When I was in Chicago, good things were happening all the time. It wasn’t as if I was some down on my luck bum, scooping up the shitty remains of success as I trudged my way to mediocrity. But it did feel as if my successes were very lateral. I wasn’t exactly progressing even though they were good things happening. In fact, I think I was aware of the lack of progression but tried to block out that awareness.
It’s like when I lived in the Logan Square neighborhood. While I was there, I think I was trying to trick myself into believing I loved it. It wasn’t till I moved to a neighborhood with more to do, more of my friends around and closer to the things I liked that I could finally say that living in Logan Square was awful. I mean, all the hipsters love it — I was lonely and bored all the time.
Now that I’m finally in LA, I think I can admit that my success in Chicago, while great, wasn’t exactly progressing my career. Don’t get me wrong – this doesn’t mean I din’t appreciate my victories there, it’s just a little more clear that they were more like experiences to grow my talent than career moves.
I mentioning this because I had a really interesting run-in at the WB commissary today. While not life changing, it was at least life affirming. I was waiting for my chicken sandwich when this normal looking dude in a t-shirt and shorts taps on my shoulder and says, “You’re a writer, right?” I looked at him, a little taken off, and said, “Yeah.” He said, “I knew it! I can always tell.” I said, “It’s the glasses.” He asked me what I do and I told him about the monologue internship at Conan. I paused and finally asked, “You?” “I’m an executive producer at Ellen.” I was really taken aback. COuldn’t even really speak. He said, “I knew you were a comedy writer. I try and point you guys out as a little game. I can just tell.” He got his burger and left saying, “Have a good one, buddy.”
This wasn’t a job or even a real contact. It was just a nice moment in the day that said, “Timmy, you’re doing the right thing. Just a little episode to keep in my back pocket.