I was giving Ben, the elderly man I provide care for, a bath. Ben says “Let me give you a bath.” “No. I patiently explained, you are old that is why I take care of you.” Ben said “I know I am old, that is why I have to work fast, now work with me.” The wages did not meet my family’s needs but the laughs felt good. Our mail lady brought me an ad for a home phone line. “I can’t afford one.” I quipped. “I can’t either.” She explained. She continued to say “I had to get one to call my cell phone so I can call to find it before work.” Everyone in life can make you laugh.
I took Anna, our 13 year old daughter and animal lover, recently to Petco. “Pick any animal you want honey, as long as it’s a fish.” Anna already has 2 dogs, 3 cats, a frog and any animal that she locates half dead in the street on the way home from school. I should have realized I was in trouble when we walked in and on the door it read, financing is available. I did not notice. Anna picked a cheese shaped faced fish that was yellow. Her fish resembled Nemo, from Finding Nemo. It could have been for all I know, because when the cashier rang us up, our total came to $212. $212? Are you kidding me? For a fish? What if it died? You would have to do CPR. You would have to do mini chest compressions and make mini fish lips. Sushi, come back sushi.
I think everyone in can be a comedian because everyone’s lives are funny. Chris Rock nailed it by writing funny things in notebooks and sharing them with people. I have always wanted to be a writer. I have also always adored making people laugh. They need it. It makes them smile. I decided I would like to do this as my profession and hopefully afford my daughter, Anna and husband, Jon, nicer things. I would like her to have horse back riding lessons and him a motorcycle, that not only runs but is safe. I also wanted to have my Dad treat us to Great Wolf Lodge someday on my birthday. Every year my Dad pays our water bill, which is not only appreciated but needed, and I want something fun sometime.
I did the leg work, writing 3 screenplays and an hour long comedic monologue. I looked for gateways to help me become successful. I was one of over 5,000 applicants for the Nicholl’s fellowship in screenwriting that you can apply for at www.oscars.org I was not selected. I entered the Monterey Screenplay Competition, sponsored by Clint Eastwood. The contest went defunct and no one won. I wanted to meet Paul Reiser at a book signing but could not afford several thousand for a trip or to go to Diane Keaton’s Lifetime Achievement Award in New York. I went to Steve Martin’s music show at the Midland Center for the Arts and tossed my screenplay to his feet. He walked past it. I smuggled it to his fiddler player to pass on to him but never heard back.
I paid a lot of money to get unlisted numbers for my favorite actors who produce movies. I contacted Sigourney Weaver. Sigourney was busy acting and was not producing anything currently. My husband professed his love of 20 years to her, while we were on the phone which left me relieved she had turned down the assignment. I could just imagine losing the man I absolutely adore to this kick ass woman. She is funny, smart and a gorgeous star. I would never see him again. I am funny and sometimes smart. As far as looking like a movie star, I am a dead ringer. I look exactly like Bill Murray.
I called comedic dynamo, Craig Knizek. Craig helped write Mad About You. Craig is busy selling high end real estate and volunteering on a children’s wing of a hospital. No amount of begging or persuading could get him to take a leave of absence to help me with my film. Bonnie Bruckheimer Martell, producer of Beaches was working full time teaching college and volunteering at an orphanage in Uganda. Brad Kopenicke, actor and producer was also teaching at an elementary school. Brad got teacher of the year for the state of California, and was working summers at a camp for children with Autism. I clearly had great taste because all of these people not only rocked in the movie industry but in day to day life, looking out for children. They impressed me immensely.
I continued my pursuit of a producer. Jane Seymour referred me to her agent. The agent did not return my calls. Ben Stiller’s assistant, Jill Remus, said I could not talk to Ben unless I personally knew him. I did not. I paid $500 for his phone number so I really wanted to lie at that point but Jon and I taught Anna lying was wrong so we try to follow suit. I didn’t get to talk to Ben. Queen Latifah was booked for 11 years. I thought well put me on the calendar, it may take me that long to find a good one. My finances were depleted, but my initiative was not.
I knew Harold Ramis lived in Chicago because of all the volunteer work he did to help numerous charities there. I called all 47 people in the state of Illinois with his last name. I got ahold of his cousin, who put me in touch with his company, Ocean Pictures. Ocean Pictures refused to let me talk to him and told me he was not a producer for hire. I spoke with Farid at Havoc Picture’s, Tim Robbins company. He told me Tim really liked my project and would be interested in doing it. I was super excited. I called a few times over the next few months. I got ahold of a girl named Nadia, who told me Tim was out of the country, Farid had spoken out of context and most likely had never read it. Bummer.
I called 87 excellent producers. Chris Leps liked one of the screenplays but was too busy doing stunt work for Johnny Depp to take on the project. Lloyd Schwartz liked one of them alright but only was producing his own work at the time. I got lots of interesting offers. I found and fell in love with, Charlie Matthau, of Matthau Productions. Talking to Charlie was like having food for your soul. Charlie is warm, empathetic, caring, charming, and funny as hell. Charlie is highly intelligent. Charlie exudes charisma and is exceptionally gifted and talented. Charlie told me “Funny Brings in the Money.” He indicated they help by word of mouth advertising, and in the box office with their wallets.
Charlie indicated he could only have his head writer, Judd, review my submission after I had an entertainment attorney. I secured the best of the best, an expert in the field, Ted Blumberg. I wrote the comedy screenplay, Marry Me, with my writing partner, Jonathon Schmidt. Marry Me is about a stand up comic who has lots of men propose to her. She turns them down only to fall in love with a cab driver and have to make a proposal of her own. It is based loosely on my life and pursuit of Jon. I asked Jon to marry me at www.marrymejon.com because he is everything I have always wanted in a partner and more.
As for the stand up comedy I performed at Delta Community College for classmates, at Amateur night at The Ann Arbor Comedy Club and at numerous bars. I contacted Comic Relief. Mike Miller, from HBO and he told me they could not use me because “HBO has always wanted to book well known comedians. The thinking of course is that this leads to the biggest viewership which in turn leads to raising more funds from our donors. When I become more well known I am going to reapply. I would love to work with Whoopi Goldberg, Robin Williams, and Billy Crystal. Billy is super sexy because in the bedroom he can be himself or impersonate anyone you may desire. Also when you’re done, Billy always tells you: “You look marvelous.”
I entered and was the top comedic competitor on Simon Fuller’s, If I Can Dream online talent competition on myspace. I earned a silver star every week and really enjoyed the competition. It was exciting and fun. It motivated me to write new material everyday. It enabled me to talk to awesome people through the experience, like performer, Brad Williams, whom I am now addicted to. I follow Brad on twitter and wish I had enough money to attend every show of his so I could laugh myself to death. I hope to hold a comedy show entitled, A Quick Laugh, at The Midland Center For the Arts. My old job and new both involve making people happy. I love it.