Thursday, July 27, 2006

Most Extreme Elimination

This was the show I was originally offered 14 weeks of work for.

http://www.tv.com/most-extreme-elimination-challenge/show/19800/summary.html

After an agonizing 24 hours of deciding whether the pay was worth the hours away from my family, I did, indeed decide the chance to be in a writers' room was a risk worth taking. As one girlfriend noted, "A 14 week experiment... what do you have to lose?" Well, my mind. But what the hell.

And speaking of girlfriends, thanks to all of you who cheered me on. Cecelia: "You have given up 3 years of your life for your husband and kids! Get back in!" Mrs. V: "I'll pick up Stink from school for you!" Rex's least favorite (though second runner up for me) Topanga T: "This isn't about the money. This is about you following your dreams and not giving up."

Although Rex was skeptical about my ability to don the superhero cap and make this happen, I had it all planned out:

* Week 1: Big cheers! Big excitement! Run on adrenaline and be on time for work every day! Lots of italics! Lots of CAPITAL LETTERS. Loads of exclamations!!!!!!!!

* Week 2: The trip to Studio City is a bit of a drive, but I can listen to books on tape. What exactly is so pressing in the Middle East that a good cup of coffee and a bagel can't fix? NPR will fill me in. I'm commuting, but learning. I even start to learn a bit of Hebrew. Oy!

* Week 3: Monday morning is a bitch, but Rex can take the kids to my moms for me. Insert: Huge fight when he says he has a business meeting and can't drive them. Me: "But I'm there for you when you travel. Be there for me." Rex: "My job pays for our mortgage. Yours is barely going to break us even for a lot of running around and arguing." Me: "Who's arguing, asshole?!"

Oh.....

Week 4: My mom is sick. Time to for plan B: the Jewish Daycare my sister used to take her kids to. They're off for some holiday. How to say Fuck in yiddish? Topanga T takes the kids, but I'm late for work due to traffic on PCH, as well as a naked sit-in from Pepperdine students.

Week 5: The boys at the job are resentful about me being late, but don't say anything because I type 100 words/minute. I'm resentful of the men because they don't balance work and motherhood but instead scratch their nuts and get paid to joke about it. I don't say anthing becaues their nut scratch jokes pay my checks each week - the checks that I'm barely breaking even on but I'll be damned if I concede to Rex about this. I get a call mid week that Topanga T's pit bull almost ate Stink's foot. My mom takes the kids again, but her car is busted, giving me fears that Stink will swallow a Depends and by the time the ambulance arrives it'll be too late. Dark? Yes. But I'm sleep deprived, and that's what moms concoct.

Week 6: I hate Rex. He hates me. We are never having sex again. But I have an excuse: there is now overtime at this job and I am never home to have sex.

Week 7/8/9/10: It's Halloween and Thanksgiving. My kids are going trick o treating as miserable orphans. I arrive at my in-laws for turkey and have nothing to be grateful for. They wonder why I'm upset. I remark that I can't tell the difference between Rex's or the bird's butthole.

Week 11: Hiatus! I can sleep in! I'm ready for a vacation! Time to mend fences with Rex. But he has business in Europe. On his way out to the airport in his clean GTO (while my SUV stinks of copy paper, McDonald's fries and soy milk), he reminds me that I'm not really making profit on this gig as "it's not about the money" so we can't afford a real break anyway.

Week 12/13: My mom sells her house and I must figure out where to place my children. Social services doesn't do drop-ins.

Week 14: It's the last week. I show up on time. I have sex with Rex for good measure and pretend everything's okay. He goes for it because he's horny as hell. I call him on that. We fight. I tell him we're never having sex again. He then asks me if it's because I signed up for another season on MXC.

I started to rethink my decision to take this gig, but Mama P Light reinforced me, adding Week 15 to the mix: "You will be so proud of yourself. It's all I hear you talking about. DOOOO it. You got my Ebay started. You took care of your family 3 years. This is time for YOU."

I called the producer, only to find out that it's not a 10 - 6 gig after all. It's possibly longer, very probably Saturdays, and Sundays could be involved.

I then called up my ex-writing partner and responded as graciously as possible: "HELL NO."

People, I just don't know. I wanted it. I did. But the truth? Writing TV is all or nothing. Great for men. Great for single people. But mamas with babies? It's fine if your heart is made of stone. I, unfortunately, have a heart of playdough that hardens when it's left outside a bit too long, but in general? Mushy as poo poo.

So I'm back to the original plan of flipping Ebay items (rather than flipping out.) I'm going to write movies so I can stay at home and watch movies with my kids. I'm going to keep blogging and update this sight so I can maybe make some money off my dumb ramblings. I can plan on going here next year: http://blogher.org/about-blogher-conference-06

I also hope to hear from my queries at some point.

On a final note, on our way home from dinner (which I could not have done had I been selling my soul to the tv devil and avoiding sex with Rex) I saw a sign outside a boutique window that read "Home is where the stories begin."

One can only hope.

4 comments:

War Bride said...

Mama P, I'm being totally serious when I say that MXC is my favorite tv show. Always gets me out of a bad mood.

But...I'm not upset at you. You have to keep yourself sane!

lizy said...

Isn't it funny how our problems of should I do it or not always seem to work themselves out. Just look at those two lovely, funny, crazy, intelligent, beautiful children and know that they are your greatest accomplisment.

Mama P said...

Thank you, Lizy. I love you! And Warbride, if you want to email me your address, I will get some MXC paraphenalia from you. My ex writing partner is a producer on it. Which sounds like I'm name dropping, and I'm not. To me, it's just a dumb show with fart jokes. I once did a voiceover as an Asian dune buggy driver with gas. Very classy. My point? I'll try and grab you a tee shirt or whatever they have.

Teri M. said...

I love the idea of you blogging for profit, because honey, this stuff is gold. (Have I said this already? Am I repeating myself?)