The opening lines of my journal basically said it all, “Well, it was my intention to summarize each day that evening…”
It was Tuesday, June 19th, 1990. After a heartfelt good-bye from the wife and kids (with the kids more concerned about their melting ice cream cones then my departure), my folks drove me to the airport and dropped me off. It was a late afternoon flight. I was there an hour before boarding and a terrific electrical storm blew in. “It only lasted 45 minutes but managed to knock me six hours behind schedule.” It hit before our plane had landed so they had to divert it to Washington D.C. because it was low on fuel. It sat there for 4 hours after re-fueling. I was calling home and my Hollywood guy Kevin Brown with updates. And asking Kevin to check with the rent-a-car and hotel (this was with pay phones, cell phones still being a magical device for the future). We left around 11 pm. I slept through most of my meal and movie. Apparently I read an article from the in-flight magazine about a Rolling Stones writer’s adventures in Hollywood. I don’t recall this at all, but my reaction at the time is “De-Press-Ing.” In a script, this is what’s known as “foreshadowing.”
Finally, we land and I get my car at 3 AM. Drive to the Sheraton Universal Hotel to find my room was given away and they stuck me in a “holding cell with a sofa bed.” I remember the circumstances but not the room. I do remember waking up to look out the window, which I later described as “Staten Island with palm trees.” I even noted that it looked exactly like a section of Staten Island, where the expressway goes passed Todt Hill. The hotel promised my room would be upgraded at some point during the day. I contacted my guy Kevin and we would meet for lunch later on.
My notes remind me that I was a whirlwind of emotions. I’m a person who complains about my rut, but gets agitated when my routine is disrupted. I was excited to go, but afraid that I was out of my depth. I was relieved that my talent was recognized but worried that I wouldn’t be able to live up to the spec script’s potential. Thrilled that promises made were being fulfilled, but aware of the fact that Hollywood people lie. I wanted to believe this was my big break, but at 33, reality puts a damper on that. I was nervous, excited and overwhelmed at the prospects and working hard to keep things in perspectives. For instance, I was living paycheck to paycheck. Sure, the stuidio would pay for stuff, but it would be reimbursed. Which meant I had to figure out a way to pay for it first. That’ll keep you grounded.
The first few pages of my diar—journal simply reviewed my trip. I wrote it when I awoke because the night before turned into the early morning. Calls were made, plans were adjusted and I was about to face my first day in Hollywood. It was a trip that I dreamed would be the first step in a career. That dream turned into a rude awakening. But this was knowledge still a few pages out…