Monday, January 7, 2008

Cathy Goes to Hollywood: Day #1

June 6, 2005

A series of fortunate events has landed me in Hollywood, where I’ve been hired as one of a team of six screenwriters for the show Veronica Mars, a sexy, witty hour-long detective drama that airs on UPN. When the show was picked up for its second season, creator/executive producer Rob Thomas, a friend of mine, asked me to consider writing for the show. He sent me DVDs of the first season and told me, “I absolutely think you have the voice for this.” I watched the show, and I began to believe him. I packed my bags and put my life in Washington on hold for a year in order to experiment with a writing assignment unlike any I’d ever had before.

It’s now 6 p.m. and I’ve returned home from my first day on the on job. The sun is still shining, Stinky is purring happily at my feet, and I have cold beer next to me. So far, so good. Here’s a brief rundown of my first day on the new job.

6:00 Alarm goes off.
6:15 Out of bed for first cup of coffee.
6:20-9:00 Fuss around apartment. Spend 20 minutes on Veronica Mars script ideas and an hour and 45 minutes deciding what to wear.
9:00 Leave for work.
9:10 Arrive work. Way early. Circle block so as not to appear too brown-nosy.
9:30 Enter office. Am assigned former writer’s old office. Spend 15 minutes organizing desk. Find old toothbrush and tongue cleaner in bottom drawer.
10:00-10:45 Lounge around in “bull pen” (area in center of offices furnished with old orange couches), bullshitting with other writers and accepting compliments for the lemon cookies I brought in to distract other writers from my lame story ideas.
10:45-12:15 Writers gather in Writers Room to toss around ideas. I remain almost entirely silent, absorbing their brilliance. Learn many secrets about next season. In one small coup, I get to use my “designated hitter rule has got to go” line. Also, at 11:04, I whip out my mid-morning snack of ants-on-a-log. [Other writer] claims she loves this, and that I will have to kick a cat before she hates me.
12:16 I notice that my shirt is on inside-out.
12:17 Slip to bathroom to rearrange clothes.
12:18-1:24 Writers discuss multiple options for ordering out for lunch with Alex, Rob’s mohawked surfer assistant.
1:25 Decide to order from Kookoorookoo. (I get the California Burrito).
1:25-1:45 Hash out more story ideas while waiting for lunch.
2:30-4:00 Tour new offices next door. Much consternation ensues. New offices are decorated like a Nickelodeon set. I expect to end up with smallish office that smells like cat pee, but I get large office with no natural light and a mysterious stain on the wall (see photo).
4:00-5:30ish Back to writing room to pitch ideas. Long segue into discussion of Corey Haim clip on recent episode of Daily Show. We do extensive research on Haim. Another long discussion about The Lost Boys ensues. Mild argument about what year the movie came out (1987). Segues into discussion about Teen Wolf and Teen Wolf II.
5:35 Rob claps hands, announces we should call it a day, as Spurs are on at six.
5:36 Rob compliments me on lemon cookies again.
5:38 The writers and Alex gather in the parking lot to salute Rob as he leaves (apparently an end-of-the-day tradition created by Alex).
5:39 Writers duck back inside, pretend to be busy.
5:41 Certain that Rob is gone and it’s safe to leave, I drive home.

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