ALLIGATORS IN A HELICOPTER

a pro script reader ponders movies, reading, writing and the occasional personal flashback

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Cleaning Out My Closet

I know it has been a while since I've made a substantial post, but I've been in sort of a transitional funk.

The representation hunt is rather frustrating; turns out that even semi-ing in the Nicholl Fellowship won't get people to read your script particularly fast, though it's out there.

I finished a just-about-done polish of my supernatural thriller, which is sitting on the window cooling; I want to read through once more before I deem it ready to give to people. Hopefully by then someone will actually want to see it.

Meanwhile, I'm cleaning out my closet, and throwing stuff away. This has long been a problem for me; I'm a major packrat. Among the things I had boxed up in my closet are several hundred old cassette tapes, tons of TV shows and movies taped off TV in the 1990s, old paperback books, copies of coverage that I did before I had a computer, and of course, every rough draft of every incarnation of every script I have ever written, and every note I ever made about it on the way.

It's the last two stashes that have been going first. The coverage has already been disposed of, though I thoughtfully (anally?) shredded the cover page of every single one. Aside from a few early notebooks of script notes, all the loose pages of notes and all the extra copies of intermediate drafts are going. I'm keeping several drafts of all my scripts, but when a box of stuff can be boiled down to a script or two, most of that box has to go.

I've also uncovered some writing that I thought was lost, or that I had completely forgotten about, including a pair of puppet shows I wrote for my roommate in Manhattan in the 1990s. One of them was even performed, to a happy audience, though the videotape of that performance, which I wasn't at, is amazingly dark and inaudible.

I also found some sketches that I wrote for a sketch comedy troupe that I belonged to in Manhattan, several of which were performed during the troupe's one performance, before they gloriously imploded. I wasn't at that show either (I was a writer, not a performer).

I need to stop missing the few minor successes I've had.

Needless to say, when you clean out your closet, you find yourself reliving your past. I found a big envelope full of letters from friends to me at camp and college, back from the day when people actually wrote letters. I found a box containing every Playbill from every play I ever saw in Manhattan (when I spent a couple of years reading for a Broadway theater in exchange for free tickets to pretty much everything).

I found my old Rubik's cube. There's a box of old 45s, and some comic books, and some trading cards, including a complete set of Mallrats cards, even though I wasn't a big fan of the movie.

I found all my old mathletes awards. Damn, I was sort of a nerd.

The really sad thing is is that I lugged all of this stuff across the country, and then from Pasadena to Glendale to Woodland Hills. Most of it should have been jettisoned long, long ago.

Some of it I'm keeping, still. But I'm trying to toss anything that doesn't have sentimental value, or which I'm unlikely to watch or listen to anytime in the next 20 years.

If I find Jimmy Hoffa's body, I'll let you know.

12 Comments:

At 6:07 PM, Blogger Webs said...

My most recent post is oddly similar to yours....

 
At 11:10 PM, Blogger shecanfilmit said...

I've been doing the same thing!

I started by donating 2/3rds of my wardrobe to Goodwill a month ago. I got rid of 1/3rd of my books - I actually got $132 from a used bookstore for the formal philosphy and linguistics, but they wouldn't take the self-help or fiction - I donated that to Goodwill. I tossed 2 years of magazines. The hardest thing to throw out so? I had every episode of Northern Exposure on videotape. If the tracking and quality weren't so bad, I may have kept them, but finally, I let that box of videotapes go.

Still left to conquer: all of my college notes, 245 credits' worth. That's 10 full-time years of college. Also, a box of random pictures. A box of snail mail from high school and college. Three boxes of screenwriting. Etc.

But first, I must finish my rom com. In order to ensure I don't get distracted by my fall cleaning spree, I'm flying to mom's house in Vegas on Saturday afternoon. She has a cat who likes to sit on the desk. That will help.

 
At 4:22 AM, Blogger S. A. Petrich said...

Did you solve the Rubik cube?

 
At 6:14 AM, Blogger Melville said...

funny. just planned to do the same thing this weekend. maybe a virus?

 
At 9:06 AM, Blogger Scott the Reader said...

I was actually really good at the Rubik's cube; I used to be able to solve it in 2-3 minutes.

Even now, if I come across one at someone's house, I'll try to solve it when they aren't looking, just to freak them out when they see it on the shelf later.

 
At 9:17 AM, Blogger Ryan said...

I tend to weed through all my stuff to make sure I'm keeping what I need to keep every time I move. And since I move, on average, every two years, I don't have a whole lot of stuff collected.

My wife, however, is quite the packrat. She keeps everything. We can't use the garage because it's full of boxes and boxes of her stuff, and our closets are jammed full of her stuff (and more boxes of her stuff). She's been telling me since we moved into this house that she's going to go through the boxes and throw away the stuff she doesn't need. But we've lived here 18 months and she's not even started. I'm not holding out hope I'll ever get to use the garage for its intended purpose.

 
At 10:37 AM, Blogger Bill Cunningham said...

Having recently moved to the MPB Pad I am going through all of the items that once had some sort of value to me and purging them like Nichole Ritchie.

 
At 10:59 AM, Anonymous Joe Valdez said...

I challenge anyone who believes their resume is diverse to check to see if they've not only written a puppet show, but had it performed and can produce a videotape as evidence. I think that's pretty cool.

 
At 11:12 AM, Blogger Piers said...

Hasn't everyone?

:)

 
At 7:06 PM, Blogger mernitman said...

Evidently I'm not alone in finding the Lost Puppet Show Video most intriguing. Have you heard of this thing they call YouTube...?

 
At 7:11 PM, Blogger Scott the Reader said...

Unfortunately, when I say dark and inaudible, I mean pretty much indecipherable and unwatchable.

 
At 6:49 AM, Blogger Dante Kleinberg said...

Nostalgia is always fun. For me it's mostly paralyzing. I'm the type who's always trying to do rewrites and second drafts on my real actual life -- so memories are usually rough.

I do need to go through my comic books though. I'm sure I can get rid of a lot of those -- but what to do with them? eBay? Trash? Does Goodwill take old comics?

 

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