Unchained Reading: “The Odd Job Chronicles”


It’s official. As of Tuesday I have now been out of college for a year. What a crazy and wild trip it has been. On a good day, I’m radiating optimism and saying “This non-film day job is absolutely paving the way for my dream film job.” Then there are the dim and dull times where I’m thinking “Why is this (my potential greatness) taking forever?” It was during one of THOSE days that a wonderful tweet from The Script Lab found its way on my Twitter timeline. I began following The Script Lab when I set out to write my first post-college script. It’s an amazing resource for any level of writer and I absolutely recommend to you all. Although I’ve taken a hiatus from writing, I could still relate to the latest edition of “The Odd Job Chronicles” featured on the site. Screenwriter Tony LaScala offers up “reality-show confessional style” entries on his double-life as a writer and day-jobber.

His most recent post “The Re-Re-Write and The Writer’s Diet” brightened my day because it was so relatable. I remember toiling away at pages and eating like crap throughout the entire process. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one. Most of all, I find solace reading about Tony’s adventures with his filmmaking goals and the non-artistic 9 to 5 job grind. He introduces the feature column with the proclamation that in this business (especially in LA), a LOT of people are bouncing between their creative dreams and somewhat menial employment. The key is to stay motivated through all of the dark days when you just don’t want to put on the corporate uniform another day longer. I’m currently working a temp job in a mailroom and it’s been a real struggle to make room for any film-related ventures. It takes every ounce of energy to carve in an hour or so to blog my heart out during the week. I take that frustration I feel working in a job that has nothing to do with my film degree whatsoever and force myself to stay in the industry conversations via Indies Unchained. Might as well turn that negative into a positive, right?

Many odd jobbers have side projects. Tony has writing film scripts, while others are out shooting short films/webseries, applying for grants, volunteering at festivals and watching as many movies as they can in order to keep their skills up to par. Still, while you’re paying your dues in this cinematic jungle with the creative work, you’ve also got to pay the bills. Tony’s posts really stand out to me because most times you only hear about the overnight film industry sensation. What about the day-to-day chaos of being down in the trenches? The doubts, the monotony, the triumphs and tribulations — that’s what’s universal AND inspiring.

If you’re looking for another soldier in solidarity (and a good laugh), read more “Odd Job Chronicles”  HERE!

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