In my short four years here in Northern California, I am able to deduce that (at least for me) the networking here feels a tad bit healthier than in Southern Cal/Los Angeles/Hollyweird. I stumbled into a colleague recently and we began to talk about our upcoming projects. And it was great! He told me about some concerts he was doing sound and lighting for, and I told him about my videography, and we smiled and talked about maybe doing something in the future. Then we drank some beer and watched a dance performance. One-two-three, short and sweet.
That is, until intermission rolled around. Then we just looked at our empty bottles and twiddled our fingers. We looked at each other for a milisecond as if saying, oh hi — I forgot you were there…sitting next to me. A gentle cough from him propelled expectations within me—What do I say? I said to myself as I panicked slightly, which one could only tell by looking at my twitchy eye, side effects of being a caffeine fiend. If this was L.A. and I was at a mixer, I’d be talking about my next movie project. I would throw in some work-travel experiences, and talk about my time in television—but emphasize how much more fun it is to work in film. And I would throw my head back forcing out an unnatural laugh, while (at the same time) hating myself in the process.
But no, this was different. This was a dance theater in the Bay Area, the dancers were waiting for the bathroom in plain sight, surveys were stickered to a chair awaiting my feedback for future grants/funds, and there were 5 different flavors of beer at the concession stand–
“I am working on a novel,” I blurted out. His eyebrows raised. I said that it was a passion of mine, that I was pacing myself, that my characters are floating about and reminding me about their stories. And it felt good, Blog Land. It felt like I was talking, not just to this person whom I’ve worked with before, but that I was verbally confessing something to the universe: this is who I am.
“I’ll keep you in mind for future projects,” and so forth the casual tone returned. This heavy awkward silence, lifted from our midst and we smiled at each other until it was time for Beer #2. I wonder if I should get new business cards? It would read: Writer, Videographer, Dancer, Weirdo and Survivor…or something like that.