Friday, October 30, 2009

London 16B: Day 13 & 14 - Drinks & Airplanes (drinks)

The thing I always forget about the Holborn station is that there are two exits on different streets. It’s not as bad as, say, Leicester Square where the exits are spread out on opposite sides of Charing Cross Road - no way to keep an eye on all of the exits there! But it’s a small problem. I stand at the main exit, figuring I not only have the best chance of being seen by someone leaving, but if someone exits on the other side and doesn’t see me they might check the main exit area. I don’t know who I missed, but I found most of the London regulars from past Drink With Bill nights, including the amazing English Dave... dressed in a suit! I almost didn’t recognize him!

I know English Dave from the Done Deal message boards, where he is witty and profane and combative and hysterical. He’s a TV writer in the UK, and he is constantly having run ins with idiot producers. Dave is a real character online, and when I first met him many Raindances ago, he lived up to his online persona. Somewhere back in the past on this blog, or maybe on my website messageboards that were kind of a blog before this, I have a story about one of the Drink With Bill nights where Dave shows up in a Hawaiian shirt and short pants - in London - and we drink until the pub closes at 11pm. Dave is a member of a club, so we can continue drinking... All we have to do is walk (or stagger) across central London to his club. We do this, and it seems like a long walk, even though I have since passed his club a few times sober and it’s really not that far from the Holborn Tube Station (at least by London walking standards). Well, we trek all the way to his club, where Dave tells the man at the door that he’s a member and pulls out his membership card and wants to bring all of the rest of us in as guests... and the guy at the door mentions to English Dave that there is a dress code, and loud Hawaiian shirts and short pants are not allowed. So we all staggered away, back to our various homes and hotels. So, the idea of Dave in a *suit* - what happened?

The other reason why it was great to see English Dave is because he seems to have disappeared. He left the Done Deal message boards in a huff years ago - some dope took was offended by something he said and started a flame war. Um, Dave is *funny* when he’s mean. You just have to laugh at that stuff, not get angry. Dave has a blog, it’s listed over there –> And that’s how I know that he got divorced, quit TV, got remarried, and wrote a novel... but his last blog entry was months ago. Was he still alive?

Yes, and a novelist and working as a consultant in a suit and tie for a while as the novel makes its way to market. As always, he told great stories. Paul & Wolfy talked about their script - the one they pitched at Live Ammunition Pitching Panel - and both wondered why I’m not doing classes to rooms filled with hundreds of people like McKee. The strange thing about Raindance this year is the number of people who have taken some class by me in the past who either have a film here or have come up after one of the free classes to tell me that they optioned or sold a script and some class I did in the past helped them. Maybe I’m selling myself short? The problem has always been - I don’t really want to be a teacher, I just want to write scripts. But maybe I need to find a way to really make both work. Right now the teaching this is completely half-assed. I haven’t done a class in Los Angeles for 3 years. I haven’t done the 2 day class for over 2 years *anywhere* - London was my return to teaching. These other guys teach for a living - I don’t want to do that. But what if I figured out a way to do 4 classes a year? That’s not much, still gives me time to write. Maybe come up with an online class like Max Adams has for people who can’t make it to a live class? I never really think about the classes until people start telling me how much they got out of one. Or I see some success stories with movies or books or working on some TV show.

Anyway, many Guineii were consumed and those damned people would not let me buy a round. That’s unfair! I’m getting smoke blown up my butt and getting drunk on their dime! Close to last call, a woman comes over to our table and tells us that we need to come with her immediately. I wonder if we’ve been too loud, but English Dave figures it out and starts making fun of this woman who is trying to kick us out! That’s when her drunken boyfriend comes over to fetch her - she’s just some drunk woman, not an employee of the pub.

Eventually it’s last call and an actual employee of the pub comes to tell us when we’ve finished our drinks it’s time to go. No staggering to Dave’s club tonight - even though he easily makes the dress code - he has a family to head home to. And it’s Monday night - tomorrow everyone has to go to work... and at 6:30 AM I have to be standing in front of the hotel for my taxi pick up.

Great to see all of the London folks and meet the new people, but now it’s time to stagger back to the hotel and finish packing.

At the hotel, I do the final bit of packing (except for the things I will need for tomorrow)... but what I don’t know then that I have since learned - a portable USB drive that had some materials for one of the 5 free classes that I’d had Elliot print out for me was on the desk with some other things. When I grabbed those things, I knocked the USB drive onto the floor... where it blended with the carpet. Didn’t notice this until after I returned and looked all over the place for it. Nothing critical on it, but a couple of things from an old computer I will now have to unbury from the closet-of-doom and fire up to download those items. Even though I have been back a couple of weeks, now, I still haven’t done that - lost of work for a couple of items. Problem is, I’m afraid I will forget about it and later panic when I can’t find those items on my current computer. Eventually I would figure it out, but when I really need something and it isn’t there, I tend to panic first and think much much later.

I'm tired and drunk and the alarm clock is going to go off a few hours drom now... I get some sleep!

- Bill

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