Sunday, November 15, 1998

Newsletter #1

Met a girl named Molly at a party in Venice last week. She's a costume designer for a show called Pacific Blue. She gave me her number but I've been having trouble getting her on the phone because she keeps weird hours. The other night I called and got her voice mail so I hung up, A couple minutes later the phone rang, it was her -- she heard her call waiting and hit *69. She said she thought her boss was trying to call her, but I think she was hoping it was me. Anyway she's busy this weekend, so I'll have to try again next week. Next week promises to be a busy one, so I'd better rest up.

Dan Haar, an old Wesleyan stalwart, was in town on business last week. It was great to see him. We met at Art's Deli in Studio city, my newly chosen hub. While we were there his friend Milo showed up. She's a cute local who he met at some conference. Milo became our tourguide, showing us the art museum and the tar pits then taking us up to the Griffith park observatory. While we were observing, I remembered that I was supposed to meet Tricia (I had a meeting a Paramount that was cancelled and she lives right up the street from there) We called Tricia, who was dutifully waiting for me and we all four went out to dinner in Tricia's neighborhood (Beachwood) then went back to her place for some wine. Somehow I managed to leave my single-use camera behind when we left Tricia's. (Classic Freudian leave-behind). Darn, guess I'll have to go back. Hmm, maybe she'll add a few snapshots of her own, nudge nudge, click click, grin grin, know what I mean?

Milo told me to give her a call if I'm ever in Studio City again and I can buy her a drink. Dan spent the night on her couch and the next day the two of us went to Farmer's Market for lunch, before he caught his plane home.

Meanwhile I'm still sick. Can't seem to shake this damn flu thing. Talked to Brian and found out that everyone in his office who went to the party that weekend (the architect party in Venice with all the beautiful women, where I met the adorable Molly) anyway, everyone at the party got sick, including Brian. So I'm still sleeping 12-20 hours a day, now it's thursday, and the phone rings and it's this producer guy (Chris) who I saw last week. Fortunately cousin Clay wakes me up and hands me the phone. Now I'm still half asleep and the producer's telling me he already read my script and it's 'very strong writing' and all this good stuff and I'm trying to take notes and respond coherently. Of course he says, they don't do comedies (he works for Tony and Ridley Scott, they do blockbusters) but keep at it. Now comes the time when I'm supposed to say, 'Do you know any agents you could recommend me to?' Since that is my main purpose in doing all of this. But instead, I say, 'Would there be another kind of movie that would be more suited for your needs?' or something. And he says 'Like what?' Like an action thriller about a former CIA agent whose being hunted in connection with the mysterious death of a retired CIA director???? He says, send it over. So I'll ask him about the agents next time. Somehow, even in my sleepy stupor, I couldn't resist getting in that pitch.

Saturday, Halloween, my favorite holiday (guess why) I layed low. Sunday I took my cousins out to dinner.

Monday was of course, my thirty-ninth birthday. I went running in the morning and felt great. Came home and got a call from a director who's looking for material, so I went right out and made another copy of the script and sent it to him. Got phone calls from home and a couple of shirts (white from mom, black from cousin Norma).

I also get a phone call from Lauren Lazin, calling from a car phone on the way back from an MTV corporate retreat. She sings happy birthday and tells me she is proud of me. And by the way, she comes out to L.A. all the time. Where'd she get my number? Where else, from Beck Lee. Who, last time we spoke, told me that Lauren was engaged to a suitably Jewish male. But despite my leading, but non-specific questions, she made no mention of impending nuptials.

Tuesday the meeting at Paramount was rescheduled. Met with a guy who works with a woman who happens to be married to a very succesful screenwriter named Paul Attanasio. So while I'm there, I tell the guy (Ned) that my good friend Kevin went to high school with Paul and claims to have saved his life. Ned thinks this is very funny. As we're leaving Ned's office we run right into Paul Attanasio. Ned tells him I know a friend of his. I say, yeah Kevin Osborn told me he saved your life. Paul looks confused. How did he do that? I say, something about not letting him drive on graduation night. He says O.K. So how is Kevin? I give him the rundown. He goes, didn't he have a sister? (They always remember those Osborn gals) I say yeah, in fact his sister Barb lives in Santa Monica. So I open up my handy notebook where I have Barb's address and right below it is Paul's address (in Beverly Hills). Next to Paul's address is a note that says "KO saved life -- took away keys" I point the note out to Paul and say "See!" He laughs and says "Oh yeah, I was really loaded that night." He says "tell Kevin I said hello."

Of course now I have to stop by Tricia's (since it's right up the street) and pick up my camera. She's there, luckily, and hungry so we go out to dinner and talk about California politics and the movie biz. She tells me about a movie this guy told her about the other day. (She's going for a job at Castle Rock and interviewing with this guy who just finished making a movie with Paul Newman -- turns out the guy I met with last week [Chris] just finished making the same movie, apparently a sequel to The Verdict). She tells me the story of the new movie and it's almost identical to the movie Ned just told me that Paul Attanasio is making at Paramount. I'm starting to think this is a very small town with very few original ideas. Anyway we get back to her place and I pick up my camera and she says she almost took a few pictures with it for me. I'm thinking, damn I should have left it another week! But she meant pictures of the Hollywood sign, which is quite plainly viewed from the corner of her street. Not exactly the shots I was hoping for, but still a nice thought.

When I got home I called the lovely Molly and made plans to see her this weekend.

So now it's wednesday, this morning I met with a guy who has a hit TV show on NBC. I went to his office at CBS Studios in Studio City. I did in fact call Milo to meet her for "coffee" but she was "busy" doing "homework" and offered me a "raincheck". The TV guy (Will and Grace) offered to help get me a TV agent but first I have to write two TV spec scripts. After the meeting I was driving out and passed by the 'New York Street' they use for exteriors, most extensively on Seinfeld. I parked my car there and got out and took a picture of the deal-mobile on the set of Seinfeld. It was a hoot.

Yesterday, I went to the Writer's Guild and sat in their library reading scripts from Frasier and 3rd Rock. Had lunch at Farmer's Market again (right across the street), drove by Paramount on the way home and took a picture of the famous entrance gate (it's the only major studio that's still in Hollywood). Called Molly last night but got her voice mail. I left a message this time. Did get an email from Lauren, though. She said to send her my TV spec scripts, since she knows lots of TV agents.

Went running this morning to clear my head and shake off this lingering flu/cold. Now it's time to start writing my TV spec scripts.

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