*When I initially wrote this post, I realized it was getting uncontrollably long so I chopped off the back half and I’ll post that tomorrow. Stay tuned for the twist ending!*
**For the past few months I’ve been obsessed with the Hamilton soundtrack and one of the songs from that soundtrack is “Helpless”. For some reason, I often end up wanting to call it “hopeless”. So when I went to write this blog post I thought, Oh yeah, like the opposite of the Hamilton song. Indeed, the title of this blog is not the opposite of the Hamilton song, but I’m going to link to the song anyway because it’s a great song, the soundtrack is amazing, and Hamilton is awesome. And I will argue that with anyone (I’m looking at you Vonny D)! I’ll link to the song here.**
A few days ago, I was feeling kind of low. There was no particular reason, just a few reasons piled up on each other. My sister just moved into my place with me for the summer, which is super fun, but also means I have the additional stress of another human constantly in a space that was originally just mine. My plan to connect with a professor was thwarted by my mother’s good intentions, leaving me in a place where I couldn’t be too mad but I also couldn’t do what I had originally planned either. Commencement is next week, a fact that is stressful in its own right because I hate all the graduation stuff about school, but it’s also stressful because it reminds me that I really should be thinking about what to do next. All these things and more have contributed to a slightly more on-edge version of myself. It sucks, but such is life.
So you can imagine how dramatically my week changed when I received two hope-inducing emails. But let me first provide the backstory for them:
I love TV. Most people know this about me. I watch a lot of television (and movies, to a lesser extent) and I have strong obsessive opinions about the shows that I watch. So last summer at a family reunion/barbecue, after being told a story about my dad’s childhood by my uncle, I decided to begin working on a pilot script. I don’t really know what the plan was – maybe I just wanted to see if I could do it – so I wrote the first 8 pages.
Some of you reading this might not find this to be a huge surprise. During my senior spring in college, I took a class on screenwriting. That was my first attempt at writing a script, though that time it was for a feature length movie. I never finished that script and it’s since been lost to history and the inability to back up files when changing laptops. It wasn’t good, but it would be interesting to revisit it to see if a three-year removal from the project would give me any new insights.
Anyway, I wrote the first 8 pages of this new pilot script and then I stopped. This time, it wasn’t because it was bad or tedious, but because it was a drama, and writing dramas takes a bit more thought and energy, resources I did not have in abundance when I began the project. Instead I decided to write a comedy pilot and that was pretty fun.
However, before I put the drama script to rest I emailed it to my brother. In March. So it was really surprising when I got an email in May, saying, “this is really good! I want to read more!” It was especially surprising because my phone shows me the text of emails in the banner up top, so I woke up one morning to those words from my brother, but I had no idea what he was responding to (the email had no subject line – my fault – and the banner didn’t show the message I had sent). In any case, when I found out what he had been referring to, I was pretty happy. I knew it didn’t mean much (my siblings are always pretty encouraging and non-critical of my work) but it still felt pretty good. Hopefulness increase: +3.