On Upward Standing, Frenzied Scripting, Radiators, and Employment

It’s been a crazy week. Let’s discuss it in sections. And let’s call this first section “Entertaining Random Drunk People”, because that name is accurately descriptive of the tale described in said section.

I. ENTERTAINING RANDOM DRUNK PEOPLE

Last Wednesday, I performed in a standup comedy showcase at the Orlando Improv. This was the “graduation” for the class I was taking for the two months prior. I’m taking the next class AS WE SPEAK (provided we’re speaking on a Monday at 6:00 PM in April 2012).

It was my first time in years being on any sort of stage, and my first time ever being on stage all by myself performing material I wrote to a room consisting mostly of strangers.

And shockingly enough, the strangers seemed entertained.

There was fairly consistent laughter, and while they never went into a riotous fit of hysterics, I *did* get applause for one self-deprecating joke. It was a blast to do, and I look forward to exploring this particular avenue of entertainment further. Maybe next time I perform, YOU will be in the audience! Because you probably weren’t there THIS time, you horrible friend, you!

I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to lash out. I’m still a little stressed out because of the car troubles I had on Saturday.

II. THE TERRIFYING TALE OF THE TROUBLES IN TRAFFIC

On Saturday, I was driving in my car, as I am prone to do, when I noticed the “Check Engine Soon” light was on. Now, this light can mean anything from “YOUR CAR IS ABOUT TO EXPLODE” to “Your engine is lonely and needs a pat on the back”, so I didn’t think much of it, other than making a mental note to have it looked at.

But on the way home, my car started slowing down to about 20 miles per hour. No matter how hard I floored it, it wouldn’t go above twenty. Nervous, I got off the highway as fast as possible and parked for a little while. When I turned the car back on, it started out fine, but soon switched back and forth between going normal speed and slowing down to twenty. So I parked again, this time at a Krystal. For those of you who have never been to a Krystal, picture a really, really, REALLY ghetto Hardee’s.

I turned the car back on, and this time it barely moved at all, just sputtering. I also noticed the engine was overheating, so I turned off the car and called AAA. They said a tow truck should arrive by about 10:30. It was 9:30 now, so I made a huge mistake.

I actually ate something at Krystal.

Then my internal “Check Engine Soon” light came on.

At 11:15, the tow truck finally arrived, and took me the seven miles home. On Monday morning, I took my car into the mechanic a block over, and before too long, I found out I needed a new radiator. The good news is, it only took a few hours to get it replaced, and it only cost $550.

The BAD news is, at some point during adulthood, $550 went from being an ungodly sum to being a number that warrants the word “only”.

But hey, at least I got the car back in time to get to work!

III. SERVING FOOD TO SEAFARERS

Guess what, I’m employed again! At least, I’ve been told I am!

It’s a food service job at a certain popular nearby theme park with an aquatic theme, and so far, I’ve undergone part one of the 478-part orientation–which is to say, I’ve filled out a lot of paperwork, had my hair sample taken for a drug test, and tried on a uniform. The next phase of the orientation isn’t until next Tuesday, so I have a few days of not-quite-employment left. I think I’ll celebrate by sleeping.

Of course, this job means I won’t be doing Dave Does Disney-esque reviews of this park, or its nearby sister parks, in the near future. But that’s fine, because I have plenty of other things to be writing.

IV. WRITING A BUNCH OF STUFF YOU WON’T READ

So, I’m doing ScriptFrenzy this year. For those of you who don’t know, it’s basically NaNoWriMo for screenplays, and without the name that, while fun to say, kind of sounds like a character from a bad Star Wars fanfic.

I realized one of the reasons I don’t write as much as I should is because I put way too much pressure on myself to make everything I write (A) good, and (B) shootable. I’m my own harshest critic (well, aside from maybe the Ariel actresses who downvoted my review of the Little Mermaid live show), and my tendency toward perfectionism before I even begin writing hasn’t exactly served me well. I’m also so anxious to shoot something all the time that I don’t want to write anything unless I can shoot it with my current resources…but when I actually have an idea, it usually requires a resource I don’t have, such as a budget or a cast.

And I’m sick of not writing anything because my brain keeps waiting to write the *perfect* thing. I need to remind my brain that the more imperfect, unshootable things I write, the closer I am to finding that perfect, shootable one. Writing something imperfect and unshootable now won’t prevent me from writing something better later, and it means I’ll at least have SOMEthing.

Thing is, I…don’t have any feature ideas right now. At least, not ones that I haven’t already started and gotten too far on to be comfortable using them here. So instead, I’m writing scenes. Sketches, vignettes, shorts, whatever comes to mind, with minimal preplanning. Maybe the scenes will come together to form a while story, but I’m not going to force it. I figure worst case scenario, I come out of this with twenty unusable sketches, but more likely than not, at least three or four of them will turn out to have actual potential. But even if not? Hey, at least I’m writing something other than rants about animatronic versions of Tim Burton’s man-crush.

Anyway, that’s what I’ve been doing in the past seven days. You can keep updated on my Scriptfrenzy pagecount here. I’ll let you know if any of it is relatively un-embarrassing!

3 thoughts on “On Upward Standing, Frenzied Scripting, Radiators, and Employment

  1. Dave! Congrats on the stand up and upcoming employment. I’m sorry I wasn’t, you know, in the geographic location to see you perform.

    I just wanted to leave a brief note to say that I “feel ya, dude” on the writing front. It’s why it generally took me three or four hours to write my introductory paragraph for college papers, and less than three hours to write the rest; I was so bogged down with creating the perfect foundation for my essay on the first try. Luckily I’ve turned to blogging (things that no one but my family reads) and have therefore lost any need to write well. (Lol? JK?)

    I also wanted to mention that I have loved the scripts you’ve shown me (or shot with me in the case of Sibling Rivalry) and have complete faith that–shorts or full length, early draft or finished product–you’ll turn out something great by the end of this challenge. And if you ever want someone else’s opinion, feel free to send things along (just don’t send something that needs reviewed urgently…I’m kind of slow on the reply front, just ask Mike).

    Anywho. Hope to have time to catch up on your videos soon. Good luck with the other 478 parts of your orientation.

    • Thanks, Kat! And hey, *I* read your blog, and it *IS* written well. So *THERE*.

      Incidentally, I swear at some point I’ll do another draft of “Austentatious”. I can’t promise how recognizable it’ll be from the old drafts, though.

  2. If all else fails, you could write a Star Wars fan-script about the oft misunderstood Jedi, NaNoWriMo and her marvelous, Mary Sue-esque adventures. (Yes, the name NaNoWriMo sends me immediately to the realm of Mary Sue.)

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