M. Francis Enright is co-creator with John Brancaccio of The Working Experience. He is also a filmmaker and published author. Listen to full episodes on iTunes and Spotify and visit our website: theworkingexperience.com for videos, merchandise and more. You can also find us on Facebook, Linked In, Instagram, and Twitter.
The delivery man leans against the side of his van watching the performance on his phone. After it is done, he removes his mask, takes off his hat, shakes his head and lets out a breath.
Someday this is gonna end.
He gets into his van and drives off.
We held a screening for ‘The Comic’ on October 6th at a small theater in Chelmsford, MA. I paid $500 for the space, and we showed my film plus seven other projects by other filmmakers that Stephen works with.
I didn’t enjoy the evening; it was anticlimactic and embarrassing. I am not satisfied with the finished product, particularly the ending; the mannequins never came out the way I wanted them to. None of the other filmmakers thanked me for paying for the theater; they barely spoke to me. Two of the lead actors didn’t show, didn’t even respond to the invitation, never reached to me to see how it went. I know it’s only a short film, but it is important to me. I felt really pathetic, like a guy who rents out a bar for his own birthday party and has to pay people to show up. I’m forty-eight years old and this is what I am doing with my life?
But there was a drop of honey. Aiden Prisbek, the boy who played Trevor, had come with his whole family and they were really appreciative of the whole evening and h=getting the chance to see Aiden on a big screen. During the Q&A, I handed the mic to Aiden, who had not spoken up until that point and said, “What do you think, Aiden?”
He paused for dramatic effect and then bellowed, “I’m just so glad to see everyone here and rising to the next level and I want to be a part of it and keep on going!” It caught everyone by surprise, and they burst into applause. I won’t say that his declaration made the whole ordeal worthwhile, but I’ll take what I can get.
I’ve submitted ‘The Comic’ to ten festivals so far. So far, it has been rejected by the Toronto Short Film Festival, the Florida Film Festival, and the LA Comedy Film Festival. However, it was accepted into the Georgia Comedy Film Festival, my first ever. I was so happy reading that email.
I love making films, even if they do not come out the way I want. All the frustration and rejection and feeling powerless and embarrassed, these don’t matter. Because I’ve already been there. Nothing is harder than breaking an addiction; nothing is harder than overcoming all that shame and regret. I’ve been sober for nine years and each year gets better and better.
I know I can get better.