If you read my profile on this blog, you will see that I ask the question "What will I be when I grow up?" I am almost 58 years old and that question remains to be answered! I can tell you what I THINK I want to be, at least what I want to be on this given day. Don't hold me responsible because what I THINK I want to do with the rest of my life could all change tomorrow.
Drum roll, please: Wait for it....wait for it. TaDa! I want to be a playwright or a screenplay writer!
Are any of you familiar with the movie "Something's Gotta Give"? The one where Diane Keaton is a playwright and has an affair with Jack Nickolson? That's the type of playwright I want to be. No, I don't want to have a fling with Jack Nicholson (perish the thought!) but I do want to take real life situations and scenarios, however awkward, and turn them into something humorous and witty that people would spend good money on a ticket to come watch a bunch of actors on stage or screen act out my words. My life supplies a never-ending supply of material.
For example, here is something that really happened to me just last year:
Setting: Outer office of liver specialist doctor. I am there for a follow-up visit and blood test after a scan at local hospital to make sure that everything is copasetic and I won't die or fry my kidneys when I re-start taking my RA meds. Have already been this day to my Primary Care doctor who sent me to my Hematoligist who has, in turn, sent me to this doctor.
I enter the office. It is just after lunch time and there are no patients in the waiting area. I approach the window. Window opens. Office staff of three are present. They look at me like I have 2 heads.
Office girl: (sighs) May I help you?
Me: (Cheerfully) Yes, I am here to get a blood test. I had this procedure done at the hospital and had to sign papers agreeing to a follow-up with my doctors before I could have it done. If I don't, I run the risk of killing my kidneys if I take my RA meds. I really don't want to do that so here I am!
Office girl: (Monotone) You need to go to the hospital for that.
Me: No..... I was told to come here.
Office girl: No....we have never heard of this. Who sent you?
Me: The hematologist, Dr. X.
Office girl: (Annoyed) We don't have you down for an appointment. You need to go to your Primary Care.
Me: Been there. ..they sent me to Dr.X first.
Office girl: Who sent you?
Me: Dr. X via Dr. Y via the hospital.
Office girl: Who at the hospital said this?
Me: I am not sure of the technician's name.
Office girl: (REALLY ANNOYED) You need to find out.
Me: (getting my cell phone out) (Voice raised) You know, I really have been given the runaround here. I am overdue for my RA meds. I really like being able to walk and not be crippled. And I am really not into frying my kidneys.
I punch in the number for the Primary Care doctor. I get the answering machine. After all, it is just after lunch time.
I punch in the number for the Hematologist. I get the answering machine. After all, it is just after lunch time.
I turn back to the Office girl.
Me: Do you have the number for the hospital?
Office girl: (Rolling her eyes) (BIG sigh). It is XXX-555-1111.
I VIOLENTLY punch in the hospital number: Get main line receptionist. She transfers me to the XRay, CT scan, whatever department. I explain the scenrio that I am trapped in. What luck! I talk to the technician who then talks to the Office Girl. OG hangs up. She looks at me poker-faced.
Me: Ok, then, we have that all cleared up!
Office Girl: Ms. Norwood, we will be glad to make an appointment for you to get your bloodwork done.
Me: But I'm here now. What part of that do you not understand?
Office girl: Well, you can always go back to your Primary Care doctor.
Me: WHAT? But they sent me to Dr.X who sent me to you!
Office Girl: Ms. Norwood, then when do you want to make the appointment?
Me: You're joking, right?
Office Girl: No. No, I'm not.
At this point, I have out of body experience as I move slightly to the right of the window and proceed to bang my forehead against the wall. Literally. Painfully. Office girl's jaw drops. Other office staff immediately stop activity to stare at crazy lady. I stop banging my head as I realize this is majorly hurting both my head and my cause. Step back from wall and draw back arm to throw cell phone at adjacent wall. Really. Just like a major league baseball pitcher. Decide I will a) destroy my phone and I don't have the money to replace it, b) will have to pay for repair to the wall, c) police will be called and I will be either arrested or have mental evaluation done. So I lower arm and stare at Office Girl, who seems visibly shaken.
Me: (Shouting) I CAN"T BELIEVE THIS FREAKING DAY. I HAVE TAKEN A WHOLE DAY OFF FROM WORK FOR THIS? AND NOW YOU'RE TELLING ME I HAVE TO COME BACK? COME BACK? COME BACK? AND JUST WHEN DO YOU PROPOSE I TAKE MY RA MEDICINE? ARE YOU GOING TO COME OUT TO THE CAR AND PUSH MY WHEELCHAIR IN WHEN I CAN'T WALK? ARE YOU GOING TO DRIVE ME TO DIALYSIS IF I KILL MY KIDNEYS BY TAKING MY MEDS WITHOUT THIS TEST?
Office Staff is - uh - uncomfortable, shall we say. Look at each other in slow motion and eyes wide.
Office Girl: (Spoken rapidly) Let me check to see if the lab technician can see you now, Ms. Norwood.
Me: (cheerfully and perky) That would be wonderful! Thank you so much!
Scene change: Doctor's lab. I am sitting blissfully in lab chair, arm outstretched with lab tech very, VERY carefully poking needle into the crook of my elbow. I look into camera and smile. Fade out.
And to think I have hundreds situations I can write into scripts. It's almost frightening, isn't it?
So screenwriter/playwright is the Career of the DAY. But just like the weather, that changes every few days or hours or minutes. I'll keep you posted on other career ideas. Maybe you have one I haven't thought of. I'm taking ideas! Just leave a comment and let me know what YOU think I should do to have a career of my very own.....