I woke up Monday morning super hungover. When we heard the WGA and AMPTP deal was in Sunday night, I'll admit I got a little crazy. 146 days without working will do that. The rush of joy, excitement, relief, and endless possibilities washed over me as the Jack and Cokes washed away my inhibitions.
But then I woke up Monday, took double the amount of ibuprofen on the side of the bottle, and wondered what was next.
There was a whole new world of Hollywood waiting outside my door.
Where do writers go from here?
Where do I go from here?
Those questions were a little big for a thumping headache. So I just laid in bed and hoped clarity would come. It didn't.
Tuesday was a busy work day. I had to get a haircut, I had to do laundry, I had to call my manager to make sure he still existed. I dusted off two specs and a sample I had worked on during the hiatus.
I cleaned off my work desk and bought some new pens.
Wednesday, I spent on pins and needles, awaiting a WGA meeting at the Palladium in Hollywood. there, the heroes of the negotiating committee and board of directors went through every deal point they had negotiated and won.
NegCom & @WGAWest walked out to this awesomeness last night. \nVID by the great Mike Schur\n#wgastrong— Kay Cannon (@Kay Cannon) 1695915246
That meeting gave me direction. I have to admit I was walking around Monday and Tuesday like Brooks in Shawshank, looking for someone to tell me what to do and when to piss.
Inside that meeting, we learned about the hard negotiations, we saw what we had won, and we hit the culmination of what picketing became for many of us: an unbreakable bond that doesn't stop after we leave the lines.
Tasked with having each others' backs, with hiring each other back, and with backing SAG-AFTRA until they're able to be hired, the room was thunderous with applause.
And don't forget walking the lines with IATSE and the Teamsters when their negotiations come around, as well as TAG and other unions who need us and stood with us in solidarity.
Another task we heard over and over is to make sure the historically disenfranchised writers did not lose ground with the strike. That means keeping diversity by moving people up the ladder.
But it doesn't end there. We have to keep donating and raising money for causes that help people weather the storm.
These actions points were what I was looking for, they were a compass for those of us who were not sure where to go without signs, lines, and chanting.
They were also tasks I could write down to accomplish.
They were things I knew felt right to do.
A new Hollywood is upon us.
We worked hard to create it. We marched for it. We bled for it. We sacrificed for it.
Now, it's on us to uphold it. We have to report abuses, shed free work, and uphold the mission to ensure this opportunity is not squandered.
This is all rhetoric I plan to put into action. Anything less is a waste.
But what else do I do now?
I go back to the real world. I start a new spec, take general meetings, and hash out some TV ideas. I maintain friendships with the people who I met on the line. I do my best to pull people up the ladder.
These are not easy directives, but they are important. They're what makes the WGA the most powerful union in Hollywood.
And they're what makes me proud to be a member.
Now, it's time to get to work.
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