Fear Can Stifle Your Dreams Or Inspire Action to Achieve

What Drives You?

The other day I was having a delicious Caribbean meal  and I reminisced about the time I was neck deep in pitching the networks at NBCUniversal. At the time I was developing my action thriller, Resurrection of Serious Rogers.

During dinner my friend asked me, “What drives you, Angelo?”

No one had ever really asked me that question so succinctly before. I’ve been asked what do I want to accomplish in life? How do keep going? But never have I been to discuss what drives me.

I sat and thought about it, but I already had the answer swimming around my brain. What drives me now is different. I’m older, hopefully more experienced, have more fruitful connections with people.

What motivates me is the knowledge that I love this business and I’m confident that a career as a writer, and all that comes with it, is my destiny.

What drives me, the thing that keeps me going one more day – day after day after day, is the fear that I will not be prepared to take advantage of an amazing opportunity when it presents itself. That is why I continually create stuff, and why I’m never satisfied with the amount of things I’ve created. It’s why I’ve written two books (three if you view the first book as a two). It’s why I have a heavy plate of screenplays and teleplays to write this summer.

My fear drives me, but if unchecked I know that it can cripple me.  It is a double-edged sword, but a sword is a skillful weapon nonetheless.

I use this fear to push me to do things I am not comfortable doing. I used to hate pitching. In fact, I still hate it. My throat would clench at the mere thought of pitching to some snooty stranger. Even after 40+ pitches with network TV executives I still need two minutes to gather myself if I want to be good in the room. However pitching is a necessary evil, and now I envision every pitch as an opportunity to succeed rather than a chance to fail.

I fear not having pitches more than I fear attending a pitch.

What’s my greatest fear now? Phone calls. I loathe them. I get tongue-tied and stammer like an incoherent babbling knucklehead.

So guess what I’ve done more of in the last few weeks? I’ve made phone calls. Why? Because I fear not being prepared to take advantage of an opportunity as a result of my I refusal to call an agent or development executive more than I fear sounding like a dope on the phone.

Writing and Finishing

NEW WRITING UPDATE:

On 4-7-17 I called it like a surgeon with a body on the table. Avoidance, Lethargy and Lame Excuses were dead. No more missed opportunities. If there was a Diversity Initiative or mentorship program at a network I was going to apply. No more using my disinterest in writing spec scripts as an excuse. Sure, I have tons of original series pilots but I needed to write a spec script.

So, I vowed, this time I’d find something to write. Hell, there were plenty of shows I liked on TV. I’vew already binged-watched the shit out of a dozen of so Netflix and Hulu series.

I decided to outline and write a spec script for an episode of Sleepy Hollow. I put it out there on social media to make myself accountable to friends and family and industry colleagues.

I started the outline on April 7th, 2017. I finished the rough draft April 15th, 2017. Fifty-five pages for a one hour episode. WHOOHOO! I plan to take a few days away and then jump into rewrites, edits and polishing. I’m fairly confident I will make my APRIL 30TH DEADLINE.

And soon, if you tune into this blog next week, I will tell you about the cunning idea I have to garner even more attention to my spec script for an episode of Sleepy Hollow.

Back next week! 🙂

45

Forty-five.

The number Forty-five has incredible significance to me right now. For one, it’s the number of the presidency of the scariest figurehead of the United States I’ve ever encountered in my many years as a human being.

On a more delightful note, forty-five is the number of days it took me to complete spec teleplays of two shows. I needed these spec scripts to submit to several network television diversity programs for writers. There’s more than one way to break-in, and although I have been focused on developing original concepts for series and shows,  I am not adverse to writing in someone else’s voice to keep those doors open.

I set about writing an episode of Sleepy Hollow, one of my favorite shows, which has also, coincidentally, been cancelled by Fox. Upon hearing of it’s cancellation, and learning that two of the TV networks I’d be submitting to did not accept SH spec scripts as writing samples I set about learning the fundamentals, character voices & tonality, story structure and pacing of another favorite show, the Netflix Original series, Jessica Jones.

I’m done. And I am very happy with both spec episodes especially since I was able to introduce characters from my original series concept in each script.  Doing so created a nice segue into my original sci-fi series concept pilot script.

Now, we wait.