Monday, August 20, 2012

Shameless Sweeps-Month Ratings Stunts

I received very kind reactions to my season premiere last week, from acquaintances both expected and un. Somehow even my mother managed to discover it, which should frighten any reasonable person as to how scary the information age is. She has no Facebook, can only figure out the internet in so far as to do online shopping, and often forgets what she's talking about in mid-sentence, yet even she somehow got ahold of my posting. No matter, I shall press on as if I'm speaking only to my contemporaries.

Those contemporaries had one comment that I kept hearing over and over - "Who are you again?" Or maybe it was, "You can't write just a couple of times a month!". I'm not sure which - definitely one of the two. So have no fear friends, I will now be writing just once a month! Bye! See you in September!

Okay, so I'm pretty sure they meant I should be writing more than a couple times a month. But here's the thing nobody seems to realize: writing is work. I wrote that whole thing myself. Straight out of my brain. I had to think of all that stuff, and it took effort. Effort is not something I'm overly acquainted with - sitting: yes, eating: definitely yes, effort: um... rain check? 

But honestly, more than that - I'm truly afraid I won't have anything to write about. My life is at its all-time most boring. Let's take a look at a roughly guesstimated version of my schedule from yesterday:

  • 12:00 PM: Wake up. Check Facebook/E-mail/Twitter. 
  • 12:30 PM: Go allllll the way downstairs to make a tuna sandwich for lunch.
  • 12:35 PM: Bring tuna to my bed so I can eat it while I continue my Arrested Development marathon.
  • 3:00 PM: Conclude Arrested Development season one, begin Arrested Development season one DVD commentaries.
  • 4:00 PM: Conclude commentaries, take dog for walk.
  • 4:30 PM: Conclude dog walking, go for run.
  • 4:45 PM: Conclude run. What a workout. 
  • 5:00 PM: Shower, then begin Arrested Development season two.
  • 6:30 PM: Eat hot dog with jalapeƱo mustard for dinner. While watching Arrested Development.
  • 8:00 PM: Sit down to watch True Blood with a piece of pie.
  • 9:00 PM: Cut myself another slice of pie to eat during Breaking Bad. Decide, if someone asks, to say I only had one piece and that someone else must have cut another. 
  • 10:00 PM: Watch The Newsroom. Ugh.
  • 11:00 PM: Feel guilty about the pie, begin doing sit-ups.
  • 11:02 PM: Conclude sit-ups. 
  • 11:03 PM: Return to bed to continue watching Arrested Development season two, occasionally interspersed with interviews of Julianna Margulies on YouTube.
  • 2:30ish PM: I fall asleep. I dream of a massive outdoor multi-floor rave, where thousands of young people are dancing and partying. In the center of the ground floor is a circular stage, where a school performance of Macbeth -starring my friend Michelle as a witch - is taking place. They conclude their matinee and ready themselves for their next show. I excuse myself from my friends on our scaffolding and wander down a couple flights to the stage. For some reason, I am dressed as a scarecrow. As the show is about to start, the actors gather around the stage. The lion is there. The tin man is there. The scarecrow is late! I want to go on instead of him. I know it's wrong, but I really want to be on that stage. I want to play. The tin man and lion, mistaking me for someone who goes to the school, tell me to jump in and be the scarecrow. I'm secretly thrilled that they don't know I don't belong, but to cover my bases, I say, "are you sure?" non-chalantly, as if I don't care either way if I go on. But they say it's fine. We all get on stage and take our places, and I hurriedly text my friend Jenna to come down to the stage because I'm going to be in the show! Only then do I remember Michelle is in the play - she'll see me! She knows I'm not supposed to be here! The lights come up on the actors and I catch Michelle's eye. She looks at me with an expression I've seen from her many times in life: a glare of annoyance - made all the scarier by her witch costume - but with a slight smile; she finds me funny and she can't help it. Most importantly, she can't say a word, because she's too committed of an actress to stop the show. My triumph is rendered suddenly useless when I remember I don't know any of the lines. I had watched the matinee, so I think as hard as I can, trying to remember the words the scarecrow had. I sing along to the first song, surprising myself by being in harmony with the tin man and lion. I fake my way through and fortunately I get to exit the scene fairly early, and I begin running underneath the stage, through the bowels of the industrial complex, desperately seeking Susan. And by Susan, I mean the actual person playing the scarecrow because I DON'T KNOW THE LINES. Lots of very young theatre crew members are hammering steel and hot metals, there's fire everywhere. I stop to wonder if they would consider themselves blacksmiths. I ask a pretty girl if she knows where the scarecrow is. She points me towards the costume shop. I see him in a room, distraught at having his part stolen. He sees me and lunges at me, screaming and slamming me into the wall. I plead with him that I'm just here to give him his costume back, I only went on because he was late, I swear. He does admit that he was late, and rather than continuing to fight with me, decides to bury the hatchet and rush to make his next entrance.

Have you found the problem yet?* I'll spell it out for you: the most interesting parts of my day take place when I'm asleep. I'm scared I won't have anything to write about because my life is SO DULL. If you skipped over that schedule and don't believe me, take a closer look. DULL. For heaven's sake, I woke up at noon. How can I write often when my life is so unendingly trivial? Sure, I've got a 13-episode order, but at this rate there's no way we'll get the back nine! (For those of you not versed in TV lingo, all you need to know is that I'm on the brink of cancellation.)

*Hint: what part of my day is most likely to be optioned into a screenplay?

I've come up with a plan. I've come up with three separate scenarios that will make my life infinitely more exciting to read about and really spice things up. They will definitely give me more to write about, and surely boost our ratings to at least a three share in the 18-49 demographic. But enough industry-speak, let's unveil these ratings grabs!

     1. Implement a Voting System
Pros: American Idol is still the highest rated show on TV. Why? People love to call in and vote; to have a say. So perhaps I can find more things to write about by posting daily choices, then reporting back on which choice America made for me! 
Cons: If you think I'm naive enough to trust the psychos and perverts out there on the internet to make my choices for me, you're sadly mistaken. I do have some shame.

     2. Go into Witness Protection
Pros: Talk about high-octane drama! This option would give me tons of action and adventure to describe. Writer's block would be a thing of the past. Also, being in danger instantly makes my writing more meaningful, obviously. Even better, I could be murdered by the mob or something, and then become insanely popular post-mortem, like all great artists**. My martyrdom would surely make my number of twitter followers sky-rocket!
Cons: As much as I enjoy my art**, I'm not sure I'm actually willing to die for it. Just something to consider. Also, does anyone know where I can witness a crime?

     3. Start Turning Tricks
Pros: Sex sells. The dark and twisted dealings of a sad, lonely ho just trying to survive on the streets would surely give me many gripping stories to tell, full of deeply intense pathos. I'd never want for inspiration again! The real-life writings of a call boy... it'd be like a real-life Lifetime movie - From College to Chlamydia: The RegardingAlex Story. People eat that shit UP. 
Cons: ...what if there's no takers? I ain't the prettiest trick on the block and I know it.

Hopefully one of these things will assuage my "nothing to write about"/"I'm boring" concerns. I'll soon let everyone know how I've decided to alter my life to better entertain you, dear reader. Readers.

**Somewhere, an actual artist wants to stab me.
***Lines remain open for two hours. Local rates apply.

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