Saturday, April 28, 2012

Ingrid Michaelson

Writing update: I finished up the outline for my comedy pilot. It's pretty rough, and only people inside my brain can understand what the phrases "Sean picks up a homeless man" and "he is, in fact, a ninja" actually mean in terms of the story. PSYCH, even I don't know (Let's resurrect that word). But, yea, it's finished. Still working on the outline of Happy Endings. Polishing off my Cougar Town and writing a short story tomorrow. Any ideas? It needs to be funny. So, someone get on that. If you're funny.

Anyway, in news that maybe one more person cares about, I saw Ingrid Michaelson last night in concert. All and all, it was amazing. She is not only a talented multi-instrumental singer-songrwriter, but she is also incredibly funny. Legitimately funny. She is completely unapologetic, too, which is refreshing. She makes fun of herself, her bandmates, and, especially, the audience. Betches love it. I loved it.

So, she plays music and tells jokes. She has even had a few sketches on Funny or Die that are pretty solid. I read that she got into music because she wanted to act, but she wasn't getting any of the parts that she wanted. So, she went ahead and made her own material to perform. That's pretty legit, and if I was a great musician, I would do that too.

I think that's a cool lesson to take away - you can create whatever you want. Whatever makes you happy. Obviously, it's cooler if someone reads it or sees it or likes it or performs it or hears it or gives you money for it, but you can create without all that other stuff. I mean, if you want to be a doctor, you can't just like do surgery on people. Right? I mean, that is a pretty big thing about being a doctor. WE GET IT, you went to school for a billion years. I'm standing here in a paper gown that doesn't cover anything, so I don't give two fucks about how hard med school was. You passed, you're here, take my money.

Just kidding, I love and support all doctors, real and televisional.

Anyway, since I can pretty much only concentrate on writing from about 8-10 in the morning and 8 until the Corn Nuts run out P.M., I've got some other projects I'm going to start working on, or revive from the technological hell where they've been vacationing for weeks and years and lifetimes. That sounds so dramatic. Basically, I could be creating so much more, and I should. I hope it's all crap. I will force all of you to watch it.

Oh, also, these days. Malcolm. Bea Arthur and ABBA. Enough said.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Frankie Muniz

Since writing about my own writing seems super boring: I broke the stories for my comedy pilot, and I started the outline. I'm also outlining a Happy Endings script with a friend. So, yes, I'm writing.

In other news, I've been reading a lot about the decline in live television viewing. With Netflix and Hulu, it makes it easy to pass on watching things when they are actually aired. With commercials. Hulu even has original series, shows that have never aired on traditional television. Things are changing, and television has to adapt, but I really wish it didn't.

Tonight, 30 Rock aired its second live episode. The whole point of the episode was Kenneth convincing the others that there is a magic to watching television, live, as it's happening. Anything can happen. I remember watching Saturday Night Live when Ashley Simpson lip synced to her own music, thankfully, might I add. Looking back, I felt like such a hipster. I saw it FIRST. I saw it LIVE.

Now, there aren't a lot of "live" shows that I really care about. None of the dancing or singing shows really interest me. There are some weeks where I don't have it in me to stay up for SNL.

However, I LOVE watching shows on the night and in the timeslots when they are supposed to air. Thursdays are my Sundays and NBC's Comedy Block is my church. Ok, it's my mass because I'm a Catholic, sort of. But that has always been the point of television - television is an event. That's how it's supposed to work. Commercials and all.

I recently discovered the entire Malcolm in the Middle series is on Netflix instant watch. The show began when I was ten-years-old, and it is the first show I remember caring about watching each week. Back then, in the ye olde days, there wasn't a website to watch the show on "tomorrow,"and TiVo was just a year old and still only for the pretentious folk. I almost feel like I'm cheating after watching six episodes of Malcolm in a row.

Maybe people don't care about television as much as I do, and even I have to admit I don't hate all the ways that we can watch shows these days. However, shows still, for the most part, live and die by the ratings, and no one's watching. A great show, Bent, aired six episodes last month and no one even knew about it. It's done. You can't even blame the network or the studio. The show wasn't making any money. Fair enough.

The same can be said for Arrested Development, maybe the best comedy ever on television. Yea, I said it. Sorry to every old person who watched Cheers and semi-old person who watched Seinfeld. However, only a small number of people tuned in to Arrested Development, and it died prematurely. To be honest, I never watched it live, and I hate myself more and more every day. In the words of Buster Bluth, "I'M A MONSTER."

So, if you take anything from this nonsense: just give live viewing a try. Find a show you like. I don't even care what it is, ok but seriously, not Glee or Two Broke Girls,  and tune in every week. Watch the commercials, and like it! They give you free programming! You're welcome.

Oh, but look, we're all poor young professionals (or not), so feel free to steal all the cable shows you want. There's loads of pirating sites, and I know a guy.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Ira Glass

A friend of mine recently reminded me of this (extended) "quote" from Ira Glass:

It really freaks me out because I want to have my catalogue of work done. NOW. And I could, well, sort of, if I was writing the way I should be, as often as I should be. 

It's not that I don't enjoy writing, I obviously do. I can write here and on my cake blog no problem. These sort of "memoirs" come easily to me, and I know that, when I write a novel, it will be a memoir of sorts. 

With memoirs or non-fiction or, even, fictionalized non-fiction, people can't really tell you that you're wrong. These are stories that happened to you, and, so, you choose how you want to tell them. 

With fiction, what I should be writing, people can tell you all sorts of things. This character sucks. This doesn't make sense. This isn't funny.

That's scary. That's harder to write. Everyone can have their own opinion on fiction, and anyone can tell you that you're wrong. 

I don't like being wrong. That's why I have a crap ton of these blog posts and a couple spec scripts finished (hey, I didn't create those characters), but only a half-finished pilot and some long forgotten short stories. 

Holding a gun to my head won't really work. Plus it would be super hard to type with only one hand... The thing that usually motivates me to do anything is out of need for someone else. Oh, you want me to call someone on the phone for you? Sure. For me? Let me send a couple of e-mails first to their IT guy and see if he gets back to me. 

I have, recently, stepped up for myself, trying to get a job out here. And writing is, essentially, going to help me get a job "out here." So, I should approach it in the same way. 

So, until I have a completed script, I'm going to keep updating here, holding myself accountable. Write here, every day, write there, every day. Write, write, write. 

"Words, words, words." - Hamlet