Off the List


At one point in my life, perhaps a smidge too late, I considered a career in screenwriting. I took courses in college, bought books, did a lot of research. In fact I even arranged to speak with Keith Sharon, writer of the Showtime screenplay, who also happened to work at one of the local newspapers. I was inspired by his story and the fact that he wrote the screenplay in a small office behind a McDonald’s not too far from where I lived at the time.

We made contact. Hell, I even still have the e-mails. But despite my best efforts, the meeting never happened.

So I continued to push myself into writing “the next big screenplay” and tried to summon my muse in order to get the thing going. In the meantime I studied character arcs, spec scripts, treatments, pitches, and the business in general. I convinced myself that what I could come up with would be some of the funniest shit anybody had ever seen, and that selling my first script would change my world forever.

And for good measure, I even tried to get into the WGA’s now-defunct Writers Training Program. Out of all the inquiries I sent out (to shows like King of the Hill, The Simpsons, and The King of Queens), I got one response from the producers of MadTV telling me that, unfortunately, they were no longer part of the program. (I still have the letter somewhere.)

Years later, and not surprising to anybody, my muse has yet to arrive. And each glance out across the smoggy L.A. sky from the Green Line station to that seemingly small “HOLLYWOOD” sign in the hills is a constant reminder that no, what I planned on doing has never come to pass and, taking my age into consideration, probably never will.

So it’s with deep regret that I now mark “Writing a Screenplay” off my “Things to Do Before I Die” list. The idea is now officially dead, buried and covered with squirmy maggots.

That said, I’ll look deep into my archives to see if I can find any samples and post them here. Why care about it now, right? I wrote many scenes in college and on my own but who the hell knows where they are now.

But when I do find one or two, they’ll be here.