“Why Did You Even Get Involved With Someone At BMI?”

Tuesday, February 14th, 2017

[As I said I’d be (hopefully) posting a lot this week (from different months and stuff). So I know it’s hard to keep straight and you don’t have to read, but so you know where this goes, this goes back in February when I said he was someone from BMI… So, without further ado… “Why Did You Even Get Involved With Someone At BMI?”]

(I know, right?)

I used to think I wouldn’t… That I’d have a little rule that I wouldn’t sleep with anyone at BMI…

When someone at The Nightly Show asked me out, I sweetly said no… That I’d love to, but I couldn’t do anything to jeopardize my perfect job. 

ps – lil’ random paragraph – I hope that doesn’t sound like I rejected someone at TNS. I don’t think I’m like hot stuff super in demand or something, and I wouldn’t have rejected any of the sweethearts there. So it wasn’t like “rejection.” It just was like stay away from anything that could jeopardize your job in anyway… 

And didn’t I care about BMI as much as I cared about The Nightly Show?

Yes! The answer is obviously yes. Yes. For sure. Yes.

But I don’t know… It just felt different. You know? If you go out with or sleep with somebody at a long-running show with an ecosystem and everything, you can start problems (I assume; I don’t actually know, ’cause people have also met their spouses at shows like that. So who knows…) Anyway. It just felt like (even though, like most TV shows (or at least the ones I’ve worked on, I guess I can’t say “most,” ’cause again… I don’t *really* know, but we didn’t have “HR,” (even though we did have a sketch on the show about Cam’ron running the HE department. Anyway! 

At a TV show there’s a hierarchy. And the person who asked me out didn’t even work in my department. But even still, I just thought I’d moved up too far as an editor or whatever and even though is wasn’t really the “boss” of anyone, I was too high up on the chain or whatever and that I could never go out with anybody lower in the hierarchy because I didn’t want to look like I was ever taking advantage of anyone. (And even going out with someone above me could’ve brought it’s own problems, but I thought being the one in the “powerful” position at work was just beyond anything I was willing to try. Not doing it. Hard and fast rule. No matter how nice the person was or who they were, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. Full stop. Too dangerous.  That job was everything and I couldn’t do *anything* that could jeopardize it.

But with BMI, it didn’t feel like there’d be “trouble,” because this person wasn’t a teacher or a person on a panel deciding my fate. We’re not in charge of someone’s promotion or any of those issues that can come up in workplaces. 

Random lil BMI thing – It’s even semi-encouraged on the first day (kinda) to date each other or whatever… We get this little speech about how “you might find your writing partner here… Aaaaand, you might find your other partner [*wink, wink, nudge, nudge, elbow, elbow*], just like Bobby and Kristen Anderson-Lopez (a married couple who met in BMI) did.”
And I don’t know. While I’m trying not to give his identity away, I will say he wasn’t a composer. He could’ve been a lyricist, book writer, an auditor, someone in another year, friend/family of someone in the class who’d been in or gotten in later or whatever etc. But he wasn’t a composer.

And that piece of information is important because composers (and kind of book writers to a smaller extent on certain projects, but as a beginning or first-year-er I wasn’t thinking about that or even 100% aware of that – I was just thinking composers, at the time) are the only people you directly work with as a lyricist. So I thought, “maybe my rule only has to be that I’ll never sleep with a composer in the program. But if I am guaranteed to never have to work with this person, what’s the worst that can happen? 

It just felt like, “Well, even if it’s awkward, even if one of us gets hurt or whatever, we can be cordial. We won’t have to work directly together. So, it won’t be so terrible… (Little did I realize how small a class of 30ish people really could feel… Or how many small events would happen. Or how many he would plan or host. Or how there actually was a mode worse than people getting a “little hurt” or things being a “little awkward.” Of corse in imagining scenarios I thought he might be a jerk, but I never imagine this happening. I never imagined being assaulted and getting PTSD, and literally vomiting the next time I happened to see his face online after the assault happened.)

Of course, looking back on it now, I think I was just justifying things to myself… I’ve heard the various adages about not getting involved anywhere close with people you work or go to school with… There’s a reason there’s a saying (even if it sounds gross) “don’t dip your pen in the company ink.” Things wouldn’t be adages if there weren’t at least semi-good ideas sometimes or probable came from a somewhat emotional place.

But then I also thought about someone,l whom I dated and worked with (years ago)… Granted, I know it was different. I was at a different point in my career (thankfully he outranked me, even though I didn’t work directly under him (yeah I can hear the jokes you all are making to the computer now (except in the bedroom hardy had har, okay)). Anyway, and the gig was shorter term, so there wasn’t necessarily as much to lose.
But! It was one of the best shows I worked on in my California life. It was a great job. We could’ve gotten a million more seasons. It wasn’t a throwaway job and it wasn’t a sleepaway camp where everybody was like “what happens here stays here” away from our real lives. And it wasn’t guaranteed to be a short-term gig. It was real life with real possibilities joining a good franchise. And I still chose to go out with that guy… 

And I thought about the nearly year-long relationship I had with him and how wonderfully fun it was – the ways my world opened up being with him, in ways it might not have otherwise, and the really fun interesting, unique experiences we had. And I thought, “What if I’m missing out on another opportunity like that?”

I also thought, “Let’s get real. If I never get involved in any way with anyone I work or go to school with, I’m never gonna sleep with a man again!” [Not true. That’s so not true. The person I was so so so (so) in love with (but obviously I moved to NY in case you wondered why he’s not in the picture anymore) – I met him outside of both school and work. It just happened as a fluke while out in Los Angeles.

Obviously he works in TV as everyone out there does (and it’s so funny to now think back, that back then I *still* thought even just the same industry might be too close to my life, aye aye aye (but I most definitely was never ever gonna be involved in any way with anyone ever again if I cast my “rules” net around the whole industry). Anyway, the point is, I didn’t meet him that way – through work.

So, when I was going over pros/cons/possibilities in my head, why didn’t I focus on that one? On that “stay out of your small pool and find the love of your life!” example.

Because I guess I wanted excuses. I like to say yes to life. And I wanted to say yes to trying things with this dude. He was charming and he came on really strong. He seemed to reeeeeeeeeeeally (really) like me. And it just seemed so juvenile to think that two adults couldn’t go out or have sex or whatever and not have it be a big deal – whether they ended up doing that one time or a million. 

I mean, when I was in high school, I’d sworn off getting involved in any way with anybody from my school until the end of my junior year (after elections for theater president), because I couldn’t even chance that “drama” might get in the way.

And I did think about that with this guy and BMI!

But I’m like “this isn’t the same… we’re not voting for people. And WE’RE NOT HIGH SCHOOLERS! Dude is in his mid-thirties, I’m pretty sure. I know life resembles high school in many ways. But I really didn’t think I had to worry about “stepping into drama” or whatever. 

So in conclusion, after this long post, why would I make the dumb mistake of getting involved with someone in one of the most important things of my entire life? I guess because I’m a moron?

But I also want it on record that *usually* saying yes to opportunities and life and possibilities is fun and good! And I don’t *want* the lesson of this to be never explore and try things again.

I also want it on record – even more on record – this is the most super important part. I should have been able to be alone with him, to sleep with him without being assualted, without feeling so unsafe – no matter who he was. 

Even if it was a *complete asshole,* he shouldn’t have assaulted me. 

And I’ll talk a little more on that idea tomorrow. 

I'd love to hear from you! So whaddya say?