Wednesday, March 3, 2010


I can be a pretty competitive person, especially when it comes to middle school dodgeball, trivia-based board games, and chugging contests of any kind. But right now, I'm feeling the strain of competing against thousands upon thousands of others in the Los Angeles job market right now. Someone must be getting these jobs that I keep applying to. Someone who is more intelligent, more creative, more outgoing, and more experienced than me. Even jobs classified as 'entry-level' are being filled by people with ten years or more in that specific field. It's incredibly frustrating.

I found a television writing fellowship for ABC that sounds absolutely ideal for my situation. The opportunity to learn from real writers and potentially be hired by one of the biggest networks in America is absolutely incredible. The salary is outrageously good too. It doesn't start until next year and I wouldn't even find out until November if I got in. The deadline is July 1st, and already I'm starting to panic. I have plenty of time, and I know I could probably knock out a decent spec script of a sitcom by then. But knowing that there are only eight spots and who knows how many hundreds of applicants is making my head explode.

My confidence isn't too high after being turned down by a different ABC internship last Spring, and not even receiving a big fat "NO" from an NBC writing program in the Fall. I'm really hoping that in both cases it was because I screwed up on some logistical detail, forgetting to sign something, misreading directions, that sort of thing. But of course there's that voice in the back of my mind that says "You're just not good enough." It also tells me to set fire to things, but that's a whole separate batch of neuroses.

Hopefully I've gotten better over the past year. I've been collaborating on a feature script with a friend, in addition to writing random things on my own. Nothing really worth mentioning, but the practice has been beneficial. I hope. Anyway, I feel exactly like I did when I attempted to apply to the USC screenwriting program and had a nervous breakdown before I could even finish the application. The competition is fierce and brutal and painful and all manner of unpleasant synonyms for bad. Especially when what you're being judged on is creativity, which is completely subjective to begin with. It's like giving birth to a baby you think is beautiful, then sending it off to be ripped apart by pageant judges who blame you for producing such a piece of crap child. (Too much?)

I think I'm a decent writer. But I don't think I'm good enough to beat out hundreds of others who have dedicated their lives to writing and have a greater natural skill to boot. I'm not looking for sympathy or ego-boosters. I'm just saying that it's overwhelming to have a way to attain your dream dangling right in front of your face, and to know there's only the most infinitesimal chance it could be yours. All I can do is write the best script I can and hope to god everyone else applying comes down with mono. Or leprosy. Leprosy would be better. They can't type if their fingers fall off...

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