Friday, May 11, 2007

Who Am I? I Am A Screenwriter.

Recently, I had to go to a half day diversity training for work. Didn't really think it would be a subject that would take that long so I expected boredom to settle in quickly. I work for a large financial institution who prides themselves on diversity so I wasn't surprised that this would be a requirement. (Plus I was able to get away from the hum drum of the office for half a day.) In a nutshell it wasn't all bad.

So what the hell does this have to do with screenwriting?

Good question. Well, first, what is diversity?


1. The fact or quality of being diverse; difference.
2. A point or respect in which things differ.
3. Variety or multiformity

Does screenwriting feel like a quality that makes you different? Does that help define you? Not just I like to think of screenwriting and have dabbled in it. But truly you are a living breathing screenwriter. I think it makes me unique and therefore diverse. For me, screenwriting gives me life. Do you have any inkling of how that feels?

It had taken me awhile to a) realize this about myself b) to be able to tell others this same thing. It wasn't a shame thing as I didn't think people would understand. Some people still don't. Which from our vantage point can be hard to comprehend. Yet, once my father in law asked me: Why do you write? What do you do with it when you're done?

They're good legitimate questions with just a little ignorance thrown in. Would I expect my father in law to understand screenwriting and the process that goes into it?

Should I?

Hell no.

But, he is asking questions. It is a first step. And I do what to clarify that just being a screenwriter doesn't make me any more diverse as others who proclaim they too are screenwriters. However I can strive to be as diverse as, say, Charlie Kaufman or M. Night Shyamalan (though he did drop a few notches after The Village and Lady in the Water.)

When I think of what I have become I think of my brother in law...No, he's not a screenwriter. My brother in law married his lovely wife whose heritage is Scottish. He became enamored with it that with that he took up bag piping. Yeap, the kilt and the whole nine yards...He took it up so strong that he now also runs a website which sells everything related to bag piping and even his license plate reads: BAGPIPR.

He too has embraced his diversity, his uniqueness. I don't understand everything about bag piping and I know I have had my fair share of ignorant questions to him about it (along with a few jokes about skirts) but I respect his decision to define himself because I know that part of him is like that part of me screaming to be let out.

It's amazing how you can tie together bag piping and a diversity training class and how it's related to screenwriting.

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