It Just Didn’t Grab Us

A dear mentor, Paula Vogel, once gave me and some other playwrights a primer on rejection letters no1

Was it signed personally or by a machine?;

Decoding boiler plate from ‘I fought like hell for this but couldn’t get these fools to see.’;

Is there a message to try again?  Or to go elsewhere?

Here’s why you shouldn’t panic when a development exec/gatekeeper says:

it just didn’t grab us;

not right for us at this time;

no interest at this time

I’ve seen many of these decisions shamelessly overruled when:

someone higher up reads the same material

the marketplace changes

a star gets attached

money gets attached

the temperature changes by a degree or two

The same people who blew you off will be running, no trotting, to get you coffee. ani_yup

So, indeed, don’t take it personally.  But when those same folk say in a whisper, in the corner, in the dark that they always liked it, loved it, love you, then keep in mind that just like you couldn’t let their doubts crush you, you can’t let their flattery prop you up.

Disclaimer:  This assumes that the actual screenplay, project, documentary graphic novel really does kick butt. Pretenders, poseurs and first drafters are not covered by this advice.
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About liftingasweclimb

Mildred Lewis writes and directs for theater, television, film and the web. She's also a full time professor, Christian, activist and troublemaker with a passion to save as much of the world as she can.
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