The advent of the cell phone has given us new insight into the depths of the human soul.
And I do mean depths.
It has given people rare opportunities to be far more insensitive and boorish than ever before.
We now have entire theaters full of people who have to be told to turn off their cell phones before the play, or movie, begins.
This is because people are too thoughtless to do it themselves.
Whenever new technology comes along, new etiquette has to be created to accommodate those slobs who can't figure out what proper behavior is in the first place.
Here's something I experienced recently: The Grand Slam, if you will.
Just weeks ago, I attempted to get one of my plays to a nearby regional theater, for them to consider it for production.
I much prefer to send DVDs of staged readings, rather than the script itself.
This is because when I write scripts, a lot of it is in the cracks.
I don't write jokes that leap off the page at you, like Neil Simon does.
I think my plays are at least as funny.
But they're funny because of the storytelling, the character quirks, the pauses, the accents on the right syllables, and the musical rhythm of the piece.
I should be writing in musical notation.
But I can't read or write music.
And the people reading my scripts can't either.
The result, then, when someone reads my scripts, is that instead of soufflés, they read like cakes that fell.
And go try to convince an Artistic Director of a theater that he or she doesn't know how to read a script.
So I try to hold out for them watching one of my DVDs.
In this instance, that attempt failed.
I had already forecasted doom here.
But, whore that I am for my plays, I took the Artistic Director up on his invitation to hand deliver a hard copy of the play to him.
An e-mailed copy was, of course, out of the question.
I was met with "Look, you're only a few miles away from the theater. Come over, bring a hard copy of the play, we'll meet and we'll talk"
I suppose that took the curse off things.
At least momentarily.
So I got to this multi-functional facility, with its huge lobby, and was announced by the lady at the front desk.
The Artistic Director emerged from his office, did not invite me to HIS office, but instead decided to conduct this interview in the lobby, where many tables and chairs were set up.
I asked "Don't you have an office where we can do this?
I was told that it is much too small.
So there we were, in the middle of the lobby.
I told you it was multi-functional.
One of its multi-functions was to allow children to run around like, as my mother used to say, ""Wild Indians"
We were deluged.
I was noticeably put off.
He moved us to a corner of the room, out of Wild Indian earshot.
Now, if I was he, and I had a cell phone, preparing to meet me, would I have brought it with me?
You don't generally like to leave your cell phone unattended.
Would I have turned it off, or at least put on vibrator?
Absolutely. Just out of consideration.
If I hadn't done that, would I have taken a call?
Perhaps only if it involved something potentially life-threatening.
If I had taken the call, and it didn't involve something life-threatening, this would of course have been inexcusably rude.
If I had taken this non-life-threatening call, and told the caller that I'd be with them in only a couple of minutes, would that make me a swine?
I called him on this one.
"You mean you brought me all the way over here, to deliver a hard copy of my script, which I didn't want to do in the first place, and only planned to give me two minutes?
Once again, I realized just how much I wasn't Frank Sinatra.
At least in his eyes.
He tried to backtrack and say "Well, two minutes is only a figure of speech".
But I know, as I am sitting here, that if I didn't make a fuss, two minutes would have been the most I'd have gotten.
So I let my dander get up in front of him, accusing him of atrocious behavior. I discovered that there was a limit to my whoredom.
I'm sure he went back to his associates and complained about what an asshole I was.
As in "Yeah. I'M the asshole."
Of course, I never heard from the Artistic Director again.
But then, it didn't seem too promising to begin with.
My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne & Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays", and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings remaining, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one.
If you'd like one, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne & Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.
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- mark rothman
- Hi. I am, according to my Wikipedia entry,(which I did not create) a noted television writer, playwright, screenwriter, and occasional actor. You can Google me or go to the IMDB to get my credits, and you can come here to get my opinions on things, which I'll try to express eloquently. Hopefully I'll succeed. You can also e-mail me at email@example.com. Perhaps my biggest claim to fame is being responsible, for about six months in 1975, while Head Writer for the "Happy Days" TV series, for Americans saying to each other "Sit on it."