In my efforts to be completely transparent with my current boss, I met with him this morning to tell him that I’d be gone for a couple of hours for the interview. He prodded me with questions about this position, and after I gave him a brief synopsis of what I knew, he asked me how that would help me with my writing ambitions. While I agreed that there was not a direct correlation, I defended my decision by explaining that I wasn’t in a position to turn down interviews and that I’m open to hearing about any job that might offer me exposure into the industry. He proceeded to tell me about a full-time position that he has available here (at a major production company), basically managing the Accounts Receivable/Finance department. While I was flattered that he wanted to keep me on the team (though who wouldn’t), I reiterated my earlier sentiments about how much I loathe accounting. Also, I explained that if I were going to take a job simply for the paycheck, then I would have stayed in my position at ND doing something that I loved. He contended that if I were truly passionate about films and television, then I should jump at the chance to work on the business side of the industry. I tried to explain to him how working on the business side is actually a rather tormenting experience, as I’m surrounded by people who are doing what I would like to be doing, while I’m left observing from the sidelines.
My boss didn’t seem to appreciate my resistance to taking his job offer, so he decided to give me a five minute pep talk about how I was never going to make it in this industry without nepotism on my side. He insisted that I wouldn’t find an assistant position, or even an unpaid internship, without having an aunt or uncle who owned a studio. While I appreciated that he was taking time out of his busy schedule to attempt to crush my dreams, and I totally agree that my dreams would be more attainable if my last name were Hanks or Spielberg, I reiterated the simple fact that I didn’t move to LA to work in accounting. I also pointed out that if he were this pleased with the work that I had been doing in accounting, then imagine the possibilities if I were to actually do something that I loved! My boss went on to tell me about “20 friends” of his who were aspiring writers, but then he warned me that only one of them has ever gotten a pilot deal. I quipped that maybe I’d be Lucky #21, and then I invented an excuse to get the hell out of his office.
My interview at the studio lasted about two hours. Everything seemed to be going really well until they asked me about my long-term career goals. I made it clear to them that I couldn’t commit to anything for longer than six months, as I was working on transitioning to the creative side of the industry. They said that they understood, but I’m pretty sure that meant that I wasn’t going to be offered the job. Regardless, it was good practice for future interviews and my conversations with my interviewers helped me realize that I need to get out from behind the desk and onto some actual sets.
When I returned to my office, I discovered a document waiting for me on my chair. Upon further inspection, I realized that it was a Job Description for the position that my boss had mentioned to me earlier. Maybe I wasn’t clear when I told him that I “detested accounting?” I skimmed the description, and I noticed that there was one job responsibility out of the 10 listed that wouldn’t make me want to jump out of a window. In other words, I wasn’t interested. A few minutes later, I received a call from him asking me what I thought of the Job Description. I really couldn’t handle any more squabbling, so I lied and said that I hadn’t had a chance to read it. I then did my best to avoid him for the remainder of the afternoon until I bumped into him on the way to the elevator. Instead of asking me about the job, he caught me off guard by asking me if I was looking forward to seeing 22 Jump Street (the sequel to 21 Jump Street). He then said that if I was still working at the company in June, I could watch a screening of the film for free downstairs. Wait a second. Was this really his bargaining chip? He seriously thought that I would sell my soul to accounting in order to see the sequel to a film that I barely liked for free? Thanks, but I think I’ll turn down your terrible offer and just pay $12 to go see it in theaters (if at all).
As I drove home, I attempted to unwind by turning on my favorite talk radio station. The radio hosts were discussing a lecture that Meryl Streep recently gave at a fundraiser, in which she offered the following advice to the hopefuls in the audience: “Don’t let the bastards get you down!” It was like a message from the heavens. Even though my day was discouraging and stressful, I decided not to let the naysayers get to me. As my frown started to vanish, a car came out of nowhere and crashed into mine, sending me into oncoming traffic. Two other cars narrowly avoided hitting me a second and third time. When I finally opened my eyes, I noticed that the car that initially struck me had fled the scene. I spent the next two hours filing a report with the police and assessing the newest damage to my car. When I finally got home, I headed straight for my bed. You may have won this battle, LA, but I will win this war! You’ll see! You’ll all see!