Why the Resentment?
I network so much it's ridiculous. I go to every function I can and shake as many hands as possible. When meeting someone new, you usually shake hands, exchange names and ask the killer question, “What do you do?” You respond with what you do for a living, what projects you've done in the past, and what you're currently working on. In most cases people are pretty receptive and interested so we have nice conversations that end with trading business cards, but sometimes something entirely different happens. Sometimes instead of having a neat little exchange with a new contact, you get a fat load of resentment and negativity.
I always wondered to myself why that is. Why are most people cool and others so resentful?
Something I noticed is that the pros are never resentful. They have as much going on as you do so they're very open to talking about current projects and getting to know someone new. The people who tend to be resentful are the amateurs who tell everyone on Facebook that they're really pros. So could jealousy of meeting a real pro be the reason for resentment?
Another reason for this negativity may be because I'm relatively young. Let me tell you right now that I've earned every blessing I've ever received in this life with blood, sweat, and tears. Mark Sevi once called me the “hardest working man in Hollywood” and I have that moniker to live up to. So can another reason for the resentment be that they think I have some kind of entitlement since I'm young and have done the things that I have done?
I encountered my latest form of resentment when I was at the Newport Beach Film Festival this year. I've gone to film festivals in LA for years so I've never dealt with this time of negativity energy in the creative community. While I was there trying to meet and greet people a lot of them wouldn't want to talk to me. And when they did talk to me they wouldn't look me straight in the eyes. Then I realized why they were treating me like that – because I'm not white. So can blatant racism be another reason for such resentment?
Whatever the real reason for the resentment is, the important thing is for those people to realize such negativity is a complete waste of time. It is better for them to use that energy and effort by putting it into their work and networking with people, as opposed to being resentful to a working screenwriter who may be or may not be accomplished, young, entitled, or of a different color. This business is all about relationships and that negativity is exactly what can keep your career from taking off. Word will get around town that you have sour grapes and no one likes working with someone who too busy being angry at the world instead of being too busy working on their next project.
Keep up the resentment and there won't be a next project. That's a promise.
Torture Chamber Productions
September 18, 2010