Big Budget, Bad Choices: Lines That Shouldn't Have Made It Through Edits
Below is the transcript to episode 20 of A Book and A Dream. Listen here.
If that's not how it went down, if they were just like, "You know what? I've heard that dancers smoke a lot and are pretty whorey..."
Welcome to A Book and a Dream with Megan O'Russell: An Author's Adventure in Writing, Reading, and Being an Epic Fangirl.
Hello and welcome to episode 20 of A Book and a Dream. My name is Megan O'Russell. And before we hop in today, I have to give you a bit of a content warning. Today I will be saying the word S E X. Now, not in like a Not safe for work way. This is totally PG 13 prime time TV appropriate. But if you happen to be self isolating with, I don't know, like a four year old who really likes to repeat random words they hear, maybe like pop in some earbuds or wait for the three and a half minutes of alone time you have to, you know, dive into this. So before we get to the SEX part, a little update from me. First of all, it's day number 792 of a quarantine. Not really. It just feels like it. Uh, and because everyone's going a little bit stir crazy, I have decided to make When Worlds Begin free until April 20th. Now when worlds begin is the starter series, err, series starter box set that I have.
So it's Ember and Stone, Girl of Glass, The Tethering, and The Girl Without Magic. Now, I never really thought that I'd be making all four of those books free in one package, but we're all on the struggle bus right now. And you know, a lot of the people who suddenly have time at home where they don't really know how to fill it and are feeling a little bit lonely are also the people who aren't necessarily receiving an income right now. So if you need an escape, go to and the 2 is the digit, not the t-w-o. And download your free copy. It's on basically every major ebook retailer. Find a little bit of escape. We're all trying really hard to get through this in a productive and cheerful manner. So find a little bit of adventure. Please download the books.
Enjoy. Now, to the sex. Okay. Now we all know that I try really hard to not like pinpoint things and say bad things about them because in the author community we don't need that kind of negativity. We don't need to trash each other's work. I don't like that. But this is not about a book. This is about a show. It's called Prodigal Son. Now it's a little rough in the first few episodes, but honestly I was sort of like starting to get into this show. What's the name of the lead dude? Mike sheen. Martin sheen. Mark sheen. I dunno. He's like famous, and he's cool. And then there's like Jesus from The Walking Dead and it's like a decent program. And so I've been watching it and they decided to have an episode with the answers. Now this show us about like a guy whose father is a serial killer and he investigates serial killers.
I like watching things about serial killers, like mythical programs, not documentaries. It makes me feel like my life could be much worse. There's no serial killers involved. I'm doing really well. So I've been watching this show to comfort myself, and there's ballet death. And so they're going in and they're going to interrogate the ballerinas. I use the term ballerinas loosely. There was not like a lot of ballet going on. It was, I don't know, I-maybe no dancers showed up at the audition. I don't know what's happening. So they're investigating and they go to question this dancer because, you know, clearly she has a motive and she says, and I quote, "Dancers live by a code: pirouettes, cigarettes, easy sex, no regrets."
Now luckily I'm watching this on Hulu so I start dying with laughter, and so my husband and I, we, you know, rewind it to watch it again. And sure enough, it's "pirouettes, cigarettes, easy sex, no regrets." Now I have a problem with this on like a couple of different levels. Let's just first of all, break it down on like a, this is our code level. Pirouettes, we're like doing pretty good. Cigarettes. Oh, okay. We're like moving into like health issues, lung cancer, like maybe not the best life choices. Easy sex. Okay. But have we read like a sex ed manual? Like are we doing this properly? No regrets.
Based on the previous three statements, I can almost guarantee you're going to have some regrets in there. So first of all as like a code, it doesn't make sense. Second of all, as someone who has spent their life in dance, did I miss something? Was there like some secret dancer meeting when they were like, guys, we have this code but don't tell Megan. Maybe this could explain some things like I've been missing out on this secret language of pirouettes, cigarettes, easy sex, and no regrets. Like, what? How did this happen? But mostly, who agreed to put that in the script? Like, did they interview some dancers and the dancers were like, "You know what'd be really funny. Let's tell them that this is a code that we like all live by and see if they put it on the show," which granted could happen. Like that would be hysterical if you were in a focus group and they were like, tell us about dancing.
And someone raised their hand and was like, this is the code we live by. And then it got on, you know, prime time television. If that is what happened. Whoever came up with that, good for you. If that's not how it went down... if they were just like, "You know what? I've heard that dancers smoke a lot and are pretty whorey kind of an issue. That's sort of like a negative stereotype to put on people who literally pour their blood, sweat, tears, joint issues, future arthritis, ripped tendons and you know, everything else into their art for like not the best pay and like a lot of disappointment and rejection. Maybe we shouldn't, you know, stereotype them as a bunch of cigarette smoking sluts who don't know when they've made bad decisions. Maybe that's like not the best way to present this group of artists to the country.
And then it made me wonder how many people go into writing this script, how many well-paid people who probably have like a 401k and health insurance were sitting in a room and were like, "let's put this in an episode. That's a great idea." And it made me realize that I'm way too hard on myself sometimes. Like now that I'm an indie author, everything that I decided to go in my books pretty much gets run by me, an editor, and some beta readers. That's it, and if I decide like no, I'm keeping in that pirouettes cigarettes, easy sex and no regrets. There is no one who can tell me that I can't. As long as I'm not being so dirty, Amazon pings me for like not being appropriate for my genre, I can do basically whatever I want, and I've never made a mistake that bad.
At least I think I haven't. I'm pretty neurotic about my research. I spent a lot of the past week like researching horses and snow and wool and snow, like, I do my best. And sure, there's always going to be a mistake and whatever. If there were a botanist, they'd be like, "you know what you missed in girl of glass. You should plant seeds this way." I did a lot of research. I visited a lot of botanical gardens. I'm sure there some like new method that I'm not up to date on, but I did my best. But I'm also doing it alone, and they're doing it in like a group with a lot of money and a massive budget. So maybe I should be a little bit easier on myself instead of freaking out if I think maybe I should have said like, "Oh, when the wire goes left instead of straight," whatever it is, maybe I should give myself a bit more credit, which makes me wonder what you should be giving yourself more credit for too.
Cause we're all our worst critics. So when you're thinking about whatever art it is that you're creating in the pandemic, whether you're doing living room choreo or writing songs or painting for the first time, or maybe you're just doing some really fun TikTok dances because that's where you're at in life and that's totally okay. Or maybe you're trying to cook and epically failing. It's okay. Embrace where you are because wherever you are in your creation process, or even if your creation process is just keeping small children alive, that is totally a worthy ambition. I could not do it. I could not do pandemic with children. Whatever it is, give yourself some credit, because at the end of the day, you still have more artistic integrity and better research than the people who put in pirouettes, cigarettes, easy sex, and no regrets. It's catchy, but it's wrong. So give yourself some grace and credit because you are doing a great job.
Be kind to yourself. Love yourself and accept that you are winning, friend, you are definitely winning without pirouettes, cigarettes, easy sex, and no regrets. Now, if there are any other wonderful little primetime television glitches that you've caught, please tell me because this is my new favorite thing. I've been saying this like 25 times a day and not just when recording this podcast. So please share them in the comments. Reach out on Instagram, Twitter. If you have a video clip of it all the better. Please share because I'm living for it right now and be kind to yourself. Compassion is important and compassion for your own struggling self is even more important. You're doing a great job. I'll see you next time.