Dealing With Rejection


Thursday April 29th, 2010 – Chicago, IL/Lake Villa, IL

Never a dull moment. I’m still a little funky, but feeling a lot better. I’d scheduled lunch  with my old producer from The Loop Rick Kaempfer today, and didn’t want to cancel. He is one of the few people busier than I am, and we hadn’t seen each other in way too long.

Rick is also my partner in writing the movie script for the infamous bank robbery story, and that needs to get sold. Rick has been writing other books with and without partners so he’s always got things going. He’s gotten a few books published, and is one of the hardest working people I know. I have nothing but respect for him, and he’s been a great partner.

We’ve been at a standstill for quite a while now, and the timing just seems to be right in both our minds to bring this project to the forefront yet again. We’ve got a partly finished product, but we’ve put in several rewrites and it’s come a long way from where we began.

Rick has some other projects bubbling and will be meeting with some L.A. power types in the next little while to pitch those things, and eventually this project will come up. We have a written agreement drawn up and signed by a lawyer, so I’m not worried about Rick screwing me over. He can’t, and I can’t do it to him either. We were smart with this one.

We both agree that we want to get a financial payoff for this project. It’s been a hideous memory and source of pain for me in many ways, but it is a hell of a story even I couldn’t have made up. It’s already a part of my life, so why not make the most of it and have it do some good and open some doors? It’s not like I want to star in the movie, I want payment.

Sylvester Stallone was a young actor and Rocky put him over the top. It was his vehicle. I’ve never been an actor and really don’t want to be more than I have to. I love being what I am, and that’s a live performer on a comedy stage. Movies really don’t interest me at all. Would I do one if someone asked? Sure, I just did two in the last year, but they were free.

I just did those for the experience, and both of them were a lot of fun, but no way could it come close to the excitement of being on stage during a live performance. That’s all my soul craves is to be in front of an audience entertaining them and having them totally love it. It’s the best feeling I’ve ever felt, and I want to keep feeling it as many times as I can.

Rick and I spoke about what our inside tracks were on getting someone with power that could possibly get the film made to look at it were, and we each have a few. My main one has always been Jeff Foxworthy’s management company. Jeff and I spoke about it when I worked with him last, and he said the thing they probably do best is get movies MADE.

He proceeded to rattle off a number of films his people were responsible for in various ways, and it was quite impressive. Jeff has no reason to lie to me and I’m sure he wasn’t. He’s always been great and he said he’d ‘put in a word’ with his management company to help me get a foot in the door. That’s exactly what he did and I’m very grateful, but it just wasn‘t enough to seal any deal. I’ve not been able to dazzle anybody with my sales pitch.

In fact, it was just the opposite. I contacted the person Jeff told me to, and it just wasn’t a match. I got off on the wrong foot with the lady and felt horrible about it. Then, I didn’t contact her for over a year hoping it would blow over and she’d forget. She didn’t. I tried contacting her again last week hoping to start all over again. This time went much better.

I’d had someone who knows her speak out on my behalf, and her tone was much easier this time. I apologized again and meant it, but she said we were cool. I told her what was new with me, after doing the Craig Ferguson appearance and releasing a new CD, and she was very complimentary. It felt like things were going well, so I asked if I could submit a package for her to look at, and how she wanted me to do it. I never want to pester anyone.

I was very encouraged to hear from her and especially since she was in a better mood all this time later. I do have a tendency to get off on the wrong foot with some people, and in my life I’ve had more than one person tell me that. “I hated you when I first met you, but I now consider you one of my favorite people.” Whatever. I grow on people like a fungus.

I hadn’t had the chance to lay my magic fungus formula on this lady yet, and I’ll admit I panicked. I didn’t want to make Jeff look bad, and I sure didn’t want to bother anybody in Hollywood who didn’t want to talk to me. I’m not at all comfortable in these situations.

I told Rick I was going to work on the connection and hopefully get someone on staff to at least look at our treatment. I received an email this afternoon telling me she’s not going to look at it, and doesn’t have time for new clients. She wasn’t mean or angry or anything other than informative, but I must say it threw me for a loop. I got flat out rejected. Ouch.

I’m not the first person to get rejected in show business and actually I’m not upset about it at all. I thought it was handled very professionally, and I have no complaints. She has a job to do with her clients, and I respect that. Nobody likes to get rejected, but it happens.

There are all kinds of stories about the Beatles getting turned down by lots of people for many years and finally when they did sign, it was for a rinky dink novelty label. Elvis was rejected by the Grand Old Opry, but he didn‘t let that kill him. This won’t kill me either.

It doesn’t mean the script won’t get sold, and it also doesn’t mean I won’t get signed by this agency in the future. It just means at this time, this particular person doesn’t have any time to look at what I have to offer. How I handle this is going to determine how this will eventually end up, and once again to my surprise I’m in a very good mindset about it all.

I’m not angry or upset. Really. I’m a little surprised, only because Jeff personally put a word in for me, but he can’t make them sign me. He did what he said, and I’m grateful. In no way am I blaming him, and I also wouldn’t think of trying to get him to intervene here.

I want to chronicle this story because it’s never easy to get flat out rejected. I want those who are following this to use it all as a how to for handling these situations with style and class. They happen. This will be a lesson for me too. I’m now learning about sales skills.

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