My Little Hollywood Bungalow
My house is one of seven cottages built around a courtyard back in 1929, presumably for studio housing. Today it's rent-controlled, $835 a month, up from $700 when I first moved in nine years ago. I keep waiting for other bits of serendipity to befall me, but the trouble with serendipity is it's just so damn serendipitous. Eight-thirty-five doesn't seem so cheap when you don't have eight-thirty-five. I'm not sure how I've always managed to come up with it, month after month. Financial aid, I guess. Scholarships, prizes, pity gifts from Loved Ones Who Really Believe In My Talent.
So, yeah, it's not been a great day. Matter of fact it's one of those days when you realize you really did bet the farm coming out here, and that's when you start to cry.
That's enough, crybaby. You slap yourself in the fact a few times, like Annette Bening in American Beauty. You've still got your talent, and your Script They're Saying Good Things About and Your Very Supportive Manager and Your Big Producer Friend Who'll Be Getting Back To You By Friday!
You're feeling somewhat empowered now -- until you consider sticking a pricetag on your grandmother's Wedgwood box. You remember the day she slipped it to you, secretively, so as not to attract the attention of the greedy cousins lurking in the background. You later write your Hilarious Funeral Screenplay based on these events, the one where you lose everything only to realize that all that really matters is the love of your family. You do tack on a fictitious revenge plot where you snatch a moving van and take everything, despite your requisite enlightenment, right in the middle of Grandma's funeral mass.
Maybe that's the real problem with making it your personal responsibility to write Big Hollywood Movies. That rousing, life-affirming, stand-up-and-cheer third act is almost always fictitious. In real life, most everybody's just doing their best to hang on another day. You don't have to be stuck back in Umatilla to live a life of quiet desperation.
Damn, that's just one more thing they never tell you in film school.