All that knowhow

Before the stroke, I didn’t take myself seriously. If someone thought I was wrong, I didn’t necessarily believe it. But I thought I couldn’t change it.

Take films. Both the producers I worked for (who actually made the films…) were – in a word – charlatans. (They’re maybe ALL charlatans: discuss…) One was an obnoxious charlatan and one a charming charlatan. But charlatans they were… One walked all over me; the other (after I’d learned) did SOME of the things I so diplomatically requested (like: making the movie even SHORTER, thus excising some of the director’s grotesqueries…).

Whenever a screenwriter FINALLY gets to direct or produce – after a decade or two of ‘merely’ writing the damn thing – it’s a miracle (provided, of course, that they can actually DO it…).

After the stroke, I was in despair. Pre-stroke – with all that intelligence and knowhow – it had been SUCH a struggle to get what I wanted done; post-stroke, it would just be impossible…

But after four years, I just tried being ‘myself’: I would stay on the phone, to complain, or ‘make a suggestion’. I would tell them I’d had a stroke, if necessary, and just PERSIST in asking whether it would be possible, and saying (ad infinitum): Are you the CEO of (for instance, TSB)? In that case, can I speak to a superior…

And on and on and on. Just to pass the time and cross it off my (endless) list. It didn’t necessarily WORK – but it made me feel better…


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I had a stroke on July 26th, 2013. I was a screenwriter. Don’t do that anymore. But have found another way to write.

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