Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Yes, I am available.

I was having lunch with a colleague years ago. Actually he's only half a colleague. He's a director/copywriter. He was telling me a common story among those who lens. (Did I just use lens as a verb? How very Hollywood of me.)

He said his directing career was going like gangbusters. A pilot here. A short there. And multiple multiple-package spots that had paid off his mortgage for months to come and vanquished the disgusting notion of ever returning to the copywriting field.

And then it happened. The phone simply stopped ringing.

It wasn't cause he had laid an egg. Or dropped a turd in the punchbowl -- and when I use that phrase it's not figuratively, I hang with a crude bunch of scatological people who have the collective maturity of a 14 year old.

When it came to new projects, his name simply never popped up.

I suspect the same thing has happened to many of the A-list directors who normally came courting me for gigs. Oh how I miss those fancy lunches and dinners. The thinly veiled fawning and plastic deference. And the swag; all those production company logo emblazoned t-shirts, coffee mugs and beach towels.

I wonder where they all are now.

Not surprisingly, the dead phone phenomena is a recurring nightmare for me as well. Even though I am only 44 years old, there is no reason to suspect that it couldn't happen any day.

In fact, on June 23, 2016, I was sure it did.

I told my wife, "this is it. There's a tidal wave of change coming to the adworld. Holding companies keep laying off the experienced staff people. They keep hiring these inexpensive kids who scoff at 75 hour work weeks and put in 100. And I can't walk to Jackson Market without bumping into another freelancer wondering where all the work went. We're gonna have to sell the house and buy a double wide in Sioux City and live off the $6,953 of profits I made on the Apple Stock. We're fucked."

She, having heard this about a million times before, opened the pantry, bent over to look at the bottom shelf and with passing disdain, "You bought the wrong garbage bags again."

As I've documented lately, she was right and I was, well, less than right.

The phone did ring again. With a vengeance. I've worked on a stunning variety of projects. From one of the nation's largest financial institutions to a laundry detergent scent freshener to the incredible Legends in Concert, the longest running and most successful tribute artist show in Las Vegas, where for the price a good cut of prime rib, you can enjoy the entertainment stylings of Lady Gaga, Michael Jackson and the Blues Brothers, all on one stage.

I even have 2-3 spots going into production.

It's been a cornucopia of assignments. And it's showing no signs of letting up.

But as my friend warned me, while stuffing his face with lamb schwarma, the phone can and will, without any warning, stop ringing at any moment.

Sioux City, here we come.

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