I have found that success rarely happens when you want it the most. So often, it happens when you’re not even thinking about it.
I think all of us Wannabes have days where we feel down. We feel like “it” will never happen. I’ll never see my screenplay produced. I’ll never sell a novel. I’ll never get the chance to perform in front of a big audience. Whatever your dream might be. Those days are tough. Those times when you just think “What if it never happens?” What if my dream just doesn’t come true? Those days are hard, but we slog through them and soon we get to better days where, sometimes for no reason at all, we feel better. We feel more optimistic. Right now I have a few nonfiction proposals for the Wannabe book submitted to agents, a novel submitted to a publisher, and a few screenplays under review. Something could happen with any one of those things at any time, right? Right??
I finished a screenplay last summer, a sort of adventure story for 9-12 year olds about an ancient magic cave and the ghost of an Indian boy. The script was called RAIN ON THE WATER. When I finish a script, after I’ve had it reviewed / revised a bunch of times and I feel it’s ready, I send a query letter out to as many producers as I can find – most of them from the Hollywood Creative Directory (HCD). It’s a big directory, but still a finite list. After I’ve exhausted the list, that’s about all I can do with the script. If no one bites, I move on to the next script. If I send out 300 queries, I will get about 30-50 responses. About 45 of them will be NO. Last summer, about 6 companies asked to read the script. One or two wrote back and said they liked the script, but not enough to do anything with it. The others I never heard back from. If you don’t hear back for 3-4 months, it’s a pretty safe bet they’re not interested.
Or so I thought.
Eight months later, in the middle of an ordinary, boring day, I get a phone call from a producer in Los Angeles from Runaway Productions. She wants to option RAIN IN THE WATER to try to get the movie made. Though I wouldn’t call this my Big Break, it’s a big deal. Right now, the producer is trying to get funding to see if we can make this thing happen. The script is now under contract until July 1, unless she extends the option longer.
Sometimes things like that happen when you least expect it. When you’ve all but forgotten about a particular submission or you feel it’s been too long – you should have heard back from that audition by now so you figure you didn’t get it.
You might just get a break when you least expect it.
Don’t Give Up.
The Best is Yet to Come.