Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Let Go and Let God Part 2

Okay, part 2. If you're just joining us, you missed a post, go back down and read "Let Go and Let God Part 1" Because we're analyzing the Folk Wisdom of "Let Go and Let God." Or rather, I'm stumbling through it, and you all are watching me and laughing. HA!

So, summing up last post: Last year, I had a meltdown in a car, I told God to take over my life, nothing seemed to change and then I made a lame analogy with The Lost Boys. And Jason Patric as Michael Emerson in that movie is beautiful beautiful.

I have a spec script I’m working on currently, and the genre is more than just “Romantic Comedy” or “Thriller With Stock Characters And Implausibilities Galore”, or “Coming Of Age Claptrap.” The genre is, in fact unique enough that I don’t feel comfortable saying it here, so as with most other identifying details on this blog, we’ll go with an assumed name and say the genre is “Purple Monkey” ‘cause that phrase makes me giggle.

I am working on a Purple Monkey spec script, and I started it last year, and I felt like it was really something that could do something for me. It was commercial, I could pitch it to people saying “it’s (title of this movie) crossed with (title of that movie)” and people would go, “Mmmmm” in one of those “Holy Crap, she is so RIGHT. A Purple Monkey movie hasn’t been done in a while! It’s exactly what we need! Here’s a blank check!”

I started the Purple Monkey script in September of last year, and the first week of this month, I cracked open the trades and saw that a Purple Monkey TV series was being prepped. Okay, don’t panic. Don’t panic. I’ve been in this situation before, where people went out with a script of mine in a different genre, which was, um, a Yellow Platypus script. And it didn’t sell because it was coming on the tail end of a tidal wave of Yellow Platypus’ sales, and I certainly didn’t know it when I was writing it, I was writing it just to write it, and once I figured out there was a trend and it was almost over, I halfway hoped that people still wanted a Yellow Platypus script. And they didn’t. And at the time, I stomped, and yelled, and shook my ineffectual fist heavenward, and basically behaved like a brat. That was many years ago (yes, I know some of you are thinking, “Sheesh, nothing’s changed.”)

Now here I am, with a Purple Monkey script, and there’s a Purple Monkey TV series being prepped, and I gotta get GOING on the rewrite, but it’s not a trend, it’s not a trend. Calm down, calm down. Put that ineffectual fist away.

And then I opened the trades last week and saw that another writer sold a Purple Monkey pitch.

AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!! NO GOD NO! NOT AGAIN GOD! NOT AGAIN GOD! I ALREADY WENT THROUGH THIS GOD! I TOLD YOU TO TAKE OVER MY LIFE, GOD! HOW IS THIS YOU TAKING OVER MY LIFE IF THE LATEST SCRIPT I WROTE (WHICH, BY THE WAY, WAS ON YOUR WATCH, BECAUSE IT WAS QUITE CLEARLY AFTER I TOLD YOU TO TAKE THE WHEEL ON MY LIFE) IS NOT GOING TO BE ABLE TO CAPITALIZE ON THIS NOW EMERGING PURPLE MONKEY TREND! I THOUGHT YOU WERE GOD, GOD! I THOUGHT YOU WERE ALL OMNISCIENT AND SHIT! WHAT’S GOING ON UP THERE!?

Yes, that is what I would’ve thought, if I had thought it. But the small vital truth is, I didn’t think it. Okay, fine, I thought this much:

AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!! NO GOD NO! NOT AGAIN GOD! NOT AGAIN GOD! I ALREADY WENT THROUGH

And that’s all I thought. Everything else in that above all caps rant, is well, embellished for your benefit. Take THAT, James Frey! I'm honest FROM THE BEGINNING!

Because yes, I had the two second freak out. And then, it was gone. I did think, “You better get yo’ ass in gear on that rewrite, chickie!” and went to finesse another 10 pages of the script.

But the quite crystal clear thought was so what. They have their Purple Monkey scripts. I have mine. My Purple Monkey script is different from their Purple Monkey script. I’m pretty sure that my Purple Monkey kicks their Purple Monkey’s ASS.

And I also don’t care if I get done with the rewrite, call up my agent and manager contacts, and they all read the script and say, “Mmmm, gosh, you know, if only that other Purple Monkey pitch hadn’t sold, and if only that other Purple Monkey TV series hadn’t sold, and I just think that the studios are all full up on Purple Monkeys right now.” ‘Cause I’m not stopping. I know my Purple Monkey script is worth something. I’m not panicking, and I’m not stopping. If that’s God taking over my life then…okay. I was hoping for a little more strength, a little more guidance, a little more I’ve Killed The Head Vampire OOOMPH about it. But okay. We’re going the subtle route, looks like. Maybe it should be Let Go And Let God And Lose the Expectation.

But who’d wanna hear that, right?

3 comments:

monk said...

A few thoughts.
"God" in these blogs sounds like an absentee parent, or the other half
of a dysfunctional marriage that's just not gonna work. It's like
you've completely anthropomorphized Him. Are your feelings or state of
mind or mental/emotional/career status really evidence of God's hand in the world one way or another? No matter how good your life gets, (script sale, great boyfriend etc) someone out there will always be suffering deeply and unfairly. Is his/her God your God too? If you're not suffering, the problem of suffering -- and thus the problem of God -- still exists. You won't solve this problem by becoming content or happy or successful; so what does your becoming successful or content or happy have to do with it? If your purple monkey script sold before the several other scripts you mentioned reading about in the trades, then some other writer out there would be filling his or her blog with: "That Amy H. beat me to the punch -- God where the hell are you when I need you?!" Meanwhile, you might be at church at that very moment thanking God for helping you sell your script. I wonder what God's doing during these moments?
I don't know that you're looking for God per se; you're looking for a way to finally, unequivocally, feel great about life, untouchable and comfortable, safe, free from shame and discomfort, failure, loserdom, loneliness, death and decline. And who the fuck can blame you?? Let me tell you, living on this mountain I've resorted to some of the most pathetic, desperate prayers of my life, where I'm literally sweating them out of my body drop by drop. I've sat there trying to judge my spiritual progress (or the Buddhist equivalent, I guess) by sitting out in the wilderness and trying to play with the squirrels like some ersatz St. Francis, as though they will sense my soft, wise supernatural spirit and eat peanuts out of my hand or cuddle up next to me while I become one with nature. Chogyam Trungpa, a Tibetan Lama said, "The spiritual journey is just one embarrassment after another."
With that in mind: You should ask yourself if you really want "God". Or do you just want to "make it"?
I was thinking about you last night. I remembered a bit of dialog you read me from one of your plays. The play had to do with fairy tales. I remembered how much you love fairy tales. I remembered your love for Disney. Then it occurred to me: what Amy really wants is "God" to be that one fairy tale that's true in life -- indeed, your idea of God often sounds like a kind of adult fairy tale: "God" being the one thing, the Force, that can make all go right so that you live happily ever after. I once met a Cistercian monk who sat me down after reading one of my typically terrible college essays on religion. He said, "If you want to feel God's presence in your life, you're going to have to get real."

Yummyteece said...

OK, i want to write something deep and insightful..... but really...i'm just IN LOVE with the Purple monkey pictures. In particular, the fuschia gorilla is just glorious.

Midlife Virgin said...

Wow, Amy, just caught up on all of your blogs. Suffice to say, we all feel it, in case that wasn't clear in others' comments. I find I feel God in moments, here and there, not in one big fell swoop. The moments I feel God are actually simple ones that have nothing to do with the drama in the rest of my life -- when I'm watching my amazing friends being rock stars at karaoke, when I wake up and my cat is curled up, her little paw covering her face, being cute just for me, when I feel a great urge to write and what I write is actually good, when I stand back from a show I've directed and I know it's really good. God, I think, is in the moments and "letting go" is just that - being open to find those moments. Okay, that's not much clearer than what you've gotten. I just know that God sneaks up on me and shows himself to me when I'm least expecting it, which gives me confidence he's there when I need him to be, when I don't feel him and when it's important that he's there. I hope you find him in the moments, because that's the best way.