ou query what you’ve got. Most of the time what you’ve got isn’t what they want. If you’re lucky though you get the question. And you should always be ready for the question: What else have you got?
I dreamt of getting the question. I trained for the question. I had an arsenal of replies ready at the ready. I could even be selective – tailor my response to the person asking. Looking for something funnier? I could drop a comedy on them. Looking for a micro budget horror? Boom, here’s my slasher pic. Didn’t matter whether or not that was what I was working on, I always had enough irons in the fire that it could easily become what I was working on.
But that was then. Back when I was devoting my 24/7 to writing and querying. And hoping. Then I gave up. Not so much gave up as moved the hope of ever breaking in to the nights and weekends. I had to tell myself I was giving up just to get there mentally. To move on. Point is, I was taking all those irons out of the fire. Just leaving the pilot light on. One script at a time.
That’s when I got the call. And of course it would be then. Wouldn’t be cosmic irony if not. The call from the Manager with whom I’m now working. And we talked about the one script. Resolved to move forward on it together. All those wonderful things. And then it came, as it would, lest it not be cosmic irony:
So what else are you working on?
Real life beats are the worst. Lot more anxiety twisting your guts into a ball like a net caught in an outboard motor.
I didn’t have an answer. I told him “nothing”. Couldn’t believe I said it. My brain must’ve blacked out the next few moments. Must have lost time. Somehow, however I recovered. Somehow I managed to turn “nothing” into “nothing… specific” and then managed to dust off some of those cold irons.
You only have to be unprepared once. If you survive it, you learn. Now the fire’s lit back up. Still may only be nights and weekends until something sees a greenlight, and that’s fine. But I’m back to rehearsing loglines in the shower.