Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Point Blanc

Better late than never, I say.

Hung with Four today, and it turns out that not only does he read Salami & Orchids, he hates his nickname. So his new name is Blanc and he better not complain about this one because I'm not changing it again. Just like Empire Records, man, you get one veto.

Blanc and I hung out for like, 6 hours today, and I don't know about him but I had a ball.

We had an interesting conversation about success. Not like, "I have loving friends and family" success but success in the entertainment business, an area we're both looking for a little love in. Well, him a little more than me because I'd be willing to settle for hate, and given the central plot of the novels I'm working on hate is much more likely. Either way we're looking for success and it's a strange battle...a major portion of which is, of course, the rejection.

Everyone's heard the stories of how many times incredible authors were rejected before they sold their novels so I'm completely unfazed by that. I imagine the rejection is much harder on Blanc-- as a stand-up comedian it's right in his face if he doesn't get the laughs he wants or deserves, and it's right in his face when other people do better with crappy material. Crappy literally as so many comedians use blue or toilet humor to get laughs. I at least get the buffer of the rejection coming as an emailed note...the agents are also nice enough to say "I'm not right for this project" instead of "You really, really suck."

Blanc, though, doesn't suck- he is a finalist in Fox and the New York Television Festival Comedy Script Contest (here) and I couldn't be more proud!!

The hardest part for me is the absolute drivel that gets published every day while I sit here waiting to be noticed by someone. It's not that I'm such a snob that I think lower-brow work shouldn't exist, of course it has its place, it's just...I guess it's just my narcissistic view that I have a place, too.

The part that's been most difficult for me has been the terror that with the controversial nature of my work that my writing has to be perfect and my execution has to be perfect in order to be taken seriously and not being another Da Vinci Code. Or, no, not even The Da Vinci Code, but The Lost Symbol-- a book that, coming after Angels and Demons and TDVC, had such anticipation built around it to be provocative, if not brilliant (in the sense of its success, not so much its merits), turned out to ultimately say nothing and was therefore disappointing. With such sensitive subject matter you have to really nail it...I'm not sure why. Is it because it's as though a part of the work is sort of done for you? That you're standing on the shoulders of a giant so you had better be able to reach the peanut butter on that shelf? Or is it because you're fighting against a built-in tide of disapproval? Like you're a minority (gender, race, opinion, what-have-you) so you have to do it ten times better than everyone else just to get the respect you deserve?

But then that brings me back to the quality of Blanc's work against the potty mouths that he comes up against that occasionally get bigger laughs with cheap humor which leads to a discussion of the distrust of intelligence in entertainment, which leads to the pride this country has been taking in its ignorance...those topics are enough for posts in their own right and probably will be one day, but not today...I'm getting a headache.

And, oh my, it's time for bed. Goodnight, blog, I'll see you tomorrow.

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