We were asked to submit 10 news items from that week's news and also come up with a couple of sketches. I thought I came up with a few zingers - here's what I submitted...
to go to the bathroom?
Dorota talks to the ceiling.
DOROTA: Hello? Hello, can you hear me? I'd like to nominate Wojtyek. He
never helps with anything and I heard him say he doesn't like
To get deep for just a moment as I reflect on my week, in life, your ethos is one of the few things you get to decide entirely for yourself. That's an extraordinary thing to remember - given, for each of us, it's the biggest thing in our lives. How we tackle each day, adversity and how we pick ourselves up to go on.
Long ago I decided, with all the opportunities that didn't seem to be going my way, and as a writer rejection is an everyday reality, spending my time being bitter and upset and making excuses about how and why I wasn't being given opportunities would be a waste of my time. Instead I decided to look closely at what had been rejected and try to improve and get better so the next time I might reverse the decision.
Sometimes it takes a long time and many, many pieces of a puzzle to come together to see a result for all that hard work.
As a result of wanting to write comedy and not being taken seriously, I began a series of stand-up comedy workshops. That was in 2008. Slowly, fighting my nerves, I progressed to performing. I still don't do many gigs, but I've arrived at a place where I can relax and enjoy being up there and it's a great place for a writer to test out a lot of silly jokes and ideas to see how a live audience responds.
As a result I have met and shared billing with many well known Australian and International comedians. Included among these is Lawrence Mooney.
In 2010 I co-wrote and directed a successful Melbourne Comedy Festival show for David Tulk, a very well known Melbourne comic. That and my previous work history of setting up and running drama shows for Fremantlemedia led to me getting a job as Script Producer on a new comedy show. The show didn't last long. It was called "The Bounce" - starring Peter Hellier and it was produced out of Melbourne. It would have been my dream job had it lasted - a mixture of football, comedy and sketches. One of the comedy writers on that show was Lawrence Mooney.
At some stage, since that show ended in 2010, I had an idea for what I thought would make a great comedy and Lawrence seemed to be the perfect person to play the lead. I'd seen his two previous comedy festival shows, done stand-up alongside him and come to know him fairly well. Then this year he was named as host of his own network comedy panel show and I suddenly understood why he'd been so busy of late and unable to catch up. But he was suddenly a known celebrity network wise and this made me more determined to talk to him about my idea.
I took a drastic step, in among Lawrence's new show, his new child, his relatively new marriage and moving to a new house I wrote the pilot of the show I had told him I had in mind. It's far easier to explain something that's on a page than an idea that is still only a concept. Lawrence read - he liked, so we chatted and found ourselves both excited by what we could do if we could get this idea to the screen.
Yesterday I had a meeting with the head of a well established production company, Renegade, who make many great productions including Wilfred and Rockwiz here in Oz. They have offices in Melbourne - a bike ride from my house! The meeting went well and, the company CEO, Joe, was open, welcoming and enthusiastic. I left feeling positive - even though the best I can say is, he didn't say no.
But in this business, someone not saying no is a so much better than the alternative. As one of my old bosses at Fremantle said when we were analyzing the reasons a network head gave for turning one of our pitches down - "A no is a no." Never a clearer or colder word spoken and it almost never gets reversed.
But my journey to this meeting, where I didn't hear the word no, took six years and many different pieces coming together to simply get through that door. It's an example of how far you sometimes have to go to make an opportunity for yourself in this business.
Of course, way back in 2008 when my comedy was rejected, I could have sat around and bitched about being completely ignored, but as my gay friends constantly remind me - "Bitches sit alone."
To celebrate my meeting, a meeting that didn't end in a 'no', I went out and did some stand-up ...
Exford Hotel - Comedy - October 3rd 2013.