So, I'm finally graduating this august institution
, walking out with a BA
in American Studies
. Well, I'm not technically done, I have a paper and three finals left, but the paper's mostly done, one of the finals is on a subject I've been studying from all different angles for the past two and a half years, and the other two are in silly senior year gut courses. Anyway, the only thing that could actually keep me from graduating would be to get an F on the paper, and call it grade inflation
or what have you, but I think I'm guaranteed at least a C as long as it's made up of intact English sentences.
So now, what? Well, I get my diploma at the end of May, move back home for a few weeks, and then I drive out to LA with my best friend from high school to become a television screenwriter.
This feels absolutely absurd, and I'm not really sure why.
I mean, I guess there's always going to be an element of ridiculousness when someone packs up their car and essentially declares "Look out Hollywood, here I come!" I don't think I'm just chasing a foolish dream, though. Someone has to feed the idiot box, and I - young, white, male alumni of an Ivy League humor magazine - am traditionally the exact kind of person that does it. The competition's fierce, but someone has to make it, and, well, let's dump the false modesty here, I think I'm smarter, funnier, more coherent, more well-read and accordingly gifted with a better sense of plot and character dynamics than the vast majority of the people I'll be competing against. (Of course, we'll see how this impression weathers rejection.) Riffing off of other people's ideas is one of my strong points, I'm good at emulating styles, I'm fairly amicable and can calmly and productively discuss ideas I don't like without getting petty or angry at my "opponents" as people, and I'm plenty willing to put in my dues and work as other people's bitch if it means an opportunity to learn the craft. Plus as far as practicality goes, screenwriting is one of the most culturally-specific jobs out there, so you've got a good assurance that they're not going to move the writers' room to India and leave you shit out of luck. (Silly goose, that's what reality TV is for.)
So if I can explain at length why this is a realistic course of action, then why can I still not fully take this seriously? Maybe it's a defense mechanism to prevent myself from having to contemplate the full weight of responsibility of adult life all at once. Maybe I'm overthinking things and I should maintain a sense of levity about the whole thing. I am, after all, talking about a career the application process of which largely consists of writing glorified fanfic. (Joss Whedon was really the one who inspired me to set down this path, and I'm working on a Firefly spec right now.)
Anyway. Things will happen one way or another, and damned if I can say what I'll be doing in two years, let alone the rest of my life. Maybe I'll have my WGA card punched, maybe I'll be doing something else entirely. I expect the experience itself should be worthwhile, and given that aside from riverrun's excellent firsthand accounts, there's not much on here about the actual business of how Tinseltown works, should make for good node fodder. (I recently just made level five, thanks to an anonymous upvoter who nudged my merit over the top, and while create room and the extra votes are nice, I've got my sights on the homenode picture. Just
70 69 58 34 23 more writeups to go, assuming merit paces inflation. ) I'll keep you all updated.
In the meantime, I'd be grateful for any Angelenos' recommendations on living in LA, where to focus our apartment hunting, etc, and for any recommendations of places to check out on the cross-country drive (leaving from Philly) or appropriate tunes to put on the iPod.