A few years back when Banff still held in-person meeting, my writing partner and I had a meeting with an exec from a network that seemed perfect for our project. I did all the research for the pitch and knew exactly which shows it was similar to on their network. It should have been a slam dunk.
Unfortunately, when we got to the session, there were only two chairs: One for the exec, one for the pitchee. I rounded up the top organizer and was told their directive was only two chairs, no exceptions. I said you can't expect my partner (who has insisted I sit), an Indigenous Governor General Award-winning playwright, to kneel in front of a white exec. What are you thinking?
To no avail. My partner insisted I get the chair and he knelt while we made the pitch to the exec. I was so flustered I made my way credibly through the pitch. Then the exec asked: "So, what show on our network is this like?"
I blanked. With all the distraction and upset of the chair thing, I couldn't access that part of my memory and my notes were in my bag, which they had made us stash at the door. A giant memory fart. I smiled and said "Well. you're going to have to help me there: what show do you think it's like?"
Big mistake. The exec said rather stiffly I should have done my homework before making a pitch and although they took the one-sheet, we knew we'd never hear back. As we walked slowly towards the door as hordes of writers flooded in for the next session, I apologized to my writing partner. He shrugged.
"Didn't go all that bad," he said. "I bet she remembers us."
That, I thought, is exactly what I'm afraid of...
BTW, after our complaint, Banff added extra chairs to their pitch sessions...