When I got out of college I could think of no other vocation that appealed to me more than filmmaking. So, like most graduates, I sent out resumes extolling my wonderful academic achievements, packaged in specially purchased, elegantly designed resume envelopes. And in the days that followed, I awaited the influx of telephone calls from would-be employers, eager to snatch up such a talented candidate.
Suffice it to say a couple weeks with no responses were my introduction to the catch twenty-two of having no working experience. I remember walking into the few interviews I managed to schedule, equipped with my black briefcase and firm handshake, knowing the interviewer would overlook any technical shortcomings and hire me on the spot. Invariably, these imaginings faded with the screech of my student film being fast-forwarded through the VCR; my interviewer holding the controller, explaining he wanted merely to “look at the framing.”
Regardless of how I perceived myself in a town revolving around motorcycles, my dwindling bank account was a stabbing indication that ambition combined with stubbornness could be a curse. So instead of California and New York, I started my career in York. York, Pennsylvania, that is… except I wasn’t pitching package deals to major studios or for that matter, any studio. Instead I was pitching household appliances, like washers and dryers and microwave ovens.
In the weeks that followed, I gained twenty-six pounds and added another chin to what was once a pretty chiseled jaw line. I joined the “Midnight” bowling league and was pleasantly surprised to learn that the inability to button my trousers had no effect on my bowling release. Thus, my scores increased and I became a familiar face among a culture of beer drinking, hard-edged factory workers. And, in retrospect, I was drowning my dreams with beer and cheeseburgers.
After bowling, I would go back to my parent’s house, plop down on my bed with a cupcake and a glass of milk and I would just watch Top Gun for hours, pretending that instead of Tom Cruise, it was me. I wanted to barrel down the highway to the danger zone on a cool motorcycle. I wanted to date hot chicks. I wanted to be someone. I wanted to move to Hollywood and make movies.
In the morning, I would wake up with cupcakes mashed in my hair, stare at my fat face in the bathroom mirror, and leave for my appliance sales job. When sales were slow at the store, I would order cheeseburgers, and start eating. One day, when I really felt bad about my sad existence, I decided to do something. I went into my cubicle and started writing a screenplay. Since I never wrote a screenplay, I had no idea what I was doing. But I was so frustrated, and fat, and hating my life, that it didn’t take long until I had a first draft…