Sunday, October 22, 2006

How I spent my weekend, part one

Whew. I can breathe again.

Friday at the Expo I met Maggie, who is pretty damn delightful and somehow recognized me as I was meandering by at lunch. I saw David Ayer and learned a thing or two, sat in on Joel's informative and cheerful lecture and introduced myself, then watched Harlan Ellison interview Ron Moore in one of the more hilarious conversations ever to be set on a stage in front of hungry screenwriters. They mostly talked about Harlan's book and why we should all buy it. But it was informative too, not because Moore talked about how to break in, but because he talked about crafting a series and how he made the creative decisions he eventually had to live with. The reason? Exactly what you thought: Ron Moore has big brass balls.

Saturday I volunteered. Last year I worked the big room with the keynote speakers and I liked it, so I figured I'd do that again this year. Either way I didn't want to be stuck in a classroom all day. Those of you who were there know about the California rooms. For those of you who weren't, let me explain. Half the rooms at the Marriott that were reserved for the Expo were the size of the head (as in bathroom, for those nautically challenged) on a Russian nuclear submarine, and most of them filled up with people spilling out into the hallway as the air got thicker and thicker with the odor of screenwriter B.O. I did not want to get trapped in there all day, and when you volunteer that's what happens: You get stuck in one room all day. The upside is you get to sit in on all the classes and take notes, and all you have to do is take tickets whenever somebody comes in. The downside is, you get stuck in a classroom all day.

I don't sit still. I spend all day in my job on my feet talking. The truth is, teachers make the worst students. We're used to running things, not kicking back and watching.

So I had to have the Marquis room with the Pixar people. I set my alarm for 4:45 a.m. to make sure I had enough time to hit the snooze and be out of the apartment by 6:00 to get to the volunteer room as the first in line like last year. My alarm never went off because I forgot to switch it over to the weekend setting. So I woke up at 6:15, cursing.

I got in the car at 6:30 and raced down Western to hit the 10 West. Ramp closed. I took the 10 East to Normandy. Ramp closed. I guessed Vermont must be closed too so I trucked it south down Normandy, really hoping I could figure it out from there. I did, but I ended up as one of the last ones in the room. No Pixar for me.

This is where I begin to believe in fate. There were about five people left and only tiny, submarine bathroom rooms left and Volunteer Coordinator turned to me. "Do you need an errand runner?" I said.

Thus begins my weekend of adventure.

To be continued tomorrow.


  1. Thanks again for the shout-out, and for joining my seminar. It was great having you there, and sorry we didn't get the chance to chat more, either then or after the Expo. But I understand. Hopefully, we'll get together again soon. :-)

  2. Awww! Emily, you're so nice! You were the Expo powerhouse, everywhere, all the time, doing everything! It was like a running joke after a while, because you were *everywhere*! The Expo owes you!

    It was great to meet you and to get to hang out so much. You're the best!

  3. Were people saying that? That I was everywhere? I guess I was. Certainly felt like I was. I did see one guy in a classroom, then left and went to another room. Then I rode with him in the elevator ten minutes later. Fifteen minutes after that I sat in a nother classroom and there he was. He probably thought I was stalking him, or that there were more than one of me.

    I'm so glad we had time to chat. Now you have many LA friends thanks to this weekend, including me.


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