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Ed Solomon @ed_solomon
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Yes - in the most surfacey way: the spec script for "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure" was submitted to a production company. But in truth, that script (which was rejected by my then-agents) wouldn't have even existed were it not for a string of so-called "failures." 1/
In that way, the actual "beginning" of my film career started 4 years before - in all the failures leading UP to Bill&Ted. In fact, had any of those junctures gone the other way, I think I'd've ended up worse. This may be a bit long; sorry for that. But here's what I mean: 2/
A failed evening at the Comedy Store open mic led me to sell off my jokes, which led me to a series of comedians buying material, which led to the confidence to try performing again, which led to meeting Garry Shandling, with whom I started writing regularly. 3/
Meanwhile, a set of failures in college trying to take a screenwriting class (I was kicked out in 4 successive terms cause I wasn't a film major) led me to the only writing classes I could get: playwriting - for which I wrote a series of one-acts that were performed at UCLA. 4/
One of those plays was the result of failing the ACTUAL assignment (we were supposed to do an adaptation of a fairy tale - mine was Jack & the Beanstalk; instead, I wrote about a prodigy pianist who goes to NY to play in the Philharmonic, but ends up playing in a strip club. 5/
At the end, everyone he thinks he's "let down" comes out on stage and strips. Though I called it "Strip Joint, a Jewish Fairy Tale," the teacher saw through my ruse & it was - literally - my lowest grade ever at UCLA). At that time Garry S introduced me to a tv producer, &.. 6/
..he wanted to see something I'd written. So I invited him to the play - & he hired me on "Laverne & Shirley." Which I didn't "fail," per se - but I didn't get hired onto another show. So, actually, yeah - I failed. Because I now was living the nightmare of feeling like.. 7/
..a flash in the pan at 22. Scrambling, I wrote 2 (unsold) spec screenplays, ran out of money, & was borrowing from my parents & desperate for work. At the same time, some friends & I were doing improv with no audience (renting a space - for years - solely to work out & grow) 8/
..&, as a last ditch effort, my friend Chris Matheson & I turned 2 characters we came up with in that improv group into a script. My agents HATED it, & I went in to rouse support & was fired. After spending a month or so wondering if the agents were right, I got the courage.. 9/ call another agent I'd met (and - mistakenly - rejected) when I'd got the L&S gig. Thankfully he liked it. And HE was able to get it to a production company - Interscope - which optioned it for $5k. Which is what started my film career. 10/
All this to say (& I'm sorry this was so long): had I succeeded as a stand up, had I succeeded in getting into a film class, had I not failed the initial playwriting assignment, had I succeeded in TV, had I sold one of my (BAD!!) first spec scripts... 11/
..literally none of this would have happened. Certainly not this way. I can honestly say I owe my "success" 100% to my failures.

I often think abt how we so often put the onus on that ONE script that'll "get an agent" or "get a producer." To me, that's too result-oriented. 12/
Results happen rarely. 99.99% is PROCESS, & most of that is what people would define as "failure." Meaning: people say no. Or - & this permeates every working day of my life: YOU FEEL LIKE YOU ARE FAILING BECAUSE YOU ARE NOT GETTING IT RIGHT CREATIVELY. At least, not YET. 13/
That's MOST of each day: it just isn't working. But you keep going - through the "failure:" the scenes that aren't connecting, the drafts that aren't working. The rejections. Failure. Failure. Failure. And then, one moment, it connects. And then you start the process again. 14/14
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