1:01 PM, Friday, May 1st, 2009:
This should be locked. This would be the definition of the reason you lock an entry, and in fact is a subject matter that introduced the whole concept of locked entries in 2002. However for the sake of transparency and to not add further undue stress to the person involved, I will write about it wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiide open.
Nobody understands my relationship with my ex-manager, Charlotte. No one in my circle of friends, and I presume no one in hers. We're now to the point that even we don't know what the fuck we're doing anymore. We disagree so vehemently on how things transpired during BOTH of the periods I was her client ('01-'02, '06-'08) that for the first time in my life, I can't seem to find common ground. As I've joked with her, I've had marriages end easier than this. The crux of our issue is that on a personal level we both care deeply about one another and when in that realm, we get along fine. I don't for one second doubt her sincerity or any motives in that realm and I don't believe she does either...
...but the business side of things were sooooooooo bad. By the end of both periods, we didn't trust one another at all. We miscommunicate constantly when talking about the individual things that happened and I've just never known a situation so "he said/she said" for such a length of time. Eight years people. I mean, there were situations with Donna, but they lasted like a week until we got to the bottom of things, were able to understand each person's side... and move on. Here? It's maddening. And it's incredibly personal even when we're talking about business things.
The past year though, we've kept in touch and gotten along really well because we just didn't broach that subject. However the recent events in the past few weeks have made it impossible. Unfortunately what's happening now is very counter to how I understood this industry to work according to Charlotte, and has brought up all of our issues to the point of making it unrealistic for me to have any sort of conversation. I feel like I was blamed for not doing enough when I'm finding (now that I'm doing everything myself) that every single person I talk to in the industry has a complete opposite view of things. All the wounds from the past 8 years get re-opened. I remember all the distrust I had when she took me on as a manager and promptly began trying to edit all my material under the guise that "it wasn't funny" and she couldn't represent me otherwise. I remember being completely lost on what the role of "manager" was (and to this day, I'm still confused honestly) and now as things are moving forward all of those issues have to come to a head. She paid for the costumes and drywall & paint for the first Trinitrons shoot and was there for every second of filming adding her 2 cents and in turn feels ownership. It's ugly and completely heartbreaking to me because it was never defined at the time and I honestly feel hoodwinked 'cause I thought that was what a manager did. It's like she wanted to be involved creatively the entire time, but knew I would never want that, so she called it "manager" and the fought for it to be more as we progressed. That is my 100% BIASED view of it. That's how it feels. I'm not saying that's what she did and I know she's reading these words. But as I said at the top, I have to get all this out there because I can't sleep, I'm barely eating and I need to find a way to move past this so I can function.
My own "feelings" aside, I am well aware that there is precedent for this situation - and it happens all the time in the industry. Because of that, I honestly don't think my "feelings" mean dick. I just want to know what is ethically correct. I want to understand industry protocol. I want some goddamn definition of what that input meant and will accept whatever the answer is because again, there's certainly definitions for intellectual property and through emails and my rabid documentation, there's a pretty clear understanding...
...except when we meet to talk about things. (sigh) We met last night at "Buddha's Belly" on Beverly and suffice to say it will now be implanted in our brains just as Vitellos, Nat's, Casa Vega, the Coffee Bean on Ventura & Laurel Canyon and Callendar's were previously. The events in our relationship are defined by the restaurant, and the scenes are more vivid in our heads because of it. My reason for needing to meet with her was very simple, but unavoidably provocative. It involved all of our buttons and issues, but I couldn't talk about the past week without addressing them. 'Cause as I said - the recent events were a slap in the face to everything she ever told me, and in turn actually validated the majority of what I fought with her about since even 2001/2002. So rather than just avoid all the trust issues, I had to lay them out - and see if we couldn't deconstruct the myriad of events that lead to the distrust and find some understanding. The pink elephant in the room was now so big I couldn't see her anymore.
It wasn't good. For the first time in these restaurant meetings, we both teared up. For me it was knowing that this really was the end. We had passed the point of no return and twe were never going to agree. Ever. I've looked at it through every angle my brain can come up with - have talked to every single person I've ever known about it, and on some issues there just isn't grey area. She, was, wrong. She doesn't see it that way, she is as defensive now as she was 8 years ago... and what kills me? I know in private she deconstructs things and takes a cold, hard, look at her role in things even if she never shows that in public. After this many years? Of course she has. She simply does not see it my way. We got back to the same issue of "Trust" and of course that issue incorporated the creative side of things which turned the situation reallllllllllllllly ugly. She was late for her next appointment and ended up walking out (there aren't enough hours in a year to resolve this, so I took no offense to the abruptness), and I sat there as the lesbian couple next to me tried to act like they didn't just gawk at the scene. Good times.
I walked out a few minutes later and she was still waiting on the valet and I watched her car drive away. The immediacy of a pocketcam...

It is just so frustrating to me that the relationship is damaged beyond repair. When nobody saw anything out of 4tvs - she did. She put her time and money into me because she believed it would end in a development deal. It didn't, it ended ugly... but 4 years later she still passed along an email about "America's Got Talent", and we gave it all another go. It ended ugly again (even uglier in some respects), but we had still shared enough of our personal lives that there was a mutual love and respect between us that to this day we've tried to hold onto the connection...

...now? Now it's clear that we are at an impasse that we have tried for years to overcome, and it's not going to happen. Oh I still believe we will find future restaurants when we're in our 40s 50s and 60s because one of us has found yet another angle that we're SURE the other person will see... but it'll be out of nostalgia at that point. It would make for an interesting reality show. Every 5 years, a new setting, an hour conversation as we grow old and grey. I kid to keep from crying because I'm totally bummed it has come to this after years of trying to find a workable relationship. I really thought during the time at CBS that there would be some way to make a partnership, but even more issues surfaced to the point where I see no other options. The shark has been jumped, Buddha's Belly has been rubbed and we'll both try to put this behind us.
<shaking my freaking head>
PS - to the hostess last night who wore heels to make her 6' 3" and had a dress that was 97 inches above her knee... how the hell do you get away with that at work? I mean, thank you -- of course thank you, but that dress was so out of place I felt like I was on a hidden camera show. If it was, I hope you got the second table on the left. I know the people next to us enjoyed the drama. (sigh)