Posts Tagged ‘Agents’

Ah, what the heck

Wednesday, January 6th, 2010

The Land of No is now the Land of Maybe not because any dramatic shift in the world but simply because it’s a new year and strange and wonderful things happen in a new year.  Of course, horrible and mundane things also happen but that’s better suited to a different post.

You sit down with an agent who warmly warns you against letting, “the indifference of the industry get you down.”  This veteran of decades in the business then tells you what’s wrong with Hollywood in the form of a parable.

“There’s a restaurant you go to religiously for a while because they serve the best beef stroganoff.  Time passes, other things and other places occupy your time and you realize that it’s been twenty years since you last dined there.  As you drive by, the memory of the stroganoff bids to you and, even lashed to your busy schedule, you yield to the celestial siren call.

“You walk in.  Golden memories flood you.  You settle in the plush banquette, the walls, the waiters and the menu all fit nicely into the niche your brain fondly holds for the place.  Beef stroganoff still rests proudly in a place of honor on the menu.  Its lavish price underscores the passage of time and the change in the way restaurants of this ilk do business.  You wonder if you can afford it but banish all thoughts to the end of the month statement gnashing of teeth.  Salivating decorously, you order it.  You burnish your silverware in anticipation of the creamy delight that is about to transport your senses to Nirvana.

“The dish is presented to you with just the right mixture of elan and formality.  You cast your eyes at the plate and it’s as if you have been transported back to the first time you ordered it.

“You slip your fork into the thing of beauty and, slightly tremulous with longing, you pause before you let the first morsel settle in your mouth.  The moment comes.

“Everything is the same except it tastes like something you would scrape off your shoe.  Your eyes pop open!  Perhaps, the whole thing is a dream and you’re sitting in some twenty-four hour breakfast place instead but you are in the palace of your epicurean dreams.

“You take another bite thinking that your tongue simply was unprepared for the first sample.  No, your tongue got it right.  You demand to see the chef.  You look around at the diners who sit eating complacently.  You crane your neck to see if they are eating the stroganoff.  They are!

“After some todo, the chef comes to your table.  You point at the stroganoff, give your history of eating and ask what went wrong.  The chef smiles sheepishly and says, ‘when the old chef died, he left behind a picture of each dish but no recipes.  We knew what the dish looked like but we had no idea what went into it.’

“And that,” the agent says, “is what’s wrong with Hollywood.”

You wrap up your meeting with the agent and, after he encourages you to “stay in touch”, you leave feeling pretty upbeat about life and writing and even the sixteen dollars you recently spent to see a film.

Filled with a feeling of camaraderie and a sense of finally belonging, you call him the following week, then several times during the month.  He doesn’t return your calls.