Sunday, June 23, 2013

Doorman Screens His Pilot

It's taken me a few days to write out this past Thursday night. Mostly because I spent Friday nursing a Stage 5 Hangover, then had to work all day Saturday. Coming back to work after having, quite possibly, the best night of my career, was a total fucking bummer. It's funny, though - I was so disconnected and lackadaisical that I didn't realize my laid-back attitude had made me about $200 in tips. Goes to show that when I don't let things bother me and put a smile of my face, it improves my income immensely. But not to worry, I won't let that affect my conquest.

Having said that, here some highlights of the Thursday night premiere screening: 

- We set up a generous amount of chairs in the screening room. With the overwhelming amount of people, we needed to split it into two separate showings, and filled every chair with at least 20 people standing in the back. 

- I had serious pit stains. Like exiled in the desert pit stains. I stopped at the hotel to pick up a few things on my way to the bar, and I had to ask housekeeping for a blow dryer to evaporate the first wave of sweat that protruded from my armpits. This only proved helpful for a short period of time, as the second I went back into the bar, the waterfall resumed. My animal friends made sure they let me know as I made an announcement before the showing.

So note to self: Slim-fit shirts and hosting an event that features the biggest gamble of my life/career don't mix. 

- The start of the screening was delayed by about 25 minutes. Why? We have no fucking idea. I had went to the bar on Tuesday to test the equipment and everything was copacetic. For some odd reason, the projector wouldn't display the screen on my laptop once we tried to set it up. I can say this now and laugh about it, but there was a good chunk of time where I thought I was going to have to go downstairs and tell everyone that I couldn't show them the pilot. 


What ended up happening (and I must have some higher force on my side) was we were in the upstairs office trying to get their really shitty computer to turn on to stream a DVD through the TV's at the bar. It would have made the quality of the movie look really shitty and it was the absolute last possible resort. Then the computer froze up and crashed. 

With no other options and my producer, cinematographer, and bar manager just staring at each other, wondering what to do next, a small miracle happened: 

Milan, the fantastic cinematographer, noticed a small black wire underneath a bunch of defective equipment. He ran, picked it up, and said, in his thick Serbian accent:

Milan - "Maybe small wire will work." 

He ran downstairs, with us following. 

Once he got back into the screening room, I noticed that more people had wandered upstairs, wondering what the fuck was going on. I tried to address them calmly, but it ended up sounding something like this: 


Not my finest moment. 

Milan, just as he did while we were filming, calmly bailed me out by pulling out the shitty wires that I had purchased from Best Buy (which I will be promptly returning, you betcha), connecting this phantom wire that he found, and illuminating the image of the first frame of the opening credits on the screen. 

The sounds of applause filled the room, and I triumphantly raised my fist in the air, giving everyone a nice glimpse of the swamp underneath my arms. 


I could tell that some of the people in attendance who didn't know me didn't take that statement very well. I assure you, I meant that in the most polite manner. It's just the way I operate. 

Everyone shuffled in, and we were on our way. 

After addressing the audience, all of my friends and family and readers who came out to support my outrageous attempt to make a career out of doing what I love, the lights went dark, and I finally unveiled #Doorman. 

Hearing everyones laughs, gasps, and nudging and cheering was a new high that I've yet to experience. I've performed on stage for years. I've done stand-up, improv, and many, many, plays. I've heard every laugh, every reaction imaginable. I can honestly tell you that it was the greatest feeling of elation that I've had to date. Hearing people react positively to your writing and acting is one thing, but hearing them react positively to something that you had to experience first, something that was initially painful but spun into something positive, is a whole new addiction that I'm looking forward to feeding. 

Pit stains. 

I was able to speak to almost everyone who came. I got to meet some really wonderful readers, which was incredible. One in particular was the friend of an investor from Australia. My Aussie reader donated $50 to the film after following the blog for a few months. She obviously couldn't make it, so she sent her NYC friends to come check out her investment. Her friends had a blast, we chatted and they were able to send over a good report back. That's how far this whole thing has reached out. 

The rest of the evening was kind of a blur, with the fucking Heat winning their second straight title and everyone drinking the night away. 

So from here, all I can really say is that the pilot is now being submitted to film festivals (five to date). On top of that, I'll be pitching it to networks. While the fun part has passed, I'm eternally grateful for the turnout and reaction from the other night. Now it's in bigger hands. I'll surely keep you all posted. 

On another note, I've been trying to find a way to end this #Doorman story. It's obviously based on real events, and I won't be making anything up, but I'm ready to move onto the next stage in my life. A fitting end to this chapter in my life is essential. I don't know where or when it will happen, but I'm hoping it happens soon. This has been a life-chaning experience for me, but all good things must come to an end. I don't want to be in my fifties writing Doorman vs. Taxi Driver: Round 50. 

So until then, thank you so much - for your support and readership, and for a killer fucking party on Thursday. Love you all very much. 



PS- I announced this at the screening, but it's important to get the #Doorman hash tag trending. If you can say something about the blog or pilot using "#doorman" it on twitter, facebook, or instagram, I'd greatly appreciate it! 

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