What did I do after Roger told me I was fabulous and he’d gladly read anything I wrote? I went home and began writing Bad Trip, which I dutifully took to the studio a couple of months later. When I next found Roger, he was in a nice office and had a secretary. He looked as successful as I looked unsuccessful. He again repeated his spiel to me.
Yes, I went home and wrote yet another screenplay—Cleo de Janiero. I really thought he would go for this one. When I went out to the studio, much to my surprise I found Roger in a very spiffy office with a very personable assistant. In fact, I had to go through two gatekeepers to get to him and his fancy digs. Both Roger and his assistant couldn’t have been nicer to me.
Almost by rote, he began repeating his usual monologue to me of how fabulous a writer I was, etc. etc. I finally stopped him midway in his recitation and asked him how was it I got poorer each time I came out to see him and he got richer. He smiled at me as though I had not a scintilla of a brain and said proudly, “I always say no.”
I replied, “Excuse me?”
He replied as though he were talking to an orangutan and said, “I never accept anything. That way I never can be at fault for costing the studio money. They think I am doing a bang-up job.” I could have socked him but I took my manuscript and left.
A couple of years later I noticed in the trades that Roger was now one of the big wigs at the studio—vice president or something like that. So, is that how one gains success in Hollywood? Saying no?
Let’s do a little analysis in the next blog. Okay.
(If you’re reading this from Facebook then you should know I have a new website where you can read more about Roger. Click here to see the new website.)