I'll not not be so arrogant to say those who know me will understand what I mean here, but I could. And maybe should.
A few weeks ago when I first got word about the Nicholl nonsense, I had... "a relative" ask me "so, do you have a press release ready?"
'Press release? Nah, the Nicholl people handle all the press. It's covered," I explained.
"No, not the official release—the one about you personally. Specifically."
Here's the thing: at that moment I realized i don't want this to be about me personally, specifically.
For reasons I'll not bore by going into, I've always been very uncomfortable with direct personal praise and attention. Praise my work, my achievements, but don;t praise me personally, as that's just an ego thing and I hate that feeling of "oh, I'm so fantastic and wonderful!
Cuz I'm not. I'm a mess, with more crap in my brain than most folks would believe, and a lifetime of odd mistakes and missteps that is more tangled and mangled than the Basra-Baghdad Highway in the final week of Gulf War I.
But this relative didn't share my opinion on this matter, so they took it upon themselves to FWD some news of the Nicholl Finalist thing to the local newspaper in the small town where I grew up and went to school. While I was away at the Austin Film festival last week, I get a phone message from a reporter in that town—they wanted to do a story, "local boy makes good," etc.
I ducked the call. Did not return it. Ignored it. It's not something I asked for, wanted, or care about, I reasoned, so why bother working to make it happen?
The reporter has called a few more times since then, apparently eager to get a story, and today she caught me on the phone. She seemed first surprised and then confused that I was reluctant to play along—"don;t you know how cool this is for the town?"
"No not really," I answered, honestly if not charmingly. "To me it's a non-story about a guy who lived in town 25 years ago and has never really looked back with any special fondness for that time."
The reporter argued that the story was important to help show our high school kids that dreams can come true—that nothing is impossible, to which I responded that it was never my dream to be a Nicholl Finalist, and that until I option or sell a screenplay, I've not really achieved that dream, so what's the point here?
The debate went on for a minute or two before I finally said to hell with it and said "send me the questions and I'll see which, if any, I can force myself to address. And understand that I reserve the right to ignore that questionnaire utterly and completely."
She seemed to accept that so I have a press interview looming.
As I said—a revolting development.
I vant to be alone B