"You can't find any true closeness in Hollywood," Carrie Fisher once said, "because everybody does the fake closeness so well." While I don't have her pedigree or connections, I recently got to test the veracity of my longstanding personal friendship with the president of a cable television network. In Hollywood terms, this means we've never met but he's been following my blog for awhile.
A light but loyal surface skimming is about as intimate as it gets between two people in this town. The stakes are only heightened when one of you is a power player and the other is a struggling screenwriter dishing up the snark safely under the cover of semi-anonymity. So ardent is this highly-placed executive's fandom, however, he signs his actual name to our volleyed chuckles in my comments section.
Whether she likes her mother or not, Carrie Fisher would tell you this is a family town, where careers are built on going to the right barbecue in the right bikini emblazoned with the name of the right university across the right butt. I certainly don't have anything that cheeky for him to latch onto in the big bunny hop around the pool.
I decided to drop him a short LinkedIn message it took me a day and a half to craft. "Hey you, it's me, please help," I finally wrote, attaching the job posting. His reply came about a week later. "Oh hi. Yeah sure. Will do."
She shoots, she scores!
As for how such a casual exchange could be perceived with such glee on my part, I guess it's true that we just don't do genuine very well here in Hollywood. We reserve heartfelt dialogue and big, feel good endings for the screen, where we have ninety meaningful minutes to effect the unlikely triumph of a little guy like me. Unless you were born into this game -- or know somebody who knows somebody who was -- that often means writing about life while you sit and wait another day for yours to happen.