One Pam Clapping

From my sister:

It is the 4th you should write something. We are bored and waiting for your interesting antics that happen so we can break away from our lives and live vicariously through you.HEE HEE
Love you and see you sooner than the last time that I said that.

She doesn’t read the blog, so I have to keep the journal entries coming.

I never intended for this to become a writing journal, but there are times in my life, like now, when I’m so busy with work that anything I really have to discuss is about the writing life, or the Hollywood industry life, or what it’s like freelancing.

Jessica told me the other night that she ran into my friend Kyle, and they had the following conversation:

[scripty]
KYLE
So, Pam’s doing… well?

JESSICA
Yeah. Don’t let her fool you. She’s doing well, and she always makes it sound like her world is crumbling.

KYLE
Yeah. I couldn’t tell if she had just sold something or her cat died.

JESSICA
She does that. It makes it impossible for you to be happy for her.

KYLE
Right. I was like, “Oh. Isn’t that a good thing?” And she was like, “Yeah, but I don’t know.”
[/scripty]

I talked about it with stee last night, because some of my friends have been angry that I hadn’t told them my latest good news. But the good news took three weeks to “close” and it still hasn’t been announced, so I feel like it’s not actually news yet. And then some of my good news is really out there and strange. Why was I at The West Wing set this week? Well, it’s sort of complicated, and if anything happens it won’t be until next year, so why say something about it when nothing might come of it? I worry about jinxing my luck; I also worry that it sounds like I’m a name-dropping braggart.

There’s no finish line around here. You’re always waiting on something else, on someone else, on a phone call or a contract or a meeting. I think it’s why they have so many awards ceremonies. At least then someone is saying, “Yay! You’re done! Good job!”

stee says that the curtain call isn’t for actors, it’s for the audience, for them to step back and say, “Yay. Good job. You’re done. I liked that.” So when I say, “Well, this happened, but I we won’t know anything for a while,” that it makes people hold up their hands, ready to clap, but then they stop and go, “Wait. Is there another act? Is this intermission?”

But I don’t clap, either. I’m constantly waiting for the third act. I feel like I’m always holding my breath, careful not to say or do the wrong thing because I could make a rookie mistake. I don’t talk about what’s going on because I don’t know if that’s “what you do.” But who the hell is going to read this website? Is Martin Sheen really going to read this website? And if he does, will it make him less interested in the project I’m working on? If it did, does that mean he was just looking for an excuse out? And why would he? That makes no sense at all. So: I got to visit the fake White House this week to see our television president because his company likes something I’ve done. And it was one of those moments where your life seems like someone else’s life, when Lily Tomlin says hello to you as she passes by and people from the television are in front of you smoking a cigarette or eating an apple. When I’m eating lunch next to people from ER who are in their scrubs and eating their lunch — it truly feels like your television broke and people escaped.

And I was going to wait until the official announcement in the trades, but here goes: I sold the movie rights to Why Girls Are Weird. And I’ve been hired as the screenwriter for the adaptation. I’ll give more details when they are announced, which should be this week or the next. Or maybe even the week after that. There’s a lot of waiting around here. But I need to remember that sometimes in the middle of waiting, it’s okay to say, “Hey, I just did this.” And then the other person says, “Cool. I just did this.” And then we congratulate each other. It’s so easy to dismiss it, to say, “Well, it’s not like it’s a movie yet, and it might not ever be a movie,” and then move on. But this is something I’ve been working for out here, and I did it. I got hired to be a screenwriter.

But no, I haven’t been paid yet, and no this doesn’t make me a member of the guild, and no I don’t have any control over the casting, and no I don’t get to buy a house or retire with the money. But it’s the start of things, and a very promising start, and I’m excited and lucky and grateful and happy. I really do like my life, even when I play it down as no big deal.

I’ve been in Los Angeles for three years now, three years as of this past weekend. I can’t believe how much has happened in that time.

[db]

From: LeAnn
Sent: Thursday, October 30, 2003 3:03 PM
Subject: VH1 PILOT: LOST IDOLS…….

fyi….
We are currently casting for the VH1 pilot Lost Idols. The show consists of two teams of two people who will be searching for an 80’s idol who has disappeared from the public eye. The teammates should have a pre-existing relationship. We’re looking for people who are dynamic, fun and love to reminisce about the 80’s and their lost idol. If you know anyone who might fit the bill, we would greatly appreciate it if you could pass this email on. To follow is a bit more info about the show. Thanks for your help! To apply for LOST IDOLS, please email your name, phone numbers, age, occupation and your LOST IDOL to lostidols@msn.com. All information will be kept in confidence.

[scripty]
PAMIE
Stee! Let’s go find Chunk!

STEE
We are not going to find Chunk.

PAMIE
Come on. It’d be fun.

STEE
How is that going to be an interesting show?

PAMIE
Fantastic Google-search montages.

STEE
And then we show up with this piece of paper. “Okay, this is Echo Park… and this should be… the apartment… Huh.”

PAMIE
And we’re all, “Hey! You’re Chunk!”

STEE
“I’m thirty-five. And a lawyer. And I hate you.”

PAMIE
“But you’re Chunk!”

STEE
“Don’t make me call my landlord.”

PAMIE
“Do the Truffle Shuffle!”

STEE
“Go find Data!”
[/scripty]

Dammit. Someone already beat us to it.

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