I'm pretty nervous about starting this blog again because the last time I had a job it got pulled out from under me in less than a week. However, I'm reasonably confident that this one might be a keeper. Don't hold me to it and if I disappear again, you'll know why.
It's important to note that during this time I wrote a lot of scripts. A lot. I apologize for having such an extended hiatus, but it got to the point where I didn't feel like I should be giving anybody advice while I was out of work. Maybe that was wrong, but I did it with the best intentions.
So, a lot has happened in the past couple of years, and I'm going to take my first post back to bore the piss out of you with an update on all things Russell in a segment I like to call:
"Where we laf lest off, Superman was getting his ass kicked; The how Russell got a job edition."
January 2008 - Car accident sidelined me from my EP job at an internet TV network. Because I was on disability and couldn't work, they fired me. Coincidentally, I had a weird dream about the owner of that company last night.
March 2008 - While on disability, I got married.
May 2008 - Feeling better and finally released to return to work, I was at an impasse. I didn't have a job, or money, and my wife was almost done with her year as a teacher. Crazily, I said, "Why don't we move to LA? After all wife, you work in Autism which is huge business in CA, and I work in TV/the pitchas!" On the spur of the moment, she said yes and we took a scouting trip out here where she quickly landed a job. Me... not so much. Not to worry though, I wouldn't be on unemployment long with all my wicked skills!
June 2008 - After applying to 125 or so jobs in the month leading up to our move, we set for LA with a dream in our heads and a song in our hearts. Luckily, we met some people pretty quickly that we became fast friends with thanks to an acquaintance I was in theater with in high school. I got a couple interviews, but nothing stuck. Those would be the last interviews I had for almost a year.
July 2008 - I decided the best way to break in was to start interning wherever I could so I took a couple script reader internships at management companies. After all, I used to read all the time for companies in DC so I could easily shine in an intern capacity.
September 2008 - distraught because I wasn't landing any interviews, I decided to escalate my internship efforts and took one at Mandalay TV under then president Elizabeth Stephen. This would prove to be invaluable because she and her assistant, Faye, are the reason I'm working today. However, it was hard to work long hours for an entire semester, pay to work, do 3 full 10 hour days a week, and move so far backwards in my career. But, I sucked it up and proved to be a good intern and was able to make connections until my internship ended in January 2009.
January 2009 - After leaving Mandalay and still without a job, I decided to try for an intern job on a TV show, since I really want to be a TV writer. I landed on Bob and Doug, which eventually became Popzilla, where I learned what it was like to be a writer. However, when a PA job opened up and they didn't choose me to fill it, I moved on in April 2009. It was the best working experience of my life up to this point.
April 2009- August 2009 - Dead zone. I wrote and worked with my new manager on developing projects and pitching to companies like Showtime. No biters who would pay me to write, though.
August 2009 - Hey look, we've finally come to my first LA job, which lasted a week before they decided to go another direction. Luckily, during this time I started temping for my old boss and executive from Mandalay over at RHI Entertainment. I was on and off filling in for the assistants there until November 2009, when I took over for one of the assistants who left. After a month and a half of slogging it out as a temp, I finally got a job offer from them and started on Monday.
-Over 500 resumes submitted, 0 jobs as a result.
-1 Grad school program applied to, withdrew application.
-59 weeks of unemployment, benefits exhausted 2 weeks before landing long term temp job.
-4 internships, 1 job as a result, though with a different company.
-18 months unemployed. Way too much of a drain on the American taxpayer.
So, that's a pretty typical LA story I feel, especially because I was 26 when I moved out here and didn't come right out of college It took me almost 18 months of working 40-60 hours a week for no money before I finally got a foot in the door that stuck. What can we learn from this? I'm not sure. Maybe that perseverance pays off. Maybe that the economy stinks. Maybe nothing at all. I do know that all of the sleepless night, scraping together money, and neglecting this blog should be over for a while. Now, I can get back to writing.