It’s all glorious!
A short time ago DS went, on a lark, to audition for a role in a movie. He is not an actor and this was just going to be an experience, a la “why not? I won’t get it.”
He was notified that he got the job. We called him, in jest (and some amazement) the movie star.
But stardom didn’t last. After a few emails and even a rehearsal, as well as more fun details about his part, an email notified him of a change in the project’s direction and that his part has been cut.
Easy come, easy go? Well, it’s never easy.
I was reminded of my first traditional book contract. It came out of the blue from a small but traditional publisher. The advance was paid, the illustrator hired and everything was moving full steam ahead. The contract, in retrospect, was very generous on all counts. The experience of working with the editor and watching my story be illustrated was joyous.
And then it wasn’t. The small publisher closed its doors.
I think about a former neighbor, a talented writer who got her first contract to publish a thriller with one of the publishing giants, and a six-figure advance. For a year everything was on track, and then… By now you can guess. The project was canceled. Gone. Bye-bye.
Oh, it was great while it lasted. If only…
Back in Paris, where he’s in graduate school, DS was feeling bummed out. Then he did a few things right. He called his sister at Juilliard in New York, and they skyped for two hours. She told him about her many setbacks, (competitions that fizzled and auditions that didn’t work the way she hoped) and together they helped each other. I am so happy for my kids that they have the relationship they do.
The second thing he did right is write up a schedule for the next few weeks, one that is both productive for what he has to do and includes some things he wants to do, so he has what to look forward to. All in all, a positive response that makes me feel optimistic for him.
As one who has had quite a few “almosts” in publishing in addition to projects that made it to publication, I know well that nothing is until it is.
It’s how you respond that matters. Abandon ship? Get back on the horse? These literary clichés have actual and practical meaning. Navigating is not simple, because real life, if it’s worth living, does not come with MapQuest directions.
DS started out just looking for the experience. He got that. Nothing can take that away. It’s all glorious, in the end.