SCREEN TRADE TALES
In search of inspiration, or possibly schadenfreude, I'm reading Joe Eszterhas's Hollywood Animal
and John Gregory's Dunne's Monster
. Dunne and Eszterhas could not be further apart. One's crass, one's cultured, but they both live in a world that is utterly divorced from mine. I have broken through the velvet curtain into making a pretty good living as a tv and feature writer lately, but these guys are hobnobbing with the people you've heard of -- and in Eszterhas's case, telling the people you've heard of to go fuck themselves.
I am not sure I'd like their world, for all its money.
I do distinctly remember the studio world from my days in it. It is a coldhearted crazy unhappy world. I've been able to work with some people I actually like and respect. I was going to say that most people up here don't seem to feel they have the same gun to their heads but it's not true at all. I'm surrounded by people who are living hand to mouth (at a very high level of income to be sure), or not at all sure how they'll make their payments, or not at all sure they want to stay in the biz. I've just tuned it all out. I hit a point four, five years back where I had one more shot and if that failed I was out of showbiz. The shot succeeded and I went up from there. I've learned to tune out the fear. You have to tune out the fear when you're up against the wall. Then when you're a little further away from the wall, you have to keep the fear tuned out. There's no way to say whether your particular niche will stay lucrative, and people continue to want to work with you. You just have to love the work and have faith it'll keep coming.