Every day I wake up and work on my screenplay, I am believing in a dream. It is either dangerous, foolish, insane, plain dumb, or the best thing I’ve ever done.
I was a professional pianist working frequently at top hotels in Tokyo for over 20 years. During that time I did an endless list of other jobs: voiceover actor, English teacher, actor, chef, dancer, singer, journalist, short film producer… you name it, I did it. But somehow, I always found pockets of time to write. I did not realize it is what I should have been doing all along.
One day I woke up and said, “If I don’t stop all this other nonsense right now, I’ll never finish my screenplays.” So that’s what I did. Of course, that came with a huge cost: my salary. I did, finally, get a few screenwriting jobs, for which I’m very grateful. But still, I am not what you would call “employed.”
And so, I employ myself. I wake up every day, do some kind of exercise to make sure I’m limber and awake, and I work on my screenplays. I do not have writer’s block. Perhaps it would be good if I did, because I cannot turn off my ideas.
It helped, I must say, to have taken a plethora of screenwriting classes, seminars, webinars. I did not have confidence in my ability and felt I should learn from people who knew. So I did. And now I do have confidence. And when I wrote for other people, I’d like to believe that that confidence came through. And now that those jobs are over, I apply the wonderful skills I learned to my own writing.
And I dream. And I keep dreaming. I dream that my projects, my ideas, my voice — all will finally come together in a way that will resonate on a high enough level that the right combination of people will say, “Yes. I like this. Yes, let’s do this.”
I do not know if that day will come. But if I do not dream of wonderful things, and if I do not take actions to bring those dreams closer to realities, then… I should not be doing this. But I found a powerful thing to love (and hate!) in screenwriting. It is such a unique form of writing that you simply have to love it to wrestle with it on a daily basis. You slap, pound, push, pull … it’s a bizarre lump of clay that sometimes gives, sometimes does not. But you continue.
When you are alone in a room with just a screen, a keyboard and your ideas, it can be the most fantastic thing in the world, while being the most precarious thing. This is the chance I take on a daily basis. The dream I dream.