Monday, April 28, 2008

IN A PARALLEL UNIVERSE, I AM A NOVELIST, OR A PRODUCTION ASSISTANT


(That's me pondering on a career switch.)

My cousin sent me an ominous text last Saturday: "By any chance, may balak ka bang magpalit ng job (do you have plans of changing your job?)?" That floored me. No offense to the "job" I've got now, but I admit that i have a short list of "other jobs", or "alternative careers" stashed in my subconscious somewhere, sometimes pestering me in the middle of a seminar, or while observing a class. Here's that short list:


1. NOVELIST. I read somewhere that you have to write the way you read: with gusto, with attention to detail, with appreciation for style, and with the cockiness to say, "I can do better than this." But I haven't read anything about finishing what you started, and I suspect it's because it's so self-explanatory. I'm quite guilty in that category. I have a dozen or so word files with five paragraphs going nowhere, and when I hit a wall, I tend to abandon the task completely. But I'd love to write a novel someday. Most likely it will read like a rip-off of all the novels I've read since college--from Gabriel Garcia Marquez' One Hundred Years of Solitude to F.Scott Fitzgerald's Great Gatsby, to Stephen Ambrose's Band of Brothers to Stephenie Meyer's Twilight. I imagine it to be nightmarish, pathetic, loony. Is there a market for such a thing? The key is to start and finish the thing. Maybe if I can do that, I'll have a reason to hang up my principal's shoes for good, and tour the world promoting my loony bestseller.


2. PRODUCTION ASSISTANT. My brother tells me that I make really great coffee. Isn't that a prerequisite for production assistantdom? Never mind the fieldwork and the fact that you serve so many bosses, it's hard to follow what orders from whom. Imagine the perks: hovering close to Dingdong Dantes and Marian Rivera, praying that they'll ask you to carry their lounge chairs or charge their cell phones; going on location in Palawan, scrambling across rocks, looking for an outlet to plug the charger, or the coffee maker...what joy. But like any seemingly insignificant part of a production, the PA could claim the same victory that Dingdong and Marian bask in when the show does well in the ratings. The PA can say, "I was there. I made them coffee. I belong." I'll trade my 5-year school development program for a stint in Dyezebel.


There. Didn't I say it was a short list?

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