Working on this television show is teaching me how to add more specifics to my writing. When I write here, or a recap, or even a script Liz and I will eventually perform, there’s a tendency to write in shorthand, to deliver enough information that someone “gets it,” and then move on. Here I’m learning what happens if you leave things up to interpretation, the confusion that can happen when a script goes through ten different hands before it’s heard out loud again. There’s no room for imagination. Everything will actually exist and there are a thousand decisions to make. If the writer doesn’t specify, there will be notes, questions, and the possibility of something getting cut because it’ll take too long to interpret.

[scripty]
Liz is in the kitchen. She stands by a table, eating food.

LIZ
Chinese food is so messy.
[/scripty]

Is the kitchen in a house, apartment or office? What kind of table? Can it be a counter? Is the food in a bowl, on a plate, in a container? Is she eating Chinese food, or just talking about it because she can’t eat it because it’s too messy?

[scripty]
Liz is in her kitchen, wearing a hot, black dress. She is balancing over her kitchen table, trying to eat Chinese food without spilling any on her clothes. She drops a noodle on her chest.

LIZ
Dammit.
[/scripty]

That’s the kind of stuff I’m learning — how to write for performance, keeping it specific and concise so the joke is clearly there. In the second example the costume person knows what to look for, props can get a container of Chinese food (or at least chopsticks and noodles), the set designer knows what’s going on, and the actor has a sense of mood. Kind of. This would probably need another revision. Or three.

We’ve started shooting, which is just amazing and awesome and crazy, really. An idea turned into pages, and now there are all these people standing around to bring the idea to life. There’s makeup and costumes and HOL-lee-wood! Duh-duh-da-da-dah-HOL-lee-wood!

I also had to sign a confidentiality agreement, so I probably can disclose a little less than I was. But I got to sit in a director’s chair, behind a monitor, lean over to the producer and go, “That’s a great take.”

Come on. That’s what it’s all about.

The doctors are hard at work to determine what’s wrong with me. They’ve decided I need three months of daily antibiotics. Yeah!

When this first started happening I was truly bummed out because it reminded me of Dad. He used to get these kinds of sores, complications from his diabetes, and it brought back all these terrible feelings. Diabetes runs in my family, from my Dad’s side. He had it, his sister had it, and his mother had it. In talking to Mom about this, she suddenly remembered that my father’s mom used to get these kinds of sores, too, in the same places. She made a phone call to another relative and determined that my dad’s sister also used to get these sores. If you’re paying attention that means my dad, his sister, and their mother all used to get what I’m currently going through. It all started for them when they got in their thirties. They all were diagnosed with diabetes around that time. They are all now dead.

Yeah, this is when the Internet is not your friend, and every page brings up something more terrifying, and there are forums full of stories of people who died from what you’re going through. Both the surgeon and the infectious diseases doctor say they don’t think it’s Hidradenitis Suppurativa (in case you didn’t click the scary link), but they do think it’s possible my grandmother had it, from the descriptions of the terrible things she went through. Apparently my family members went to many doctors, suffering through all kinds of treatments, but nothing helped. There’s not one sexy word in all of this, by the way. Dude. Someone needs to get on that. Boils. Staph. Carbuncles. I mean, one thing that doesn’t sound like I’m made of ooze. Please.

I don’t have any of the other symptoms of diabetes, but it’s still enough to get me worried. I went for blood tests this morning at the crack of dawn, and then drove straight to my first shoot. The highs and lows. That’s what this year has been about: incredibly wonderful, amazing news tempered with health issues, stress and huge what-if’s.