I am exhausted. I am annoyed. I am coming down with something. I’m in the Porter Airlines lounge in Toronto and I have just learned that my 8:30 pm flight back to New York has been delayed by at least two hours. I’ve been awake since 5:00 am when I caught the first flight to Toronto for an early morning pitch. And I just ate toasted almonds and biscotti for dinner. I’ve not even gotten over my jet lag from Cannes and, by the time you read this, I will be in London for Brand and Licensing. I am, I’ve decided, the self-appointed martyr of preschool television and my sufferings, I suspect, are not unlike your own.
I suffer from financing plans that are held together with staples and glue. I suffer from having to eat my own production fees. I suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous script notes from the five corners of the earth. I suffer from not taking vacations. I suffer from having my approved French dubs rejected by the French Canadians. I suffer from reading Facebook posts from parents who believe that watching my shows will make their kids talk like a duck. I suffer from not owning a travel iron. I suffer because I’m from a country that doesn’t qualify for any co-production treaty ever written. I suffer from flying in coach. I suffer from having to write 500 words every week for Kidscreen Magazine. I suffer from long renders. I suffer from the merging of the television business with the toy business. I suffer from having a big mouth. I suffer from license fees that don’t even cover brunch. I suffer from being a live-action guy in a world that buys animation. I suffer from the dearth of Mexican food in Asia. I suffer from roaming charges. I suffer from having no interest in making games, apps, boys’ action, or commercials. I suffer from the lack of comments on my blog. I suffer from slouching. I suffer from forgetting my passwords. I suffer from being gullible. I suffer from not knowing how to use a semi-colon; I suffer from possessing only two of Howard Gardiner’s seven forms of intelligence. And I suffer, daily (like every other indie I know) from kissing so much ass to make my shows.
But I do not suffer in vain, my friends, and neither do you. Because from our suffering, and from our hard work, and from our strange and singular creations, every now and then there arrives a little flotilla of hope and happiness. Sometimes it’s a commission from a brave and sympathetic broadcaster. Sometimes it’s a note from the mother of a child on the autism spectrum who says we’ve reached her son. And sometimes it’s a crayon drawing sent by a kid with a hand-written scrawl that says, “Thank you.”
Well, what can I say? You are very, very welcome.