Maybe it is just me, but listening too much to every single piece of info-which is always different BTW-to find how exactly “how” get in, break in, start your career, etc, is a big waste of time to me. Here is why.
The thing is, I believe that all of it is great information, but sometimes when over loaded with too much, people, writers-creative beings-start to think, or what I like to call OVER THINK, then immediately self doubt follows, and worry, dread, self loathing and the eventual not handing in of the script. Or even worse handing in something you don’t love and isn’t great because you changed your mind half way through, or minutes before the deadline.
As well, everyone and their dog will follow everything everyone says, then you will NOT stand out. If everyone does the same spec script and writes the same letter of interest etc, how could you possibly stand out?
You think you will stand out because your script is “brilliant.”? Ha! Unless the title itself is beyond brilliant, if you are number 1202 of Modern Family, Community, (you get the point), how will you even get read?
I also can’t stand all the, “don’t write this, write this” advice going out there. Look it is simple, write a show you love, make it brilliant. I mean there is a chance that if you are writing a really popular choice this year, EXAMPLE: Castle, or Modern Family, then it will be harder to be seen.
So I say, break the rules just a little. Be ready with back up scripts, so when they ask what else you have, you have something that makes you different. This is a line from the film, Walk the Line, about Johnny Cash.
The set up is that Johnny is auditioning for a Sam Phillips and he is playing it safe, he is playing what everyone else is doing. Now, was Johnny talented? Did his voice stand out? Did he have star quality? Yes, yes, yes, but at this point, he wasn’t showing it.
Sam Phillips: Bring… bring it home? All right, let’s bring it home. If you was hit by a truck and you was lying out there in that gutter dying, and you had time to sing *one* song. Huh? One song that people would remember before you’re dirt. One song that would let God know how you felt about your time here on Earth. One song that would sum you up. You tellin’ me that’s the song you’d sing? That same Jimmy Davis tune we hear on the radio all day, about your peace within, and how it’s real, and how you’re gonna shout it? Or… would you sing somethin’ different. Somethin’ real. Somethin’ *you* felt. Cause I’m telling you right now, that’s the kind of song people want to hear. That’s the kind of song that truly saves people. It ain’t got nothin to do with believin’ in God, Mr. Cash. It has to do with believin’ in yourself.
So then Johnny played a song that he wrote that was from his own truth, it was real and he got past, and broke in, the rest is history.
Obviously we as aspiring TV writers don’t have that much freedom, but we do in a way.
Like I said, I think all the info out there is valuable, but you have to take it all in and then make it work for you.
In any case, I just had to share my thoughts on this because it is summer and the followships/writing program deadlines are upon us, and everyone is talking talking talking which is turning into worry worry worry, second guessing and I think people are hurting themselves.
But for me, I am different, I don’t believe in “can’t” I don’t 100% believe in paying it safe, and or following all the rules and while I may not be working full time in the biz as a writer, I am working in the industry and would not be if I listened to everything and worried and hung onto every word everyone said. If you do that you’ll end up crazy, frustrated and at your sucky day job until one day you wake up 60 & depressed.
Wait! Why am I telling you guys this? Aren’t you my competition? Okay, forget all that, read everything, follow every rule, play it safe! Hahaha
Happy Writing and GOOD LUCK TO EVERYONE WRITING SPECS! We are the future of television!
Yep – If nobody took any chances we wouldn’t have great shows like Breaking Bad or Arrested Development (RIP)…
Also, it’s rare when a success story begins with “So, I was just kind of doing what everyone else was doing…not really working hard, and…”
Keep the inspiration coming!
Thanks so much! In acting I learned that standing out is just as important, if not more important than one’s ability!