At one point, it had gotten confusing enough that, while in LA, I was called to a meeting for Assistant Director in an area of LA that was mostly Black and Hispanic. When I walked in the door, there was surprise, which I soon learned was from the fact that I was not African-American. This was an assumption the folks made. There was no bias - just surprise, enough so that they insisted on driving me home (not driving, I took the bus) out of fear for my safety walking in their neighborhood. I found this odd, that they were making assumptions about me walking through the neighborhood I would never make. I explained that I lived on the Upper West Side in a mostly Dominican neighborhood in NY, and did not ever consider it a problem, but driving me home made them feel better, and, hey, why turn down a free ride.
Here, a seed was planted for a problem to come. They had a production company set up, an LLC, as is required, but had not had the the production company option the script. In cases like this, where the writers were also principals of the production company, often the option would be just a token formality, like buying the rights for a dollar.
I never regretted hiring Charlie. If anything, when the bad days came, it was nice to have him at my side. Charlie was the first person to sense trouble. Among his favorite expressions was that, in this business, if you aren't paranoid, you aren't paying attention. How true this has turned out to be.
That turned out not to be the case. More on that in the next post.