Monday, September 26, 2005

"I'm a Writer...!"

A self-proclaimed Orthodox woman playwright visited our home for Shabbos lunch. One of the questions she asked me over the course of our meal was, "If you could drop everything and write what exactly what you wanted to write, forget about money or deadlines, what would it be?"

The $84,000 question! I think I must have blurted something out like, "A TV show about a post-college American kid who goes to Israel and becomes a fiery ba'al teshuva at a radical West-Bank yeshiva designed for credit-card-hippy burnouts, set in the late 90's right before the second Intifada!"

...or... something like that. Actually, I may have mentioned mashing that idea up with something vaguely Freaks-and-Geeks-esque (with some Firefly and Six Feet Under stylings). Not bad for being put on the spot, huh?

Later, as we continued mulling over such a grandiose and unlikely TV-show premise, several big problems arose with the idea:

ONE: No network would ever finance it, and even if they did, it probably wouldn't make it past the pilot before Budweiser or Altria decided it was way too pro-Occupationistic or just plain pro-Semitic (which it wouldn't necessarily have to be),

TWO: Ditto for any of the Jewish companies who might finance it,

THREE: Who do you get to act in such a piece? Hollywood types playing grubby West Bank settlers, mysterious, mystical Rabbi figures, dreadlocked Jewish expatriate kids, Palestinian Arabs? Would there even be Arab characters?

She encouraged me to write it anyway. I remain dubious about my own ability to write something requiring such complex and subtle characterizations, such in-depth knowledge of the political realities of late 90's Israel, and such technical know-how (i.e. a TV pilot with all the requisite getting-to-know-you and setting-you-up-for-the-future), but it may be worth it, if only as an excercise, to keep my creative impulses alive during the humdrum of my corporate life.

Also, who knows... maybe someone will read it and want to produce an independent feature from it...

I can still dream, can't I?


At 8:27 PM, September 26, 2005, Blogger MC Aryeh said...

A network bought "Amish in the City," so you never know....can I play the part of generic Bat Ayin yeshiva hippies #3 and 9?

At 5:50 PM, September 27, 2005, Blogger WanderingStu said...

Dude-- I want to play the "nutty, pork-eating reform guy" character. Sort of like Schneider with some mild Gemara skills...

And I want to know why the fuck you don't send love no more, espccially after I hung with Ron Golan and the Ortho Anarchist

At 9:50 PM, September 28, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think someone reading your script would be very much like your wife in the bedroom -- totally bored.

At 10:42 PM, September 28, 2005, Blogger Chazarmaveth said...

MCA -- who said this was about bat ayin? and plus, i had you pegged for "shy kid who stands silently davening mincha for 3 hours while everyone else around him is learning"

stu -- you always have my love, you know that. and who's schneider?

anon -- writing from the vast cultural mecca of daytona beach, FL, you must *really* know an exciting script when you see one!

At 10:46 AM, September 29, 2005, Blogger barseff said...

shnedier from one day at a time, you're friendly super, of course.

At 2:54 PM, September 29, 2005, Anonymous The Wife said...

Anon -- This is not the first time someone has attempted to insult my husband and me in this manner. Perhaps you were the one who did it before as well. I do not understand why anyone would stoop to such means; perhaps jealousy or low self-worth. Regardless, you do not know me, so I would appreciate it if you would refrain from making such comments, and stay out of my private life!

At 5:13 PM, October 11, 2005, Blogger YM said...

I never had any credit cards - I came back to the USA in better financial shape then I left.

At 12:27 PM, October 20, 2005, Blogger Chazarmaveth said...

hey ym!
sure, some of us weren't as able to buy the expensive techelet for our tzitzit... but you do know what i mean.


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