Well, it took me long enough, but I finished my original pilot script for The New York Television Festival. It got intense at the end: as the June 15th deadline approached, I was juggling a volunteer stint at Sketchfest NYC 09 (which was awesome) and a four-day visit from my mom. It finally came down to four drafts of the script, and making the finishing touches to it at 4:00 in the morning on the final day of submission. By then, I wanted to just get the thing registered and to the NYTVF. By 4:30 a.m., Six Month Grace Period by Matt Fried was done and submitted. I sent off the final draft to the friends who’d help me out with a reading of the script the weekend before, and then I collapsed into bed.
Now, the next assignment: finishing my Always Sunny… spec by July 1st.
It’s funny – in the past, I always felt I could juggle everything. I thought being an actor, doing improv, and writing were full-time gigs that were interchangeable. But, it wasn’t until I made the firm decision to solely focus on writing this month, that I saw what I had missed by being all over the place. Now understand that writing is what I’d rather be doing. That’s not to say, “I’m done with performing.” However, in order to give these scripts a full focus, I left my improv group, and have limited my stage time to The Matt Fried Hour – a once-a-month commitment. By taking the time off, I’ve realized that performing is more of a release; an escape. It’s the most fun for me when it’s not the end-all, be-all. With writing, however, it was different. Opportunities to get my stuff read by actors, in front of an audience, seemed to just fall into my lap.
So it hit me: when a trend like that starts so early on, you have to follow it. But I’m cool with being a writer. I like writing. It’s easy work that doesn’t require pants. There will always be a part of me still wanting to perform full-time. Still wanting to be the center of attention. But I think I’m ready now to be the quiet guy standing in the back. Which is a weird thing to consider, but it’s true. Rather than demand attention through exhibition, I’d like to enjoy the quiet satisfaction of hearing my words said by someone else. And then, go to bed, wake up, and do it all over again. And – once again for dramatic emphasis – while not wearing pants.