Jesus was an independent contractor with Voldemort. My agreement with Voldemort stipulated “No Jesus without Voldemort”. So, when Jesus mentioned that I should get a lawyer, I listened and obeyed.
I met Princess Leia in an online screenwriting class offered by the Sundance Institute (bless their independent, artistic souls). Aside from gorgeous, she was one of the sharpest students and contributors in class. She was also an entertainment lawyer working with independent writers and producers and offered a free consultation to any classmate.
You can guess the rest. I hastily booked an AirBnb crash pad in Venice Beach, and with laptop and travel bag I was good to go. Of course, my nose-ringed AirBnb hostess was an aspiring actress. And if you’ve never been to Venice Beach, this is what it looks like. It’s an alternate reality.
I met Leia at a coffee shop in Santa Monica. She was radiant and it seemed unreal, I was entering a pseudo-fantasy world which blurred the distinction between dream and reality. In this lucid dream state I sought to plant my best foot forward, but I was wearing sandals and my feet showed toenail fungus. I was an old hipster trying to be young and groovy.
Leia and I had a breezy 30-minute speed date for the purpose of confirming legal competence. My mind sometimes drifted as she rattled off legal truths of the entertainment business, and my not-so-subtle flirting went unreciprocated. She walked me to my car, a 5-year old Honda Insight, and took note (and here I read her thoughts) that my car seemed better suited to a pizza delivery boy. I was apparently 0-for-1 in the Hollywood first impression game. To my surprise, however, she gave me a quick and reassuring “hippie hug” as she said goodbye. This would be a more personal form of legal counsel.
We talked by phone later that night and Leia e-mailed me a sample packet of legal documents for filmmakers. It was quite thorough, and she was quite effusive. She liked me! The crystal ball was cloudy as to the potential for a romantic two-fer, but nonetheless, undeterred, later that week I signed the retainer agreement. The retainer check could have bought me a nice two-week vacation but instead I dove deeper into the Hollywood money pit. To write that check I had to summon a faith in myself that I really didn’t have. It’s not easy after a lifetime of ripoffs and cons to let go of scarcity and distrust. The retainer check forced me to turn away from my life previous to launching my Hollywood dream. No matter how it turned out, I was embarking on a path into the unknown with a gorgeous and sharp attorney, Princess Leia, holding the lantern and guiding the way. To Candyland or the lions’ den, this was adventurous territory. I had no clue where we were headed, but wherever Leia pointed the light, I was going, too.