There’s no easy way to say this, so I’ll just come out and say it.
I’m up for another Writers Guild Award for animation writing, dammit.
I know it’s my own stupid fault. I like to put myself in the running with a token script each year if something qualifies, but the first couple of times I was a finalist it happened a decade apart. It’s only been a few years since my 2009 win for Ricky Sprocket, so now I’m feeling greedy. Plus I’m always disconcerted whenever my token attempts to promote my writing pay off.
I find shameless self-aggrandizing to be tedious and a tad tacky. It’s a hard thing to avoid in our look-at-me culture, especially when it comes to the awards any industry likes to give itself. It’s all about telling people who don’t normally give a shit that we did a great job at something they’ve never thought twice about.
I still have those what-do-you-do-for-a-living conversations where I end up explaining that yes, cartoons have to be written by somebody and no, I don’t draw them myself. I once sat though one of my episodes of Pucca that has no dialogue for the first few minutes and the people I was with starting wondering aloud when the part I wrote would begin. It was an uphill battle to explain that I wrote down everything that was happening on the screen, whether the characters were talking or not. The animators don’t make it up as they go. Somebody has to tell them what to draw, just like that same somebody has to tell the actors what to say. Regular civilians don’t seem to understand that, and they don’t particularly care. As long as Homer goes “D’oh!” and Shaggy goes “Zoinks!” they’re content that all is well in the world.
Now that I’ve opened up this can of worms for myself, I’m faced with a bunch of irritating tasks I never look forward to because they only play into my general self-promotion phobia. Doing something as simple as writing a 75-word bio for the award ceremony program is like pulling teeth. Not necessarily my own teeth, but somebody else’s who doesn’t want to have their teeth pulled and can run really fast. It’s difficult and exhausting and involves a lot of wrestling on the floor and eye-gouging to secure the necessary level of cooperation. Or picking a headshot for the event. Is there anything more narcissistically cringe-worthy than going through every photo taken of you in the last few years and trying to find the one that least resembles Nick Nolte’s California Highway Patrol mug shot?
And then there’s dragging my ass to Toronto, something no Montrealer does with any relish. I’m trying to convince myself that there are good reasons to go. Like the Stream Whistle pilsner, or the Creemore beer, or the open bar at the awards. That’s about it, really, since I predict a crushing defeat. It’s not my turn to win another one.
But you never know. After a road trip and a lot of schmoozing, they might give me something to take home, other than a hangover. I’ll let you know. In the meantime, you can watch my nominated episode of Kid vs. Kat via the copyright-infringing miracle that is YouTube.