In the world of film & television there is an art form described as pitching; pitching is what you do when you try to “sell” the story you have on offer to interested parties. I think the rules for pitching transcend the film industry and go right across many specters of life. That drunk guy at a party who is prattling on endlessly about his last failed relationship… he could do with a lesson in pitching.
Firstly, the main point of a pitch is not to summarize your whole story but to hook the listener… you’ve got to make them want to know more; it’s the best or most interesting hooks in your story that make your audience want to hear or read more.
Secondly, pitching (story telling) is a two way conversation; even though the other person may not be speaking if you are listening with your eyes you can tell when you are getting nibbles; what parts they are liking, what parts make them stretch and yawn.
Thirdly, duration is important, I try to get my screenplays down to a nine sentence pitch; the truth is if you can’t get your listeners attention in the first three then you need a better hook.
Fourthly, pitching is all about practice so tell as many people as possible; tell the guy at the bus stop, the pizza delivery girl, the plumber, your cab driver, tell everybody; not only will your pitching improve out of sight but it will help you know your audience and refine your story.
My life is full of adventure and uncertainty and although it’s very exciting, uncertainties such as where am I’m going to sleep tonight offer the potential for much anxiety… how do you cope with uncertainty?
I write a “grateful” list each morning, noting down all the “wealth” I already have, things that I am certain of… this list could go on forever.
I try to keep a routine that is independent of my monetary circumstances, place in the world, culture I’m living in, type of roof over my head. I get up at the same time every day (around 6am), I do a set amount of exercise, I try to eat the same type of breakfast. Am I obsessive compulsive?
It’s about having a couple of points to aim for as you hack your way through the bush each day.
These are probably the words of a traveling artist with little material wealth… but I wonder if you can truly appreciate any form of wealth without sharing it?
Maybe you own a house with an incredible view of the ocean, you can stare at it all day and perhaps the view makes you feel incredibly rich and alive but how much more valuable is that view when you get to share it with someone else? I personally love to have great adventures in life, not so much for the adventures themselves but for the stories they provide me with, stories I get to SHARE, stories I get to TELL.
Is wisdom of value if it’s never passed on? Is a joke funny if it’s never told? Is a story great if it’s never heard? Is there value in money if it’s never shared?
Oh the wonders of jet lag… it’s 2am and I’m lying stretched out across a super king size in a super cheap motel one mile out from California’s LAX. The motel phone just rang robbing my frizzled brain of restless sleep and although I was half expecting to hear the voice of some sleazed up Mexican it turned out to be my old buddy Kelvin, my Kiwi/Californian contact. Kelvin’s going to pick me up at 6am and drive me out to his friends digs in Hollywood where I can rest my heavy head for the weekend.
Is it good news when the ex-wife of one of the biggest Producers in Hollywood reads your script and says that it’s hysterical and wants to meet you as soon as you arrive in town? Who knows; only one way to find out, gotta contact that broad, gotta dial her number.
The exchange rate here is poor and the cash in my pocket is only going to last me so long. But I’m living according to a different kind of providence and although I ain’t sleeping I’m faithfully following my dreams…
Today I hop on a plane and leave London and fly to Los Angeles… from bangers & mash to sausage in a bun, these iconic food items remind you that although you may change what you wrap around the meat the sausage is essentially still the same. This is not a metaphor for sexual relations across continents but a simple analogy that reminds me that “people” are the same where ever you go.
I’m travelling on my 33rd birthday, due to the time difference I’m about to have the longest birthday in my entire life… 32 hours; maybe a British Airways steward will bring me a cupcake and light me a candle… again not sexual just a simple birthday wish. My mother remarked that she was pleased my initial birthday that I shall affectionately and somewhat insensitively nick name “ground zero” did not last 32 hours. In truth I was a very small, sickly, myopic baby; imagine shelling a shrivelled up pea from an over-sized pod; a reflection on my size and not my mothers.
LA is a world of dreams, generations of artists have been drawn to the giant H on the hill and the seduction charms of wealth and fame; but although the city might be full of glitz and show bizz the sausage you buy on the street is still the same. I am going to LA to meet people, to find real people who I can work with on this incredible journey and I leave you with this cryptic promise… “I will not be changed but I will change…”
God bless Great Britain and all my wonderful friends
In our film Lucky & Rich… One of the characters is called Rich, a homeless traveler, a drunken vagrant who wanders aimlessly across Europe with a three legged dog called Scrap.
What makes a person rich?
Is it the great amount they own or the little amount they need?
Is it the size of your heart or the size of your wallet?
As life imitates art I too am about to go walkabout, this time across the sprawling freeways of Los Angeles rather than the icy ancient confines of Eastern Europe. Although I do not have the security of great wealth, I think I carry in my heart rich stories that offer great wealth.
Perhaps the greatest treasure in Rich’s life is his three legged dog called Scrap…