Sunday, February 3, 2008

Ups and Downs

The last two weeks were pretty good. I have finally gone from "mailroom" to "floater," meaning that I will fill in for assistants when they are out sick. I filled in on a production agent's desk on Thursday and I did okay. I made a couple mistakes but overall I think it went fine, and the assistant told me the next day he would sing my prasies to the HR woman who trains us to be floaters. Moving up to floater should also include a $50/week raise, so I have to watch my direct deposit to make sure that happens.

I have been getting through life and my menial low-paying job by keeping myself busy with lots of lunches & dinners & drinks. The obvious problem with this is that I have a menial low-paying job...but I kind of decided that my sanity is worth the money I don't really have. It's good to keep up with people - old friends, new friends, former coworkers, whomever - partially because you never know when they might pass along your resume or hook you up with those Ellen tickets, but mostly because it's good to be reminded that you're not doing this alone, that there are people who understand your pain, that there is more to life (and someday, your career) than answering phones or fetching coffee or delivering interoffice envelopes all day. I'm doing yoga at least once a week, which just makes you feel better in general - your muscles and your mind. I've also been having weekly meetings with the 15 year-old girl I mentor through WriteGirl, and it's awesome great because she is a great writer who always surprises me and also keeps me grounded. The drive to and from Pasadena is also pretty scenic (and not too trafficky on weekend afternoons). The last couple weeks the tallest brown mountains have been sprinkled with snow, and it reminds me of when my mother used to sprinkle powedered sugar on brownies. Some people look at mountains and think about God or the majesty of nature or their place in the world; I just want some fucking dessert.

For some reason I'm in a terrible mood right now. I think it's cause I was out til 5 am last night doing surprisingly fun sketchy karaoke in a basement in an alley in Chinatown (check out so I felt tired/crappy all day, and I feel guilty about eating french toast and chicken tenders at Norms at 4 am and junk food at a superbowl party today. Plus, I didn't write all weekend and I need to crank of 10 more pages for my writer's group by Wednesday. It is really good that I have that deadline, or I'd probably be a slacker forever.

Also amusing is the fact that ABC's Eli Stone and AMC's Breaking Bad have the same premise: A guy finds out he is dying and he radically changes his life. The shiny, silly-but-heartfelt network version features an Armani-wearing laywer in San Francisco and the quirky, dark cable version features a chubby Albuquerque high school chemistry teacher who starts cooking meth (and kills two people in the pilot!). Strangely, I really like both shows. Eli Stone has a really likeable protagonist, some great moments of understated comedy ("yes, I was pregnant for eight years" was my favorite line) and a tone that was sweet but not overly melodramatic or moralistic. Breaking Bad is a darker, more male version of Weeds with fantastic production values, a really interesting pairing of personalities (though just one underdeveloped female - I hope that changes) and the provocative choice to use plenty of swear words but mute them. I recommend you add both shows to your DVR. Meanwhile, Lipstick Jungle premieres on Thursday, and I'm optimistic about it right now at least.

Also...sources say the strike is basically over. It's not official - and the WGA made that clear in a letter to its members - but Variety, DeadlineHollywoodDaily and the New York Times have all reported really significant progress if not a done deal. Let's hope it's true and people start producing television again. Unless you're excited by the prospect of My Dad is Better Than Your Dad? Huh, me neither.


zebrafish said...

Hello- I am a fellow Hollywoodite (assistant at a production co; writing in my 2.5 free minutes per day) and a fan of your blog. Just wanted to say hi and see if you would like to grab a drink sometime to compare notes on being a rockin' chick in this fabulous and mercurial industry.

Amanda said...
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