High Expectations

Inner Thoughts

- Overthinking among BAFTAs -

Day 71

Sometimes we should just appreciate our little victories, like putting your face on an e-mail. It’s a valid thing to stop being perceived as a random unknown stalker by someone who has been in most of the stuff you aspire to. Sometimes, well, sometimes frustration gets the best out of you because you built up a level of expectation that shouldn’t be considered healthy at your current position. Oh well, it’s not like we have any control over ourselves, is it?

I met J last week. J is someone well-established enough to comfortably waste a few minutes of her day chatting to a foreigner about his unlikely aspirations. Before over-analyzing our meeting like it’s a failed relationship, I feel obliged to highlight how I’m still perceived as an exotic creature by some people whenever I mention what I want to be, despite whatever experience I might already have. While some give me the same look they would give an 807 year-old asthmatic limbless man aspiring to become Cristiano Ronaldo — which I kind of like it — others patronize me as if they were keeping children from finding out that Santa’s little elves are 8-year old Asians desperately hoping to commit suicide. So you know, I’m either perceived as an anomaly worshiping Scientology or a very adorable 30 year-old beardless dude who needs a few taps on his back to burp. J didn’t make me feel like either of those, like a lot of people don’t as well, but those thoughts own timeshares on my head, so they come and go as they’re pleased when I’m a bit apprehensive.

To better display her caliber, she has worked with the likes of Steve Coogan, Rowan Atkinson and Jesse Armstrong (who happens to know you, Charlie), to name a few. She was kind enough to explain me how things work around here and despite the fact I was excited to meet someone who’s name fills a whole Google search page without any Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn links showing up, someone who actually belongs to the world I desperately want to be a part of; anxiety finally bested me the moment I kept staring at the BAFTAs and other awards her Company had displaying at their hall. Like it was no biggy. Seriously, I know it’s something every major player does — even small ones with their less known awards — but it felt like I was trying not to worry about the time while Flavor fucking Flav kept waving at me. Did people “sacrifice” their BAFTAs to leave them there? Like, “ah, no thank you. I wouldn’t know what to do with that BAFTA”; or “My house is already too full of BAFTAs, so I had to throw a few BAFTAs away because my partner said enough with the BAFTAs”; or “I prefer to leave my BAFTA close to other BAFTAs so it doesn’t go Toy Story alone…BAFTA”…

I know, I know. It’s the typical self-defense speech I give myself when I need to blame whatever else for my own insecurities and issues. And because of all of the above, I ended up doing what I do best whenever uncertainty triumphs over my common sense: I started babbling like there was no tomorrow. Like I needed to prove my own self I was interesting and cool enough to be there. I had this urge to sell myself as this promising commodity, like I was a better investment than Exxon. Therefore, I threw away a great opportunity to quietly listen and learn because I built enough expectation in my head before seeing her that I actually hoped our meeting would run as a job interview. And the impression left in my mind afterwords is that I might have sounded like the most uninteresting random Joe ever. I felt like those boring-ass people who love bragging repeatedly on how “crazy” and “out of the curve” they are. It seriously fascinates me how I’ve never heard a truly interesting individual allowing a sentence remotely close to “I’m crazy” come out of his/her mouth.

At the end of the day, it’s probably all in my head. I mean, I wish I was a better listener there and I’m sure J got whatever impressions out of me she would — after all, I was my true self (the anxious one, but still). I can’t bang my head against the wall simply to “comfort” my insecurities or cover the fact I was never going to get a job out of that meeting in the first place. It was just a friendly chat she was kind enough to offer. And if it wasn’t, it’s not the end of the world as Michael Stipe predicted. Sometimes, it’s like everything comes down to the only two extremes I appear to formally understand: relevance and adulation or mediocrity and delusions of greatness. Those aren’t the only options, dude. Fuck, you finally met someone from the inside. She put a real face on your e-mails and you put a real face on the shows you watch. Next time you see BAFTAs at a Production Company, think of Phil Collins on South Park. It will somehow remind you that they’re people just like you… well, maybe not exactly like you, cuz, sadly, you’re officially cray-cray now.

Day 71, Charlie.

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