Monday, July 17, 2006

Summer Shoes



Putting on my LeonardoPellinacci's today,

I was remined of another time I wore them. It was a very hot day, like today, and I had an appointment to pitch a TV sitcom project at NBC Burbank. For the benefit of out-of-towners, Burbank is midway between hell and a hot place. So I dressed for the weather; lightweight shirt, slacks and loose-woven shoes.

Before heading over the pass to the San Inferno Valley, I met with my producer and a sales exec at their Westwood Village offices. Meeting me for the first time, the sales exec approached me with his outstretched hand, but he stared at my head. His greeting was, "Gray hair! They hate gray hair at NBC!"

Meanwhile, the morning sun was bouncing brightly off his shiny bald dome.

As we went to the parking structure, Mr. Sales Exec asked me where my coat jacket was. I pointed out that it was already hot in Westwood and we were on our way to an even hotter place. The Producer stepped in to moderate the issue by explaining that I lived in Santa Monica. The dark suited Sales Exec did not seem too satisfied by that explanation, but we proceeded on our way.

At NBC, we met with two young development men in short sleeve shirts. Nonetheless, Mr. Sales Exec introduced me as the writer and qualified my appearance as a condition of being from Santa Monica. Our team felt we had a good, commercial project and I made a solid project pitch, avoiding expressive hyperbole, and left the salesmanship up to our bald and suited salesman.

The Producer and I left the Sales Exec with the development guys and drifted around the halls to wait. When he came out, the Sales Exec told us it was a very good meeting and he complimented me on the "sincerity bit," feeling it played well.

An attractive woman stopped to say hello and when introduced to me, complimented me on my shoes. After she left, Mr. Sales Exec asked me where I bought them.

Later, when we were separating to go to our respective cars, he got me away from the Producer to ask me what other projects I had and to bring them directly to him in the future.

Unfortunately, NBC passed on my sitcom (although in the next year two networks aired shows similar to mine), the Sales Exec lost his job and I already owned the last pair of Leonardo Pellinaccis in Los Angeles.

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