So this movie takes place in “West Heaven”, which is obviously the Theatre District in Heaven. (Think the bustling beauty of Times Square, and subtract the urine smell.And Disney for that matter.) All the greats, in their primes naturally, are performing night after night everywhere you might look. To your left, Judy Garland and gang gloriously performing “The Wizard of Oz”, to your right Marlon Brando and Lawrence Olivier teaming up for “Of Mice and Men” , Phil Hartman and Jack Benny are down the street doing a most hilarious version of “Waiting for Godot”, while you hear talk of 1980’s Michael Jackson jumping on stage with the Brat Pack at the Frank Sinatra’s club across the way.
With all this booming wonder, it is curious then that down at the end sits a half empty theatre with the most lifeless production of “Timon of Athens” you have ever seen. What is even more curious is that its playwright, one William Shakespeare, is stretched out in the back row, snoring.
After spending hundreds of years in Heaven, William Shakespeare is burned out.
This is my idea for a movie. A burned out William Shakespeare is sent back to New York City to rediscover what it means to be William Shakespeare.
I have lots of wonderful scenes too.
He lives in a writers loft, with a lovably irritating and slightly Kramer-ish neighbor named George Bernard Shaw.
He has a Guardian Agent named Tony who pops in occasionally to muck things up and take his 10 percent.
He takes a subway train to earth, noticing the graffiti that says “Nietzsche is Dead-God”
He meets the Devil at the Disney store in Times Square. (I should get a lawyers advice on this scene right?)
To blend in with Earth people, Shakespeare loses his classic Elizabethan attire for khakis and a short sleeved plaid shirt.
In fact, I feel pretty darn good about the first act of this script. Its full of fun and light Heavenly references, where you get to see all those people you dreamed of interacting with each other, including the sight of Kurt Cobain and Euripides hanging out together on the Art Council.
Heck, the pitch would seem to be fairly easy right?
“It’s Defending Your Life meets Shakespeare in Love, but with no sign of Gwyneth Paltrow anywhere.” (Although certainly an Anne Hathaway cameo would make Shakespearian nerds giggle..)
Its just that I don’t know what happens next, so I have kind of “shelved” this idea.
For approximately 11 years.
This happens to me a lot. Ideas that come to me in the middle of the night, which I feel strong enough about to scribble down so I can go back to sleep and within days begin to develop on a laptop, take me to a place where actual hard work and discipline would be required. It is at this point that I step away to chase another idea.
So, what’s up with that? What is the trait that exists in me that causes me to step away? I hate to use the word “quit”, or that I am in fact an idea “quitter”, but it just seems that I have no other word to describe this.
I have certainly considered trying to find psychological excuses for why I shelve ideas. The one that I am currently thinking about using is that I am “afraid of success”. And because everything needs to be labeled a syndrome, this is called “The Impostor Syndrome”.
“People who feel like impostors may fear success and the responsibility and visibility that come with it. Since being more successful will increase the tension between the inner feelings and the outside perceptions.”
That quote was taken from the Cal Tech Counseling Center website, which I guess would make it the first time that I ever thought I may have something in common with a Cal Tech student.
I don’t know if I am ready to go that deep with this. I think it may be that somewhere deep in my soul there must exist a fine line between this “afraid of success’ mumbo jumbo, and a customized adage that says “when the going gets tough, let’s take a nap and then see what Bono is up to.”
Is this is a line that I must break through? Who says? Is that greatness I see around the corner, or is it just one of those new Fro Yo places where I pay to do all the work and ultimately feel sick to my stomach? And what is “greatness” anyway? Maybe I am okay where I am at right?
Around and around I go…and then once again the Shakespeare idea is shelved.
Meanwhile, should anyone out there reading this care to help complete this movie idea, type it up, sell it, and give me most of the profits…I would surely be obliged…