Sunday, January 19, 2014

Failure Coach XIV

Bluestone MIA - Saint Louis

Alan was trapped in a box and in total darkness. Yet somehow he was able to stay somewhat calm and not panic. He could hear a faint bit of music being played. It was the popular hit Carry On by the music group Fun: 'Cause here we are. We are shining stars. We are invincible. We are who we are. On our darkest day. When we’re miles away. Sun will come. We will find our way home. He tried to knock but the box was soundproofed by a drapery and lining inside. He paused: If you're lost and alone. Or you're sinking like a stone. Carry on. May your past be the sound, of your feet upon the ground. Carry on. Oooh. Oooh. Oooh. Oooh.

Maybe it was his overall feeling of anxiety as he digested all that was set in place after the Ambrosia meetings in NY. Perhaps he was affected by the stage production of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman off-off Broadway the Ambrosia NYU kids took him to while in the city. (Their former classmates from acting and film classes were involved in the show somehow.)  Feeling confined and closed in felt real and startling. He wolk up in a sweat. It was just a dream. He was home and alone.  

By the time he started his day with a cup of coffee and settled in on his laptop to respond to a variety of e-mails, twitter news and blog comments he was back in the swing of things. Still that strange dream made him wonder. He was spending a lot of money over and above the help the publisher had pledged to promote the next book. He felt isolated and unsure of himself. In spite of his success. He started to think the only time he really felt alive was when he was in front of an audience. Crossing his fingers, he studied the schedule for the tour and said a prayer. His cell phone rang. It rang again.


“Hello Alan. This is no joke. I cannot find Bluestone and it is starting to worry me.” It was Jan. She did not normally worry about the comings and goings of the mercurial Daniel Bluestone but they argued about going to New York City at the same time as Alan. Dan suggested that they might be able to work something out with Ambrosia and/or Alan Edgewater to stay a part of the overall marketing planning and execution. Jan understood the Ambrosia team was not interested in any such arrangement. Alan agreed to track Dan down and call her back.         

Bluestone did head out of town but not to NYC. He was on his way to Miami. Alan knew this because he agreed to have Dan touch base with the Failure First Scholarship winner at the University of Miami. Bluestone had friends in South Florida. His plan was to fly whatever cheap fare he could find on Southwest or whatever. Once there, he called Alan with some ideas involving Johnny Appleseed. Alan figured a photo of the scholar and maybe a few quotes would be useful. He knew Dan would be able to get him to sign an appropriate release too. Dan and Alan had an understanding. Alan knew an invoice would come eventually, but it would only cover hours at what Dan called his “blended rate” for services ($250 per hour).

Alan did not think any of this was out of character. It was part of Dan Bluestone’s M.O. to chase opportunities around the country. Alan assumed he was trying to keep pace with his former life as an executive creative director. Dan had produced TV spots in Florida when going to L.A. was too expensive (due to talent, union and travel expenses). South Beach, Miami and Fort Lauderdale were pretty good places to connect with creative people. He had a handful of freelancers, former employees and associates living or visiting South Florida at almost any given time. Instead of following Alan to NYC,  he changed his plans and checked into the Raleigh Hotel on Collins Avenue on Miami Beach where he would meet with a couple of friends for a dirty martini. Over drinks poolside, Alan shared stories of Failure Coach LLC, marketing Sazerac Rye Whiskey and old times. Tomorrow he would see about tracking down Johnny Appleseed at the “U”…

Dan Bluestone woke up on a chaise lounge. It was 72 degrees with a slight breeze when he woke up and made his way to his room at the Raleigh Hotel.    

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