Open Letter to Madonna

Subject: Open Letter to Madonna
From: Geoff Linehan
Date: 8 Sep 2022

Dear Madonna,

One trait you have is the fortitude to do something without second guessing. Back in 1998, college graduation was approaching. My career goal was to become a screenwriter. By that point, I had already developed a crush on you. It became more than that.

Although I knew you were a total stranger, sometimes you’d say or do something that just tuned with my instincts. I wish very much that I could have introduced you to authentic Kabbalah from my Jewish background. I have so much knowledge I want to share with you; you’re one smart woman with prowess.

Featuring you in a movie screenplay might be one way to attract your attention. Knowing you enjoyed being in a screwball comedy or two, I delved into the library of 1930s and ‘40s films. Bringing Up Baby became my model for the screenplay. You’d be in David’s position, with someone … someone who’s a nobody in life in Susan’s role. Through the course of the movie, you’d let down your guard, the facade you’d have to keep up in the public eye.

The screenplay project was sent to CAA about the time I graduated. Sadly, a letter came back saying something like it’s not what they’re looking for at this time. So, I went through film after film, trying to learn how to structure my story better.

I envisioned the film as fast-paced with witty dialogue, sexual innuendo, and plot twists worthy of something like “His Girl Friday”.

How ironic. On one level, there were deep themes in my vision, despite the objective plot morphing from draft to draft. The heart of this story remained the same. It’s a screwball relationship between a famous entertainer and someone nobody knows. More than a quick sex comedy, its about what takes a relationship between people at opposite ends of the social landscape to endure. By the end of the story, both characters must become “naked”. You shed your public facade. He sheds his preconceptions of you based on the media’s portrayal.

I soon named him Joseph, based on the Biblical story of the Pharaoh and Joseph. In that story, the pharaoh trusts Joseph’s insight into his dreams. I had it that you had been somewhat mentally distracted from your spiritual connection due to the demands of the public.

What if the pharaoh and Joseph developed a personal bond? What if you and Joseph had each helped the other to grow. That, not external attraction alone, is what secures a relationship.

There are allusions to Kabbalah, which makes it a shame that I can’t learn whether you’d enjoy them. One theme is about illusion and reality being beneath what we see. So, there are allusions to the Kabbalistic concept of Tzimtzum.

I also comment on the importance of both you and the Joseph character to make a harmonious relationship work. For this, I allude to the two columns of the Tree of Life, the sephirot having both male and female roles, and the concept of mistaking the husk around the sephirah, called the klipah, for the actual fruit. It’s like mistaking someone nicknamed the “Material Girl” for Madonna herself.

While the film would be reminiscent of 1940s screwball comedy, the experience would be a tribute to the 1980s. I want to portray the decade’s experience from a young person’s perspective. The excitement, the Los Angeles scenery, the vivid colors.

Ten eighties songs on the soundtrack: “Material Girl”, Union of the Snake”, “These Dreams” by Heart, to name a few.

I can go on writing about it. Actually, I regret deeply not having finished the project. I began a memoir about my writing journey. It’s the one point in my life where I feel like a loser.

I discovered something fascinating called Dramatica. It’s helped me understand film in.a whole new way. Yet, life distractions or whatever have prevented me from finishing the project.

You seem to be so competent. I started a memoir about myself. I added imaginary pieces of dialogue with you. At times, you say that I should keep going. At other moments, you suggest that perhaps I don’t have what you have. I don’t know. My thoughts are worthy of sharing with the world.

So, I’ve gained enormously by having pursued this, but it’s failed to be finished. That ticking clock …

You don’t know I exist.