Eh, whatever you call it, it’s my way of letting y’all know I’m still alive, sincerely limiting my computer time (no, I wasn’t kidding when I said it), and making lots of progress.
Easiest way to show that progress is via the physical manifestation of the inner work I’m doing. Like… eight bags of clothes, shoes, and handbags to Goodwill on Day One.
Only the most absolutely “urgent” items stashed on one-third of our sofa. This is where I have to start, when I’m officially “back at work” in a week or so.
End of Day One: I now only use one-third of my closet. And that’s really nice. Who needs 200 pieces of clothing and 20 pairs of shoes, anyway?
Day Two: Somehow it’s always ugliest while it’s “in the midst” of the doing. It’s gotta get gnarly before it gets prettied up. (Check back next week for that.) For now, there are all sorts of “sorting boxes” and “zones” in the house.
No longer will there be portions of my writing career in each room, casting files in three different places, financial papers stashed in five different corners. Nope. It’s all “going together” now. What doesn’t get tossed out, that is.
Day Three: Rockstar Intern Julie helps me purge about 250 demo reels. (Would you say 250, Julie? It felt like 250. Not sure.) She and Keith fished out DVD cases they wanted for their own reels and everything else hits the dirt. Sorry, awesome actors. If I can’t find your reel online anymore, I don’t need it. (Well, we did keep a FEW. Heh heh.)
Made Keith go through about 300 software CDs and told him at least HALF had to go. I mean, c’mon… what do we need with anything that runs on Windows NT or Mac OS 9 anymore? Oh… and does anyone know where I can donate the last two pairs of prescription glasses I ever owned before getting LASIK three years ago? (And, more importantly, why I would hold onto two pairs of glasses for now-perfect eyes for three whole years?)
Day Four: Purged VHS tapes and audio cassettes from who-knows-when and of who-knows-what. Have one large plastic bin filled with “master tapes” of things we want digitized. So… add that to the “when we have time” or “when we have money” project list, along with scanning thousands of photos. *sigh* I’m hoping for “when we have money” winning that battle… because I do not have the patience for some of these projects.
This is where we’re left today. These (in front — next to all of the crap going to the dumpster) are all of my writing files — all in one place. Well, that’s not true. Within five feet of this are another three boxes and within five feet of that are three large mail bins filled to overflowing. And then there’s the box of “future columns” source material, plus a couple creative writing and spec script project material areas that are within reach.
Gotta get all of the writing stuff in one place (and segregated well enough to make it easy to access when I need any part of it). Ah, hell, as I type this, I remember one more box that’s in the bottom of the linen closet, filled with original interviews from Casting Qs. Gotta get that together with the rest of the bunch.
Anyway, that’s my external check-in about a third of the way through my Getting My House in Order project (and “house” also means “heart.” Believe me, there’s not a day I haven’t cried buckets while working on all of this — and watching DVDs in the den (the TiVo-free room) of things like “for your consideration” episodes of my favorite Emmy-nominated TV series and amazing movies. Bless the Academy).
Casualties of Schedule include one meeting at SAG, one speaking engagement at SAG Conservatory at AFI, one private screening of a friend’s kick-ass film (and getting to connect with my Westside Happy Hour Posse), one amazing actors showcase, and hundreds upon hundreds of unanswered emails (I never count the dozens of unreturned phone calls. That’s typical).
Enjoy: folks emailing to say, “Just hi. Thinking of you,” with no pressure whatsoever. Don’t enjoy: “Um, what’s going on? Why haven’t I heard from you about this? Are you or are you not free to come give us four hours of your time in November? Answer me, dammit!” when I’ve already made contact to say, “Hey, taking some downtime. November will probably work, but give me a couple of weeks to get back to you on the for-sures.” Grr. A sense of entitlement (especially entitlement to the time, mind, and spirit of another person) is an ugly, ugly thing.
Bottom Line (as of the end of the first-third of this, anyway): less computer time = awesome, less TV time = unnoticed, less public/social time = necessary, less access given to others = essential, less crap in the house = amazingly revitalizing, less bullshit in me = on its way.
I remain a work in progress.
(I’ll post again on Sunday night to promo the column. Nothing too exciting or Earth-shattering. Saving that stuff for my real life right now.)