I was going to tell you about the meeting I had a month ago with a personage who got known for doing one thing and then had a second career doing another thing (both equally successful, both equally lucrative). I was going to tell you how excited I was to meet this person, and how I did a ton of reading about them the week before, and how they showed up 20 minutes late, and how I felt all bottled up and explodey when they sat down, and how I talked nonstop for maybe 40 minutes straight, and how at some point they asked if I had ADHD, and I said I did, and then they told me I should be medicated, and I said I was, and they said it’s a good thing I have help with my work or I wouldn’t be successful, and I said I was successful before I had help, and then it went downhill from there.
But I won’t tell you that story because there is no story. It’s just information. A lot of people like me have trouble containing themselves in high pressure situations. I do understand it’s not easy to hire someone with explosive manic energy like mine, especially when they (aka, “I”) don’t seem to have much control over it. What’s so annoying is that this is actually the controlled version of me. They should see me off my meds! (No they shouldn’t. No one should.)
But also, I spent plenty of years feeling bad that I couldn’t make myself behave normal in front of the right people. Now I try to find fewer reasons to be bummed about things I can’t change. Instead (and this is advice you hear all the time), I imagine all the other people like me who might feel a little bit better knowing they aren’t alone. And then I talk to them in my head: “It’s gonna be ok, guys. I’m writing about it.”
I have two projects I’m working on now that portray a woman with some of my aforementioned quirks. One of them is a movie that is very close to my heart for many reasons, and I hope someday I’ll be able to share it with you. The other is a pilot. Neither may ever see the light of day, but it is really fun (and also really harrowing) to graft your most exaggerated features onto a character who you want an audience to enjoy, cringe at, feel bad for, have a crush on, etc….
INT. CLASSROOM - DAY
College classroom. The students chat with one other, sleep, text. After a bit. CJ, 35, bursts in to the room wearing a bike helmet. She is petite, not unattractive, smiley, with a lot of nervous energy. Nerd glasses, unwashed hair, cute thrifted outfit. She has pit-stains and is sweating. Her hands are covered in black grease. The students are amused. Weird prof.
CJ removes her messenger bag and her helmet. She digs for some tissues. She finds notebook paper instead. Rips a few sheets out, wipes her hands on them, then wipes them on the back of a chair. She grabs some chalk. Writes the following words on the board:
TO BE CONTINUED…