Monday, December 5, 2011

Rambling Monday

Bunch of things as I begin to wind down to Christmas in the Rockies, still hope for a meeting or two, roll out a winter parka and get that damn book out this week. I had to make some changes which caused some reformatting but I should get the 3rd proof tomorrow, if it's clean, then it's good to go.

WGA party was as always, crowded with lots of people I don't know. In fact there was nobody I knew, fortunately we both are starters and thus met a handful of writers, everyone from a soap opera writer to a game-show question writer and some hopeful aspiring writers who somehow got into WGA (you have to get a WGA signatory company contract in order to join the Guild).

This time they rented a club in the heart of Hollywood and as usual, the first drink was free and anything after that was around $13 but for some reason tickets seemed to be available. It was loud and noisy and the average age was probably around 35, maybe less.

What's always interesting about writers, at least the WGA members is their look. It's very generational in that there's the old writers like me, and the older ones and then the middle aged ones and the young ones.

All in all you wouldn't think this bunch of people had anything in common.

And to make it more challenging, there are no real rules, an old guy can wear jeans and t-shirt, a young kid can wear an expensive sport coat, girls can come in red dresses or black jeans or anything. We're tall, short, thin, fat, a typical cross section of America (and Canada) and thus the variety of costumes and behaviors.

The younger ones think they know everything, the older ones think they don't know enough and somewhere between there's the ones who don't care.

And then there's the working ones. Ah, the lucky ones who are getting a paycheck. It's also the divider often in conversations; the working ones tend to stay with other working ones and the unemployed stay with other unemployed.Of course there's crossovers all the time.

And then there's the usual 2nd or 3rd question after "Hi, I'm......

"So... what are you working on now?"

This question solicits the following answers:

Not much
I'm developing a project
We're working on a spec
I'm working on some ideas
I got a deal with Hallmark and Levinson
We're going to pitch NBC.
I'm a guest of a WGA writer
I know the doorman

And many, many more. I remember the first time I attended a union meeting in the early 1990's at the Sheraton Universal. There were about a thousand writers there, filling two huge auditoriums.

My first reaction was that most of the writers looked like me. Meaning white, European and eastern European heritage. There were women and Asians and African Americans, but the majority was the proverbial white anglo-saxon look.

There's more diversity now, 20 years later, but not as much as there could be. I think probably the least represented if you count population, were the Hispanics. I might be wrong, but how many Hispanics do you see on TV shows and movies with respect to their portion of the American dream?

There was also something else I wondered about. Since the WGA has allegedly around 10,000 members, most of which live in Los Angeles, the turn-out for the party was maybe 200 or so "give or take".

Where are the others?
Maybe they just stay home.