The Freelancer’s Journal: Tales from the Writing Trade (No. 7)

August 26 [cont.]

Sandi was making a long phone call while Dr. Sharp told his tales. We talked a little while longer, or actually he talked and I listened.

“You’ve probably never heard of me before, but I’ve been doing this for years. I’ve been all over TV, the daytime talk-show circuit; in magazines too. I have lots of famous clients—actors, musicians—so I got this reputation as a doctor to the stars, that kind of deal. A guy from a magazine was over here once, interviewing me, and, you know, he’s thinking I’m this celebrity doctor with this crazy life, and he asks me, ‘So what do you do to relax or for excitement?’ And you know, the guy’s expecting to hear like hang gliding or rock climbing or African safaris. And I said, ‘Hey man, I like to stay home and watch TV.’ His jaw dropped, I mean he was stunned. It’s true. I just like to watch TV, smoke a doob, you know, maybe have a girl over, play for a couple hours, kick her out and watch some more TV.”

I would have stayed longer, but he said he had patients to see and bid me farewell. The last thing I remember him saying, in the same mellow but deeply commanding way, was: “I’m gonna win a Nobel Prize and a Pulitzer. I don’t know when, and it might be thirty years between them, but I’m gonna win both. Believe me, I’m gonna do it.”

August 27

I’m not too confident about the results of my meeting with Dr. Sharp, but I know he’s someone I want to work for. For the money and personal amusement certainly, but a part of me also wants to become immersed in his enterprise. At the very least I could hone my promotional skills.

Fearing the worst about my interview, I wrote him a letter anyhow:

Dear Dr. Sharp:

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to meet with you and Sandi about the infomercial. I imagine you’ll probably go with someone more versed in the form, which is understandable, but I hope this won’t preclude me from further participation in your sprawling empire to-be.

While I realize that selling products is your primary objective, I think it’s crucial that you employ your charisma to the fullest extent possible. Perhaps this charisma will come through no matter who does your writing. Please keep in mind, though, that I am attuned to the strength of your rhetoric and its potential appeal to a wide audience. I would welcome any future opportunity to contribute some of my ideas to the cauldron of excitement that is the Total Health Matrix.

To be continued . . .

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