What I’ve learned from mine is that they can be quite entertaining if I write about them properly. Almost everything I write has some basis in real life events.
The Retirement Party was about one of my breakups, and has characters based on me and my friends. This blog is a twisted diary of my life. Even when I’m writing about bank heists and time travel gone awry, there are some elements of my life in the story.
I recently watched an excellent documentary about the making of Freaks & Geeks.
Please tell me you used to watch the show. It only survived one season on NBC, but it was epic and lives on in a DVD box set and the miracle of the internet.
If you’ve never seen it, you should put off reading the rest of this post, and at least check out a clip on YouTube. You’ll thank me.
During that documentary, Paul Feig and Judd Apatow explained that everything that happened on the show was based on the real life experiences of the writers.
I was lucky. I went to a Jesuit High School on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, and didn’t have to deal with the crazy, traumatic high school experiences that befell the show’s writers, and by extension, the characters.
However, later that night, after the documentary had ended, an old idea dusted itself off, rolled out of a dark corner of my brain, and demanded that I give it immediate attention.
Shortly after graduating from college, I dabbled with writing a TV show based on my experiences at NYU. So many amazing things happened to me in those four years, I met some very interesting people, and my life definitely changed forever.
I pictured it as a half hour sitcom, and even wrote a few episodes to show to my friends. They loved it, but nothing ever came of the project.
Television has changed a great deal over the past two decades, and so have I. As have the friends who inspired my original idea.
I’ve had much more time to reflect upon my college experience, and how it has affected me, and made me the man I am today.
Now, my idea is for an hour show with both humor and drama. Because older and more mature Austin realizes that life isn’t always about the laughs. Unfortunately, it sometimes kicks you in the balls and crushes your heart.
The ideas have been spilling out of my brain for the past several days. Luckily, I had Thursday and Friday off, so I was able to corral those thoughts and shepherd them from my head and onto the page.
Things have gone so well, that I’ve managed to outline the entire Pilot script. I have a message out to Matthias to see if he is still interested in producing a series, even with the impending work we have ahead of us filming The Blind Date.
I know The Boss told us that the Glory Days will pass us by in the blink of a young girl’s eye, but sometimes, they stick with us so long that they make a lasting impression we can write about two decades later.
I’m not sure if anything will come of this project, but it’s been quite a rush to relive so many awesome memories, and remember how important those four years were.
I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, please go watch Freaks & Geeks!