I've never had a LOT of money. By a LOT, I mean enough where I didn't have to go to the salt mines and punch in every day....like...a lot where I could just retire and do what I love and want to do without the distraction of wondering how I'm going to pay my bills. That's what I mean by a lot of money. I've never had that.
In fact, for most of my grown up working life, money has run from me like a scalded dog. I've tried a couple of entrepreneurial runs and lost my rear in the process. It's not like I haven't tried to get over the hump of poordom (new word). I tried it the stupid way by working hard and trying to climb up the old ladder the way my daddy told me it needed to be done. Only problem was there was always somebody else pushing against my face with the sole of their dirty shoe as they climbed past me.
I've been dead broke, homeless, bankrupt and almost destitute in many areas of my life's history. Now, I get this e-mail yesterday. I read it. Then, I read it again. After that, I get some coffee and go sit on the porch and pontificate over it. I leave the coffee and go back to the computer, printing out the e-mail. I go back to the porch and read it again. All I can do is shake my head and think....okay, this can't be real. The safest approach here is to go ahead and chalk it up as another red herring in life, allow it to play out and then say to yourself when it's over, "See? I told you so."
My agent asked the producers a question I would have never dreamed of asking at this point in the process. The main reason I wouldn't ask is because I'm like Jeremiah Johnson. I ain't never been here before and don't know what the protocol is. The question was how much? How much did they think a cable TV series would garner for us. You see, I was under the impression they were pitching this thing as a mini-series...because that's what they said before the meetings took place. The answer was one that caused many red flags to fly up in the air and hang suspended, warning me of impending doom. The reason is that's they way it's been in my life. Very little REALLY good has ever happened to me. The last ten years have been good financially, but in between there's been deaths in the family, heart attack, major heart surgery and almost death, recovery, loss of job, new job, loss of job, new job and other personal quirks that have dampened the progress I've made in my career so far.
The reason I'm so skeptical of the answer is because I've never been involved in a conversation where the subject was me and a pay off of over a million dollars. What the producer said next shocked me. She said in the second season it would be a great deal more. Hold the phone! Second season? We asked for clarification. The response was a complete surprise. They started pitching this as a mini-series, like Hatfields & McCoys, but the moguls in the meetings started seeing it more as a series series. Like...one that will run...if successful...for three or four seasons. If it is popular, and continues on, each successive year would see a higher rate of profit. For me. The old saying keeps coming in front of my brain. "If it's too good to be true, then it probably is."
I know that I'm sailing in uncharted waters and that there are thousands of meat eating sharks swimming around my leaking boat. To come out of this unscathed would be too much to ask for. To be mentioned in the same breath as seven figures leaves me more in a state of doubt than a state of euphoria. My excitement level has diminished, and the only reason is because I just don't see and can't see anyone handing that kind of cash over to me...ever. At the moment, I can't do anything else but ride this out and see what lies on the horizon. From my viewpoint, there's a red sky at morn. That tells me...sailor, be warned. We'll see.