So here's a fun sentence: There's a downside to being a depressive.
Dare I say, there might even be more than one.
I'm struggling a lot with the peep show script. My big problem, the one I talked about before, was that I'd ended up with two drafts of the script -- fixing this is universally easy in most cases, and Hollywood does it all the time. You pass the damn thing out to a willing few and find out what they liked better, what they thought worked, and then you decide if what they're saying is what you've known all along and just needed to hear from someone else, you move forward. If you patently disagree, and it strengthens your resolve to the other draft, well -- the process still served it's purpose. And without that test audience?
I didn't really want to guess. Even though I haven't been working on this piece very long, I've hit that "zone" on a couple of occasions, that place where you shut out the real world, where what goes on in the real world just doesn't matter, because dammit, you're not living there right now. And while that is zero indication of any sort of quality, it's always a fair nod to me that I actually care about what I'm working on. So it's officially become more important than my best judgment.
Still, I've been really reticent to pass this around, as it's pretty dark, heavy-shit and since I'm already considered something of a downbeat, it would be easy for people to dismiss it out of hand. There's not a lot of my usual padding that lets me get away with the dark, heavy-shit in the script -- the gallows humor, the sarcasm, the deadpanning, very little of any of that. It's left me self-conscious, a kind of self-conscious I've touched on before, has a lot to do with my peers. I'm not the light-hearted writer, I can't get away with breaking from my routine to do a relatively humorless piece about torture, and I'm not the ingenious sexpot who shifts her allure into darker territory. And that's not a knock to anyone, and I'm sure they have their own stumbling blocks.
But me, I'm the downbeat depressive [as much as I can bear to categorize myself], and getting dark, heavy-shit from me could easily wander into "dude in guyliner and a black trench coat reading poetry about death" territory. Or at least I worry it could. Call it blow back from years of getting shit for my sunnier disposition.
Anyway, I sucked it up and showed it to John, hard to do because if there was anyone less tolerant of dark, heavy-shit, it's probably him, but I wasn't ready to spread it around to a bunch of folks yet. And if you have to get just one opinion, John's is, in my experience, usually one of the best ways to go. So with a little feedback I have my one draft now, which is helpful because it means polishing isn't done on two separate scripts, avoiding a minor headache and a huge chance for stupid mistakes to be made, and cool things to be lost.
In contrast, "New Hooverville" has been more like working on Nova, as there's no self-consciousness, maybe because it's already out there, but more likely because I've put so much time into it already. The prospect, even the possibility of getting it a wider audience, getting the piece in more people's hands, is really appealing to me, and a good incentive to look at it. Though making cuts has been harder than I expected. I may be getting too hung up on the rhythm of the piece... one of those cases where you have to decide if what's important to you is really all that important to the story.
Still, it's funny. Only being comfortable when I'm outside my comfort zone.
Something else, tangentially related. Justin has a new blog post up, with an older sketch and some talk about the time he takes with a page, while looking at what one of the bigger names in the industry proper thinks is good time to make. It's a good entry on the creative process, and well worth the look. Plus, it looks like Justin will be relaunching his website soon.
This week has the prospect of being a little odd, busy. Spent yesterday cleaning out the storage room for my grandmother. Not sure if I've mentioned this before, but she sells those bulk nuts and candies that schools sometimes do for fund-raisers -- last year she sort of swore she was done, but I think having me to help get them organized and delivered before made doing it again feel doable to her. It's actually pretty rewarding, but also a fairly big job, so I hope I don't end up in time crunch as the end of the month gets closer. But I'm glad to help... I think most people would be okay working in a stock room from the comfort of their own home.