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Thursday, April 27, 2006

I am yawning in the passenger lounge at Union Station in Toronto. After four days of pitching and meeting (and parties and poker!), I've used up all my psychic energy. I'm not by natural an outgoing person, though I can play one in a meeting. And pitching shows is more exhausting that meetings on projects that are at least in development. You are hoping they will like you and you are hoping they'll like your project, and you're hoping you won't make an absolute fool of yourself or be off-putting in some way.

And then you go, and pitch, and inevitably it feels like an anti-climax, because network execs may tell you which pitch of yours they most like, but they are not going to tell you whether they want any of your pitches or not, even if it were up to them. And it's not. They have to take your pitch to a meeting.

I had more of an impression this time than last that I am coming from a provincial backwater. Montreal may be culturally more sophisticated than Toronto, but Toronto is the hub of the Canadian film industry, and writers and producers and network executives here bump into each other. That probably happens on the French side in Montreal, but the tiny English community doesn't have its own Starbucks. (Note: someone ought to start one.) I may have to come here more often.

Still I think I did good. People seem to know who I am. ("I'm Alex Epstein." "Oh, you're Alex Epstein!") Award nominations and co-creating a show that airs for three seasons help with that. I didn't win, alas, but people seemed to know I was up for an award. This time I was able to see a few people a second time; last time it was all meet'n'greets. And I got to hand out postcards for my book. Some say a book is foremost an excuse to promote yourself. If so, it worked.

We'll see what exactly comes out of this trip. But I think it was worth the effort and expense. (And thank you to my dear friend Shelley for putting me up!) I am starting to feel a little like a part of the creative community here, even if I'm the red-headed stepchild who lives on the other bank of the river.

Next trip: probably the Banff Worldwide Television Festival in June...



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