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How to lose friends and annoy people

Remember a while back, I had to choose a play for our upcoming Playwright’s Showcase, and some were…um…not good? Like, some were about aliens flying in through ceilings and it’s only a staged reading so that really wasn’t an option, and also one was really, really focused on Wonder Woman’s chestal region? Yeah, so that happened. Anyway, I was able to choose one, and it happens in a week. I have the tech rehearsal for it today (which should be a piece of cake, the lights and sound for it are pretty basic, and also, in case you weren’t aware, I totally rock the light booth hardcore, and if you WEREN’T aware of that, what’s wrong with you, of COURSE I do!) and then the show goes up a week from today. It’s a brief piece, I think people will enjoy it, and if they don’t…well, it’s pay-what-you-will. If you complain about something you didn’t technically have to pay for, you deserve throat-punching. 

If it’s free, you don’t get to complain. Or, I guess you CAN complain, but be prepared for me to do some pretty epic scowling at you.

So all year long, I get emails from aspiring playwrights, as I’m the person who will be reading their submissions during the submission period. You’d think they’d be nice emails, like, hey, I notice on your website that you have a local Playwright’s Showcase every year, when can I submit my work? Thanks ever so. Or something like that. As someone who writes, I’m actually kind of versed in the art of querying, and submitting one’s work for potential publication. Here are some hard-and-fast rules. They’re going to seem basic. That’s because they ARE. 

  1. Read everything you can find about the place you’re submitting to before you either submit or query for submission, or the person you’re submitting to will think you’re an illiterate jackass. It’s clichéd, but you really, truly only have one chance to make a first impression, and if you send a letter asking a question that’s CLEARLY stated on the website/in the publication where you’d like to see your work featured, you blew it, Mr. Magoo. 

    Danger is right. You’re in danger of embarrassing yourself. Just stop that.

  2. BE NICE. First: if you know the person’s name you’re submitting to, use it. If it’s a lady-person, use Ms. So and So. If it’s a man-person, use Mr. So and So. You’re not their friend. You don’t presume to use their first name (unless you don’t have another option, or if it clearly states “please use my first name” or “address letters to Joe at…” or something.) BUT WHAT IF THEY’RE MARRIED, AMY?!??! WON’T THEY BE OFFENDED?!?!?!? They won’t be offended. Ms. covers all the bases and shows that you’re sensitive to the fact that they might NOT be married. Married women won’t be offended by Ms.; unmarried women REALLY won’t be offended by Ms. Second: Don’t be rude. DON’T BE RUDE! You’re trying to SELL yourself. Why the hell would you be rude? We’re going to talk a little more about this later. Or a lot more, you know me. I’m kind of heated-up about this so I think I’ll probably go into detail. But BE EFFING NICE. This person has the potential to publish/produce your work. Yelling at/haranguing/insulting them? Not a smart move, Slappy Jones. 

    It really doesn’t hurt. It actually helps. I promise. No, sincerely. In this case, it does. In MOST cases, it does. Truly.

  3. Be patient. Whoever you’re submitting to probably gets a lot of submissions. If they have time to respond right away, awesome. But if they didn’t? An email 3 days later saying, “Didja get it didja get it DIDJA GET IT” is really not called for and makes them feel pressured. BE PATIENT, MY CHERUB. 

    No, not this kind of patience. Well, I guess you can listen to a little old-school GNR while you wait, if that’s your thing, I’m not here to judge you, whatever.

  4. If they accept you, be gracious, thank them, and celebrate. However, if they didn’t? Don’t, don’t, DON’T email them insulting/yelling at them, and for the love of Pete, do NOT email them INSISTING they tell you WHY they didn’t choose you. That’s not their job. They owe you nothing. A million reasons go into them not choosing you. You were a bad fit. Someone else’s work was better. You annoyed them and they didn’t choose you because they knew working with you would be a nightmare. Your grammar was abysmal. You used glitter pen and handwrote the whole thing instead of typing your work. You included glitter in with your submission so when they opened the letter, a CLOUD of glitter came out and got all in the carpet and their cat had glittery paws for like a MONTH. I mean. Hypothetically. Of course. I know. In a perfect world, it’d be all about the work. Sure it would. But if it comes down to three pieces of work, all equally good, one by someone who’s been polite and well-mannered and has no typos, one by someone who’s written you harassing emails, and one by a glittery fairy-person who included an 8×10 Glamour Shot of them wearing wings and carrying a wand in with their submission, I think it’s pretty obvious which one you’re going to choose, right? Right. (NO, the answer isn’t Fairy Princess Sparkles. Be realistic, glitter is difficult as SHIT to clean up. We did The Rocky Horror Picture Show at my theater about ten years ago, before my time there, and we STILL find body glitter in random places around the theater. Glitter sticks like a mofo, yo. For YEARS. Plus you KNOW if you choose someone like that, she’d cry if the play you produced wasn’t like she imagined it in her head. I can’t deal with crying. I mean, it’s not like baseball. THERE’S NO CRYING IN BASEBALL! There’s totally crying in theater. I’ve DONE crying in theater. I’ve SEEN crying in theater, probably at least once a show. But if you can head it off at the pass, you sure as hell TRY to. Sheesh.) 

    I don’t care if this guy wrote the next “Death of a Salesman” – I’m not inviting this level of lunacy through my doors. End of story.

Anyway, on to the main event. I get probably 1 or 2 emails a month, all year long, about “when can I send you my play I’ve written so you can produce it in your Playwright’s Showcase?” and then I respond, saying “I’ll add you to our mailing list, and when the selection process opens – which is at the end of the year, usually October to December – you’ll be notified.” (If they were to read our website, the answer to this question is pretty clearly stated, but some people aren’t the most web-savvy. I try not to get too stabby about it. I have a template, I cut and paste the response in, I add them to the mailing list. It takes me about 5 minutes.) Most people are cool with that. Some…are…well, not. 

I am going to cut and paste in two emails I recently received from people here, with identifying identification taken out. If you wrote these emails, and somehow have wandered on over here, well, probably I should feel bad I’m picking on you, but I just don’t. I’m using you as an object lesson. You should feel so, so helpful that you’re showing others what NOT to do. Plus, look, some of your work just got published! You’re a STAR, baby! 

Whoo-hoo! Just call me the STARMAKER. The BUILDER OF DREAMS.

To: Amy’s theater
From: Angry playwright (without cause to be) 

I contacted you months ago about submitting a script and was told I’d be contacted when submissions were being accepted. Obviously I wasn’t contacted. What happened and do you know of any other theater groups that might be willing to look a local person’s script?

J’ACCUSE!!!!!

OK. First, a little background: I got this in response to a notice I sent out about our upcoming Playwright’s Showcase next weekend. This person DID email me asking about submissions for next year. He emailed me after this play we’re about to produce had already been selected. I informed him then (I think it was in…oh, I don’t know, February? March?) that the next submission period would be at the end of the year, and he was now on our mailing list and he’d get an email once the submission period opened. 

What did this person do wrong? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? 

Come on, anyone? No? Really?

Well, he’s accusing me of apparently PURPOSELY NOT INFORMING HIM of the selection period. If he’d paid any attention to the email I sent months ago (I’d love to paste that in here, but the email client we use for the theater doesn’t save sent mail, like I’d like it to) it clearly explained that we’d already chosen a play for the 2012 showcase. This is 2012; therefore, the email he received about the 2012 showcase was the play selected LAST YEAR. (Well, technically in January 2012, but it was submitted last year, if you want to split hairs. Don’t split hairs, that just makes a mess I have to vacuum up.) The 2013 showcase hasn’t begun the submission process yet. As I explained in my earlier email to him, it will most likely run from October to December 2012 (or whenever I get my ass in gear, whatever, it’s not an exact science.) Also, “what happened” is a little accusatory, and I am not here to provide you information about other theater groups and what they do. RESEARCH THAT ON THE INTERWEBS, SON. 

(I would never email, say, a poetry magazine, accuse them of not letting me know when their submission period had been open, and then ask them if they knew of other poetry magazines that were accepting submissions. Can you imagine the nerve? RUDE.) 

Hee! I love these things.

I responded with a very polite explanation of what I said above (minus the all-caps, of course, I’m very professional where my theater is involved) and even though I totally wanted to say “RESEARCH IT YOURSELF ASSHAT” I did mention a local theater I know of that does accept unpublished one-acts by local playwrights. I did not include a link to their website. I told him it was easily found with a Google search. Because, seriously? You need to take your own life into your own hands, mister. This is not my job. I have enough on my own plate. I’m scrambling to deal with a million of my own things, I shouldn’t have to help you market your script, too. I have my OWN book to market. And, sorry if it makes me biased, but the time I spend on that is a little more important to me than the time I spend on your lazy ass. Also, I don’t get paid for the work I do at the theater. It’s all volunteer. So, dude? Do your own legwork. I’ll take the cut in pay. $0 minus $0 is still $0, you know?

Now, this one is even BETTER. Ready? 

To: Amy’s theater
From: Demanding All-Caps McGurk (who I’ve never heard from before in my life, BTW) 

I’ve contacted you before about submission of my One Act

Play that has music attached to the play.  I’m asking where in

Albany theatre group can I send my play or where to get a

grant. PLEASE ANSWER IMMEDIATELY WITH THIS

INFORMATION. 

All-caps! Bold! Large font! Bad grammar! A demand! A lie! This one hits ALL the bases, whoa! 

First, nope, she’s never emailed me before. I save every email I get at the theater. I know this because I’m running out of storage on that account and need to start deleting some shit. Second, what’s up with the all-caps and bold and huge font? To make sure I don’t miss it this time (I didn’t miss it the last time because I NEVER GOT IT BEFORE?!?!?) Third, where to submit? Again, as mentioned above, I’m not your mom, I’m not here to walk you through potty-training and hold your hand and pull up your underoos, darling special snowflake. And last – a grant? Are you kidding me? There are PEOPLE whose JOB it is at companies to find grants. These people get PAID. You want me to do this job for you for FREE? No. No, thank you. I don’t even know where to BEGIN looking for a grant for you. And a grant for what? Are there playwright grants? See how little I know about this? What do I look like, a research librarian? (Ooh, do I? I wouldn’t mind looking like a research librarian, what a cool job THAT would be!) 

ZOMG you guys, this is the Rijksmuseum Research Library in Amsterdam. WANT WANT WAAAANNNTTTTT

Also this grammar is odd. Not TERRIBLE odd, just enough odd that it makes my head hurt just a little bit. Like when a painting hanging on a wall is just a HAIR crooked. It makes you think you might be imagining things, but are you? Are you really? I think the issue is “where in Albany Theatre Group  can I send my play.” That sounds weird, right? Or am I imagining the crooked painting in the no-tell motel? 

You can check out any time you like…but you can NEVER LEAVE! (Plus the paintings are always just a touch askew.)

I replied to this one similarly to the one above, explaining our submission policy and process (and that we don’t accept musicals, so if it’s a musical, she’s shit out of luck, only I didn’t SAY “shit out of luck” because, well, like I said, I try to be professional) and for this one, again, I mentioned the other local theater group that has a local playwright’s showcase. I flat-out said “I wouldn’t even know how to advise you about where to apply for a grant. I would suggest going online and starting your search there.” I mean, really? Who needs that advice in 2012? Wait, is this my grandmother? GRANDMA? IS THIS YOU? DID YOU WRITE A PLAY? I LOVE YOU GRANDMA! 

I was going to show you a cute photo of a grandmother but then I found this HORRIFYING GRANDMA MASK from someplace called “The Viking Store” and I HAD TO SHARE IT. I mean, sincerely. THIS WILL HAUNT MY DREAMS TONIGHT.

Listen, I’m sympathetic. I am. I’ve been writing poetry since the early 90s and submitting it for publication since the mid 90s (before it was easily submitted via email – it was all about SASEs and hardcopies, back in the day. A person bought a LOT of stamps.) For all the poetry I’ve written, I’ve probably been published a dozen times or so. As for how many times I’ve SUBMITTED poetry – well, at least ten times that many times. Or more. You face a lot of rejection as a writer who wants other people to see your writing. If you’re not up for rejection, probably keep a diary and then hide it somewhere no one would ever find it and never, ever show it to anyone, ever. Because even with something like a blog, you’re going to face rejection. For all of the happy happy joy joy “I LOVE YOUR WORK,” there’s someone who’s going to hate what you do and is not at all shy about telling you that. You have to develop a thick skin if you want to put yourself out there. Does it ever stop hurting, all that rejection? Well, yes, and also no. No one likes to be told they weren’t chosen. But it does get easier. (Especially after the first acceptance, because then you know you’re not TOTAL crap.) Especially if you deal with volume. If you send out, say, 20 copies of your work to 20 different places, it gets easier when one rejects it, because then you can say, “Oh, well, it wasn’t right for this place; 19 other places have it, too. I still have a shot.” 

Eh, it happens. Move on. Better days a’comin’.

You have to keep repeating to yourself it’s not personal. As long as you did everything right – and by that, I mean you weren’t a TOTAL asshole, I mean, if you offended the person without meaning to, by maybe the content of your piece, or the person hates semicolons and you didn’t know that, well, there’s very little you can do about that, that’s a style thing, not a YOU-thing – it’s totally not personal. You need to repeat that, and internalize that, and BELIEVE that. What it is, is that what you wrote isn’t right for that particular venue. Something ELSE you write might be (I had success at a few publications with different poems than the ones I sent them originally – I just waited a bit, then sent some more) or maybe that particular venue isn’t right for you, but another one would be. Toughen up, keep submitting, and keep working. If you want your work out there, that’s what you do. 

Get rejected? Do this. Get down on yourself? Well, eat something bad for you, sure, but then do this. Mostly, JUST DO THIS.

(Susie at Insatiable Booksluts has written some excellent advice for budding writers. I highly recommend, if you are at all interested in submitting your writing, you make that one of your first stops. Here, I’ll even link you: here’s the author’s guide to social media page. Totally invaluable advice over there, most sincerely, and not only because I love Susie to distraction and because I also write over there.) 

And for the love of all that’s holy, STOP YELLING AT PEOPLE VIA EMAIL. (Well, unless you know them. Then you can yell at them if you want, I don’t care. I don’t know your life. Or even especially want it, as I love my own a great deal, thank you very much.)

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About lucysfootball

I'm not the girl with the most cake. Someday. SOMEDAY. View all posts by lucysfootball

53 responses to “How to lose friends and annoy people

  • ProfMomEsq

    One of my favorite jokes is from Demitri Martin, who called glitter the “herpes” of the craft world. That about sums it up.

    This is terrific advice – not just for writers but for people in general. Don’t email anyone and be an asshat, especially if you want something in return for your email. If I ever get around to finishing my textbook, this rule is going in it. I will cite you as source material, so these examples can live on in infamy.

    If I had a nickel for every *student* who emailed me all ALL CAPS SCREAMY and demanding stuff, I could just retire. Basic respect, common courtesy? No? How about, I control the grades, dude? I’m not really going to punish you for yelling at me in an email, but the startling display of poor professional judgment (usually accompanied by atrocious grammar) doesn’t make me want to give you a passing grade, you dig?

    One of these days, remind me to tell you the story of the attorney I wouldn’t talk to on the phone anymore because he was all Yelly McYellerson, so he started writing me ALL CAPS EMAILS with !!!!!!!!!!!!! at the end of nearly every sentence. *sigh*

    I hope you have a douchecanoe-free Sunday!

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      It really is amazing to me. I mean, I joke about all-caps, but only use them in communications when I know they’ll be taken as they’re intended – with tongue most firmly placed in cheek – and never, ever in an email to someone I don’t know well, you know? Or, well, here on my blog, but that’s a given. This is my home, I can all caps here.

      Maybe people need internet etiquette classes or something. It amazes me people just don’t KNOW these things. Sigh.

      Like

  • sj

    I HATE the people that INSIST they’ve been in touch with you, when you know they haven’t.

    Like

  • Cara V. (@fictionalchick)

    Sometimes I’d like to know the age range of the people writing stuff like this… I’m 33 years old and my mother brought me up pretty darn well. I have standards (or values) for who I interact with, sure… but I try my best never to be rude.I observe a lot- which can send me into an irritated rant but still… outwardly being rude because you didn’t get something seems a little like you were raised to be a spoiled brat.

    Yes, SPOILED BRAT SYNDROME… thinking the world owes you something. Guess what, kids? The world don’t OWE YOU SHIT. I honestly can’t stand the surge in blatantly rude people and of course that magnified times a THOUSAND with the help of the Internet. No escape!

    Consideration works both ways… and just because you submit something to anyone doesn’t mean you’ll hear back… and if for some reason you think someone should contact you, write a respectful email. SO many people forget the whole respect thing. It’s infuriating.

    Trouble is, someone rubs me the wrong way once- I tend to just write those people off as rude and inconsiderate (maybe that’s wrong). But if someone ever wrote me insinuating they were owed my attention and respect right off… I’d have a few colorful words for them and DEFINITELY write them off.

    Alienating people isn’t the way to go.

    Great post Amy… and I read it WITH a hangover- so you owe me respect, yes?? =p

    Like

    • greengeekgirl

      I get a ton of spoiled brat syndrome behind the scenes at IB–people demanding that their books are right to be reviewed. I’m like, um… don’t I know better than you do what’s appropriate for my own blog that I made? It’s confusing to me where people get their sense of entitlement.

      Like

      • Cara V. (@fictionalchick)

        I think helping people out puts you out there for such “abuse” so to speak.. which must be hard! You want to have fun and do stuff you like, write, review etc… and people will undoubtedly view (disregard) your hard work as something they can take advantage of… I just don’t get that sense of entitlement. I know it’s frustrating getting work out there looked at- walls go up all over but it’s not any single person’s fault. Then you get the grunt of people’s aggravation.

        Sure I want my book reviewed by people… but do they owe me? NO. If it’s good, it will do good. If it sucks… oh well, I still wrote a book. Support in my endeavors is always nice… but that’s from people I know and love… I’d never expect anything from a pitch I wrote and sent out into the unknown world of book blogging. Hell I don’t expect much of anything from anyone these days haha… just gotta do what you want and love and if it works out, you did good.

        As to WHERE people get this sense of entitlement? Well I’d imagine the bad ones get it from their parents… or they were just always given everything. Other people just want some sort of interaction… when they don’t get it they view is as disrespectful. Overall- most of it is just failure to understand and/or communicate.

        Like

        • greengeekgirl

          Friends are always a lot more respectful (or maybe it’s just that we let respectful people into our circle of friends more readily?). Friends are always the ones who are the first to tell me that they know their books or projects don’t fit into the scope of my blog and that they don’t expect me to review them or promote them. That always makes me feel warm and fuzzy.. and way more likely to promote them when I DO have the opportunity.

          I actually made friends with someone because she opened a pitch that way (she’s a publisher, not an author)–telling me that she’d been following the blog but she’d never submitted before because her press does mostly genre fiction and she knows we don’t review it. I ended up loving the book that she pitched and now we talk all the time. That little bit of respect can go a long way.

          Like

    • lucysfootball

      I’m not sure, but I get the feeling that most of them are adults. Most of the plays we get submitted are by adults, actually.

      We do seem to get a lot of spoiled brats. At first I wondered if it was just because they’re theater people (and therefore pretty dramatic) but Susie’s comment makes me think maybe it’s just a writer thing? Or, no, that’s too broad a stroke. A SOME-writer thing. The (hopefully) unsuccessful ones. (I’d hate to think they’re finding SUCCESS with these tactics, you know?)

      We’ve been really lucky at the theater that we’ve had very little playwright drama. A little, here and there, but nothing serious. If I accepted some of these people, though – I can only imagine. Sigh. (Luckily, most of the most crazy writers have very, very bad scripts. There’s a very definite correlation. Those who are MOST SHOUTY about how I HAVE TO ACCEPT THEIR WORK? Have the worst writing.)

      Of COURSE I respect you. Even more with the hangover. :)

      Like

  • becomingcliche

    I STILL HAVEN’T HEARD FROM YOU REGARDING MY SUBMISSION!!! IT WAS A ONE-ACT PLAY TITLED “GLITTER FAIRIES.” WHY HAVEN’T YOU CONTACTED ME TO SAY THAT YOU ARE PUTTING ON MY PLAY? I SENT IT TO YOU LAST WEEK. OR MAYBE YESTERDAY!!! PLEASE CONTACT ME TODAY, AND/OR SEND ON MY SCRIPT TO ANY THEATRE GROUP WHO MIGHT PAY ME A MILLION DOLLARS TO BUY MY PLAY!!! AND SEND MY GLITTER BACK!!!

    Like

  • elaine4queen

    *tears up script written in glitter pen*

    Like

  • lahikmajoe

    I WRITE A COMMENT HERE NEARLY EVERYDAY AND YOU (alomst) NEVER ACCEPT THEM.

    DON’T YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW MUCH BETTER THIS BLOG WOULD BE WITH NIINJA BURRITO MUSIC. IT’S LIKE YOU’VE NEVER GIVEN MY SUGGESTIONS ANY FARE CONSIDERATION.

    IT’S THE MUSIC OF NINJAS. WHILE THEY’RE WIELDING BURRITOS. WHAT’S WRONG WITH YUO?

    Like

    • sj

      If this comment was made over at Snobbery, you’d get the Seal of Approval.

      I cannot stop laughing.

      Like

    • lucysfootball

      I had a burrito for lunch, but there were no ninjas. Or music. I knew it was missing something.

      As for what’s wrong with me…well, how much time do you have?

      You know, you haven’t been here much, due to the fact that you’re the busiest person I know. But when you are here, you do things like this. This, my favorite @lahikmajoe, is why you are the King of Bon Vivantery. I laughed so hard when I saw this that I had tears.

      Like

      • lahikmajoe

        YOU STILL HAVE NOT ADDRESSED THE ISSUE OF NINJA BURRITO MUSIC.

        I WILL NOT BE DENIED. I HAVE BATTERIES THAT DO NOT DIE.

        (nods)

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        • lucysfootball

          You know, I think you really do have batteries that don’t die.

          All your all-caps has CHANGED MY MIND and CHARMED ME BEYOND REASON. Yes! From now on, the official music of Lucy’s Football will be Ninja Burrito Music. sj, as our resident musicologist, please create us a playlist reflecting this. Thank you ever so.

          THE ALL-CAPS COMMENTER HAS WON OUT. AS THEY ALWAYS DO.

          [nods back]

          Like

    • davidjfuller

      DO ONT LISTEN TO OTHERS, MINE COMMENT IS THE AWARD-WINNING SENTENCE YOU SEEK.

      Like

  • Jericha Senyak (@JerichaSenyak)

    I just wonder what goes through the heads of these people. My mom got this a lot when she was the editor of a fairly well-recognized literary journal – people getting infuriated when she didn’t accept their submissions. I wonder what’s happened in their lives to make them think that yelling, stomping, OR WRITING IN SHOUTY CAPS LOCK will make the person on the other end think “huh, you know, you’re right! I did overlook your infinite genius!”

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      EXACTLY. (Not to use the caps-lock to prove a point about the caps-lock, but still.) Seriously, since when has shouting or acting rude made someone reconsider your point and made you see their side? It may be trite, but the old adage about catching more flies with honey than with vinegar? Totally true. Plus, you get the added advantage of not going to bed feeling like an asshole.

      Thing is – I don’t think these people even understand. I can’t imagine they do. They probably just don’t even realize how they’re coming across. It’s sad, really.

      Like

  • davidjfuller

    BTW, as someone who did used to love GNR’s “Patience” (ahem), I’t like to point out to folks who don’t like it that they might try the Mark Sandman song of the same name. Not a cover version, but a wholly different song, written not long before he died, I think. I always love hearing that deep voice and it’s a beautiful piece.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Oh, I hope it didn’t come across as I disliked GNR’s “Patience.” Because (perhaps surprisingly) I LOVED GNR as a young Amy. Still enjoy them when they come on the radio (the old stuff, anyway. Don’t know the new stuff.) I will look for that song – it sounds interesting!

      Like

      • davidjfuller

        Oh, no, I think you were being diplomatic. I was a huge GNR fan, even the flat-out “I can never sing along to this” songs like “It’s So Easy” and “One in a Million.” I HIGHLY recommend Mark Sandman, and if you haven’t heard his stuff with Morphine, check that out too.
        (New GNR is basically just Axl — it’s OK but meh, IMHO. MUCH better are Duff McKagan’s Loaded “The Taking” and Slash’s “Apocalyptic Love.” I’d also recommend Duff’s autobiography — I reviewed it for work and man, that guy can really write. Great read.)

        Like

  • Kevin Marshall

    DEAR AIMEE

    I DON’T KNOW WHAT THE F*** IS GOING ON BUT MY PLAY ABOUT SUPERMAN FALLING IN LOVE WITH JOEY FROM DAWSON’S CREEK. LOOKING FOR ANSERS. PLEASE ADVISE.

    (Serious note – you totally forgot the passive-aggressive ‘Please advise’ closing. You MUST get those.)

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Oh, I absolutely get “please advise.” Not only with play-submission emails, but on everything from “how can I get a lead role in a play at your theater, I am a very talented actor, once I played a teddy bear in my third-grade pageant, and was told I was very believable, please advise” to “I’d like a front-row seat to one of your plays, but I was told the front row is sold out, how can I go about getting those people to move elsewhere so I can sit where I want, please advise.” I wish either of those examples were facetious, but sadly, they are not.

      Oh, and re. your submission: it was so good, we’re skipping the Playwright’s Showcase and putting it on as a mainstage production in 2013. Now that Katie Holmes is free (no, literally) she’ll be reprising her much-beloved Joey Potter role; we’ll be using a hologram of Christopher Reeve (we paid extra to get a pre-accident hologram) to play Superman. Only the best. ONLY THE BEST FOR YOU. Your shouty all-caps only charmed me all the more. Rent your tux! We’re gonna make you a stahhhhh, baby!

      Like

  • Handflapper

    McGurk! I love Coach McGurk. Yelling at someone in an email about an email he never sent is totally a kind of asshhat thing he’d do.

    I am actually kind of shocked and admiring of these rude people. If I submitted something, I’d be so SCARED. I’d be all sad Puss-in-Boots eyes like in Shrek and “please like me, pleeeeeeease, but if you can’t like me, at least don’t hate me” and what can I do for you, do you need your car washed or your dog walked or a kidney. . . All the while knowing that THERE’S JUST NO WAY IN HELL anyone could ever like my writing, damn, I’m getting the sweats over submitting this comment. Did these people go to a seminar to learn how to be all YOU WILL THINK I’M THE BEST EVER and if you don’t think I’m the best ever, YOU ARE OBVIOUSLY AN IDIOT, because I want to take that seminar or lessons or drink their Kool-aid or whatever. FIND THIS OUT AND GET BACK TO ME IMMEDIATELY.

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    • lucysfootball

      Wait. There IS a Coach McGurk? That’s a THING? *Googles it* Ah, something from Adult Swim? I never saw that, which makes many of my loved ones mad. I just love the made-up last name McGurk, and use it a lot. I think because I like the way “Gurk” sounds. Heh.

      I don’t think you want to take their seminar. I think the seminar would be called “How to be Delusional about your ‘Talent'” and it would do nothing but cause you harm in your life. I think mostly they don’t need a seminar – they, somewhere, along the way, were told “you are a SPECIAL SNOWFLAKE!” and they internalized that and think they can do no wrong. Normal people (i.e., you, me, and the people we know and love) have doubts we’re good enough. Not these people! No sirree Bob! They’re not ONLY good enough, they are THE BEST EVER! Sigh. Only, they’re not.

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      • Handflapper

        McGurk is totally a thing! He’s voiced by H. Jon Benjamin and Home Movies is! the! best! You would laugh your head off at it.

        Yeah, I did not get the “you’re a special snowflake” programming as I grew up. I’m not sure I would call myself normal, though.

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        • lucysfootball

          I got a healthy dose of “you’re the smartest!” countered with “who the hell do you think you are?” growing up, which turned me into a self-loathing attention whore. THANKS MOM AND DAD!

          Heh.

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          • Handflapper

            Ooh! Ooh! We were raised by the same parents, therefore, SISTER! Except my dad is dead? Maybe he faked that. It would be just like him to fake his death and run off and start a new family (there’s some precedent, another story).

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            • lucysfootball

              Excellent. I quite like my whole internet family I have going on here. I have a secret brother, sister, and little sister. And now ANOTHER sister! This is great, because in real life all I have is one brother and we have nothing in common and never talk so THAT’S no fun.

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  • lgalaviz

    Dear Amy: PLEASE RESPOND TO THIS BY MAKING ME FAMOUS IMMEDIATELY! Also, can you imagine that the word ‘immediately’ is in double all caps? I already used up all my all caps. Oh… and here’s some glitter.

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    • lucysfootball

      WIN! You are now FAMOUS. You may pick up your trophy and special hat (with deely-boppers, on springs) at the door. Please use your newfound powers accordingly. Much is expected from those who have been awarded such greatness.

      Like

  • blogginglily

    this is why I’ll never submit my many many works to you. . . too frightening and intimidaty.

    The second email read like it was written by someone whose first language was not English. Like you said, not horrible grammar. . . just “off”.

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    • lucysfootball

      Yeah, you know me. Pretty frightening. Especially when it comes to YOUR writing, which I love without reservation. :)

      Yeah, I agree. Possibly not a native English speaker. That would maybe explain the font and yelling, too. And maybe she comes from DEMANDINGLAND, where that’s how to get what you want – BY DEMANDING.

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  • Nerija S.

    Ooh, the Eagles should totally have added that bit about the slightly-askew paintings! I mean, can you imagine, not only do you not get that champagne you really wanted, and not only can you NEVER LEAVE (*insert ominous music*), but you are constantly plagued by the increasingly frightening sense that THERE’S SOMETHING WRONG WITH THE PAINTINGS IT’S HURTING MY BRAIN!!! (um, all the cool kids here are using all caps and exclamation points, so I thought I’d join in? ’cause I hear that’s the way to impress people and win at life?)

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  • doesmybumlookbiginthis

    So THAT’s why i’ve never gotten published! I kid, i’ve never sent anything off yet, but polite and knowing their time isn’t specifically to tell you how good your work is is rule number one! :) xx

    Like

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