Tuesday, October 25, 2016

How's this for a truly bizarre dream?

This is one of those dreams where I woke up and scrambled for a pen and paper. I had to write it down immediately so I wouldn’t forget. Okay, dream analyzers, have fun with this one.

I go to my agent’s office. Except it’s not my actual agent. It’s some new guy. Young. Very nice. Ken Jeong in a tailored shirt and tie. Always Tweeting on his cellphone.

I’m there because he had dug up a spec pilot I had written years ago and wanted to go out with it. The pilot had something to do with hockey. I’m not sure of the details because I’ve never written a pilot about hockey. Nor really understand hockey. So why I’d choose that as the subject matter since I’m a big proponent of “write what you know” I have no idea. I have no idea why I wrote a spec pilot in the first place. But all of that is beside the point.

The agent places a call to some low level executive in a production company. I can overhear both ends of the conversation. As best as I recall, it went like this:

AGENT: I’ve got a great spec pilot to send you.

EXEC: Awesome.

AGENT: It’s by Ken Levine.

EXEC: Pass.

AGENT: Why?

EXEC: He’s a hack.

AGENT: He wrote CHEERS.

EXEC: CHEERS is shit.

AGENT: CHEERS is a classic.

EXEC: Okay. Fine. What’s it about?

AGENT: Hockey.

EXEC: Pass.

AGENT: Why?

EXEC: Ken Levine can’t write that.

AGENT: Why not?

EXEC: He’s gay.

AGENT: What? Ken Levine is not gay.

EXEC: He’s gay.

AGENT: And you know this how?

EXEC: It’s all over social media. A gay guy can’t write hockey.

AGENT: He’s not gay, but even if he were, that’s ridiculous. Why can’t a gay guy write hockey?

EXEC: Hockey is not gay.

AGENT: He wrote MASH.

EXEC: MASH is gay.

AGENT: What? How is MASH gay?

EXEC: Hidden messages. Oh, and it starred a guy in a fucking dress.

I’m overhearing all of this and by now am hysterical. But the agent is getting mad.

AGENT: I’m gay.

EXEC: I love gays. But not for this.

AGENT: That’s discrimination.

EXEC: Can he get Julia Roberts?

AGENT: To play who, the goalie?

EXEC: Not to act. To direct.

AGENT: Julia Roberts directs now?

EXEC: I hear she wants to start. She’d be perfect for this.

AGENT: Julia Roberts directing a pilot about hockey?

EXEC: Get Julia Roberts and send over the script.

That’s when the dream ended, which is too bad because my writing partner knows Julia Roberts and I think I’d have a shot.

17 comments:

B.A. said...

Well done, you Changlorious Basterd!

Curt Alliaume said...

Freud might have something to say about the agent's cell phone.

VP81955 said...

Ken, what substances have you been partaking of lately?

Preparing for the World Series -- go Tribe! Because if the North Siders win, their fans will become as obnoxious as Red Sox fans were after 2004, acting as if they invented the game. In contrast, in 2005 when the White Sox ended an even longer title drought and curse (and what happened in 1919 was a genuine curse, not a silly, media-invented one like "No, No, Nanette" or billy goats), their fans remained level-headed. Plus, ifvwe're going to have someone from the '04 Bosox win again, I'd rather in be Terry Francona than Theo Epstein. (Ivy Leaguers run the world as it is; do they have to take over baseball, too?)

kent said...

You had Julia Roberts in a dream and you wasted her on a hockey show?

Tim Gray said...

Two of my least favorite topics are dreams and sports. You are the only writer who can get me to read about them. Perhaps the reason is that one never knows what else will pop up (a reference to cannibal song "Timothy"?) in a given post.

You're a masterful writer and an interesting thinker. As someone who has always loved television, I'm grateful that you have produced a body of work we can enjoy. [Your episodes of Becker are among my all-time favorites.] Here's to what's ahead!

Covarr said...

@Kent: It could have been worse. He could've wasted Natalie Wood on a hockey show.

Anonymous said...

Hey Ken,

Let me guess, the show was called: "Go Puck Yourself"

#trytheveal #tipyourbartender #imhereallweek

--LL

Dr. Dreammaker said...

The agent represents you. He’s you saying the things you’ve always wanted to say to TV execs, but didn’t or wouldn’t or couldn’t. He also has the power you – and every other writer – wish you had.

Hockey is your fear and insecurities as a writer. Not to worry, every writer has them. Interesting how you chose something you know little about. Of course you’d be insecure. Classic.

Notice Julia Roberts is mentioned but she’s not actually in the dream. She’s the golden ring. Elusive and mysterious. She represents success – what you’re hoping to achieve with the project. But given that she’s likely out of her element directing a hockey pilot, it’ll be a huge leap and success is likely to be as elusive and mysterious as Julia.
That’s just the reality of the industry, I suspect.

…Or, maybe it’s just a great idea for one of your blog entries. :-)

MikeN said...

VP, the Billy Goat is literally a curse.

If Julia Roberts is directing, I wonder if every episode will have the hockey players discussing how hot is Julia Roberts.

Unknown said...

I think it is a stress dream because you need a new agent.
VP81955 wrote "Sox Fans...their fans remained level-headed." after they won in 2005. Not sure where they live, but sox fans never let ANYONE forget they won in 05. They will tell you any chance they get, they can't posted it, or write you about it, they are sox fans, they can't write...
Go Cubs.

VP81955 said...

I suggest Unknown avoid traveling south of the Loop for the foreseeable future. My brother is a Chisox fan, and has remained humble.

D. McEwan said...

You're CERTAIN it was only a dream?

"He knows nothing about hockey? May I remind you that Ken co-created Eddie Lebec?"

Donald Benson said...

"... And when I woke up, my pillow was gone!"

Andrew said...

Ken, I don't know if your mind made some kind of subconscious connection, but Julia Roberts used to date her fitness trainer, Pat Manocchia, who was also a hockey player in college. Maybe you read about it in the tabloids?

And I second the Eddie Lebec comment above.

Johnny Walker said...

Ha. I think the fact that you took such an insulting and frustrating conversation as hilarious is a good sign that you're ok :)

katefate said...

Ken, you do have a pilot here, only it's about the agent, caught between his clients' expectations vs. their strengths, and the executives' ridiculous vision. I would watch this show if it were written by you or someone of your caliber.

blogward said...

Frasier: You're insecure about being a hack, hence 'hockey'.
Niles: Ken, you need to come out of the closet.