Humor by Diane Farr
I live in the city of Los Angeles, which is abuzz at the moment with shocking and dramatic breaking news. The news about pilot season, that is.
Not the news of Tunisia's regime change or Egypt's opening of the Suez Canal to Iran or the people of Libya desperately trying to stay alive after their own leader declared war on them. Or the happenings in Bahrain, Yemen or Iran. Rather, so many of my incredibly smart friends and colleagues are calling, texting and tweeting the big news of who just got themselves a one-time appearance on a TV show.
That's because here, in the Big Orange, it is "pilot season." News is released hourly on who has captured the lead, co-lead and even a guest spot on every single pilot for next year's network television development slate.
Most of these pilots never even make it on the air. A pilot is a one-time trial run, used as an example of what a TV series would look like. It is clearly no indication of whether it would make a good series, because most that do become weekly shows immediately fail.
I know that revolutions and celebrity sightings are the most important news to cover (and not always in that order), but I am ready to admit that both feeds are not really worth the anxiety they cause me as I sit in my little office watching these dramas play out in real time.
Having attained a bachelor's degree in theater some years ago, I work regularly as an actress and can also spot drama from really far away. Headlines like "Eva Amurri Cast in CBS Pilot" and "Gadhafi Will Fight Until He Spills His Last Drop of Blood" make my heart skip a beat. Both make me kind of fearful. One makes me want to hurry up and get a job (like Eva), while the other makes me worry that if the political structure in most of the Mideast fails, hooray for the protesters, but isn't it a 50-50 shot that this could be worse for the safety of America?
Photos featuring Eva's shoes on a red carpet are splashed around for days after she achieves her pilot success. So, too, are images of the footwear that thousands of brave pioneers are waving at their own military and police forces (as well as at their televisions that are showing one leader after another threatening to continue to be their despot). Sadly, at times, Eva seems to have more followers on some social networking sites and get much more attention at drinks-and-dinner conversations around my 'hood than those whose lives are at stake.
I've now realized that neither of these news stories is really doing me any good as I lay awake in bed catastrophisizing about them. I have my own pilot now, too -- no thanks to worrying about keeping up with the Joneses or the Amurris, but perhaps due to that said theater degree -- and still I feel nervous as every other actress I've ever met gets her own wannabe TV show. I'm nervous primarily because there is so much hoopla about it. Similarly, the happiness and relief I feel after watching so many hard-won success stories in Egypt can be immediately eviscerated into new fears when the Suez Canal is opened to Iran and Israel is feeling provoked.
So basically, I'm thinking I have to put on a pair of shoes, walk away from my computer and stop watching the news as it cycles because it is not informing me about something new every single hour of the day. Rather, the repetition of the same news told in an ever more slightly jarring way is stressing me out no end. This means both the fluff pieces considered headline news where I live, and the actual headline news that I cannot take part in at all, no matter how much the liberal drama student in me would like to save the world.
Diane Farr is known for her roles in "Californication," "Numb3rs" and "Rescue Me," and as the author of The Girl Code: The Secret Language of Single Women.
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