Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Anti-Writer Writer

I am not a writer. Contrary to the words you are seeing on this page, the fact of the matter is, I have no business here. Or in any literary writing circle for that matter. I hold a deep, and I mean DEEP, almost religious regard for writers and the sanctity of the written word. So why would I fuck with it so relentlessly? you may ask...and the answer is...because I need to fail. I need to write in an environment where I can truly, wholeheartedly FAIL. Because, dear reader, as I have a sneaking suspicion there's only one of you...failing is the only way you begin to get better at things, and then eventually get good at them. I truly believe this and I've come, as an adult, to relish in my failures. You have no idea how empowering failure can be. See it as stepping stones leading to that promised land of your hopes and fanboy (or fangirl, we're equal opportunity here) dreams.

I belong to a professional (meaning I get paid for it, not that I'm actually great or even good at it) sketch comedy group and something that is encouraged among us is to write sketches for which a few hundred people a week will pay to watch. Nothing introduces you to failure like the prospect of a few hundred people NOT laughing at the shit you find hilarious. Oh I'm sorry Mr. Babies Pooping on Animals Isn't Funny Enough For Me. You can just pick up your Too Good For Me Stick at the door and bid me a fuckin adieu.

                               (Hilarious Baby Poops on Hilarious Dog in 3....2....ComicGold1)

I honestly don't know what a Too Good For Me Stick entails, but it does not bode well in my mind.
(maybe a candy cane of sorts? cuz it's all into itself but it's also just a stick, ya know? and you're like god, get over yourself candy cane, we get it already.)

As I attempted the foolish endeavor of writing sketches that real live people will watch, a question entered my mind and then continued to, respectively, blow it. Truth shrapnel...just... everywhere.

How do comedy writers do it? And I mean the weekly basis wheelhouse of shows that are on such tight production schedules that those actors don't see their families for months at a time. I always hear, or read, stories about writers being at work til 4am. That's such a writer clock out time I always hear. 4am. And it strikes me as odd. Not quite midnight, not quite dawn. Just riding in between. A big middle finger to the convention of sleep cycles. Seriously, read Bossypants by Tina Fey or Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling. Not only are those books the absolute tits to begin with, they totally back me up on the 4am thing. Anyways, seriously, how do they do it??? The sheer volume of hilarity and brilliance? I mean I know sleep deprivation goes a long way in comedy, but that can't be all. That can't be the key. These people literally have a constant set of jokes, and scenarios, and willy nilly scenes they can just pull out of their bumholes at a moments notice.

                                          (Lesson #1 in Not Being a Douche: Buy This Book)

                                                  (But seriously? Also buy this one too.)

It causes me copious amounts of chagrin (Jesus, I hate that word but whoopty friggin doo if I'm not gonna go ahead and use it anyway) to think the obvious answer: These writers spend years and years and years of their life devoted to an art form that has shaped the way they think of things and causes them to be better equipped than your dumb ass (or our dumb asses, to be more precise) to come up with jokes and interesting stories at a moments notice. But THAT...I the absolute truth. There is no magic about these writers. Yes, they all have talent, else they wouldn't be getting paid a ridick amount of money to do they job they are doing, BUT I would be willing to bet something they have a lot more of than talent is really bitchin work ethic.

I have bitchin work ethic. I do. I honestly think that's the majority of the reason I could be deemed as somewhat successful at what I do. Or I guess, what my definition of successful is. I make barely enough to get by, but I do it by doing what I absolutely love. So it's important to realize that there are straight up Choices to be made in your life (yeah, I capitalized that C, you wanna fight about it?).

There's a possibilty that I was born a shark eyed stock market broker and I could be breaking a mil this year or whatever the crap rich people say. The fact is, I chose the ideal, the dream. I'm that poor kid that's stupid excited about her mud pies and playing pretend. And you're like "damn, that kid is crazy" and maybe she is....maybe she is....but man is she happy.

Quid pro ...crow? That can't be right. Visa vie...jesus, curse Google for being unavailable in my time of need! THE POINT IS...I just need to work harder ...and writing. And then I won't suck so much at it.



1 comment: