First and foremost, thank you to all of you who have read my blogs and my book, “Homey’s Adventures.”
As I mentioned last week, I am taking my brother to Las Vegas for his birthday. I wanted to continue to share with you my experience of my last trip to Vegas last fall to pitch my book to Hollywood producers. Here is the second of 4 chapters about this trip that I will include in my up-and-coming book, “Homey’s Adventures Too”:
Chapter 19 – MoviePitch Reception
After breakfast, I did make it all the way to the Tropicana and back. Again, I was impressed by the crowd along the way. It was as crowded as two years before when there was no Covid 19. Most people did not wear masks and the street entertainers were plentiful. It was a beautiful day for walking. The show girls were a little out of place, but Homey enjoyed looking at them. I did not see any prostitutes and the people handing out phone number card for the call girls were less evident, but there were some still doing that. The Las Vegas strip was not completely normal, but it was getting there.
When I got back to my hotel, I ordered and ate a salad for lunch at a Mirage café and I decided to take a nap before the MoviePitch reception. After I woke up, I showered and put on my Brooks Brothers sports coat and pants and made my way over to Ceasar’s Palace for the reception.
They made sure we were seated far enough away from each other that we met the social distancing requirements of Covid 19. We had two drink tickets and the hotel staff served drinks and hors d’oeuvres. We could not get up and mingle without a mask on, so, most of us were limited to talking to just the people at our table. My large table had only two people and myself. One of them was a man about my age and a woman dressed in middle eastern garb.
I started the conversation: “Hi I’m Jim Wish.”
I am normally not the outgoing type, but I was here to mingle with authors and pitch my book.
I offered: “I wrote a book entitled “Homey’s Adventures.” It is a romance.”
The guy was the first to answer: “I was a lawyer who was recruited by middle east royalty, and I wrote a book about it. I changed all the names of the people that I wrote about. They could sue or worse.”
He then slit his throat with his finger so that we knew what “worse” meant. At this point, we were all uncomfortable. This guy’s manner was boisterous. I later decided to nickname this guy Topper. In the Dilbert cartoon strip, Scott Adams created a character named Topper. No matter what anyone said Topper had to say something more spectacular.
The woman dressed in middle east garb offered: “I wrote an autobiography and I have already written a sequel.”
My first thought was how can you write a sequel to your life. Is her second book about the afterlife?
I responded: “I also have written over half a sequel to my book.”
Topper interjected: “If they do a movie on my book, it will be “Lawrence of Arabia II””.
Topper held up two fingers to emphasize the two.
My inner Homey smiled; If they do a movie about my book, it will have lots of sex in it.
I then asked: “What do you guys think of the fact that none of the producers will be here, and we can only talk to them using Zoom?”
The middle east woman exclaimed: “None of them are going to be here!”
Topper interjected: “Yes, they contacted me and ask me for more money because there was going to be twice as many producers and only via zoom.”
I offered: “Yes, they contacted me with the same deal, but I rejected it because I didn’t know if I could energetically make 16 separate presentations.”
Topper interjected: “Yes, not only are we doing it via Zoom, but we also have to wear masks.”
I confirmed: “Yes, I think that is a bit odd too.”
The middle east woman looked upset and looked at one of our hosts. She got up and steamed over to the host. I assumed it was going to be a confrontation. So, I was left with Topper.
Topper and I made small talk about Vegas and gambling. We found out that we were the same age. I have a personality that causes people to take me under their wing. Topper decided he was going to be my mentor even though we were both first time authors at age 70. It was okay with me. I have gained a lot over the years by just letting people be who they are.
The chief organizer host took the lectern, welcomed us, and introduced the key players. He introduced Lisa who was head of the Los Angeles office. Lisa was co hosting the event. As it turned out, Lisa was going to be my MoviePitch guide and the guide for 22 other people in our group. Topper and the remaining 23 people would be guided by the chief organizer.
The chief organizer then introduced a man who I nicknamed Mr. Big. Mr. Big was not in the room. He was talking to us via Zoom. Mr. Big was a twenty-year veteran of producing films and cut his teeth helping Lionsgate become a $4 billion revenue company. Mr. Big now had his own production company. I was impressed. Even I heard of Lionsgate.
After all the introductions, and niceties, the chief organizer suggested that we all get a good night’s sleep because tomorrow was going to be busy. I was Topper’s new wing man and he decided to follow me out of the reception room.
As we walked, Topper started to complain: “I heard that they had over 200 people at the last MoviePitch and now there was only 45.”
“I heard something like that too, but I think it may be a good thing. We will have less competition. Our chief organizer said the demand for stories was the same. Less supply in stories means our stories are more valuable to them.”
Topper didn’t reflect long: “It remains to be seen if the demand is the same. Hollywood’s production has dropped because of Covid 19.”
“I heard our host and Mr. Big say that they were busier than ever lining up productions. I also think that after the election, it will become less political to do nothing and we will get back to work as a country.”
Topper dropped back: “I think I need to go this way.”
“Good to meet you. See you tomorrow.”
I was staying at the Mirage, and I needed to walk through Cesar’s Forum casino and through the Forum shops to get there. Caesar’s had a corridor called Appian Way which ran between the convention center and the Forum casino.
About halfway through Appian Way, I heard behind me: “Jim, Jim.”
I turned around and there was Topper: “I made the wrong turn. I am looking for the Forum tower.”
“I’m going that way; you can come with me. I am going to the Forum Casino. Maybe the Forum tower is near that.”
My inner voice laughed; Lawrence of Arabia. Ha Ha Ha. He cannot find his hotel room. Ha ha ha.
We walked past the Forum Tower entrance because as you come out of the Appian Way it is behind you and not in front of you.
God help me, I could not resist a comment: “You know people our age can get lost easily.”
My inner voice was still laughing. We walked all the way to the Forum shops and then I stopped and pointed to the shops: “Well, I need to go that way, through the Forum shops.”
Topper looked around and was lost: “I don’t think I should go through the shops.”
I pointed to the right of the way we came: “I think we must have passed the entrance to the Forum tower. If you retrace the way we came and look right, the Forum tower is probably along that wall somewhere.”
Topper nodded: “See you tomorrow.”
“See you tomorrow.”
My inner Homey was smiling again, Caesar’s Palace is big, but he will eventually find his room. I think? Maybe? Lawrence of Arabia. Ha ha ha.
In all fairness I should not judge Topper. I had trouble finding the Caesar’s convention center. Also, Jesus tells us not to judge because God will judge us according to the way we judge others. When I get lost in heaven, God will probably laugh at me too.
I know this is a little long for a blog, but I have 2 more installments about my experience in Vegas last fall. So, please come back next week for more.
If you want to learn more about Jim and Homey, then please visit my website https://www.homeysadventures.com. You can read the first two chapters of my book for free. If you like what you read, you can buy my book from my website or on Amazon and many other book retailers. You can search for my book online using the words: “Homey’s Adventures” by Jim Wish