I’m Nothing Special


I’ve filled out a lot of applications and forms for screenwriting festivals, and they all seem to include a section where I am supposed to describe what makes me special for this contest/fellowship/internship. And like most middle-class white men, I am at a loss as to what to write.

Maybe that, in a nutshell, is why I end up being passed over for these contests. If I were a fantastic writer, I could use my incredible imagination to come up with a reason why a guy from a family of four who went to college, got married, had a kid and loves “The Simpsons” should stand out at all in a field of 1000s of like-minded people. I could come up with a way to spin my story so that an evaluator would read it and think, “We should really open the door to this person who is really identical to every other candidate!”

But I can’t. Or at least, I haven’t. The things that make me unique are probably the things that make everyone unique, which is to say that I don’t know what they are, exactly, but they’re noticeable by other people.

Take this blog, for example. It’s dedicated (mostly) to three very popular entertainment entities. It’s not a “Star Wars,” Batman and Resident Heads blog. Or a Rolling Stones, “Star Wars,” The Goon blog. No, it’s to three of the biggest names in their respective genres.

Considering these blog topics, there are only two ways I can think that I stand out:

1.) They are all sort of “Second Place” entities. Batman is second to Superman, the Stones will always be second to the Beatles. Only “Star Wars” seems to be a perennial front runner, but only if you limit the contest to “space fantasy movies,” narrowly beating out “Star Trek” (and not in everyone’s estimation). If you open it up to all fantasy or adventure, you get “Lord of the Rings” and “Harry Potter” in the mix.

2.) They are here collectively worshipped together. I don’t know anyone else who loves these three things as much as I do. The Stones seem to be the mitigating factor. You have a ton of “Star Wars” fans out there, and I think everyone loves Batman in some regard. But not all people of my race, age and cultural make-up love the Stones. Or, to put it more bluntly, they don’t love the Stones as much or equal to or more than “Star Wars” or Batman.

I guess I have my next essay. Next time I’m confronted with one of these contest forms, I’m going to start it with something like, “My name is Phillip Mottaz and I love “Star Wars,” Batman and the Rolling Stones” and let the chips fall where they may.


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