From Afar: Stumbling Home

I have stumbled onto a new hobby known as the 5k race, which is where I stumble 3.1 miles in the name of charity and at the expense of my knees.

I could never get into running as a kid. I always needed a ball to chase or a racquet to swing to distract my body from realizing what I was really doing: RUNNING. The progression from “Running is so boring” to “Let’s Google the next 5k” was an organic one evolving out of the following steps:

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From Afar: Entertainment After Entertainment

It took almost eight years of administrative jobs in the film and television industry to reach my tipping point of clarity. Low pay on high profile projects. Long hours for people with short fuses. A fly on the wall experience where the wall felt like a giant fly swatter.

I blame the industry more than the individual. The supply and demand of these jobs is horribly stacked against the peons. There are hundreds of people dying to do the job that is currently killing someone else. Once you get a good job the road to success appears convoluted, unique, and often unfair; for every person who “moves up the ladder” in entertainment, there are ten others who never learned how use a ladder or appreciate the person who steadies it from the bottom.

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From Afar: Assembling A Life

My girlfriend and I had braced ourselves for a New York apartment the size of a large refrigerator with enough room to cram in a small refrigerator and bunk bed. But when the real estate gods blessed us with an unexpectedly massive apartment in Astoria, we began to strategize a superlative way to furnish our big new life.

Now just because we had extra square footage did not mean additional bank account space. Filling out this palatial pad would prove challenging. Unless, of course, we considered the Swedish alternative: IKEA.

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From Afar: The big leagues

It took me a long time to merge affinity, ability, and ambition. As a kid I had affinity and ambition for basketball, but my abilities were better suited on a chessboard than a playground. My mathematical brain probably helped my jump shot a little bit, but there was no formula to solve my peers’ exponential advancements in height, strength, and speed.

In high school I fostered some affinity for math because it came easily and it felt good to be successful at something. But once Calculus showed up my ambition waned. Calculus is all about finding the area of a curve. Finding little enjoyment in that, I curved away from the calculus area.

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From Afar: New work city

I live for ideas and jokes and yet they still don’t provide a living. I envy people whose day jobs align with their desired career path while I must clock in in the evening, clock out in the morning, and in between figure out how to pay rent.

Molding ideas into screenplays or stand up bits takes a lot of time, so my objective these days is to add as many ticks as possible to the creative clock. Luckily I’d been told New York is perfect for this strategy. I could ditch the 9 to 7 entertainment gigs I became accustomed to in Los Angeles and embrace bountiful 9 to 5 administrative opportunities. Landing one of these would be simple, quick, nothing to blog home about.

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From Afar: Friendships passing in the night

Change is a raw deal. It continually sneaks up on us, yet we never become accustomed to it. As a child I thought geriatric people were ridiculous to complain about inflation, technology, or rap music, but now that I am one third of the way to elderly I completely get it. Human civilization transforms, too rapidly, without ever asking our permission. It’s not cool.

One of the more difficult types of change for me relates to friendship. I consider myself a good friend and there is a lot of empirical evidence to support this. I take an interest in the people I’m close with. I’m happy when they’re happy, anxious when they’re anxious, sad when they’re sad. I am in the top tenth percentile when it comes to remembering birthdays and anniversaries.

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From Afar: Possessions and Concessions

To belong or not to belong? That is the question I asked my girlfriend several thousand times while transferring a brimming apartment into small boxes and a Hyundai. She was very helpful, often erring on the side of “Abandon that, I beg of you, for the love of Goodwill.”

It was my apartment’s fault I had acquired so much stuff; high ceilings create huge closets, and empty shelves are bad for feng shui, and sure maybe I could have purged more in the past but throwing an item on a shelf was historically much easier than walking it out the door.

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From Afar: Moving On

Labor Day 2006. The last big wave of tourists on Martha’s Vineyard departed and it was time for my Hollywood life to begin. I needed reliable transportation and sage advice, so I tossed my successful comedy writer father into the passenger seat of my Toyota and drove onto the ferry. I asked him to pack light, which he did, although he revealed in Woods Hole that he had brought nine hats.

While our ultimate goal was Los Angeles, my dad and I made sure we had a blast every step of the journey.

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From Afar: The coldest man

Your winter has been unfathomable. The colossal cold and suffocating snow should end soon — well, in theory anyway. You never know, this could be the next ice age. Summer might be a thing of the past, like the typewriter, a history lesson we pass down to our grandchildren around the nightly bonfire.

In Los Angeles this winter, the average temperature hovered mostly in the 60’s and 70’s, however I feel like I have suffered along with you in a different, weirder way. Living out here has made me so horribly soft that 50 degree evenings now feel like blizzards.

Where did I go wrong? Is there hope for me? Will I survive?

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Not a Joke: I took a year off for comedy’s sake

I am a screenwriter and comedian, and all I want is a career in entertainment. A common starting place for this dream is to work for other entertainers, and over the past six years I have assisted writers, producers, and directors in various capacities.

In 2012, I found myself pleased with my life’s progression, at least on paper. I had been performing stand up for over two years and begun to find my voice and comfort on stage. My work for a high profile director exposed me to the ins and outs of the industry and acted as a surrogate graduate school. My writing continued to sharpen, and my confidence reached an all-time high.

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