[Please note: The original title of this bit was “Skating Through Life on THIN ICE” – Chapter 1 (and other really cool titles for my autobiography). However, I was notified by some concerned readers (all 2 of them) that they were unable to share the “link” with others because the sheer length and “utter greatness” of the title caused the “link” to be a “dud”. But to ensure that they too could share in the “wondrous joy” that only reading one of my bits – or having your first-born child – can provide, I have shortened the title…but not the length of this sentence…So that it will be easier to find, and in turn share with your fellow man, woman, or transgendered acquaintance. Sorry for any inconvenience….thanks. ~the management]
Let’s face it (okay…“me” first) I am not going to be asked to “pen my memoirs” any time in the near future…and that’s a real shame. Honestly, you guys are missing out on one hell of a story. But since the story is still technically being “written”, I’m not taking the news as hard as one might think. I’ve been sitting on this “really cool title” for my autobiography, since it occurred to me that “my life” might make an “interesting read”…Which was a week ago last Tuesday. Nothing out of the ordinary actually “happened” to make me think of this particular “cool title”…in fact I think I was probably taking a nap or something when it “came to me”. (It was either a nap or a “crap”– I find that most of my creativity occurs when I am otherwise incapacitated or vulnerable in some way)
Now, I understand that I have spoken about this before…Writing an autobiography. Come to think of it, the fact that I write “this” is kind of like me sharing my autobiography “as I go”. But as I stated in my last “chapter”, the story took an interesting twist and has led the main character (me) in a decidedly different direction than you (the reader) might have anticipated.
Just to recap…
We got the HELL out of California (but I’ve already covered that, haven’t I?)
…However, rather than continue to “Bag on Bako” (It was getting really difficult coming up with new ways to hate a place with “every fiber of my being”…and make it “funny” for you, without seeking help from a professional for treatment of a major depressive disorder) or try and tap one of my many imaginary Celebrity friends to do a benefit telethon for SuperCaliFragilisticExtraHalitosis (an incurable disease) I decided to grab the bull$#@% by the horns and just “leave”…Something I should have done long ago…
Before moving, I HAD sought other remedies…For instance, at one particularly low point, I even browsed the “Self-Help” section at a local bookstore. Some of the titles “jumped out” at me…Some, threatened to kill me…and others, called me “stupid”…and “ugly”. But once I realized that books weren’t physically capable of doing any of those things, I made my way over to the “Humor” section. It made my bookstore browsing experience a lot more enjoyable as a result. All except the part where I picked up and read some excerpts of books written by “real comedians” and “professional humorists”…then I got really sad inside. Not because they weren’t funny in some ways (some were) Not because I don’t think “these authors” deserved the book deals required to house books on the shelves in places that sell books to people who enjoy reading them and have no qualms about paying cash money for them. (who were these publishing companies and where do I get some free money?) No, it was because some of these author/comedian/humorists were doing what “I” want to do…Telling stories and getting paid to tell them. The “sad inside” part, came as I read some of the passages from these people making “boatloads of cash” and getting sizable advances from their publishers (apparently sight-unseen – because, I can’t imagine anyone “fronting” somebody for crap like that) It’s a travesty! (With the exception of Tina Fey’s book “Bossypants” and anything written by Dave Barry) The problem lies in the fact, that a lot of what is being offered out there in the way of “comedy”, just ain’t frickin’ funny!…at all!… and NOT just in your local bookstore. But in Movies, TV and Films (which are different from “movies” – They are still considered “films” until they go to DVD or Blueray or if they have Russell Brand or Corey Feldman in them)
So Dan, are you going to whine about it? or get to the point?…there “is” a point, right? (wow…you guys are “tough”) But the “answer” is: “A little bit of both…”
…It is no secret, that I have a rather “diverse and eclectic” work history. Which is, incidentally, what it says on my resumé. I don’t bother giving a lengthy account of my job experience on my resumé any more, as it tends to overwhelm (scare off) any “would-be” employers. Under “Education” (which is also diverse and eclectic) and under “Experience” I have written: “See applicant for details…and don’t make any plans for that afternoon”. I don’t really like to define myself by the “jobs” that I’ve had. First of all, most of us, at some point or another in our lives have done whatever we’ve had to do, just to “get by”. Secondly, if I were to allow myself to be defined by my “jobs”, it would be both humiliating and altogether awful. You see, sometimes when you do whatever is required of you to “feed your family” or “pay the bills”, it can get a little depressing. The advantage I think that “I” might have over someone that say, “wears a paper hat” or “cleans toilets” for a living (Both jobs which I held as recently as a week ago last Tuesday and exactly the reason I don’t list my “work history” on my resumé anymore) is that I have a “secret weapon”…My “brain”.
Unfortunately for me (and my family) I didn’t start “using” it until a couple of years ago. If I had, chances are pretty good that we wouldn’t be living paycheck to paycheck and actually might be “doing pretty well for ourselves – thank you“.
…But I digress (as only I can)
Now, I find myself on the precipice of something good in my “story arc”. By the way, “precipice” as defined by the “Merriam-Webster Dictionary” is
: a very steep or overhanging place
Neither of which, sound anything like what I meant by “precipice”, but I’ll make it work for this analogy. (I am versatile that way…like a frickin’ chameleon almost…I’ll just add that to my “work history”)
So…I find myself at a new “job”…a job which, in and of itself (and as far as “jobs” go) is fine. I decided to go back to an occupation that I was in for a full, continuous and uninterrupted 6 years prior to becoming a toy designer. This is longer than I’ve done anything in my life, besides being an Outstanding Father, Terrific Husband and Super Good Truth-Stretcher…Incidentally, the toy designer gig was the one that made me say, “Holy $#@%…People are willing to pay me decent money to draw the goofy crap I used to sketch out on my notebooks in Junior High”…The one that made me think I could “Conquer the World”…The one that I Probably Should Have Spent A LOT More Time Doing Before I Got The Bright Idea To MAKE IT BIG in California With No Prospects, Offers or Idea of What I Was Doing…
So, yeah…this is what I did “before” that one…
…Uhm…where was I?…Oh yeah, the new job…
…The people are really nice. My bosses don’t hassle me any more than the rest of the world. I even get to pretty much “Do My Own Thing”. But, I will have to say (obviously, otherwise I wouldn’t be writing this) that I was “ill-prepared” for the differences in “Community Personalities” that I would encounter. I had never really thought about it prior to this move. But communities do have personalities…Though, California had more of a “gaping hole” where its personality “should have been”. The differences in people, for instance, were astounding…To say that we’d been “living” in California for the past decade plus, would now, be considered a bit of a “stretch”. We’d been “existing”. Whereas in the short few months that I’ve called this area “home”, I’ve noticed a markedly inspired difference in how I view the world…and my family’s future.
In what I call a “move of spirit” (Much like Oprah would, I think) in the last few weeks I’ve decided to replace my “mantra”. (If you move to this area, you are expected to have a mantra – if you don’t, you are quickly shunned and moved to a small village in the hills, until you come up with one). Instead of looking at my life as a series of “missed opportunities”, I’ve tried to become less “jaded”. Instead of looking at my age, where I am, and where I thought I should be by now; I look around at where I “am” and where I “plan to be”. Instead of saying, “Time’s a Wastin’! “, I find myself saying , “Time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’ – into the future.” It’s a subtle change of outlook on my part, but one I have found highly effective.
…So I think we’ve established that “the move” has “inspired” me…But inspired me to do what, exactly? Well, after a lot of time milling about and stewing over it, I finally procured the services of an “agent”. (without him wanting money or anything) He is a nice guy, who has really gotten behind me and is a driving force in what it is that I want to do. (as if “being poor” wasn’t enough) Here is an example of one of our first conversations:
“So…what is it that you want to do?” he asked, as I took free candy off of his desk, without him even minding.
“Uh…what do you mean,” I said seeing if there was any more chocolate salt-water taffy.
“I mean, do you want to write? Do you want to draw? Do you want to act? Do you want to sing? Do you want to tap dance? You do all of this different stuff and you do it all really well, but you’re gonna’ have to decide…What is it that YOU do? What defines you? You’re going to have to focus.” (I think he must be really good or something)“Did you hear me? You need to focus on that one thing…something that is going to support you and your family. You do that and we can really make something happen for you.” (really good)
“You have any more chocolate ones…” I asked, “…maybe in your desk?”
I think the initial meeting went really well. Don’t you? I wish I’d thought to tell him at the time, that what I may lack in “focus”, I make up for in “direction”…Because I’m usually going in about 15 different ones at any given time.
…So where does that “meeting” leave me now?…Good question. I’ve been given some “homework”. Not typically something that I’d expect from an agent. Though, I’ve never really had one before, so I guess I’m going to have to trust him on this one. I haven’t had as much time to work on this site, like I used to. “Part” of me feels bad…I’ve grown kind of attached to this site. I was supposed to be explaining what it is like living “here” now. In fact, he has stated that it is important for me to keep my “fan base” happy, but I’m not even sure “who” that is. It’s not exactly like I’m a household name…yet…But I’m “working” on it… (another little something for my résumé)
…He gave me an “assignment” that he says is going to “put me on the map” or at least get me in the room with people that “can”. So I’m supposed to be writing a “treatment” for an “animated series”…He assures me that he knows the people necessary to have this script read and taken “seriously”. (hopefully not “too” seriously – as it is a “cartoon”) I have started the process of writing the aforementioned treatment…things are going…”okay”. It is funny enough, I suppose. But I can’t help but think every time I write of “where” I’ve come from…and if this is going to really be “my shot”…I guess we’ll see…
As far as my agent goes…I just talked to him again yesterday on the phone. He asked me “how it was going”…well, kind of:
“So Dan, I’m thinking…I need to give you more of a hard deadline on this thing… You want to hang with the ‘big boys’, then I need to see something by next week… and it better ‘Wow’ me”, he said sternly (while I was wondering if he’d gotten more chocolate taffy yet)
“Uh…yeah…about that… I hit a bit of a ‘snag’ this last week working on it…My wife and kids got in a really bad car accident and I’ve spent the last couple nights at the hospital…” (I was lying – my wife and kids are fine – well, as fine as can be expected considering “me” being around)
“Oh ‘wow’ brother…That’s awful…I wish you would have said something. Are they okay? Can I send some flowers or something?”he asked, sounding very compassionate (I think he was an actor once)
“…So we good then?” I asked (sensing I “had” him)
“What?…What are you talkin’ about?” he replied.
“You said ‘Wow’…” I responded, “…So does that buy me a little more time?”
I won’t get into details, except to say that I am still working on the script…but I have gotten to share the “latest” with you…and I think I know what a “precipice” means now…It’s pretty much that “first” thing.
…I will be back soon, with some details of “the move” and some of the humorous “goings-on” ’round these parts…I still find humor in the fact that people are idiots…They are just “happy” idiots around here….Which makes me happier too…
I have a NEW SITE launching…One with more of “Me”, What I’ve done and what I hope to do…I say it’s “Coming Soon”, but there is a LOT involved…Oh…and the new job, I have?…Let’s just say it’s in the medical field…Which I can only imagine causing one of two reactions in a would-be patient…
Cool…I get “this” guy
…uhm…where the hell are the emergency exits?
Meanwhile, guess you’ll just have to “Stay Tooned” and check me out on Twitter (or a surprise and undisclosed medical-type facility that does “helpy” stuff)…For NOW though, I have a Hollywood-quality trailer announcing its arrival.
…I mean…that’s some classy-ass $#@% right there…am I right?
‘Til Then…Go Figg’r!
D A N
P.S. Incidentally, “Arthur” was one of my all-time favorites and should’ve never been redone…and I can’t tap dance.