Zen and the Art of Finding a Job

Posted by By at May 29, 2009 Print

“That guy has three Emmy awards but he’s doing telemarketing as a survival job. What the fuck chance do I have of selling my script or booking a writing gig?”

“Not much,” says the asshole in my head.

That’s what’s been going on in my mind for the last couple of months. I was involved with a play that opened last night in Hollywood. I quit the show. Mind you, I never walk away from a project but this one was doomed from the beginning. Not because the material was crap. On the contrary, the material was very good and quite funny. It was written by a three time Emmy award winner, who I’ll talk about at another time. The asshole running the theatre is why I left and why the project was doomed from the start. But I’ll talk about him another time as well–that criminal, that dishonest parasite that takes advantage of–sorry. Next time, right.

Now, this guy who has three Emmys can’t find work. So, he writes a play and puts it up in that shithole theatre. Doesn’t cost him a dime and this parasite who runs the place “produces” it for him. Three Emmys and he can’t find a real producer? Curious.

So, I break out some of my TV scripts. “This is shit,” says the asshole in my head. “Shut up,” I answer back.

“Who are you yelling at?” my wife says as she steps in the room carrying Xander, our seven month old. “The fucken committee,” I say. “They’re acting up again.”

“Oh. Well, tell them to leave you alone,” she says calmly as Xander farts and laughs. “Oooh. someone made a poopy stinky. Let’s go change his diaper,” she says, exiting the room.

The asshole in my head starts in again. “Yeah. You made a poopy stinky all over these pages. You talentless-”

“-Shut up.”

“Dude, don’t listen to him,” says the Stoner in my head. “You need to step away from that stuff for awhile. Smoke a bowl. Look at it from a better perspective.”

I ignore the Stoner. He doesn’t mind that I ignore him. He’s already forgotten what he was talking about. Anyway, I can’t write or read when I’m high. And besides, I’m ridiculously paranoid when I’m stoned and the asshole in my head enjoys abusing me even more. So no thanks.

Do good work and they will find you,” calmly says the peaceful Zen Master in my head.

ASSHOLE: “What the fuck does that mean and who are THEY and how are they going to find him?”

ZEN MASTER: “The Universe always provides.”

STONER: “Yeah? But it’s been dry for a few weeks now and I’m starting to get grumpy.”

ASSHOLE: “That’s because someone here believes the Universe or whatever crap he thinks he believes in is going to magically send someone or something his way that’s going to give him a writing job or buy his bad scripts just because he sits in what he calls meditation and some imaginary airy fairy guide told him that some woman or whatever is going to arrive to help him…”

ZEN MASTER: “Yes. But he must make some action toward it. It starts with the thought, then the word, then the action…”

ASSHOLE: “Listen, Jesus. Stop talking in parables and get specific here.”

ME: “May I say something?”

ASSHOLE: “NO. Shut up. This is not about you.”

STONER: “How about making some weed magically appear? This sucks without weed. ”

ZEN MASTER: “Do not listen to the asshole. He can only set you back.”

ASSHOLE: “Oh, I’m an asshole because I want him to stop with this bullshit. Grow up. Give up this stupid dream already. Get a real fucking job so he can provide for his son or at the very least pay his fucken rent.”

ZEN MASTER: “Nothing worth having is easy to attain.”


ASSHOLE: “You here that? That’s my fucken harp. That makes more sense than your…”

ZEN MASTER: “Please, do not listen to the angry Neanderthal. He is still angry over having his bottle taken away from him when he was an infant.”

ASSHOLE: “I still remember that night…”

ME: “I can’t keep doing this. I can’t live like this anymore. I’m going to quit.”

ASSHOLE: “Smartest thing you said in years.”

ZEN MASTER: “Don’t let the past dictate your future. Everything is now.”

STONER: “That’s a paradiddle again, right?”

ME: “Parable.”

ASSHOLE: “It’s amazing we actually have survived this long with all this pathetic talk.”

BUZZZZ. BUZZZZ. BUZZZ. My phone is vibrating. Gotta keep the ringer off so I don’t wake up Xander.

“Hello,” I answer it. “Yes. Speaking. Yes of course, I thought you had forgotten about me. No. I understand completely. Absolutely. Let me check my calendar.”

I pretend to look at my calendar even though the voice on the other end can’t see me.

“Sure. Next Thursday–the 4th. I am available. Great. Looking forward to it. Oh, hey, this is very good of you. I’m very grateful. Thank you. See you then.”

Well, I just got a meeting with a producer, this woman, who has read my material and is–and I quote, “very excited to talk about what I’m sure is a very bright future for you here…”

ASSHOLE: “I’m sure you’ll fuck it up.”


STONER: “Does this mean we’ll be able to smoke a bowl soon?”

Yes. Yes it does. “Keep the faith” I tell myself. Whatever that fucken means…


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