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#43 Into the deep end

Lori was waiting for me to say something more than “So what am I supposed to be doing?” I didn’t have anything. It was a straightforward question and I’m a straightforward guy.

There’s an old joke in the entertainment industry – actually, only half-a-joke. As two executives walk toward each other in the corridors of power at Twentieth Century Fox, one says “Good morning” and the other thinks “I wonder what he means by that.” It’s an L.A. thing but it was never my thing.

When I didn’t add anything, Lori stood and said, “Let’s take a walk.”

As we walked past cubicles she made small talk, asking what it was like living in the same building as Jean. I told her it made getting scripts back and forth to each other easier. She laughed. But it wasn’t a ha-ha laugh. Things were changing. Jean had fewer revision notes on my scripts. I was getting better at writing for television.

Lori was in charge of writers, so I knew she’d be telling me to deliver my scripts directly to her from now on...if being an assistant story editor meant I’d be writing scripts.

Finally, Lori said, “Sandy will tell you what you do as assistant story editor.” She reminded, “He’s the story editor for Care Bears.” She was quiet for a long moment as we walked. Then her voice lowered and she said, “While you’re at it, keep your eyes open about what he does.”

I looked sideways at Lori but she didn’t look back at me as we walked. I wondered what she meant by that…


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