YouTube link added 02.09.09
7:56 PM, Wednesday, December 17th, 2003:
Fuck this journal. Fuck this FUGGGGGGGGGGING journal. I hate this. It goddamn FORCES me to be on this roller coaster. As a stroyteller I have to write this entry. I've been doing it for 290 straight entries for 4 years, and I have no choice but to continue. God I want to lose my mind right now. And I'm going to:
WHAT THE FUCK DUDE. NOT AGAIN. DO THIS TO ME IN JANUARY. NOT DECEMBER. Don't taint another friggin' year RIGHT at the end like Aspen. GODDDAMNIT.
Grrr. Twitch. Punch. Shit.
So here's the letter I sent back to Garis. As I mentioned in the entry, he talked quite a bit about cross promotion, and wanted a few topic areas that I had expertise in. Then he'd pick from my list the best areas, and I'd write more about each. So here's what I gave him. For me, please, please read this whole thing. It took my ass a long time to write, and I think at least SOMEONE should friggin' read it:
Mr. Garis,
Let me first say thank you again for the time you spent with me last Monday. It meant quite a bit that you saw fit to go so far over our allotted time. It speaks volumes on your commitment to your clients, and certainly set my mind at ease that you weren't completely ruled by a clock. I somewhat expected that at 29 minutes, you would begin to wrap-up and send me on my way. Needless to say, LA has hardened me a bit.
The week since we talked has been eventful to say the least. Whereas cleaning up most acts requires simple rewrites, my show requires doing everything from scratch. I've been writing daily since we spoke, and should have a completed rough draft of the new 30 minute show by the end of this week. I also want three or four smaller vignettes ready to go for the occasion that I would perform on a local morning show, as you described in Oregon. That's mandatory in my eyes to have ready to go as soon as humanly possible.
I was also able to meet with my backers, and although I was a bit concerned about your price, they expected it and told me to move forward. I am still in shock that these people see so much potential in me that they're willing to back this financially. Part of me is still waiting for the bible and funny kool-aid to come out at our next meeting, but until then - all is good.
I've also been watching television a bit more intuitively this week and I'm seeing the wheels of cross-promotion spinning just as you said they did. From promoting books to shows to every object imaginable - the power of being an "expert" in some fashion is truly a publicity goldmine, and I'm eager to exploit those opportunities.
Right off the bat, the inspirational side of things, as it relates to putting together 4tvs, could be a good avenue for "expertise". If I had a nickel for how many people told me this wasn't possible, I wouldn't need backers. "Thinking Outside The Box" is a great topic that I can talk volumes on. Great for performers trying to make their way, or even people just trying to impress a company for a job - your approach is everything. For example:
While waiting to see Brian Setzer, I was watching the opening act half-heartedly with the rest of the audience. It hit me that I'd be in this situation as a performer at some point…what would I do? It lead me to think of attacking their eyes as well as their ears so they couldn't look away. With 4tvs you do that. It can suck people in on concept and visual merits alone, at which point your real purpose (singing/acting/writing) can be experienced. From a panel discussion, to even a Top 5 list of ways to force yourself to attack your problem from unique angles has some potential.
Along those same lines, nothing resonates more with this than the concept of following your heart. I guarantee that every single person has had an idea along the lines of 4tvs that fades away as fast as it comes. Not letting those moments slip away, and allowing your "heart" to compete with your "brain" every now and then is pretty huge. Logically, there's no way in hell I would've followed this, but sometimes you really have to run with it. A tie-in with Valentine's Day and a panel of people with strange inventions/ideas that could prove inspirational to Joe Schmo seems plausible.
Aside from inspirational topics, the pandora's box gets kind of blown off. I figure you're much more in touch with what's a sought after topic, so I'm gonna give you a laundry list and just whittle me down to a few and I'll go into more specifics in the next email.
I'm a computer/technology/gaming nut. Always have been. I know the history of videogames since pong, and debate the current state of gaming ad infinitum on message boards worldwide. I've auditioned for many hosting spots on gaming shows (at 28 they say I'm too old - ha!) and that love affair with technology is what has made 4tvs even the slightest bit feasible. As I built the computer that runs the show, to all the editing and timing that goes into the production of it - it's never been done before, and from that aspect it can garner respect from the techy community. I see guys on TV talking about products, games, computers and they're only background is writing a friggin' newsletter. Anyway, it's a passion that will be lifelong and I can honestly say I'm an expert without question.
I'm just as passionate about sports as I am about all things technological. NFL and NBA are my two greatest areas, but I keep up with all sports. Strangely though, it's the interpersonal drama that really interests me. You're watching live movies as far as I'm concerned. Especially with basketball as you can see so much emotion throughout. There are good guys and bad guys and their personalities are oftentimes as rich as any Hollywood script. I will be the Spike Lee or Woody Allen with season tickets someday. Anyway, I'm at home talking about all sports (doing talk radio in Buckeye town: Columbus, Ohio will do that to you) - and with as much as comedy goes hand in hand with sports these days, it seems there'd be quite a need for good guests. If you need a more specific focus or tie-in, let me know.
The majority of my talk radio time revolved around politics of course. In my years of listening to people call in, I certainly realized what a sheep mentality we have, and it's basically shown me that the political labels are worthless. To even get close to being in a position of power, you are beholden to a big business - which in turn ruins the process. I believe I'd be the guy who hurts the show, as the election year advertisers wouldn't be too happy with my thoughts, but I do offer a pretty unique perspective. Something to think about as my background supports it.
Then there's the music industry, especially a capella. I found out several years back that the a capella community is a very tight knit group. They see it as an art on-par with classical music, and there's a myriad of events worldwide that garner quite a bit of attention. My a capella CD (which was of course the catalyst for 4tvs), Hearing My Thoughts, was dubbed the "Sgt. Pepper of A Capella Music" by a guy in one of the bigger a capella groups in Ohio. 4tvs, especially the non-character driven sets, would be fascinating to most of the a capella community. The angle of someone loving that type of music so much that they formed their own band…with 4 of themselves is a great hook. It'd be a great avenue to have that community behind the show, even though "The Trinitrons" rarely get to "their music" before fighting. As well, I have stacks of friggin' CDs holding up various things around my house that I'd like to replace with actual furniture someday. Heh.
Along those same lines, the music industry has changed so much now, that suddenly independent artists are getting almost equal attention to their "signed" counterparts. The internet is now a "feasible" hip alternative to pushing the "record deal", and more than anything - it's allowing people to create and distribute with unprecedented freedom. It's absolutely changing the industry and record execs are reeling. Especially with many already known artists, going completely through a website for distribution. As someone who has been online with my music for ten years, I have a unique perspective on that sort of distribution. I have no large figures to throw out, but a look inside the artists mind, creating on his terms for an audience is refreshing. I'd be comfortable in a panel discussion on that, and could tie in both the CD and 4tvs quite easily.
The last thing I'm gonna hit you with is completely off the subject, but my passion when speaking on it comes through so well, it may be something to consider In 2001 I lost 50 pounds by simply getting my heartrate up for 20 minutes a day, and eating smaller portions, ie less calories. Period. The recent onslaught of "diets" from Atkins to the Zone…I feel has hurt most people because it's offering too many ways out. Someone needs to get in their face and say: EAT LESS, MOVE MORE. I've actually considered trying to publish a book that would have a full cover, jacket, everything professionally done and produced. It would be roughly 200 pages, and the first page would say "Eat less, move more." And that's it. Everything else completely blank. Why would people buy it? To share with others. Not for a rude gift to give to their overweight friends, but to throw common sense into the whirlwind of fad diets sweeping the country lately. The impact of getting a book and opening it with an open-mind, ready to hear about this diet, and then realizing it's 4 words - I think is incredibly powerful. The moment you stop looking for easy way outs and take accountability - the better off you'll be in the long term. Yes Atkins works at getting it off - but maintaining through Atkins is hell, and completely unnecessary. I think there's a MOUNTAIN of publicity with this gimmick, and I'm curious as to your thoughts on it. With the right delivery, mine of course (heh), I think it has merit.
I could easily write several more pages on possible areas of expertise. On top of everything, I believe once you see the finished 2-3 minute vignettes, that will open up even more possibilities. Thinking of it from the producer's perspective, you want to be seen as bringing something captivating and unique to your audience so they continue to watch/listen, and 4tvs does that on a several levels. Especially a clean 4tvs.
So let me know what areas stand out to you and I'll provide you with more focused ideas. I don't want to stray too far from what can easily tie-in with the concept of 4tvs, but I certainly understand the value of cross promotion even if I'm simply collecting email addresses for a mailing list. If you tell me a certain angle is more sought after - I'll find a personable/comedic way to tie it all together.
And again, thanks for your time. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Needless to say, I was very, very happy with my response. I didn't really stress about this all week, but the truth of the matter was clear: He said it was on the merit of this email - whether or not he would take me on as a client. Again, I never worried because as you just read, I can cover a lot of ground, something he has to be attracted to, and I was absolutely certain he'd be able to pick a few areas that I could focus in on. His response:
Hi Adam:
You are certainly welcome. I hope my advice was helpful to you. Thank you for the topic ideas. You are starting to think in the right direction. However, I don't think our particular media contacts would bite on any of these. For better inspiration, I suggest going to the newsstand. Each week, hundreds of great teasers and topics appear on magazine covers. Adapting a few to something within your expertise and personal knowledge might be a better way to go. It has to have a very broad general public appeal to interest the mainline media.
Happy Holidays!
R. J. Garis
National Publicist
Remember the scene in "Christmas Story" where Ralphie FINALLY gets the Ovaltine Secret decoder? Rushing to figure out the secret message and it's "Be sure to drink more Ovaltine.". Well being the BRILLIANT video mind of my generation, I saw the email, turned on the FRIGGIN camera and held it as I read the response for the first time (yeah that took me all of 17 seconds). I believe I have the same look on my face as Ralphie. And the faces both say one thing: "WHAT THE FUCK?"


I mean, WHAT, THE, FUCK? Honestly, I feel the need to say "What the fuck" about 50 times man. You can't imagine how difficult it was for me to write FUCK on the ENTRY page of December. I don't believe I have EVER, EVER cursed on the title page, but man - I'm cursing now.
Jesus I don't even know where to begin. I started to write him back right away, but all I could type was "What the fuck?". Let me have one more moment of black humor: I'd like to commission Webster for entry into their definition of the phrase "What The Fuck". Because I believe my letter, and that 95 word reply is the greatest definition of "WHAT THE FUCK" that has ever, EVER lived.
Ok. Calming down now. God I hate this journal. If it wasn't for this STUPID, ASSANINE, PUBLIC JOURNAL, I'd be allowed to just deal with it myself, and be fine. But no I have to friggin' keep the story going. This is the mother of all Choose your Own Adventure books you know?
First off, I'm not really sure he read my response. And in fact his last sentence: "It has to have a very broad general public appeal to interest the mainline media.", kind of gives me that impression. I mean, I only went from Sports, to Techonology, to Music, to weight loss, to inspirational speaking - not that any of those have a broad general public appeal to the mainline media. Oh this burns me. Dear GOD this burns me.
You know what though...if I really stop and think about this for a second. You know what this does? Nothing. It should change NOTHING. Because I wasn't going to go with him until February anyway. I still have the direction of the clean show (which is writing itself out beautifully -this will be the funniest show EVER) - and the 2-3 minute vignettes. That is my FOCUS, that is my direction. I've known it had to be done for years now, but now I'm stopping everything else and doing it.
What I do then is beyond me. (sigh). And that's the rub. Just like with T2, I'm gonna do all this work - end up with another great show, that everyone loves..and not have a fucking CLUE what to do with it afterwards. Just keep inviting people and hope someone likes it enough to have a meeting with me.
Ugh - here was my response:
Mr. Garis,
Assuming I can't find anything your contacts would bite on, would you still not represent me once the "clean" version of the show is complete? The launch party idea? I will have the show complete by February and I just want to know whether you think your agency can help push the show. I assume you're saying that the show itself just doesn't have the hook to gain spotlight through the media contacts you have, and if so I understand. It does seem that your avenues are highly tied to authors and motivational speakers, and I'm just not sure how much of what I'm doing applies. So if you could at least let me know where I stand, I'd appreciate it.
Thanks again for your time,
He wasn't going with me on just The Trinitrons as it is now, I don't see how the "promise" of the clean version is going to change that....but hey - at least he's being up front.
And you know what REALLY gets me about this whole "Journey" thing?! Anyone else who had an ounce of pride, would never say a word about this. They'd continue writing Trintorns 3, they'd continue to tell everyone the publicist is awaiting that finished show and is going to roll with you after, and they'd act like everything is OK. Which is probably exactly what I should be doing. Well I am continuning the writing, and I will probably say all those things to anyone I'd talk to - but anyone who delves this deep into the site gets to feel it. And what I feel is truly unwriteable.
So far up, so far down...and I can't change that. I wear my heart on my sleeve (especially in these entries) and it's what makes me the performer I am, the creator I am, and the writer I am. If I've failed I say - I've failed. I don't hide it...not even a little bit. I hate fake people more than anything in the WORLD, and won't be that person. This sucks. I got my hopes up and they've been dashed. This sentence I wrote in the first Garis entry said it all:
I guess what I also feel is him catering me to his strengths, as opposed to my strengths. It's something Charlotte did. Charlotte had a goal in mind for her career, and we catered me to it. That can work out, but can also lead to how things ended with her. In this case, he has specific contacts for getting media outlets great interviews. Which is especially great for people selling books. That's his bag. From authors to experts to newmakers of the moment (Tonya Harding) - he provides that list of contacts above with what they need. In order for me to be a client, I have to fit that mold. So he talks about cross-promotion as an avenue...only because that's what he can deliver.
I'm not what he deals with. He gets media outlets great interviews - and I'm sitting here trying to manufacture that out of just my IQ and talk show hosting abilities? It's a big stretch, and at least he's honest enough not to take my money...hell their money.
That's the other good thing in all of this. And it sounds shitty, but this pretty much "tested" the backers loyalty which is incredibly high. And simply having two more people out here that want that badly to see me succeed is unbelieveable.
No matter what this is going to happen, but just not as I saw it 45 minutes ago. UP, down, UP, down. But you know what's really scary now? I want it worse than I thought I did. I want this to happen more than I did when I came out here. I am willing to do ANYTHING. I will be out here until the fucking day I die pushing this. It's now in my blood. It's officially part of me. You take the drive away, you lose me. I could NEVER go back to Columbus. I could NEVER go back to a normal life. I have to continue this friggin' JOURNEY until I get the break. These setbacks just piss me off now. I mean dear LORD what DO I have to DO?!
You know, I'm one celebrity away man. I know that sounds nuts, but I'm telling you that if somehow Justing Timberlake and I were childhood friends? We'd be making goddamn movies together right now. This sort of talent does EVERYTHING in this industry. Hell if ANYBODY in this city can even do TWO types of entertainment they're treated like friggin' royalty - and I CANT GET ANYONE IN THE INDUSTRY TO SEE THAT?!!?!
FOOOOG! FOOOOG. foog. Foog? Heh. What the hell does foog mean? So losing it man. GOd it figures. Everything happening this year JUST SUNK IN ON MONDAY. I was finally happy - MONDAY. The publicist, the backers - year of my life - finished the GODDDDDAAAMMN yearend video EARLY! I knew! I knew I shoudlnt have done that! LOL. And now, it gets RIPPED right back to hell
Alright, this is a getting stupid. I'll write more when I can form sentences.
(and by the way, as tone is sometimes hard to infer online...I'm smiling right now. Yes I'm somewhat devastated, but I've come to expect it out here - so don't worry too much about me)