Monday, September 30, 2013

The White Flag

A assure you, that is John Cleese in this blurry-ass photo.

Greetings, Fellow Capitulators!

Back on the 16'th of this month I had the unique pleasure of seeing comedy legend John Cleese give a two hour presentation about his career. Interestingly enough, one of the most enduring themes of the show was the importance of luck.

According to John it was sheer kismet that his first stage show with the Cambridge Circus was elevated from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival to London's West End and then went on to tour extensively in New Zealand and on Broadway. It was pure good fortune when David Frost took John under his wing as a writer for The Frost Report where he met future collaborators Terry Jones, Eric Idle and Micheal Palin. And it was a masterstroke of fortuitous happenstance when Thames Television offered these four, enterprising young lads a blank check to produce a new show that would eventually be known as Monty Python's Flying Circus.

Although I suspect that John is short-changing his prodigious talent somewhat, I also believe that, no matter how good you are or how hard you work, sometimes you need someone with power and influence to recognize what you've got, validate your worth and give you a shot.


Way back in April of 2010 I quit a lucrative-yet-thoroughly-despicable job and started writing this here blog. When I began, I had several lofty goals in mind. At first, all I wanted to do was vent about my miserable working career thus far. I also wanted to sharpen my writing skills, show that I could maintain a self-imposed deadline and avoid accusations of goldbricking. I didn't know what "goldbricking" was, I just knew that I didn't want to be found guilty of it.
But more then anything else, I really hoped that the blog would showcase my ability to string a sentence together. In turn I thought, rather naively, that someone in a position of influence might take notice of my previously-mentioned aptitude for sentence-stringablilty and offer me some sort of paying gig. Clearly this Pretty Woman-style scenario was the product of a fevered brain warped by watching one too many formulaic rom-coms.

Clearly, this delusion is entirely my own problem. Well, maybe writer J.F. Lawton deserves some of the blame, but mainly the onus is on this cowpoke right here.         

Alas this tacked-on, eleventh-hour, test-screened, feel-good, slap-happy ending didn't materialize for me. Sure, I made some cheddar from my book, a few shekels from the odd writing and editing gig, and a coupla bucks from the occasional background acting job but hardly enough money to be described as "sustainable". As a result, by savings account has taken more abuse then Bill O'Reilly's studio crew.     

As such, I've got some good news and some bad news. The bad news is that I've been forced to seek out non-editing / non-writing jobs that pay me actual real money. The good news is that I've found something in an area of interest that just might dovetail with writing on the side. Details not to follow, BTW, so you can exercise yer nosy proclivities some place else. 

So what does this mean for the three blogs? Well, the most consistently popular in terms of overall traffic, the board game blog, will get top priority. The days of detailed session reports are officially over and game play recaps will likely be limited to a few paragraphs with more of an emphasis placed on information and reviews. Basically, quantity over quality will become the order of the day.

I've managed to maintain a fairly regular posting schedule for my entertainment-related blog thanks to a stockpile of older, pre-written reviews which I've been dusting off and posting. Also helping to keep me productive is a self-imposed restriction that I can't watch a new movie until I review the last one I watched. Needless to say, this is pretty masochistic for someone who could routinely spazz out on three or four movies in one sitting. All new reviews will be capsule-style without a great deal of synopsis or analysis, I.E. more like this and less like this.    

Which leaves me with the sounding board you're inexplicably wasting time on right now. Regular Readers have probably already noticed that my entries lately have dwindled down from once a week to twice a month and that trend is likely to continue. This gives me a raging sad-on since this blog is by far the one I enjoy writing the most. It's free-form, creatively unrestrained and the one which feels the least like work. 

Here's the bottom line: if time retrains dictate that I can either write a chapter for my new novel or espouse some crackpot theory about Syria, gun violence or the ravages of unchecked mailbox rust, I'll probably go with the former. In fact, it's distinctly possible that I'll never write anything for free public consumption ever again.
And so it ends. Schadenfreuders, start your engines! 

Now, just because I've temporarily thrown in the towel it doesn't mean that my dreams have been permanently interred. At least I hope not! I still believe that my Richard Gere is out there somewhere and one day he'll notice me, foist me up and validate my real purpose for being here on this earth.

I just hope it happens before they put me in the earth.

EPIC SKIT Some inspired proto-Python lunacy on At Last The 1948 Show with John and his hilarious contemporaries Tim Brooke-Taylor, Graham Chapman and Marty Feldman.

REALITY FAIL  Sorry, but I just can't understand this world we live in. If velcro-head here can make $40,000 a night as a DJ, why the f#@k can't I make a living as a writer?  

1 comment:

Michael Chiasson said...

You are awesome, sir. Thank you!