Dream job: Screenwriter

by | March 10, 2009

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Age: 30
Education: BA, English Literature, New York University

"After college, I lived the life of a starving artist for several years, waiting tables and writing plays. I had a few off-off-off Broadway productions that some friends and I ended up producing, but they were largely unsuccessful, short runs that were done exclusively for friends and friends of friends. By some twist of fate though, I was able to get myself a literary agent who happened to come to one of the plays. It was a fortuitous thing because he turned out to be quite a shaker -- though it also of course meant that I was one of 120 'clients' that he had. I tried being positive -- at least he had more exposure to people who could potentially land me a job than I could.

I suppose the rest of the story is about luck. I had a breakfast meeting with my agent telling him of all the work that I had finished in recent months, not thinking anything of it. He just happened to go to a party later that week and talk to a producer who happened to be looking for a script on a courtroom drama. To this day, I'm not sure what the fixation on courtroom drama was about, but there it was. My agent happened to remember, don't ask me how, that the piece I mentioned off the cuff was a courtroom drama (they can be done very inexpensively with minimal set design) and sent over my script.

Turned out that it was actually something that the producer was interested in. He purchased it, and it languished for awhile, but then it was finally picked up again after some actors and a director agreed to be in it. Not only did the script actually give me some long-awaited financial help, but it also opened some doors for me into more regular television writing. In fact, in the coming TV season, I wrote a pilot episode that has been picked up by one of the major television networks."

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