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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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Wild Child Wings. — By Jill

It just doesn’t make sense.

There are essentially two places where the douche bags of Seattle hang out on Friday/Saturday nights. Belltown and Pioneer Square. Neither one under normal circumstance would I consider taking a job in. Except it’s not normal circumstances. My father wakes me up in the morning declaring “daylight’s a-burning, Jilly.” My mother enters my room randomly to find old dresses that she has decided now live in my closet.  And if I come home later than 10:30, the dog, Mordecai barks upon my entrance, waking the both parents up. I need to move out. And in order to do that, I need a job.

And that, my friends, is why I found myself standing outside Wild Child’s Wings in Pioneer Square. Mere blocks away from hobo-tent-ville on one side and the International District on the other (at least Pink Gorilla isn’t far.) I arrived for the job interview to see cops breaking up a knife fight. I figured I wouldn’t get the job. I don’t know how to bar tend. I lied on the Craigslist response.

Despite the rustic and dilapidated surroundings, the interior was surprisingly large well maintained. I expected a dive-y sports bar. The type with one pool table that either wasn’t level or the felt had been scratched to shit. Perhaps a jukebox that only played Johnny Cash next to the Deer Hunter Arcade game and a touch-screen gambling machine featuring black jack/bejewled knock offs at the far end of the bar top. But no. Wild Child Wings felt like a cross between a quaint English pub an Italian stone garden. On one floor it had leather couches, book shelves, and wooden barrels. Then in the basement cobblestones floor, a water fountain, and (fake) torch lighting. I simply couldn’t believe it. What a terrible name for such a beautiful awesome place!

The email instructions told me I’d be meeting Gus. I had expected a man in a wife beater with a hairy stomach sticking out, his remaining hair combed over his massive bald spot to await me. (Basically Mr. Panucci on Futurama.)

Who I expected Gus to be.

But Gus was actually a bearded, glasses wearing, matured hippy. Think, a tall lanky Robin Williams in Good Will Hunting. In some job interviews, they person gives you the feeling they’re testing you and if you say the wrong thing, BUZZ, wrong! and you’re done. Others follow some script handed down to them by their corporate overlords. You say anything that deviates from a Hallmark dictated professional answer and it’s over. But every once in a while you meet someone who makes you feel at home, like their friend. It’s not about answering right or even proving anything. They genuinely are interested in the experiences you’ve had and what they as a person might bring to the table. They don’t judge (or they do a great job of making you feel like they don’t.) They just share and ask you to, too.

I honestly couldn’t tell you the beginning, middle, and end of the interview. Before I knew it, Gus shook my hand, thanked me. I was leaving the incongruous heaven that was Wild Child Wings and I no idea how or why I had lied to him about 2 years of bar tending experience. I just knew I wanted the job.

 
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Posted by on October 16, 2012 in By Jill, Marty's Half Dozen, Restaurants

 

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