Friday, May 25, 2007

The Future, Brought To You By Sera.

I know, I know, my blogging has gone from charmingly erratic to about as frequent as Haley's Comet. I won't apologize, because I warn you all the time that I'm nothing if not inconsistent. But I will offer an excuse: it's because of staffing season. That TV-industry-wide game of musical chairs has come to an end, so here I am, ready to regale you with tales of my great adventures in the mythical land of Burbank.

Staffing season is the time of year when all the TV writers dash around in their nicest "studied casual" clothes and meet with anyone who might be able to give them a job. The majority of those anyones are the creators of new shows that may or may not actually make it onto the fall schedule.

Adding to the general chaos is the fact that many writers are under contract at shows that may or may not return. In other words, writers who might not be available are meeting with showrunners who might not have a show.

Plus, we're all writers. We're stressy and overcaffeinated -- and, often, the very portrait of Woody Allen 2.0-level neurotic Jewness -- even at the best of times. So as the upfronts (when the networks throw a big shindig in NY to unveil their new shows) draw close, everyone gets tenser and tenser. You walk into offices manned by zombie-eyed, ashen assistants making a futile attempt to organize the mountains of sample scripts sent by every agent in the solar system. They offer you water. You take the water. After the meeting, during which you are as chipper and charming as you can possibly be without coming off as a total douche, you leave with the water. Soon, the passenger seat of your Solara boasts an environmentally tragic pile of half-empty, never-to-be-finished bottles of Lake Arrowhead's finest.

I'll just skip ahead -- Spoiler Alert!-- and tell you, all those meetings went well but proved unnecessary because the show I've been working on is coming back. I'm even getting a promotion, so my name is followed by a fancier title. Don't be fooled, though, I'm still just a writer. Although in honor of the "title bump" (one quippy friend's response: "Hmmm, title bump. Sounds snortable.") I did buy a wristwatch. Not that I need one; I also bought a crackberry, from which I shall never, ever be parted for even a second unless it is the only condition under which Hugh Laurie makes sweet love to me; and said crackberry is indeed equipped with a highly accurate clock.

But I associate wearing a watch with being professional. Sure, I still show up to work in a cardigan over a dress over jeans, and yeah, maybe my hair is so unruly I tend to just tie it in a knot, and perhaps that knot just gets frizzier and frizzier throughout the day because it is my genetic legacy to never, ever be in control of what is happening on and around my own head... but now? One look at my right wrist (I'm left-handed, as you probably guessed long ago) and the security guard who buzzes me in to Warner Bros each morning will think, "Wow, look at that chic yet eminently professional Michael Kors wristwatch. I used to think she was a coffee gopher, but it's clear to me now -- that chick must be a producer."

And this goes without saying, but I went with Michael Kors so that every time I checked my watch, I'd see his name and flash to his friendly orange face as he bashes some poor Project Runway contestant's latest fiasco with ninja-like catiness skills. There is nothing I love more than a rich queen calling someone's earnest creation a fat peasant dress made out of trailer bathroom wallpaper. Every time I glance at my watch, I'll think of Michael Kors. And no matter what kind of day I'm having, I will smirk. Because for the record, the dress is totally hideous. And that's okay. In fact, it's great, because it gives Michael Kors something to cat about. See how my watch is singlehandedly going to keep me optimistic, whatever comes my way?

What is going to come my way, you ask? Well, I have the answer to that question too, for two reasons.

Reason #1 is that I read and/or saw every drama pilot produced this season. So I can tell you that this fall is going to bring me a show I have long wished to see, i.e. one that takes place inside a giant pie. I do like pie. (The show is by Bryan Fuller, who made Wonderfalls and Dead Like Me, and it's not just about pie, but the premise is definitely pie-heavy.) It's good to know that among the weekly pile of dead cop-show hookers and twittery, self-conscious professional women with catastrophic personal lives, I can look forward to an hour of TV that isn't about how sex fucks up your job or kills you.

Reason #2 that I know what will come my way: at the mindfuckiest height of staffing season, I saw a highly regarded astrologer who read my tarot cards.

That's right, I admit it. My name is Sera, and I visit fortune tellers. I tend to visit them when I'm stressing out about things that are entirely out of my control, like for instance the future.

Basically, I am paying someone to give me some dubious shred of information to irrationally clutch in times of great uncertainty. It is totally worth the money-- because it actually works. I tend to go, okay, Mercury's in retrograde, I'm not quite sure what that means or how this stuff could possibly be real or accurate in any way, but if it proves I'll end up with a cool gig at the end of all this, gimmee the kool aid. And then I'm all calm and serene for a couple of days. Judge me if you want, but I find if I see a fortune teller once (or, um, twice) per staffing season, I can get through it without the truckload of valium that might otherwise be necessary.

So, here is what's in store for me (according to the universe, as evidenced by what was going on with various planets the night I was born and also the order the tarot cards fell into when I shuffled them): I will meet a man in June. I will also be too busy with fancy new writing projects to hang out with him. There will be a work lull in October followed by an upswing that leads to great success and my purchasing a really indulgent car, "like an Astin Martin."

There you have it. If, one day soon, you're sitting on the patio of the Santa Monica Coffee Bean, and you see what you believe to be James Bond driving down Wilshire, only when the car gets closer you realize it's a wildly successful Jewish lady TV writer with a fantastically accommodating man friend riding shotgun? Then check your horoscope, baby, cause that shit is for real.