A few years ago, I was at my daughter’s bat mitzvah, and I had invited my father’s ex-girlfriend to attend. Let’s call her Carla. My father hadn’t been together with Carla for many years, but I had always really liked her, so I invited her. Anyway, at the event my dad came up to me, and said: “Wow. I just saw Carla. She looks TERRIBLE.” And I turned to him and said: “Have YOU looked in a mirror lately?” Well he laughed really hard at that…which felt good. Because I always wanted to make my dad laugh. You see in my house growing up, he had all the power. So when I was a kid, and for a long time after that, I worked very hard to please him and be the kind of person he’d approve of. I guess I learned early on that a way to get love in my family was to be funny..
After floundering around in a few jobs and industries, I got hired to be the writers’ assistant on a half hour TV series. Working in the writers’ room instantly felt comfortable to me. That wasn’t necessarily a good thing. Imagine a dysfunctional family where the people who are supposed to be the parents are just as emotionally needy as the children. I felt right at home and never looked back.
I guess that’s more of a statement with an implied question. It’s definitely fun and exciting to work in TV. Walking on to the set of Stars Hollow. Meeting Will Smith. Watching the cast of Frasier rehearse. It’s also intimidating! I’m always afraid I’ll mess up. Once time Jim Garner was guest starring in an episode of Eight Simple Rules, and I wrote a line for him in my script that went: I have a sneaky suspicion… something something. Since that’s what I wrote, that’s what he said. He said it at the table reading of the script. He said it at the rehearsal. And nobody said anything or corrected him. But then, after it had been committed to film, when I watched the episode, the line didn’t sound right to me. So I looked it up and sure enough, the expression wasn’t “sneaky suspicion” it was “sneaking suspicion.” I was mortified!
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