"All food advice aside, what happens now that the pilot is submitted? How long of a process is it from your hands to the next? I find this all very interesting and am excited for you and for all of us who will be watching. Do you have any input in the casting?" — EZ-Friendzy comment
It’s an exquisite torture, really. Not exactly almost-orgasm exquisite. More like dating a guy you really like. Except you’ve had sex with the guy, and now you’re sitting around waiting for his call wondering if you should have worn the white mesh thong in lieu of the black lace boy shorts. Maybe you sent the wrong message. You stress over the little details, a line here, a phrase, a description, when in reality, I’m betting it has little to do with that and more to do with the overall take-away and what… fits.
If a network has already ordered three shows about a newly single man, whether he has a 21-year-old daughter (and he wants to date one of her friends) or he’s a therapist who can’t follow his own love advice, there might not be room for another one, once the script makes it to the decision maker’s hands, no matter how clever or relevant. It could just be, "We have enough of that already. What else we got?" It could be that they’re looking for a multi-cam show because they’re cheaper to produce, so they’re not making room for more single-cams. There are lots of "could be’s"… so many, in fact, that they keep me up at night, the bastards. And there’s not a thing I can do about it.
You do all this work, and create something that pleases a lot of cooks. There’s my showrunner, the production company executives, the studio, and also the network. Then, after they’ve all weighed in, if you’re lucky, your script makes it into the hands of the decision maker. From there, you just hope. And pray. And wear your lucky jewelry. The ring your husband got you that’s engraved "LIVE THE LIFE YOU HAVE IMAGINED. GO CONFIDENTLY IN THE DIRECTION OF YOUR DREAMS." The necklace your parents got you for high school graduation, the one your sister and mother also have. Your grandmother’s pearls. Your mother’s day diamond earrings. You wear it in the shower. You wear it when you’re baking and kneading dough. You try not to hit the refresh button on your email all day. You remember that this isn’t all you’ll ever do. That it really doesn’t just come down to this. Then you do a shot.
It’s like you’ve seen in movies and commercials, where you begin with a certain story, particular characters, set circumstances, and throughout the process you concede. You do what’s best for TV. You make choices. They tell you they’re looking for something less dark, more uplifting and light. Then you hand it in, and you get the feedback, "We’re really looking for something darker." This didn’t happen to me, but it happens. All the time. And you know what? You roll with it. It’s just part of it. I’m not the type to ever mention the integrity of the work because I believe in being flexible, in giving people what they ask for as best I can. Then making it work. Even if it were up to me, alone, I’d do things differently. You’re part of a team, even if you’re the "creator" of a show.
So right now, it’s like waiting for the fat envelope to arrive from your first choice school. If you don’t get in, it’s not the end of the world. But it still stings, even if you hear that they just couldn’t take one more white kid. That it wasn’t your grades, test scores, or essay. They simply can’t make room for you. It’s hard to know that there’s more in store for you down the line. It’s hard to be positive and not let it stop you. Because at the end of the day, it takes believing in yourself, no matter what anyone else tells you. If you work hard enough at it, if you keep trying in the face of rejection, you’ll get somewhere… it just may not be the place you’d imagined. It can be much more.