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Searching for Gambit – By Jack

Actually Ice Man was harder to find. But everyone wanted Gambit more.

 

When I was 10 years old, I was on a manhunt for Gambit. Part Toy Biz’s second series of X-Men action figures (pictured below.)

A roster of the dream.

A roster of the dream.

You could walk into any Toys ‘R’ Us, KB Toys, or Lone Star Comics and see on the shelf any of one those beloved action figures. Except Gambit (and Iceman, but his toy was stupid.) You see, much like the De Beers diamond cartel, toy companies intentionally withhold certain figures to create a demand. So when a box of X-Men figures shipped, its contents included plenty of Banshees, Forges, Saurons, and the three different versions of Wolverine. But the a Gambit figure might be only one per box, or even none at all.

So in order to conduct my manhunt, I called previously listed toy stores everyday for about 6 months. To this day I still have the Toys ‘R’ Us number memorized. Even though it’s been closed for about 10 years. My phone call went something like this.

Toys’R’Us Automated Phone: Thank you for calling Toys R Us. We are conveniently located on 5505 Arapaho Road. Across from the Preston Wood mall. Our hours today are from 9 am to 10 pm.  If you need help with–

Little Jack presses 0.

Toys’R’Us Representative: Thank you for calling Toys’R’Us how can I help you?

Little Jack: Um..I was wondering if you’ve gotten your shipment in for the day.

Toys’R’Us Representative: Is this Jack?

Little Jack: Yes.

Toys’R’Us Representative: What is it you’re looking for again? Power Rangers?

Little Jack: No, I’m looking for any shipments of the X-Men Series 2 action figures.

Toys’R’Us Representative: Hold on, let me check.

2-5 minutes later. 

Toys’R’Us Representative: We did, but didn’t get any Gambits.

And that’s what I did with my childhood when I wasn’t playing video games.

So why am I telling you about this? Well I’ve been out of a job for a few months now.  I’ll spare you the details of my rise and fall from the reality TV world, my adventures of the writers’ room of an unnamed but super mega awesome scripted TV show, and finally my depressing return to the restaurant frontier. I decided once and for all to do what it takes to get the office Production Assistant job that is so coveted by any and all aspiring TV writers.

Between Deadline, Below the Line, Che Equis’s Temp Diaries, and a few secret tracking boards, I’ve managed to compile a list of television pilots currently in either development or production. (See below).

Spreadsheet

This is just a sample of the document in my Google Drive. In actuality it spans over 100 pilots. And each day I update the list’s phone numbers, status, and then scan for who I have slated to contact for the day. Then I call.

Here’s how it goes down.

Production Intern/Assistant: Something Something Productions.

Adult Jack: Hi, I was calling to see if the production company of [insert show name] pilot has been set up yet.

Production Intern/Assistant: Oh I uh…I don’t think so. Try calling back in a month. (They always say a month).

Not the best answer in the world, but at least you can try them again.

or

Production Intern/Assistant: Yeah, here’s the production office number.

This is actually bad, because most likely if the production office is set up, then it is staffed up too. But still worth a shot.

or

Production Intern/Assistant: No not quite yet. Probably next week though.

That’s the answer you want!

Adult Jack: Great! Has a line producer or production coordinator been hired for the project.

Production Intern/Assistant: Yeah, actually.

Adult Jack: Wonderful. Might I be able to forward my resume to them for staffing?

And it goes from there. Then you have to check back.

So as you can see, I can’t help but feel the parallel between my adulthood and childhood. It’s a slug, but you gotta do it.  Sad fact: You know how I finally got the Gambit toy? My friend found one for me. Which sadly, despite my best efforts, is probably what I am going to need to actually land the job.

—Jack out.

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Posted by on February 25, 2014 in By Jack, Writing

 

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After the First Week…– By Jack

Okay. I’ve been in LA a week now, and in that week I’ve worked one day on a TV show, got into a car accident, almost gotten into a fight at the DMV, and seen the actor Garret Dillahunt twice at the gym.

Early last week, I had sat down to look for a job when I got a call from the line producer to B&^#$@!5 (I’m not naming the show because they may still contact me for a job and my resume has this blog on it.) The line producer said that the writer’s PA job I applied for was interviewing tomorrow but had filled all the interview spots. But I could come in to work as her assistant and maybe the creator/showrunner might consider me. I told her absolutely and she told me to do my research. I power watched half the first season of B&^#$@!5 and was pleasantly surprised. Who thought a show about 3@77$* would be so interesting? The quirky funny dialogue really took me by surprise.

The next day I brewed coffee, refilled refrigerators, picked up lunch, set up the line producer’s WiFi and printer, and ushered people into meetings. What was mostly happening was that the showrunner was staffing various production jobs so she was conducting interviews. I was to make sure people waiting for their interview were taken care of. I ended up having conversations with practically everyone. Learned some good stuff. Even made a friend. One of the people interviewing for that writer’s PA job and I really got along. We had lunch yesterday. Though I didn’t get the job, they said the production office would soon be staffed and I might be considered for that.

One last note. The show directly one floor below B&^#$@!5 was none other than Aaron Sorkin’s The Newsroom! Alas, Sorkin wasn’t there. Dexter is also done at this studio. But I don’t know if they film there or just produce it.
Come back tomorrow (or the next day) for the Accident.

-Jack Out

 
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Posted by on September 14, 2012 in By Jack, Writing

 

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