Tags Posts tagged with "Charlie Nadler"

Charlie Nadler

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Charlie and Marty Nadler pose with Elvis on a drive across the country — Charlie and Marty Nadler pose with Elvis on a roPhoto courtesty of Charlie Nadler
Charlie Nadler writes From Afar.
Charlie Nadler writes From Afar.

Charlie Nadler grew up on Martha’s Vineyard and graduated from MVRHS with the class of 2002. Until mid-March, he lived in the Los Feliz area of Los Angeles where he worked in the film and television industry and performed stand up comedy. He’s relocating to New York City, where he will continue to muse about his life on and off Martha’s Vineyard in his weekly “From Afar” column.

Labor Day 2006. The last big wave of tourists on Martha’s Vineyard departed and it was time for my Hollywood life to begin. I needed reliable transportation and sage advice, so I tossed my successful comedy writer father into the passenger seat of my Toyota and drove onto the ferry. I asked him to pack light, which he did, although he revealed in Woods Hole that he had brought nine hats.

While our ultimate goal was Los Angeles, my dad and I made sure we had a blast every step of the journey. We hit , Nashville to eat, Asheville to socialize, and the Grand Canyon to soak up adventure… and by that I mean we visited the IMAX theater at the Grand Canyon that provides a wonderful overview of all the thrills that await those who visit the region. We then promptly departed said region for Vegas.

To this day that road trip of ours serves as a great metaphor for how I try to live my life. I still have various epic finish lines in sight, but the only thing I can really control is the next exit on the highway.

Once in Los Angeles I found a city that is never dull and sometimes lucrative, but always a tough adjustment. Over the next 90 months I slowly created a life for myself. College held my hand through the motions of grown up existence, but California forced me to commit to every facet of adulthood. It was an amazing process, discovering the difference between a job and the job, any apartment and the apartment, some girl and the girl.

Learning how to live taught me how to write. I found a notebook the other day that came over in that maiden Nadler voyage of ’06, filled to the brim with miscellaneous jokes, ideas, and thoughts. Thank goodness twenty-two year-old me thought I was too legit to quit, because looking through that notebook today, I hate most of the material. But my bland 100-month old notebook makes sense. I still needed to try and fail, experiment and succeed, love and hurt. LA gave me all of that and the experiences are priceless as both an artist and a human being.

I thought I had a good ten to fifteen Pacific Standard Time years in me but the expressway of life is now bringing me to New York City. The Toyota is long gone, but my girlfriend has an equally dependable Hyundai. It’s bittersweet to uproot but we’re excited to plant anew. We’re stopping in several inspiring locales including Vail and Cedar Rapids. I am only bringing one hat, but my father will be happy to hear I shipped eight others.

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Charlie Nadler writes From Afar
Charlie Nadler writes From Afar

Charlie Nadler grew up on Martha’s Vineyard and graduated from MVRHS with the class of 2002. He lives in the Los Feliz area of Los Angeles where he works in the film and television industry and regularly performs stand up comedy.  In the twice-monthly “From Afar” column, Charlie will muse about the Island from his perch in LA.

It’s times like these when I miss my old Vineyard summer jobs the most.

The Hollywood Producer interrogating me received 200 resumes and scheduled 25 interviews. I was thrilled to make the final round and dumbstruck when he offered me the job. I didn’t expect this because I’d flubbed an important interview question.

He asked me how I dealt with stress.

I can’t remember what I spewed out, the interview process is stressful and tends to blur together. I definitely didn’t tell him the truth; he wouldn’t have responded well to that.

I had concerns. The drive was almost an hour each way and the salary was meager, but this smooth talking middle aged gentleman had a great reputation — “Super Nice Guy!” — and he promised a lot of long-term upside about how this would lead to invaluable connections and an eventual business partnership with him for future projects. It helped rationalize the bagged lunch life I’d live for a while. He wanted me to bring in ideas right away, and this was the first time a producer had asked me to bring in anything besides a Diet Coke.

I enjoyed a promising first morning thanks to the dazzling efficiency of the building. It was one of those swank offices where the guard will hurtle his security booth if necessary so he can open the door for you. The elevator call button should’ve been called the open sesame button because a door dinged as soon as you grazed it with your finger. Don’t even get me started about the Flavia coffee machine; ready-to-go pouches that DISAPPEARED into the machine after brewing. I barely had to do ANYTHING at this place! I was living the dream. The only thing better would be if this company relocated to Oak Bluffs.

Then the “Super Nice Guy” showed up.

I have dealt with a lot of tough personalities in entertainment. I can cope with them. I had heard my new boss could be “crazy,” but everyone in this industry is crazy. Including me. Especially me.

But this guy spoke a dialect of English that I hadn’t studied. I soon learned “Get a card” meant “Get two cards,” and punishment for this type of illiteracy was excessive verbal abuse. He was super nice at times, but you never knew when his fury would return, and it arrived faster than the elevators.

Since there is no Rosetta Stone for “Maniacal Hollywood Producer English,” I logged an absurd amount of unpaid overtime trying to make sense of it all. I clocked twenty-six hours in my first two days. I would make eight dollars per hour, also known as California minimum wage. I hated helping this guy sell his ideas. I missed selling apple fritters.

The last straw came when my boss asked me to meet him on the other side of the street— so he didn’t have to turn his car around — with four packets of this special cleanse powder. Recalling the card debacle, I took eight packets. Noting how much he hated waiting, I avoided the “inconvenient” crosswalk and jay-walked across six lanes of rush hour traffic to make the drop seamless.

I risked my life for a mean person’s colon cleanse.

It was at this moment I realized the answer to how I deal with stress. I extricate myself from bad situations. So I did just that. I quit just two days in. An employer cleanse so to speak.

They opened the door for me on my way out. It was wonderful to escape one second sooner.