Pleasantville

Submission deadline for the Austin Film Festival is tonight at 10pm.

I get to ARs around 11am and am there all day. I park myself at her dining room table and sit there for most of the day, busting out about 14 more scenes. When I get to the last scene, I’m completely stuck. I talk it out with AR. She has lots of good ideas. I write something, then think it’s stupid and erase the whole thing. Write something else. No that’s horrible. God, this is SO DUMB. What am I even writing?? Finally, I write the scene the way I originally wrote it (I think??? It’s all a blur now, and of course I haven’t gone back and actually read it all the way through).

I honestly can’t believe I finish. I mean, it’s nowhere near where I want it to be, and I can’t believe I’m actually going to let a stranger read this right now, but I need to just let go. I have to start somewhere and you can never start at perfect. (Whatever.)

It takes a while to upload it to the site to submit, and I of course have a freak out moment where I don’t know how to fix my title page and basically have a meltdown in front of Anna Rose. She calmly helps me remedy the situation and then tells me at least 18 times how proud of me she is.

AR then asks if I want to stay for a drink. I’ve earned it.

Thank you, but I can’t. I have to go home and do my lip sync. (The more this becomes an actual thing, the more crazy I feel).

So I walk out to my car. I am SO pumped. Why would there NOT be a ticket on my car?? Motherfucker. You know what, fuck you, ticket police, I don’t even care. I just finished my script and sent it to a festival. You will not ruin my mood right now.

I wish I had time to go food shopping, as that was my original plan because I thought I would have finished earlier (ha), but it’s 10pm and everything (Whole Foods) is closed. Well you know what, I’m gonna treat myself to something. I don’t know what, but something. But let me think, though, nothing too bad. Let’s just see what’s on the way home.

I aimlessly drive into the complex near me. Everything worth going into is closed, so I pull out and drive further away to Gaby’s Express. AR and I have been here once and it was awesome. They have a drive-through latenight, so I try that. I stare at the menu for way too long before finally deciding on some kind of chicken gyro. There’s a truck in front of me at the window. It sits there for at least 10 minutes. Ughhhh. This is annoying. I pull out and leave.

Fine, I’ll go to where I know. Pitfire Pizza. Go past my place to get there. Pull in, get out, start to walk in. They’re totally closed. Jesus. Fuck it. This has been like, almost an hour now since I left ARs! I’m going home. I don’t care.

Walk into my apartment/garage and put a piece of bread in the toaster. Whatever. I’ll eat a piece of toast. I don’t care.

Get out my computer to start this lip sync deal. But where is my charger?? No.

Another freak out moment. I empty my bag onto my bed. There are a million and one things in there, but not my charger. I text AR. Please tell me I didn’t leave my charger there. “Yea. We called you but it went right to voicemail.”

Oh my God, I am not even kidding you. I scream. Numerous times. I am so mad at myself right now. And hungry. And so frustrated. Like, I just finished this script. Why can’t I just relax right now??? I am NOT going back to ARs. It’s already after 11. It’ll take 20 minutes to get there. No. I’ve got 38% battery left on my computer. Let’s just hurry up and do this.

My toast burns. I throw it out. No time.

Always time to pour a drink, though. So I do. Fuckin’ cheezits and red wine. Because that’s literally all I have to eat. (Always.)

I sit at my computer. Let’s fucking do this. I’m doing Brave by Sara Bareilles. It could not be a more fitting song for how I feel about writing. But I need to hurry, because I have to make the video, then I have to download the song, then import the video and the song into iMovie, then edit the song to the video, then upload it to youtube (which sometimes takes an hour), then post it to Facebook.

It’s a fucking process. I can eliminate some time by not doing 20 takes, as I usually do. I need to just do this thing in one take. I do. When I watch it, I immediately want to do another take, but I have to just export it because my computer might run out of battery, and then what??? Drive back to ARs at midnight to get my charger?? Fuck no.

It’s not perfect. The theme of my day. I just have to finish. Just fucking get it done. Even if it’s not perfect. Which it definitely is not. Which is definitely hard for me to handle. But whatever. Nobody cares. It’s not a big deal.

I edit the thing, and upload it, and stare at it uploading, ever so slowly, as the battery life is sucked out of my computer. I just keep looking at it, hoping it will upload before my computer dies.

During this time I drink wine, eat Cheezits, and vent on GirlTalk through a voice recording. I feel like all my voice recordings to them recently are just me freaking out about something. Oh my God you guys, I HAD to finish my script by 10pm (no I didn’t) and I HAD to do my lip sync (no one ever HAS to do lip sync). The best part is that everyone on GirlTalk lives on the east coast, soooo everyone is asleep. So basically, I’m just talking to myself.

Magically, my video uploads in time and I post the damn thing before my computer dies. What a day.

Here’s what I learned: making something perfect is an incredible feat. One you will always strive for, but (maybe) never attain. But finishing something has a different kind of satisfaction to it. Meeting a deadline, even if it’s not everything you want it to be, is better than not meeting your deadline at all. And letting go of something imperfect is even harder. …But in a way, liberating.

 

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