My wife proofed the pages and the gang on the West Coast was impressed that I had 30 pages already. I did send for the new word processor program (which existed on floppy disks) but had to get a loan from my parents to tide me over until some checks arrived. I learned the hotel and car rental would take 4 weeks to be reimbursed.
At the time I was very involved with a comedy troupe that hailed from Montclair, NJ. Yes, New Jersey. Style Without Substance, it was a group that formed and worked out of the Whole Theater, which was run by the Oscar winning actress, Olympia Dukakis. I wrote about it here, but essentially, I submitted sketches to them and after a while became the writer-member of the group. They performed around the metropolitan area in different venues, but I came up with a brainstorm. Staten Island cable was now opening up their public access channel and giving courses on how to run and produce a show. I thought it would be a swell idea to tape a show and use it as a “demo reel” of our work, which we could then show around. The group agreed it was a good idea, so I had to take the course. Afterward I submitted the paperwork to reserve studio time, which would be in August, giving me a month to get that together.
I was hitting my writing groove now. I updated skits for Style and turned out pages for Pee Wee. Sixteen in a few days. If it was slow at work (and summertime it generally was), I was writing. Lunchtime, I was writing. During my commute, I was writing. By July 5, I had 45 pages completed. I was getting push-back at home now, because I was spending a lot of time typing instead of whatever it was I was “supposed” to be doing. Because, you know, writing isn’t work. It’s just a hobby.
Kevin was informed. He was pleased and surprised by the amount done and wanted to see it. I had to print and Fed-Ex a copy to him (how quaint, right?). Additionally, I had more pages hand-written up, working in much of the notations the producers had wanted. There was a McGuffin, which would be Pee Wee’s fancy sled (a winter version of his beloved bike). And Kimberly the executive had wanted to work in a flying toy (The Kiddie Kopter) for some reason. She wanted a dangerous toy the evil retailer was attempting to sell.
Kevin mentioned the (remote) possibility of working on another project for Bill & Joel. They had a book. They were working with a writer but they didn’t feel confident in him. Kevin brought my name up again. Also, Kevin sent a copy of my script “Little Devil” to Bill & Joel. Trying to keep the connection there alive, I guess.
During one of our phone calls, I was also trying, in my clumsy attempt at being subtle, when I might expect payment, to the point Kevin flat out asked “Dan, are you trying to find out when you’re going to get paid?” I copped to it. The idea of having a sizable payday was distracting. So close, yet so many billing cycles away. The trick with knowing that money is coming is not to spend the money before it arrives. Or multiple times. We’d done that quite often in the past with our Christmas Club checks or tax refunds. Charge stuff in anticipation of the check and when the check arrives, spend it on something else.
So, as I’m sending them pages, they’re getting ready to drop the note bomb on me…