And The Oscar Doesn’t Go To…

Doomed to a life of guitar classes, open mics and blogs. I’m lucky.

There was a time when I pined for more. There was a time when I cut Lollapalooza off a t-shirt, and had my ex-girlfriend, Inna, sew it to the back of my jacket, as a prayer.

There was a time when I wanted to write novels and adapt them into screenplays and have pretentious conversations with James Lipton on the Actor’s Studio about my choices.

There was a time when I wandered into the woods, hopping from comedy club to comedy club, pining for the fame-baton to be passed to me from Armando Diaz to Noah Gregoropoulos to Charna Halpern to Lorne Michaels to Tina Fey, and suddenly, to find myself standing on stage, receiving the Mark Twain Prize, with an introduction by Will Ferrell, telling everyone in America how he used my JewFro as an inspiration for his character in ”Semi-Pro.”

Amazing how many names you can fling at yourself to keep yourself down, isn’t it? Who are these people? How arbitrary is their fame? How arbitrary are the voices inside our heads?

“You’re good. You’re not. You’re talented. You’re a hack. You’re special. Get a job at Starbucks.”

And tomorrow, at the Oscars, they afford us the privilege of tuning-in to watch rich people who won the genetic lottery, or won the last name game, like Mamet, receive a golden statuette, as proof of how much better they are than the rest of us, who navigate our workweeks by trying to avoid a scolding from Human Resources for being late, when all we really wanted was the right to stop for a cup of coffee, and take a breath.

How sadistic are the rules? How small do we have to play? How arbitrary is advice?

“If you’re not early, you’re late. Vocation, avocation, know the difference. You can’t sell a man who isn’t listening.”

The last piece of advice is worthy of consideration. I learned it when I was working in advertising agencies, trying to pay-off my debt from self-funding an opportunity to run the Chill Tent at Lollapalooza in the Summer of 1996.

The prayer came true. It also came with a bill. I had to make a choice: call home for help paying the bill, or man-up.

The single greatest accomplishment of my life has been paying the bill.

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4 Responses to And The Oscar Doesn’t Go To…

  1. Vince says:

    Paying the bill is not a story. It is the truth behind the scenes. It is the boring part. No body cares. Fame and fortune is the only cool scene. I’m not cool. I pay the bills. Life is kind of ordinary. I think I’m special. I have great ideas. But the truth is, I’m just another non-starter. It’s ok. Who cares. I don’t even care myself.

  2. Fefeserfimi says:

    Can I just say what a relief to locate someone who essentially knows what they’re talking about online. You definitely know how to bring an problem to light and make it significant. Much more people today have to read this and understand this side of the story. I can’t believe you’re not alot more common, considering that you surely have the gift.

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