100daysoff

Jeff Astrof has 100 days off. See how he spends them.

Day One

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The hardest part of anything I’ve written has been coming up with the first sentence.  Now that we’ve gotten past that, I can begin.  I’m a sitcom writer.  One time I was at an event where all the people had to announce what they did for a living.  I was sitting third in line behind a guy who created the hydrogen bomb, and a guy who created weapons systems that delivered things like hydrogen bombs.  When I announced that I was a sitcom writer, I got booed.  I kind of get it.

I’ve written sitcoms professionally for 19 years.  I’ve written for a number of great, famous sitcoms.  That number is one: the show “Friends”.  I am famous for leaving “Friends” after two seasons— I figured it only had 8 more years left— but that is a different story.  Since then, I have worked for some good sitcoms and some not-so-good sitcoms.  Most recently— up until this past Tuesday— I worked on a show called $#*! My Dad Says, starring the great William Shatner.  I think history will find that this sitcom ranks somewhere between “pretty good” and “Friends”, but the truth is, it has been one of my favorite jobs.  That too, is a different story.

So, here’s THIS story.  I now find myself in a familiar limbo: $#*! My Dad Says is what is known as a “bubble” show, which means that it may or may not come back next season.  In my career, I like to say, I’ve spent more time on the bubble than Glinda the Good Witch.  I will not know whether or not the show comes back until mid-May, and I will not begin working on this—or another show— until the beginning of June.  Thus, I have 100 days off.

The last time I had 100 days off was the Writers’ Guild Strike.  At that time I pledged to lose 10 pounds, clean up my garage and write a screenplay.  That was three years ago, and I am 15 pounds heavier, the garage is a mess and I can’t find my “How to Write a Screenplay in 21 Days” book.  Anyway, I realize that many Americans have had more than 100 days off, and that sucks, and those people will probably not be sympathetic to me.  But I’m not looking for sympathy, I’m just looking to keep track of roughly a third of a year of my life.   So, hopefully documenting what I do will motivate me to not fritter away this valuable time.  By starting this blog, I’ve already achieved more than I did my first 100 days off.

Anyway— please forgive my overuse of the word “anyway”— I’m not sure where this 100 days will bring me.  I’d like to start by losing the now 25 pounds and get around to cleaning the garage (where I think my screenplay book might be), and I also have lots of work to do as a husband and father.  My hope is that this is just an outlet for me to record some amusing observations about my life for the next three and a third months, and there’s not some weird second act twist like, God forbid, I have to battle testicular cancer, or my wife leaves me, or my wife leaves me because I’m battling testicular cancer— please excuse my overuse of the phrase “testicular cancer”.   Anyway, you get the point: I have no idea where this is going.  To tell you the truth, I’m not sure how to even post this.

But what the hell.  So, as one of my comic idols use to say, “And away we go”.

Day one goal: start a blog.  Status: Achieved.

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Written by 100daysoff

February 14, 2011 at 11:07 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. you had me at Day One… already I am laughing and am sorry I have to play catch up on 23 days…. I am going to be up all night.!

    Dawn

    March 8, 2011 at 7:42 pm


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