That First Gig

My first gig came about as a combination of all the things it takes to get a break: I’d worked very hard on what seemed to be a pretty good script, and I was in the right place at the right to time to get the attention of the right people. That first gig offered me the chance to audition for a lot of folks at once, who have since scattered all over town, climbed their own ladders, and thankfully, kept me in their contact lists for when new projects come up. I busted my ass, they recognized it, and instead of having fans at one studio, I ended up with allies all over town.

Sadly, some of those allies, who’ve been great to me in the years since, lost their jobs Friday. Paramount Famous Productions — the home DVD arm of the studio — was shuttered, sending lots of people I like home with pink slips. Yes, that’s happening now in every industry all over the world, but it’s no secret that entertainment is in particular turmoil. It seems only the biggest of movies get made in Hollywood, independents struggle more than ever to find money, and TV and the internet are increasingly where it’s at. These are turbulent times in stormy waters, and personally, I’m trying to spot the biggest, fastest-moving new wave I can catch.

The good and talented folks from Famous will resurface again as good and talented folks do, and I hope they will call on me down the road. When mentoring new writers I remind them that every new opportunity is an audition, that everybody knows everybody, everybody is trying to move onward and upward with people they like and trust, and everybody talks. Now, maybe more than ever, when that first gig arrives, you’ve really got to make it count.


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