Yesterday I had a job interview, for which I took one week off from blogging and one day off from my day job to prepare. The job was staff writer on a FX Network show. In the past week I watched every episode of its 4 seasons (52 hours), read the short story on which the show is based, read half a dozen of their scripts, watched interviews and read articles about the producers, and even spoke with a former writer on the show. So how did it go?
I wish I could say “It went great! Best interview of my life!” but that wouldn’t be genuine. It felt like it went just okay. I said some right things. I don’t think I said any wrong things. Maybe it was my imagination but there seemed to be too many pauses. Maybe the producers were tired? It was the end of the day. I was also a nervous wreck. Is it possible to over-prepare? I put so much pressure on myself, I literally forgot some of what I wanted to say. Plus, it started about 20 minutes late because the producers ran into Mel Brooks in the parking lot beforehand. Mel Brooks!!!! Tell me, how does one follow Mel Brooks? The man is a comical genius! The high of meeting him must have been exhilerating. And they came down from it while interviewing me.
Oh well. Rather than dwell on this so-so interview, I’m going to chalk it up to a learning experience. It was my first interview in 3 years, the first for a TV show. Now I know what these types of meetings are like, so I’ll be more relaxed on the next one. And I’m confident there will be more because the producers liked my writing. Whether they liked me enough is yet to be seen.
In the meantime, to lift our spirits, here are some life quotes from one of my all-time heroes, the man behind Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles, Spaceballs, The History of the World – Part 1 and The Producers (among others), Mr. Melvin James Kaminsky aka MEL BROOKS:
“Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you fall into an open sewer and die.”
“As long as the world is turning and spinning, we’re gonna be dizzy and we’re gonna make mistakes.”
“The only thing we don’t have a god for is premature ejaculation… but I hear that it’s coming quickly.”
“Hope for the Best. Expect the worst. Life is a play. We’re unrehearsed.”
“Look, I really don’t want to wax philosophic, but I will say that if you’re alive, you’ve got to flap your arms and legs, you got to jump around a lot, you got to make a lot of noise, because life is the very opposite of death. And therefore, as I see it, if you’re quiet, you’re not living. You’ve got to be noisy, or at least your thoughts should be noisy, colorful and lively.”
“Humor is just another defense against the universe.”
“Every human being has hundreds of separate people living under his skin. The talent of a writer is his ability to give them their separate names, identities, personalities and have them relate to other characters living with him.”
“Everything we do in life is based on fear, especially love.”
“My mind is a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives.”
“Look at Jewish history. Unrelieved lamenting would be intolerable. So for every ten Jews beating their breasts, God designated one to be crazy and amuse the breast-beaters. By the time I was five I knew I was that one.”
“It’s good to be the king.”
“He who hesitates is poor.”