Burning Bridges

Staci Troilo’s recent blog It’s Up To You New York, New York got me to thinking. I know I’m not supposed to do that without the proper adult supervision but I promise not to make any decisions, only reflections.

In January of this year (2012) I decided to become an Indie aka independent author. The decision was fueled by several factors but the main one being I tend to rebel against [what I perceive as] unfairness. The thing about perceptions is if you take a few breaths and calm down they sometimes change. The trouble is I forget to breathe until I’ve already tossed the match. Yep, I have burned a few small bridges in my day. The last little causeway went up in flames when I refused to write anything that didn’t have my real name attached to it and said kiss my _ _ _ (let’s use the word grits instead.) Ahh, I can still smell the singed hair.

** Bobby Bare’s Winner and Frank Sinatra’s My Way are now overlapping in my head**

I whole heartedly expected to struggle as an independent, that’s what real artists do, right? Right! But if I am honest the struggle is a bit more than I anticipated and the road I am on is not the soft sandy path I saw in the distance. Nay! It is a deep rocky rut filled with tar pits and sharp objects that must be overcome. Here there are few if any bridges for burning.

Oh yes, I am guilty of being a pissy little pyromaniac at times. Though I sincerely try not to burn other people’s bridges it occasionally happens.

Twelve years ago we (my youngest son, daughter and I) worked on the set of a local television series. We never had more than a minor part that usually ended up on the cutting room floor but it was fun. The locations varied, the food was always good and the people were so warm and friendly that every assignment felt like a family reunion. Never mind the pay and meeting a few celebrities I would have gone for free chuck wagon.  Rib eye, meatloaf, tacos, pies and pastries…

(Oops- memory lane digression)

As I was saying the people on set were great but there was this one agent who shall remain nameless and unemployed if God answer’s vengeful prayers. In my own defense I did take a deep breath and wait for the perception to change. It didn’t happen. Greedy is as greedy does.

#1 If you agree to fifteen percent and you take twenty that is stealing.

#2 Everyone knows a speaking part pays more. Only a thief would pocket the difference and issue a separate check with a cockamamie excuse.

#3 Never mind.

It wasn’t only my money or I probably would have said “okay, no prob just point me to the catering truck.” No, it was my child’s money and it is bad business to mess with another woman’s child. Amen?  I didn’t just strike a match to that conduit I set a freaking bonfire. Score one for me. Boo-yah! Start doing the victory dance…  Um – yeah. I think my son is still mad at me for that one. You’ve heard the old adage ‘you’ll never work in this town again’? Well I am here to tell you that can absolutely be  true.

My only regret  is the series ended the following year before I could build a new bridge.

So what does this have to do with Staci’s blog other than basic inspiration and the fact that we are all trying to make it? I’ll let you read her blog and decide. I’m really okay with the fact that I will probably never make it in the New York she speaks of; I don’t have the temperament for it.  But I feel the burn, the stretching of ribs and triceps as I reach for a brass ring of my own and reflect on the burnt bridges of my past.

4 thoughts on “Burning Bridges

  1. I am mother, hear me roar. I have to side with you on that one. I can suffer numerous injustices with a smile plastered on my face and a fire in the pit of my stomach, but when someone wrongs one of my children, the beast in me surfaces. I’m sorry about your burned bridge; that probably wasn’t the most logical or productive decision, but I would likely have been right there with you.

    Thankfully neither of my children is currently aspiring to achieve anything in any of the arts. We just suffer through the typical injustices of high school and middle school for now and make the best of it.


    • Aww thank you Staci. I totally agree, we will grin and bear a lot until it comes to our children. Hopefully I’m learning to build before burning in the future.



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