Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Born slippy

I'm not much of a fan of cell phones or the annoying ring tones that phone owners load onto them and blast at full volume for all the world to (unwillingly) hear. The ring tone on my cell phone is the opening strains of "Born Slippy" by the band Underworld. You may recognize it as the last song in the movie Trainspotting. Sort of understated as ringtones go but still cool for me personally.

None of which is particularly important except for the fact that I spent the day waiting to hear from Writer's Arc as to whether I would be a fellow in the program that starts next month in Los Angeles. And they were going to be calling my cell with their decision, yea or nay. So my phone was attached to my hand wherever I went, with me on edge in anticipation of it ringing. Other than my family and a few attorney contacts, nobody has my mobile number, so I knew if I heard the tones, it would likely be the word for which I have been waiting over a week.

A little Shawna-like recon revealed that the last round of fellows had been notified after all of the other non-fellow finalists received their phone calls, i.e., late afternoon West Coast time. For me, on the East Coast, that meant good news, if it came at all, would likely not come until well into the evening. Creating the situation where I was left on edge all day long for a phone call that I actually had to hope would come as late as possible. Nobody said it was easy.

But as the hours rolled by and the phone sat idle on my desk or in my coat pocket, my excitement slowly began to build. Assuming things were going according to the previous plan, no news was good news. Seven o'clock . . . eight o'clock . . . nine o'clock . . . midnight and still nothing. This part coming up is what they call in the screenwriting trade a reversal, where you take the viewers' expectations and give them the complete opposite of what they are expecting to happen.

I didn't get in. Amy and Ami, owing to the lateness of the hour here, sent an e-mail stating that they were unable to offer me a spot in the upcoming program. To the extent I could read between the lines, it sounded like decisions were being made up to the last minute that I received my notification. But, for now at least, the answer is no.

Although I suppose I should feel disappointed about not being accepted, I really can't be too upset. The script I sent was the first that I've ever written. It was good enough to get me to a group of 25 finalists out of 1200 original applicants. That fact alone tells me that, to the extent that the group is representative of all aspiring screenwriters, I am starting out that much ahead of the game. Already I don't feel like I'm stumbling around in the dark not knowing whether I even belong at all.

And even if I had been accepted, the fellowship would still have been just a first step in a much longer journey. Admittedly, a great first step and one that presumably makes the journey a little easier. But I was prepared to take that first step on my own before I found out about the program and that has not changed. It just means I'll have to do it the way I had planned all along. Plus, now I have a good script that I can polish and rewrite even further for the Nicholl competition. To say nothing of reapplying for the second round of Writer's Arc this year. So though not the result I had hoped for, there is still something good to be taken even from this rejection. Which I will.


  • Sorry to hear it, but I have no doubt that getting as far as you did is a sign of impending success. And there's always another contest or fellowship just around the corner to apply to. Don't give up!

    By Blogger Warren, at 10:28 AM  

  • Sorry to hear this.. I was hoping ONE of us would make it in! Oh well, as my friends have been saying... You'll get'em next time!

    By Blogger writergurl, at 6:04 PM  

  • You still made it to the finals and that's nothing to frown at. You're only going to get better. Congrats again on making some noise with your first script.

    By Blogger writebrother, at 11:31 AM  

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