The Only Confused 20 Something
What the fucking fuck am I doing??
I graduated from a cool Liberal Arts school with a 3.8 GPA. I studied Political Science and Feminist & Gender Studies, because I give a crap about understanding my surroundings and how my understanding differs from others. Well, that, and like 100 other things. I mean, look at the race of every author you ever read in college. Chances are 70–90% of them are white. Look at the gender. The class. You know what I’m saying. Now, look at the identities of the voices you CLOSE read in any Gender Studies, Women’s Studies, Feminist Studies, Queer Studies, Critical Studies–Whatever your department spent months of arguing and voting on to call it. It was fucking diverse, if your college had a diverse staff of academics who know what “intersectionality” is.
Damn, that rant felt good. I should rant more.
Ok, so this blog is gonna be the place I shit out all my thoughts. Because right now I’m experiencing extreme anxiety that I am a failure, I am not perfect, I’ve made too many mistakes, I haven’t done enough, I’m in over my head, my boobs are too big and I AM TIRED OF IT. I’m tired of trying to be pretty, do pretty things, produce pretty work. I’m done.
Okay, rewind. Before I graduated in 2015, I studied the above. I also took a bunch of film classes, one taking me to Los Angeles to see if a career in Entertainment was for me and another enrolling me in Sundance’s “Ignite” program to reinforce the artistic value of storytelling. By the way, when someone in a recent work place of mine found out I spent time at Sundance she immediately responded “what were YOU doing at Sundance?” Wow. Thanks for the vote of confidence. More on that kind of shit later.
So I did the film stuff, blah blah blah. Started a comedy troupe. Did stand up. Wrote pilots. A professor told me I had the talent and voice of a TV Writer. So I gave up on pretending I wanted to be a lawyer and gave into the secret dream of being Tina Fey. And it’s all I talked about. All I freaking talked about was comedy, comedy writing, comedy writers, television, television writers and how I want to do what they freaking did for me. Which was keep me on my ass for half of high school, instead of out in the world. But god damn, I was happy. The characters on TV were my friends. It’s sad, but true. WHATEVER. I was popular during freshmen and sophomore year to the point people made me their profile pics on fb. I was lonely, but my first two years made up for it. And the loneliness was an incredible break from the crippling social anxiety of needing to remain useful to your peers, trust me.
How did this blog post about where I’m at now end up where I was almost a decade ago?
Back to the point. I’m 24. I’m in Los Angeles. Moved here as soon as I could after graduating. Moved into a shitty apartment–bed bugs, cockroaches, fluffy once-white-now-yellow carpet with mystery grey stains all over it. Got a cool freelance writing job writing three episodes of a children’s show produced in Spain and airing in Mexico and Russia (thanks Prof!). Got a part-time gig at a Podcast Network working with talented goofballs and a broey boss. Did contractor work for a Casting Agency. All at the same time for a little less then a year.
Then BAM. I got a tremendous opportunity to be the Writers’ PA on a show I love and so do most people who watch modern television. Fast forward six months later. I’m exhausted. That was Writers’ Room bootcamp. I loved all the writers–-never ending discussion of story, eager to share their experiences and advice. When you enter a room though, you literally get NO training. And I had been fortunate enough to work in environments involving collaboration and mentorship. Now? It was up to me to figure out what the heck a “Writers’ PA” does and how they do it. Because, for whatever reason, all the rules and procedures are unspoken. I didn’t go to film school. I have no connections to the film industry except the ones I’ve fostered on my own since moving here. All my friends? Not in the film industry. The ones I’ve made in LA? Not doing assistant work.
I could write a book on my experience figuring out how to be a Writers’ PA. I learned how silly it is to trust people off the bat. I should have started out LEARNING who to trust, versus just suddenly trusting them. Again, I’m not talking about the writers. Maybe I’ll write something about some of the incidents. In a private journal. Why would I do that though? I need to stop silencing myself. How will I ever develop a voice if I silence myself?
Okay, so check in now. I have written a pilot with a friend. I have developed a pilot I need to freaking scale back on in order to actually write. I have published satirical articles. I have written three episodes of that children’s show. I have successfully pitched ideas to the people I worked with that will be in the upcoming season. I’m involved in local theatre. I auditioned for a thing, will not get it, but I had to do it for disciplinary reasons.
My writing partner and I are working on a comedy vid to submit to a contest and another pilot. We got to the final round of a fellowship, so I think if a good thing happened with our last pilot, another good thing can happen with this pilot. I’m strong where she is weak and she’s strong where I am weak. I’m socialable, strategic, GREAT at character and description, positive. She’s focused, dry, reliable, trustworthy, can plot like a boss, one liners like a king. We’re both intelligent, funny and creative. I like her. I love her!
But now I’m unemployed. I feel nervous all the time and unmotivated. Uncertain if I want to go through the trials and tribulations of an aspiring writer, especially because I feel I don’t have the disciplinary habits necessary for an independent writer. Put me on a team and I’m golden. Give me a deadline and I’ll meet it. You’ll pay for 1000 words? Tell me when and where and I’ll give you a 1000 words. But I’m struggling to craft original spec samples on my own and that is what you fucking need to get hired on a show.
I need money. I need to find steady income. I need to move to a new place next month, with two non-strangers! Friends, even! Yay! But also… I miss my college friends. Who are just as lost as I am, despite the fact we all freaking excelled during college.
I’m tired and going to sleep. Peace.