How It All Ended Up

If I think back over the last 10 years, my life has started and stopped in a series of roughly two-year spurts. Not intentionally, it’s just kind of the way it has happened. Even college, which was supposed to be a 4-year endeavor, was noticeably divided by the changing of my major, which happened halfway through my sophomore year. 

Aside from my first job out of college, which lasted a matter of weeks before I lost my mind and moved onto something else, each job was roughly two years. Magazine, nonprofit, social media company, all of them around two years. My last job was the longest I had held any non-bartending job and holds the record with 26 months.

But none of those jobs took as long to get from start to finish as the one thing I managed to start and finish in my late twenties.

The idea started as a wine fueled conversation between my friend Andrea and I. Most of the most significant things I’ve done in my 20s have started this way.

A boozy conversation led to a contest, and then a pilot, and before we knew it we had a fully fleshed out seed of an idea that would stick in my mind like nothing I’ve ever thought about.

What happened next felt like the longest slowest walk ever.

On April 17, 2011 I told the world about the series, I grandly released and shared the exciting news that this was the first of many episodes to come, 7 in total.

I thought those seven episodes would happen quickly, easily, and readily become yet my newest path to success.

What I didn’t anticipate was that it would take 2 more years to work through those episodes. 

I won’t lie to you. At times it was the most stressful thing in my life. I was frustrated, disappointed, angry, excited, exhilarated, and a dozen other emotions.

Any time I wasn’t able to make something happen that I wanted I felt so much frustration that I wasn’t able to just impart my will upon the universe.

Whenever something was harder than I anticipated (often much harder) I got so angry with myself.

And when the end product didn’t look like I had envisioned in my head over and over again, I felt disappointed.

But every time we finished an episode, I felt such a sense of accomplishment. That I had taken one step closer to a thing I had never even imagined doing. And that gave me a momentum.

A very quiet, slow, almost imperceptible momentum. At first it was just the pride in all we had done to create one episode. And then we had the scripts finished. And then we had a second episode under our belt, which gave the series legitimacy.

And then we got to the halfway point and it had to happen. I didn’t have a choice anymore, if I ever did. This was going to happen. I would finish this fricking thing if it killed me. If it looked like shit. If it wasn't nearly what I wanted it to be. At least I would finish it.

I always talk about how my complete ignorance of difficulty has allowed me to both start and finish many creative tasks over the last several years.

Had I known how challenging any of these things I ventured after would be I probably would not have done them. So I am grateful for that innocence.

Without it I wouldn’t have:

Learned to edit video… because I had to.

Became a better editor, also because I had to.

Learned how different it is to tell a story in different visual mediums.

Learned that directing was as much about what you didn’t say as what you did.

Re-learned how much I hated and valued preparation.

Learned that trying to do it all is just as gratifying as it is disappointing.

Just as I am grateful for every single person (and there have been many of them) who helped out with this series from the pure goodness of their hearts. Anybody who held a boom microphone without knowing what the hell a boom microphone was, anybody who ran an errand, lent a hand, or otherwise contributed in some way shape or form.

We threw a wrap party last week to celebrate and watch the last episode. I watched as my three primary actors drank and laughed and danced with each other and in many ways I watched them in disbelief.

Mainly because I did not believe I was going to be able to convince all of them to stick with this thing all the way until the end. But also because I am so fortunate and lucky that I crossed paths with them, extremely talented individuals all of them.

Photo by Lord Jacob Wilhelmi

I am so cosmically blessed that I got three such people who were as committed to memorizing crap tons of dialogue as they were to laughing their asses off when things went wrong. Some of my favorite memories are of the things we botched. and giggled endlessly about.

It has been the most wonderful, hilarious, educational ride with all of them. I hope it is just the beginning.

So 2.5 years after I started. We have 105 minutes of scripted viewing that cost probably somewhere under $2,000 to make. All in all I probably spent weeks editing it. Literally hundreds of hours sitting in front of a computer screen trying to make it all come together to tell a story.

So where does that leave us?

Well it leaves us with Episode 8, a conclusion to a series I am so proud of in so many ways. And something I’m not done with. My goal from the beginning was not just to finish it, but also to continue it. I want to do more seasons and tell more stories of these characters and introduce new ones.

But to do that I need help. I need exposure and access and connections and so I appeal to you, loyal reader. That if you have watched any or all of these episodes and have seen in it the promise you have seen in any first episode or first season of any show you’ve ever watched, I ask you to share it.

And most importantly if you like what we’ve created, and you know somebody who could help us promote the series, connect us with representation, or even fund a second season, please let me know. Whether their in New York or Hollywood, or Bollywood, I’d be so incredibly grateful.

So without further ado, I give you my baby. The season finale of season one of Twentease.