Christmas has come early for me this year. Santa stuffed my stocking with a manager meeting…in LA. It’s enough to make a jaded, small-town screenwriter believe in miracles. But I know better.
For those writers, who still wish to believe in the Santa Scribe, stop reading here!
For the rest of you, you’ve reached the age where the myth of luck and the perfect script has gotten pretty hard to believe. It’s time to accept that no amount of wishful letter writing or selfless perfection of your craft will bring success to your inbox. The truth is not as magical, but still very exciting.
My journey into the light began with a simple RSVP: yes, I would attend a screenwriting business seminar. Until that moment, I hadn’t worn my career aspirations in public. Well-meaning pals usually patted my arm and smiled indulgently when they heard that I was writing scripts…for the movies…like, for famous people. Their support was strained and patronizing, to say the least, and these were people who liked me! How would I fare in the professional fish tank where sharks circled the little fishies like me?
The morning of the seminar dawned rainy and freezing, but I took my first steps into the world as a screenwriter. The weather kept the class limited to less than twenty hopeful souls. We ranged from lifelong dabbler to compulsive over-achiever with a God complex. We tentatively opened our notebooks and waited for the lightning to strike.
Our instructor, Lee Zahavi-Jessup of ScriptShark, was nowhere near what I expected, although it’s been oft established that I didn’t have a clue about anything. I was initially mesmerized by the fierce auburn curls that swept the length of her spine when she moved. She had a warm smile, but there was a “No BS accepted here” edge to it. She began to lay out a horrifying, dream-killing picture of Hollywood’s bizarre script bazaar. I worried that I might throw up, the only reason I was happy to have a doctor sitting next to me. Lee’s dynamic dialogue was powered with concrete facts, anecdotes of her own professional experiences, and if we listened carefully, a blueprint to a successful screenwriting career.