Rejection is just the Next Challenge

It’s Official: The National Film and Television School don’t want this Guy

Not this year, anyway.

So, I know what some people might think; it’s the death of hope! That’s screenwriting off the table for him, back to normality with the rest of us, he’ll stop living the pipe-dream.

Despite starting on the best foot with the rejection letter (I scanned the email, shrugged, laughed it off, and went down the pub) if I’m honest, it’s all crossed my mind. The standard negative thoughts you’ll find bouncing around any artistic’s brain – I touched on it in a previous Blog post: that we are our own worst enemies – but with some positive thinking and forcing myself to look on the sunny side, I’ve rallied back to the notion that this is not the end. One of the most documented facts about the entertainment industry (in that I include literature, art and all associated divisions thereof) is that rejection is simply a universal truth. We will all come across it in some form or another – the monster leering up from the lagoon – and the absence thereof is not an indicator of success. Quite the opposite, it is how we overcome and handle rejection which really sets folks apart.

In the past, I’ve heard so many lecturers, professionals and peers discuss their own experiences of rejection, but it always seemed so distant – like that was something that was their experience, so far away from my own. In recent days, it’s become a much more stark reality of my life. I send job applications out often for feature films and tv and hear nary a squeak back almost 9 in 10 times. Probably more. In romance I am forever hitting brick walls – as that angsty passive-aggressive post may have thrown into ugly light – but it doesn’t stop me from keeping my eye out for that one golden moment when I might strike gold when I’m least expecting it. I’m currently trying to convince the landlord of a beautiful flat in my area that he needs to make the flat multiple occupancy so that some friends and I can move in, but he seems immovable on the matter. More and more I come across situations where it seems as if the world is stacked against me.

But a defeatist attitude will take me nowhere. Someone once said (before it was co-opted by the film ‘Van Wilder: Party Liason‘) that “worrying is like a rocking chair: it gives you something to do but gets you nowhere.” I find those words truer and truer every day. Why worry about the things you can’t change? Why not do your damnedest to change them, in spite of everyone telling you it’s not possible?

So that’s what I’m resolved to do. Rejection from the NFTS? Fuck them, I’m going to keep practicing, honing my skill, and apply again next year, if I’m not able to submit a script elsewhere before then. Rejection from prospective lovers? Fuck them, I’ve got bigger things to focus my mind on. Rejection from estate agents? Fuck them,  plenty more flats in the sea.

Moral of this story? If someone tells you no, then fuck them, and do it anyway.

[Notable exclusions to this rule being those reactions that verge on the illegal/immoral/insane. You probably can’t fly unaided from a building top, or suddenly become Scarface. And if she tells you no, then NO MEANS FUCKING NO.]

Ashes to Ashes

On Monday, about 10:30am, I lost a loyal friend to the dark.

It wasn’t unexpected, we all saw it coming, but as with every foreseen wound, it was only marginally less grievous because we were prepared.

Jack, the Border Terrier featured above, had been with my family for near enough 13 years (a figure which clearly proved as unlucky as its legend) and has been a shining light of love and happiness throughout. His incessant licking (trust me, we tried our best to train him out of it) welcomed each and every guest to our home, even if they didn’t want it. I remember him as a puppy, curled up asleep in my arms, and recall how his personality grew to mirror my own (or, more accurately, an amalgam of my family).  Even when he would casually ignore a command and trot off in the opposite direction, it was hard to stay angry with the little guy.

In recent months, Jack’s light has been going out.

Continue reading “Ashes to Ashes”

More Money, More…

I definitely haven’t been distracted by the weather…

Work’s had some involvement too!

As I sit here, in the beer garden of my favourite pub, drinking water to curb the hangover from last night (regrets!), it occurred to me that I should be doing something about my little corner of the internet. After a little ‘spring cleaning,’ I had a scroll through some ideas I’ve had over the week to write about. With how busy I’ve been, it’s fair to say that money has been on my mind (to quote Sam Smith) and I decided to have a few out-loud thoughts to you all.

It’s probably fair to say that I’m not the best with money. Ex-housemates, friends and family of mine will know this well for which I can only say: it will get better!

Continue reading “More Money, More…”

Love in the Time of Drama

ROMANCE IS DEAD, LONG LIVE ROMANCE

I don’t know where in life you are. Perhaps you’re married with kids, perhaps you’re cohabiting with a significant other, perhaps you’re not interested in that, perhaps you like your darkened rooms and clown porn, I don’t judge!

Personally, I’m navigating this minefield we call dating in the information age. It’s a subject I’ve avoided talking about on this platform until this juncture because I have so many conflicting feelings about the whole deal, but i’m going to do my best to put across my points without going full rant – in support of that I’ve actually written and edited this in advance. Let’s set the scene:

Continue reading “Love in the Time of Drama”

Grand New Day

I’ve been quiet for a while, something I started out as keen to avoid but circumstances have demanded my attention.

Work has been stacking up. It’s great news for my career in the Location Department, and might herald the beginning of an age of prosperity for me, though I’m trying not to get too excited too quickly. I have a habit of getting ahead of myself. Anyway. Although my time is currently sucked up by long shifts on a major feature film, I plan to be starting new short scripts soon. The deadline for my scholarship submissions is fast approaching and I want to make sure I’ve got enough material online for that, let’s all hope that the moderators take these little diary posts in the right spirit! Fingers crossed.

I’ll also be adding some more soapbox posts on a few topics which have been bouncing around my brain in recent days. In many ways the writing of it will clear my head, so I’m looking forward to some uncluttered thinking, even if it doesn’t last very long: occupational hazard!

Here in sunny southern England, we’ve been enjoying some stunning summer weather. Wherever you might be, whomever you’re with and whatever you’re doing at the time, I hope that the sunshine finds you too and gives you that inner warmth to conquer.

(Oh that dramatic flair leaves a sickly sweet taste – Guy, it’s time to sign off)

Lots of love, all.

Censorship

Much like ‘Evian,’ Free Speech is 98% Filtered.

So, Freedom of Speech. It’s a funny concept. The idea that you can mouth off all you like and some part of it won’t come back to bite you in the backside. I’ve known many people to embrace this wholeheartedly, right up to the moment when I’m sighing and shaking my head and trying desperately to distance myself from the unstoppable, hysterical levels of bullshit which is falling, uninterrupted from their mouths. It’s totally fine, in my mind, to have challenge the views of society or normality, but you don’t have to force your views down the throats of others – I think I touched on that on my little Opinion Piece regarding religion.

Continue reading “Censorship”

Over the Top

Well, that’s that.

I’ve submitted the application. No more fiddling with sentences, or twisting descriptions or editing margins or inserting the kind of inflammatory shit which will either get me onto the Master’s Course, or get me locked up.

I hope it’s the former.

I really hope it’s the former.

Not just because I’m too pretty for prison [if your feet are getting wet, it’s the dripping sarcasm, rather than assumptions about your sexual preferences], but a myriad reasons; I need to move the hell out of my family home – it’s beautiful here but I’m long past needing my own space and my own life,  I need to afford my car insurance (steep as it is) on my own, I want to buy nice things and go nice places and be able to say “yes” to opportunities rather than “nngh, no, no I can’t, unless you lose that zero.

I’ve played that part too much in my life, constantly watching the proverbial coppers while others throw paper in the air and whisk off to far-off lands doing far-off things in far-off places and god-damn-it I want to do everything I haven’t done before without worrying. I think that’s the dream, the millennial dream; this generation who are weighed down by soaring house-prices and inflation and all those economic things which mean our lives will be so much more bound by our careers than our parent’s generations. It used to be you worked to live, but now it seems impossible not to live to work. In fairness, I used to see my father off to work in the City – joining the ranks of dead-eyed suits as they drag themselves to the train station each morning and sleepwalk away from it each evening. I have the utmost respect for those men and women and the people they provide for, but that is not life. That’s not living. That’s making ends meet and maybe some will say, ‘sort your life out, get real, that’s real life,’ but is it so wrong of me to seek to live free? My working hours are inconsistent, the days are inevitably long and can start from unholy hours of the morning but at least if I decide to, I can take time off and disappear into the ether with friends or family or whatever. My time off is mine.

Anyway. Where was I?

Work to live, not the other way around.

That’s what I hope to achieve with this Master’s. According to Study.com, your average screenwriter earns a median of $60,000 (about £45,116 if, like me, you deal in real money) sourced from the U.S Bureau of Labour Statistics. As someone who’s never earned more than a soft £14,000 in a year (around abouts) that kind of figure blows me away. Think of all the things I could do, all the mistakes to make with that money.

There’s a grand future out there, I’ve just got to grab it with both hands.