I’ve been on a ladies kick recently–I’ve had this surge of love and appreciation for female performers I was not a fan of for years and years AND YEARS! This list includes Chelsea Handler, Lena Dunham, Amy Schumer and Regina Spektor. More on ladies supporting other ladies later, but I heard the most fascinating tidbit on Chelsea Handler’s oh-so-descriptive show, Chelsea, the other day that cracked this explosive sea of realization in my mind.
I’m mildly lazy so I shall paraphrase: Chelsea had an episode of her talk show on Netflix that features Melissa McCarthy and her husband, Ben Falcone. They were joined with three other actors and the group is working on a new project together. One of the actors described pitching the idea for the project to Ben and said, “At that point, we didn’t have a script yet, but he really liked the idea and told Melissa and here we are.”
DID EVERYONE JUST HEAR THAT?! “We didn’t have a script yet, but he really liked the idea.”
The public, myself included, have this general understanding that people working in Hollywood making millions of dollars, whether they are writers or actors or producers or the like, are wildly intelligent and full of creativity and must have some superior talent that prescribes them the ability to go and create the entertainment we all ingest gleefully, right?!
WRONG. Why?! This fool came in and pitched a concept WITHOUT A SCRIPT. And they got the project green-lighted. WHAT WHAT WHAT?!
The magnitude of this struck me because think about Girls without a pilot written, how you would pitch it:
“Girls follows four twenty-something liberal arts school graduates that live in New York City. One works in publishing, another in arts, and two are still finding their way. They go to Brooklyn parties and hang out with older people and do drugs and…”
See how the concept sounds boring as shit without some meat to the bones? See how it will rapidly become convoluted? I’m not doubting that the initial pitch for this Melissa McCarthy show was particularly unsubstantiative, but it hit me “Wow, projects start getting produced all the fucking time without even a script, without a smidgen of the immense work that needs to get done, done.”
This brings me to a point within a point: Hollywood is not full of geniuses or masterminds just because they may have money. Bill Maher once said people in LA were stupid and should be ignored when it comes to politics, which I thought was rather harsh but those words are there.
I suppose the whole point of this entire story is that we may always look at other people doing things and think “Wow, their life looks so incredibly, unbelievably amazing–I wish I could do what they do. I wish I could write, or dance, or act, or direct, or play the piano, or…”
Barbara Corcoran has this awesome reflection on Shark Tank that virtually all of the dreams she ever conjured up when growing up in New Jersey and staring at the NYC skyline have come to fruition–her apartment, her money, her family. She dreamt it and has it all.
It’s just a matter of opening the mind to examine–what is your true, honest dream? What do you want, more than anything else in this world, right now?