Evil Gal Productions

Mere Smith
is a recovering Southerner,
longtime TV writer,
author and blogger.
February 10th, 2011 by Mere Smith

Wrong = …Good?

Sorry for the delay in posting;

I didn’t want to write anything until I was sure about what you’re going to read.

If there’s one habit Writers loathe (even more than incompetent Actors masticating the Writer’s painstakingly-crafted lines into unrecognizable pulp), it’s this:

Being wrong.

Granted, most people hate being wrong — it’s certainly not a feeling unique to Writers — but Writers hate it all the fiercer because our very job dictates that we create true and believable worlds.  Even if those worlds are fantastic, ludicrous, 100% impossible, we pride ourselves on always being right within those worlds.  You could be writing about dancing coffee tables — dancing coffee tables that cannot physically exist anywhere outside your misshapen head — but if you then write a word about those dancing coffee tables that contradicts something else you’ve already established about the dancing coffee tables?  That is, if you violate the rules of the Dancing Coffee Table World, and you’re wrong?  Ooh, that just makes your blood boil.  And not out of anger, either.

Little known fact?  Shame lowers your blood’s boiling point to just under room temperature.

You feel caught.  Exposed.  And approximately a dozen thousand kinds of moron.

Yet, opinionated as I may be, I am capable of — and rather insistent on — owning up to my mistakes.  Thus, allow me to admit, before the blood starts bubbling out of my eye sockets:

I was wrong.

(Ugh.  Yep.  That sucked.)

About two weeks ago, I wrote a post called “#1 Draft Pick” — in which I compared being the NBA’s #1 draft pick to being one of the first Writers hired during Pilot Season, since the #1 draft pick invariably gets sent to the league’s shittiest team (or, for Writers, series).  I even went so far as to say that I would prefer to be taken in the third or fourth round of the draft — thinking this would give me a better shot at a show that… well… didn’t fellate giant donkey penis.

But here comes the part where I was wrong.

(Oh, yeah.  Still stings, even with repetition.)

Just yesterday I got an offer to write for a series — which, by the way, yay!  no more riding pine on “Satan’s Own Injured Reserve”!  — a series that, stunningly enough, I actually like.   It’s the show for which I met that scientifically, objectively nice EP last week, the one that made me question whether or not he was an alien lifeform who only sprung from my misshapen head.

(Frankly, he was so nice, I thought it a distinct possibility that I had hallucinated the whole encounter — and now, hearing that I’ll get the opportunity to work with him makes me question whether or not I should be immediately consigned to the nearest psycho stable.)

In a few words, I liked the show because it’s funny; it’s got a cool-sassy-but-strong female lead; and it’s sci-fi/fantasy/mystery — my forte, and far more interesting to me than plain old boring “Real Shows” — or as close to that concept as Hollywood gets — where telepathy or an Illuminati conspiracy are considered strictly verboten.   Even more exciting, they want to hire my crazy ass!

Maybe they should be the ones checking out the psycho stable.

After suffering through umpteen staffing seasons, I can guarantee you this is nothing short of a fucking Christ-made miracle — me having read only 21 pilots so far and taken 3 meetings.  Usually the number of meetings required to get staffed is ten to fifteen times higher, and your prospects of getting hired dwindle in inverse proportion to how many of those meetings you’ve already taken.

(In the meantime, S— at my manager’s office sent me around a hundred more scripts.  To be honest, I couldn’t even bring myself to start reading them before I heard whether or not I was being hired for this job, since I really wanted this job, and reading dozens of crappy pilots after hearing I wasn’t getting this job would have sent me into a spiral of depression whence no fake-enthusiasm could escape.)

The idea that I could be a #1 draft pick AND get on a cool show was so foreign to me, it had never crossed my mind, really.  I had already assumed (making an ass out of me and me), that I would be passed over for the gig I actually wanted, and be forced to do my monkey dance at every studio and network in town.  That, at least, has always been my previous experience, and I had no reason to think this year would be different.  Yet here I am on Thursday, my first day of work expected to commence Monday, and I find myself in the enviable position of not only getting a job quickly, but getting one I expect to enjoy.

God is surely in His heaven, and all is right with the Dancing Coffee Table World… even if it does leave me a little floored and wary — as if at any moment on Monday, they’ll reveal they just hired me for Taser practice.

Still, I think this might be the singular occasion on which I am delighted to be proven wrong.

I’m just not going to make a habit of it.

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