I got back after midnight last night from my train trip back from Toronto. (I knew there was a reason I try to avoid the local.) The networks and most of the production companies are there, and a lot of shows even in Montreal are staffed out of there. So I try to get up there about eight times a year. Ideally, I go when Jill Golick has one of her terrific Writers Watching TV
events, or for some spectacular party.
So Thursday night was the Telefilm do from 5 to 7, and then the WGC Christmas party from 7:30 until at least midnight. That's when I left, anyway, and Christin Simms was asking me why I was leaving so early. (Because I ran out of mana, is the truth.)
I've got a point where I can spend five hours at a party and not run out of friends to talk to. That's nice. When I started out in the biz up here, and when I started out in LA, I had to force myself to go to parties, because I didn't know anyone. I find it really difficult to be at a party where I don't know people. I'm not an enormously social person by nature (which may surprise some people who only know me now). It doesn't come naturally to me. It probably doesn't come naturally to most writers. That's why we sit in front of the computer writing instead of sitting on the phone talking. (People who have a talent and a love for that become successful agents.) When you're first trying to break in, you're at a lot of parties hoping there will be somene you can talk to.
But it's your job. If you're not meeting people, you're not doing your job. Writing great stuff is necessary to break in. But it's not sufficient. If no one knows you, they're not going to "see" you in their writing room.
But it won't be your job forever. Eventually you'll make friends, and then it becomes fun. Like the writing, it stops being work as soon as you're enjoying yourself.
What's really fun about showbiz -- and probably any business that's also a calling, art, sports, music -- you get to be friends with people whose work you also admire. I'm friends with many of the best TV and feature writers in Canada. it adds something to the friendship when you can share the work you love.
Labels: breaking in