The Secret of My Success

Some day I’ll be one of those grandly self-important, million-dollar screenwriters invited to speak to a film school class. The awestruck students will hang on my every word, careful not to miss the key phrase, life philosophy or meaningful anecdote revealing the true secret of my success. I’ll saunter up to the podium, bestow a mouthed hello on a vaguely familiar face, blow on my no-foam latte, and dispense the following bit of advice: "Never wear your first thong to an important lunch meeting."

Yesterday afternoon, throwing caution to the wind in preparation for the most important encounter of my life, I flagrantly defied the All-Black Writer Rule, and even the Sneakers And Jeans Exception. It's springtime in Hollywood, after all, and there I stood naked in my closet on the verge of becoming The Next Big Thing. Bravely selecting some white linen Capri pants that wouldn’t have worked at all with panty lines, I also reached for a previously unworn pair of thong underwear I affectionately refer to as “up-butts.”

I soon discovered how very odd it feels walking into a restaurant with your see-through pants and fundamentally exposed cheeks, publicly apologizing by way of a visible length of rope up your crack. “Nice seeing you again,” I might have said to the Big Deal Producer Guy holding my entire future in his hands. “Please don’t mind my wedgie.”

On the plus side, the restaurant turned out to be a super hip, happening hang-out on a trendy stretch of La Brea between Wilshire and Melrose. Who knew this was the new Robertson between Sunset and 3rd? Producer Guy, who’s based in New York, lunches here so often they addressed him by name while delivering the Arnold Palmer he didn’t have to order. You don’t get that kind of fawning at Chateau Marmont unless you're a dead celebrity.

The bad news is I was not officially hired right there on the spot, as I’d naively imagined this scene from my life story would play out. Instead, we broke our bread, dipped it in red pepper-infused olive oil, ordered our in vogue high fiber low fat entrĂ©e choices, and talked. About regular things, like regular people. We discussed where we’d gone to college, mutual early aspirations to do stand-up and how far we'd walk in this town to get a good macaroon. By the time I'd backed into and out of the ladies' room, I found myself having fun of all things. That's around the time he mentioned that while both he and the producers feel I can get the job done, they’re obligated to hear the remaining pitches they’ve requested over the next couple of weeks.

Two hours later, what I’d conjured up as a quick rendezvous where I’d be let down easy over a ham sandwich turned out to be one of the most memorable days I’ve had here in Hollywood. Only when I forgot the garrot between my legs and stopped looking around to see if anyone big was at the next table could I really focus on the obvious. After all these years, here I was chatting with a smart, accomplished fellow who loves movies as much as I do about the possibility of our making one together.

What’s that quote about Hollywood being like high school, only with money? This was like film school, only real. Maybe the true secret to my success will rely not on a better choice of panty styles, but on learning to seize the day even while counting them with baited breath.


  1. Julie,

    Hang in there. I wish only good things to come of this for you. And I had to laugh about your adventures in underwear.

  2. Your blog is such a refreshing break from the "serious", political, social... crap that's out there in blogland. I'm so glad I found it (I wish I could remember how).
    Good luck in your waiting. I'd pray for you, but I think I've given up religion.
    Why not throw some Adsense ads onto your site? Free for you, mildly annoying for us, but easy money if you just remind us to click on them!

  3. I have a hunch: You're gonna get the gig, ink the deal, sign the memo, etc.

    My hunches are 99% accurate by the way. So, be cool in the meantime. I'll be super pissed if you bring my average down.

  4. You are going to definitely get this, Julie! I'll send some good vibe your way.

  5. "The awestruck students will hang on my every word, careful not to miss the key phrase, life philosophy or meaningful anecdote revealing the true secret of my success."

    Ummmm... hello, Prof...? We're already "hung" on you...?

    I can't believe I've waited all day with 'bated breath (or is that "baited"? Anyway, I didn't brush my teeth) for this post, and damn near didn't check one last time before crashing...!

    Please find time to post to your students once the big news hits, sinks in, and then sweeps you away...

  6. Julie,

    You have such a visual and entertaining writing style that I would love to see any film you write.

    The only thing that keeps swirling in my head is the song from, A Chorus Line, 'I Hope I Get It.'

    Listen while I sing.

    'God, I hope I get it.
    I hope I get it.
    God, I hope I get it.
    I really need this job.
    Please God, I need this job.
    I've got to get this job.
    GOD, I think I've got it.
    I think I've got it.
    I knew he liked me all the time.'

    Sending you best wishes to re-igniting your screenwriting career.

    Set this town on fire. You go girl!

  7. My readers are the best. No way does the other guy have perfect strangers singing him Broadway show tunes. Thanks!

  8. Jeanne1:22 PM

    Way to go Julie! Good Luck!

  9. Wooooooooooooooo.

    And for a while, I thought by thong you were referring to "flip flops'. Alas, only Australians are likely to confuse such things.

  10. Enough about your butt. Who paid for lunch?

    I think you're a success in Hollywood as soon as someone else starts picking up your tab.

  11. Ok. I've got a couple of meetings this week...no thong then?

  12. No to get personal, Chris, but let's just say it works when you're already used to it. Hey, aren't you the guy with the latte described in the first paragraph?

  13. Hell, if you wowed him half as much as you wow us, then you're in!

    I'm keeping varios things crossed for you, thankfully though, NOT my undies!

  14. You go girl. Be yourself and let your work speak for itself. Two very important rules for success.
    screenwriter bones.

  15. OK it's been 5 days. I wanna hear about how your butt's doing again.

  16. I can't sing show tunes, but I can hum something from "How to Succeed in Business..." for you. (I was too busy watching Bob Fosse choreography to actually learn the lyrics).

    Good luck.

  17. Small world! I'm meeting with them/pitching on this project this week!

    ...Eh, just screwing with you. ;) Good luck!

  18. Jeff, I never have been, and never will be, woman enough to compete with you in a thong. Or out of one either. And people wonder why I don't name names.

    Meanwhile, I wish I had some news for all you well wishers. Other than yes, my butt is still there. Still large, still white.

  19. nice! hey Julie, I like your Very Supportive Manager. she's doin' you right!

  20. For my big meetings, I put my piercing back in. They can't see it, but I know it's there and it makes me feel all warm inside...

  21. Now I recognize you!

  22. I love that the High School Hell I so eagerly fled has followed me to the real world. Ah well, at least this time we get our chance to be Prom Queen. I'm passing notes in gym to vote for you.

  23. Julie, Dahlink... could you jot us a little something down to keep us occupied whilst we wait for news...?


  24. I'm keepin' my fingers crossed for you! Seems like your due your shot at fame.

  25. Anonymous5:27 AM

    so if I am meeting with Amy Pascal or Dawn Steel... boxers or briefs?

  26. Kudos to you oh Julie. . .
    Somehow found your blog and discovered brilliance spilling from your fingertips. What a writer you are! Reminded me of the same feeling I had when I interviewed Frank Zappa (brilliant mind - he actually granted me the longest interview he ever did - he was renowned for bye bye after 15 minutes with any reporter) After an hour and 45 minutes we both had to go, or I might still be talking with the man - maybe he'd still be alive! Enjoy the interview: http://www.online.ee/~afka/Books/Articles/1984-11_Songwriter_Connection.htm

    You are truly a needed inspiration in this world of sleek geek speak.
    All the best, Gary Allen Shay