Itís at KCAL, my old TV station.
Yes, for some reason, as I looked high and low for per diem projects and writing work, I convinced myself not to go back to KCAL. (Youíll recall I worked there for a couple of years as a news writer and associate producer. You recall that, of course, because youíre slavishly devoted to every single minute detail of my otherwise mind-numbingly self-centered existence. And I thank you for that! But I digress.)
This whole situation reminds me of when I first moved to Los Angeles. My very cool friend Scott was nice enough to let me live on his couch for a time, while I hunted high and low for the perfect apartment. For some dumb reason, I excluded the immediate neighborhood. I guess I didnít want Scott to think I was going to be a drain, or I wanted to prove I could find my own place somewhere else, or whatever.
When I finally woke up and checked out the "Apartment For Rent" diagonally across the street from his house, I found the best, coolest, safe, fun, great apartment, which I love so much.
Flash forward. Now, faced with mounting financial, uh, challenges (bad VISA card, bad!), the need for some good, high-paying work was getting pretty serious. And for some reason, I looked everywhere but the one place I knew for a mortal fact they would be happy to see me.
I guess it has a lot to do with the fact that I have not yet achieved my goal of getting an "actual job with an actual TV show." How could I show my face back at KCAL? There would be the inevitable questions; "So, what happened?" being the worst.
Leaving KCAL to find a job with a sitcom was a big decision. And it was the right decision. Still is. But when it came to supporting myself during my job search, I was letting what I thought other people would think dictate my choices.
But pride (or vanity -- pick the deadly sin of your choice) doesnít pay the bills. I need work; KCAL has work. I write TV news; they need a TV news writer. And for every person there who says, "Say, didnít you leave to go be a writer?" Iíll just nod, smile, and say, "Yep. Still working on it." Then, Iíll go to talk to another in the thankfully large pool of people who genuinely like me, and are happy to see me back, even if itís only for a short while.
So, today, it was back in to the working world. Eight and a half actual hours of work at a company. Itís a lot different than sitting at home and writing Mr. TV columns, but then again, the pay is a lot better.
And thereís this special side benefit I hadnít counted on. For some reason, tonight, watching the newscast, hearing my words tumble forth from the anchorsí lips, I realized again why I wanted to be a writer in the first place.
For me, itís all about communicating with an audience. Not to brag, but I like the way I write TV news. I hope the people watching like it too. And if one person laughed at my version of a dumb hog-calling contest story, or thought my take on a display featuring the worldís most expensive car was clever, then it was all worth it.
I still have a sense of pride in who I am, and what Iím doing. And I know, I just know that if I continue to work hard, Iíll eventually get a break, and a chance to work on a sitcom.
That is the way it works, right? Now that Iíve swallowed my stupid pride, and returned to KCAL, something else big breaks that takes me in a completely different direction.
Okay, life, or fate, or whatever -- do your thing. Until then,
Iíll keep doing mine: Working my butt off to get the job I really
want, while making smart choices to help pay the bills.