At the end of the day, back in my room, I ran out of reasons to procrastinate and started working on the notes I had taken from my meeting for “an updated Pee Wee outline” (the first mention in my journal of Pee Wee). Turns out it was a good thing I did finally get around to that.
One of the things I packed was my portable manual typewriter and supplies. While packing for the trip, I truly wondered if bringing all that was too much. Turns out it wasn’t. I had to wade through all the notes, use them to retool the story and type up a new treatment for the meeting they scheduled for the next day. And if you ever saw my handwriting you’d know why bringing a typewriter was a good thing.
Earlier that morning, I had eaten in again, feeling awkward eating alone in the restaurant (I’ve since gotten over that). Kevin was picking me up. But now I had spoken to the lawyer Les Abell, who ran the numbers by me. Now here’s the lament. Here’s the regret. They got me good money, above Writers Guild minimum. But because I was a 33-year old naïve idiot, I had earlier cut a deal with Kevin and gave him a chunk of that as a kind of “finder’s fee” for getting my script to Warners. It was north of half the money I received. Well north. Above the Arctic Circle.
In the long run, that money wouldn’t have made a load of difference in my life. And the money I got did pay down (not off, just down) some debt. But I gave away thousands of dollars to a guy for a break that eventually turned into a dead end deal. I just foolishly agreed to the deal because I had nothing else going for me, nor anyone watching out for me. And frankly, I probably thought it would never happen. Like they say, you don’t miss what you don’t have, but once I had that money and to see most of it get taken away, a lot of my excitement was diminished. I missed it.
So that was certainly a cloud over my pitching. But the meeting was a “happy laughing” affair. So minor points made. We got an ending (Don’t remember what it was). Then the big question is asked of me: “How quickly can you write it?” I said two months (Wha???). Kevin had earlier said, jokingly, “As soon as the check clears.” I should have gone with that. Anyway, they bought the two months quote and a quick timeframe is established; I’ll get it to them. They’ll get it to Pee Wee and, if he says yes, it’ll be in theaters for Christmas ’91. “Weee!” (Needless to say, that didn’t happen.)
Another LA meal (La Dome), another celebrity sighting (Alice Cooper talking to Sylvester Stallone). It was Joel, Kevin and me. It was normal chit-chat, movies, New York, me, my family. I showed them my wallet photos and received compliments.
The business concluded, Kevin brought me back to the hotel and hung at my room a bit. Afterward, I booked the flight home, set up a meeting with my cousin, played pool in the bar downstairs and wandered around. Celebrity sighting: exchanged a few words with Brent Musburger in the elevator.
I note I was feeling melancholy; it was my last night in Hollywood. “Who knows, could be my last time ever” (So far, that remains true). I had a lot of smoke blown at me over the two days; I’m a real talent, I should be working a lot soon. I note that I should take that all with a grain of salt.
“Best of all, my skin didn’t break out once the whole trip.”