Scammers are Artists, too.

I’ve been getting a lot of spam from scammers lately. Reading these eloquently constructed, high concept emails, I’m starting to understand why they are called scam “artists”. They truly are masters of the written word. I still think they could benefit from the guidance of an expert in the craft, however, so I’ve taken the liberty below to critique these pieces and provide helpful feedback that they could incorporate to make their very-true stories even more compelling (and grammatically correct)…

Dr. Mikko Juho needs some serious grammatical help for his VERY IMPORTANT MATTER:

Scammer1

Before Ally Berg can be friends/companions/pen pals, she’ll need to focus on proofreading:

Scammer3

Mr (sic) Anvanith Gui has some issues with specificity:

Scammer2

This week I failed.

Fail to Win

This week I failed.

On Monday, I found out that a feature-length script I wrote didn’t advance to the semifinals of the BlueCat Screenplay Competition.

When I saw I didn’t advance, I expected a sting in the place I squirrel away my sense of self worth, but it didn’t come. The next day, I expected to wake up feeling defeated, but I woke up feeling amped. None of it made sense.

I walked out to get some grocery store sushi and contemplate this lack of negative emptiness. An embarrassingly awesome pop song rolled onto my playlist and I found myself literally dancing in the street like I just won the standing long jump at my 9th grade track meet. It still made no sense.

I dug down. I riffled around in my emotions like they were inside the goddamned Tickle Trunk. I found the answer: Failure isn’t bad.

This failure, in fact, was actually disguised as a small success. It meant that, although I didn’t advance to the semifinals, I made it to the quarterfinals. Out of 3272 scripts, mine was one of 272 selected. Pretty rad, amirite? Before they announced the semifinalists, I went back and reread the feedback that was included as part of the entry fee. It was positive and validating, in spite of the fact that I didn’t advance.

In my rooting around, I also realized that failure is just one step on the long road to success. No one has ever succeeded without failing first. It takes a million gillion hours of working your ass off to make it to the point at which you can even begin failing. And if you manage to have the stick-to-it-iveness to continue failing, the succeeding is already queued up.

I guess most importantly, I realized that failing means trying. If you’re failing, you’re in play. You’re creating. You’re pushing. You’re hustling. You’re improving your craft. You’re becoming a master. I decided I’m going to heartily embrace failure, cause it means I’m on my way.

Excerpts from My Grade School Diary

Apparently I’ve always had a thirst for romance and a flair for over-dramatization.

June 12, 1995, age 10:

“Dear Diary, I want someone who I can hold hands with, tell them I love them all the time. I want a guy that will tell me to hold his jacket or sweater or something. I want a guy who will not be shy and he will tell me he loves me all the time, too. Basically, I want a nice, attractive, romantic guy.”

April 20, 1996, age 11:

“Okay, here’s my DREAM DATE!! First it’s about dusk and we take a long walk along the beach. Then we come to a gazebo and it’s got mood lights all around with candles and great supper. After we’re finished there’s a boat on the shore, we cast off. When we’re far away from shore we put down the anchor and take out the seats and we lay down in the bottom of the boat looking up at the stars and rock back and forth.”

December, 1998 (A Dream), age 14:

“I’m riding on an almost empty bus with Brad Pitt. I am sitting with him and talking for a long while. I’m sitting by the window and he’s on on the outside. All of a sudden I lean over and we’re kissing. We kiss for a long time (which is VERY good). We are on the way to Hollywood. But as we get closer Brad turns into a snot. The process is slow, but eventually he is really snotty with a snobby attitude.”

January 3, 1999, age 15:

“Only a year til the Millennium! Happy New Year! Me and X have been seeing each other for about a month now. That is a really long time for me. I’m not sure if I want to commit though. There are so many options, I don’t know if I’m ready to settle down with one person.”

April 7, 2000, age 16:

“Anyways, tonight I went to X’s house with Y and X. We had a big bottle of vodka and I had an empty stomach. Like, half a glass later– Lauren’s hammered. I couldn’t stand up straight, my eyes were fuzzy, I couldn’t see, I was dizzy, slurred words, trouble with co-ordination, etc… so it turns out I’m a destructive drunk.”

Remake Remake Remake

Total Recall. Beauty and the Beast. Aladdin. The Lion King. Cinderella. A Star is Born. Charmed. Murphy Brown. Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. Roseanne. Twin Peaks. Will and Grace. Everything that was once good in film is now good again.

I got to thinking: If I’m going to harness the power of the remake for my own career, I need to tap into the origins of film itself. So I reached way back to the 90s — the 1890s — to create the below remake of the very first film: Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat by the Lumière Brothers.

Please enjoy my remake titled Arrival of a Train at Dupont Station.

Below, the original: Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat by the Lumière Brothers.