07-21-18 Patricia Sargeant

Sunday, June 16, 2013

How I Became a Rich and Famous Screenwriter

By Linda Paul

     I belong to Toastmasters.  I've been a Toastmaster since 1996, when I lived in Germany and worked as a civilian computer systems manager for the US Army.  Toastmasters (TM) gave me a creative outlet and friends for life, not to mention better speaking ability and confidence.   Each year, TM holds a humorous speech contest.  Each contestant writes and performs an original speech five to seven minutes long.  This is just under three pages double-spaced, usually.

     I wrote a speech about my experiences as a Marine, back in the olden days of the 1960s.  Women weren't allowed to do much of anything back in those days.  The job choices were very limited, our uniforms were much more restrictive, and we were fired for pregnancy.  Women were barred from achieving the highest ranks.  No women were flying for the military or even serving as flight nurses until the early 1970s.  In 1973, the husbands of military women were finally granted the same government benefits and status as a military wife.  Prior to 1973, husbands did not receive health care, could not use the military exchange or commissary, and did not receive survivor benefits or housing.

      My speech wasn't about those downer things.  It was a humorous speech about my disappointment regarding ironing, starchy food, and white gloves.  I won a couple of contests with it, and I love to get a laugh.

   www.boomerbabeblog.com and posted some excerpts from my speech.  Then I plastered the internet and email with my blog, accidentally posting it to a mailing list I belong to called 'pdxbackstage' for actors and others working in film and theater.  I wrote an instant apology to the list for my unintended post and they were very gracious.  I am an actress, after all.  The back of my head has appeared on Leverage, and the front of my head did appear for one glorious split second on Grimm. 
   This year I started a blog (A Boomer's Blog)

       One of my accidental readers was a producer for Underside Arts, Part-Time Playhouse.  He was looking for scripts by veterans.  He wanted me to write my experience as a fifteen minute play. 

       I was so thrilled just to be asked to submit. 

       Part Time Playhouse will produce three plays by veterans in July, to be aired on local cable
station TVCTV, channel 11 on Comcast, channel 22 on Fios.

       This morning I received a lengthy email from "my" director, also a former Marine, detailing his ideas about the actors and asking my opinion.  I am pinching myself.

        I did post my blog to the show biz list by accident, honest!  But I will recommend posting everywhere, on purpose, from now on.

       Part Time Playhouse is a non-profit organization, operating on grants and donations, so all the technicians, writers, producers, directors and actors are paid in sandwiches, goodwill, and a DVD of the performance. 

       Do you think I could get Sally Field to play me?  If I sent her my blog?


Sarah Raplee said...

Read your blog that started it all - laughed my you-know-what off! I can't wait to see play!

As for Sally Field, it's worth a shot!

Sarah Raplee said...

Forgot to mention, I loved you for that second on Grimm!

Judith Ashley said...

I agree with Sarah, sending your blog to Sally Field is worth a shot!

Sometimes serendipitous events are the best ones! So glad you blanketed the airways with your blog...love the results.

Robin K. said...

Isn't it a story in itself how the road twists and turns in unexpected ways with our writing! Wonderful that your experiences are going to reach a larger audience. Congratulations!

Nancy Crampton-Brophy said...

Sally Fields? You're much more Debra Winger or even, Jill Clayburg to me.


Paty Jager said...

What a great way to break into something new and have a good time doing it! Thank you for your service. My dad was a Marine and my son is in the Air Force.

Diana Mcc. said...

Thank you for your service! Wow,you did an accidental thing and look what it got you! Ask Sally Fields, the worse she could say is 'no'. And who knows, she might want to donate her time to the theater group. Good luck!!

The Babe said...

My producer has emailed me that I've made an error. Part-Time Playhouse is not a non-profit, it is largely funded by private funds. There has been a grant this year for the veterans' plays. Thank you so much for your comments and encouragement, and thanks to the site bloggermeisters for giving me an opportunity to post.