Monday, March 09, 2015
I was having lunch recently in a restaurant that caters to the Hollywood crowd. Lots of agents and executives and (banished to the bad tables) writers. There was the usual industry dance. People you know pass by your table and you acknowledge them or they acknowledge you. Sometimes they stop to say hello. “We should get lunch.” (We never will.) “Love your new show.” (Never seen it.) “Congratulations.” (For what you can’t remember.)
It’s one gigantic lovefest.
Sometimes the nicest greetings come from people who once fired you. And you know how uncomfortable that chance meeting is with someone whose wife or girlfriend you once slept with? That’s what it’s like when writers bump into other writers they’ve rewritten. And it happens all the time. What’s worse is when you avoid going to industry haunts for fear of bumping into this writer you’ve rewritten and you encounter him anyway at the Fuddrucker's in Sherman Oaks because he was ducking Hollywood hotspots too.
Hollywood etiquette requires that if someone acknowledges you you return it with a smile. Failure to do so is considered a major snub. “Yes you once ran over my dog but lovely to see you again.”
I don’t know Mike Medavoy. I’ve never met him. I recognized him because he’s a biggie and I’ve seen him at various industry functions but have never said word one to the man.
When he spotted me he gave me a little wave, as if he knew me. Obviously he thought I was somebody else. So now what do I do? If I go up to him and engage him in any conversation it’s going to be clear I’m not who he thinks I am. He’s going to be embarrassed. We’re both going to be embarrassed. And if I don’t approach then it’s a slight.
I decided to just smile, give him a little wave, and move on. I still don’t know whether that was the proper show biz thing to do, but at least I spared him some embarrassment. Unfortunately, there’s someone in the industry who looks like me who is now on Mike Medavoy’s shit list. Whoever you are, I’m sorry. For all the love, Hollywood can be a brutal town.
By Ken Levine at 6:00 AM