show was Screenwriter which is sadly not compatible with Final Draft.

I call back the producer and try to figure out what exactly is going on. Between him and some other people, I find out that they have JUST brought in a new writer, that Emily is a new Associate Producer, and that I'll be getting more revisions - probably in a word document - from this new writer and also from the regular writer when he lands.

Time goes by. I get my two different sets of revisions - one from each writer - incorporate them into the script and out goes the 3rd white pages at 8:30P.

About two hours later, I've finished up the other work that needed doing and am journeying home.

At 11:30P, my cell rings. Unlike the night before where I let it go to voicemail, I decide to answer it. It is Emily. She's sorry to inform me they have more revisions and I need to put them out immediately.

It is also at this time, I realize I've put myself on the wrong bus going home. Don't ask - I'm still not sure how I managed this feat - but there I was not traveling towards my apartment but towards my parent's house a good twenty minutes away from my own home.

I inform Emily I'm on a bus going home, that I live a good hour away from the office, that I don't have my computer with me, that it is locked up in the office and I don't have the key to get back in. It's gonna have to wait till tomorrow.

Her response - that's not my problem, you need to get back in and get these pages put out. They're for tomorrow - first scene of the day at 9A.


She says she'll call the office to see if anyone is there to wait for me to return and I call my parent's to see if I can wake them up so they can drive me home once I get near their house.

Oh insanity.

I then call the producer. Not surprisingly, at midnight, his phone rings and rings and rings till I get his voicemail and leave him a message. I tell him what's going on and ask how he'd like to proceed. I then call my former boss, who is also involved in this project, and his phone goes right to voicemail. This tells me his phone is most likely off and he won't get my message till the morning so I don't bother to leave one.

Emily calls back to say there is someone there and she told them they had to wait for me to return to the office. Thinking that she's called the office I work in, the one she called me at earlier in the day, I ask who she spoke to there. She says some girl. Still thinking she's called MY OFFICE and not the office for the pilot, I say you can't do that. You can't make our paperwork production assistant (who at that hour would be the only one possibly left in the office) wait for me to return. She doesn't work on the pilot and she has to be on set for the series I work on early in the morning.

Her response. Not my problem. She has to wait for you.


It then dawns on me, she probably didn't call the right office. And I was right, she called the production office for the pilot. I inform her of this and remind her that I don't work there so chances are my computer won't be in that office. She says it doesn't matter as they have to wait for me regardless so they can copy the pages for filming the next day.

Oh frustration.

I then try to explain to her that I still don't have a way to get into my own locked office and access my computer. I also haven't heard back from the producer and am wondering if I'm really gonna have to go back to work and potentially break into the office to get these pages out.

She decides to call the executive producer because she thinks he'll have a key to my office.

Silly, silly Emily.

The EP does have keys - to his own office. He has his own production company - where he has his own large office and assistant. This EP works not only on the pilot but also on the series I work on. But he rarely if ever visits our offices and he certainly doesn't have keys.

Emily tries to argue with me saying He's the EP! Of course he'd have keys to the production office of his show! I try to explain how things work but my words fall on deaf ears. She asks how I've gotten back into the office in the past when this has happened. I tell her this has never come up before so I've never had to find out. Thankfully her frustration with me drives her to hang up so she can call the EP and work something out.

The EP tells not only does he not have keys to our production office, he also doesn't agree with her idea of having me trek the hour plus back into work in the middle of the night. He does however agree the pages have to be put out prior to filming the next day.


This posed a problem.

At some point during all this, I remembered my office wasn't going to open until 7:30A. Filming on the pilot was slated for 9A. This didn't provide enough time to prep the pages, make copies and get them to set all before 9A.

I don't tell this to Emily though as I didn't want to make her panic and waste more time talking to her. I get off the phone and try to figure out how exactly I'm gonna make this work.

First course of action - getting keys to the office. I'm not sure who has keys and I don't have a ready list of numbers with me at home to call. It is now 12:30A, my time to find someone who has keys and is hopefully awake is running out.

In the end, a former co-worker still had keys to the office and was awake. Yay - access has been granted!

I then call the production office for the pilot and tell the poor soul, the production coordinator, who's been waiting around for me - per Emily - to go the heck home. I ain't gonna have anything for at least another two hours - by the time I drive to this person's house, get the keys, drive into work and then prep the pages. Get some sleep and come back in the morning, I say.

He treks home and I start my trek back to work shortly before 1A.

Buses to my home stop running at 1:30A which is why I'm forced to drive. I get into my car, travel to get the keys and then into work without a hitch.

Retrieve my computer, put out the 3rd Blue pages, and am back home and in bed by 4:30A.

I am mud.

I decide to work from home that day. After that night's fiasco, as I'm leaving the office, I bring everything I could possibly need with me home.

I rouse myself around 10:30A. I email the producer and my former boss to explain the activities of the previous night.

Former boss man emails right back to let me know exactly what I did wrong.

"Please contact me when these things happen. Word of advice: Use your voice mail. Don't call them back until you check with
us. Make yourself unreachable first. It could have been done in the morning."


I explain to him - as I did in my initial email - that I did call him and the producer to no avail. No one was awake and no one returned my phone call. I also explain that I thought coming in that morning was too risky.

He replies "It would have been fine. "

Yea that's great but it's a little late now.

Producer writes me back, much later that day, and says "That sucks. Sorry I wasn't available and you had to go through that. I have to say you do a really great job. Thanks."

I like this response oodles better.

During the course of the day, more revisions come in and I end up putting out the 3rd Pink pages.

Oh and I found out who invited insanity to visit. The production coordinator on the pilot - having just finished a crazy job - said to himself when starting work on Monday. This is a one week gig for re-shoots. Sweet. This will be easy. Nothing can be more difficult or crazy than the job I just did.


He now knows better and we have been forever bonded after the experiences of that night.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


I did it! I did it! I did it! I wrote a spec all by myself!

Finished - polished - handed in.

Gave it to former boss man, writer/producer on the show and director of development at the creator's production company.

Now I gotta keep my ass in gear and get the SECOND spec done and the spec for one of the two pilots that will hopefully get picked up.

Trying to figure out which one to work on first - the spec for the pilot since upfronts are in May and they are already interviewing to hire potential writers or the second spec for this show.

Then there's all these other ideas I have floating around my head.

Many many thanks to my friends who took time and energy out of their busy schedules to give me comments and advice - it was invaluable!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Finally working on my script... again! I have high hopes to finish not only the first spec but a second one as well.

Boss man's new assistant and I get along great. I have no problem training him or responding to all his questions. But it just irks me that he gets to do things; I was not allowed to do when I was an assistant. Plus he has a built in database - me - of information on how to do the job. Something I never had - I was left to fend for myself with an uncommunicative boss who always acted like he couldn't stand me.

The new assistant gets to go on the tech scouts - regularly. My first season, I was allowed to attend four. Then they decided to lighten the load of those who attended and that included me. I was encouraged to keep asking about attending but was never again given the opportunity.

The new assistant gets to visit set. My first season, I was on set virtually every day. My next season, I was office bound and allowed to visit set ONCE. I was miserable. I asked at the end of last season if this season, I could visit set more often. I was told I could and gladly stayed on knowing I'd be back where I was happiest.

Fast forward to this season. I get a raise and a new job title. Fantastic - career is moving forward. But I also get a new set of job responsibilities that effectively chain me to my desk. Not to mention my new set of bosses decided they'd rather I stay in the office to over see certain tasks. So here I am - trapped and miserable yet again.

The new assistant is office bound most of the time too but he's gone to set triple what I was allowed to do last season. When he is on set - boss man encourages him to get a pair of cans (headphones), sit in the chairs (which are reserved for the big wigs), and watch the monitors. I however was either reprimanded severely or given dirty looks or just got a general crappy attitude from boss man when I would hang near the monitors during my first season on this show. I never sat in the chairs and always tried to be aware of making sure everyone could see - staying towards the back or simply getting out of the way if others needed to see the screens more than I - but apparently it wasn't enough for boss man and I was almost effectively banned from being anywhere near the monitors.

This is why I need to get these scripts finished. To stop lollygagging and letting insecurity, laziness and depression have control over my past, present and future. So that I can move forward and have control over when I get to decide if I'll be on set or not - so that its my decision and not someone elses. So I can be happy and in love with my job again. I miss the days when I would wake up and be thrilled about going to work - even at 4:30A in the morning. These days I have to literally drag myself into the office with little to no enthusiasm.

I also need this job more than ever now. I need to get my ass in gear and do 100% better than I have been to make sure the producers bring me with them once this show ends.

With my ex and co-parent out of the picture {I haven't seen or heard from him since he moved into the home he bought with his girlfriend in November}, I am now the sole caretaker - emotionally, financially and physically of our pets and they ain't cheap to look after. I certainly don't regret them at all, but I never expected to be taking care of them all on my own. I need to do all I can to stay gainfully employed. Now if I can somehow manage to stay gainfully employed and bring the joy back into my work, I'll be all set.