I may have…accidentally…on purpose…inadvertently…quit my job.
That was the teaser.
Now for something completely different.
My final semester of college, I flipped my academic advisor (and group of friends) the bird and moved to New York City. NO REGRETS! Jiminy Cricket, I love that city. I participated in an internship program. The Great Lakes Colleges Association purchased an old hostel on 29th Street and 8th Ave. (I could practically spit on Madison Square Garden). Out of all the artistes participating in the program, the coffee-fetchers, the case carriers, the note-takers, I had something amazing.
An internship at Sony Pictures Television.
I was in a three-person department which consisted of the Development VP and Producer for Mini-Series and Made for TV Movies, her assistant, and lil ol’ me.
And this was no coffee-fetching internship. I was picking writers for projects. I was determining which rights to acquire. Script coverage, contacting agents, sitting in on budget meetings, editing scripts…my God, I’m almost shedding tears thinking about it.
Once the writers’ strike was over, the VP was on set while her assistant and I held down the fort at the New York office. I was watching dailies, seeing costuming. I only went out for coffee once, and the assistant apologized at least four times for asking me to do it.
I was in love. There’s something about that city. It doesn’t work for everyone, but when it gets inside you, you feel it. It whispers in your ear. It tugs on your heart. It lifts you up high and reminds you of every low. It makes you forget everything outside of itself.
In retrospect, I did some stupid stuff in that city.
I walked around by myself at two-o-clock in the morning just to feel the pace still burning through the streets when the world should be sleeping. Okay, I didn’t go to Central Park at night. I have seen almost every episode of Law and Order: SVU. I’m stupid, but not suicidal.
And, when walking through NYC at two-o-clock in the morning, I knew what I want to do with my life.
I want to produce content. Not just books, not just TV shows, not just movies. I want to tell stories, no matter what form that takes. I want to take these fantastic images in my head and hand them to someone else and say, “Look. Without me, this would not exist. What do you think?”
I know. All mad gab existential.
But, more than that, I want to be someone people can associate with quality storytelling. I want my name to be attached to a TV show, and a group of people take over a bar on premiere night so they can make up a series drinking game. I want to share other people’s stories that I find brilliant.
I want to determine what gets added to the cultural genetic structure.
Sounds crazy, no?
It’s not about the money. It’s not even about the reputation. It’s about the story. It’s about the culture. It’s about striving for a higher standard, raising the expectation, and achieving something amazing.
This past weekend, I took a step back and looked at Day Job. I adopted a British accent, stuck my finger in its face, and screamed, “You’re not helping me achieve my bloody goals!”
I told my boss I think I needed to explore my options. Because I have to keep moving forward. Stagnancy is going to kill me.
Wish me luck, pray for me, keep me in your thoughts, whatever.
Because I might be broke forever, but, at the end of everything, at least I can say I tried my hardest.
And, that counts for something.