Created by: Carlos Romero
Music by: Adam Blau
This has been sitting in the inbox for a while. My apologies.
I attended your Chicks with Bics panel and we met briefly during the BBQ at the Austin Film Festival. Thank you very much for taking the time to speak on the panels and share your experiences, and also for taking the time to talk with me personally. I am a novelist and an aspiring TV comedy writer so everything you spoke about has direct relevance to what I’m trying to do/achieve/be. Therefore, I am writing to express my thanks.
Your advice solidified my plans to start a blog and take an improv class, the latter of which frightens me to my very core (it was the only time I purchased something where I hoped my credit card would be declined).
With the hope that I’m not overstaying my email welcome, I do have a question for you – if you have the time. I wrote a half-hour comedy with the following logline: An orthodox Jewish family, desperate to have a child, tries to adopt a little Jewish girl but through a mixup at the agency, ends up with an African American one. (it’s sort of a Modern Family meets Different Strokes) I know it’s not necessarily a marketable idea but I hope it’s unique enough to get read and, in an ideal world, help me get staffed.
I received notes from a (film) producer friend who said it was basically too Jewish to sell and has too narrow of an appeal to use as a writing sample. So, my question: Is he right in that IF it doesn’t have broad appeal, could that be a problem? Should I be writing something that’s safe and appeals to the broadest audience possible so that agents, producers etc. know that I can, or is it ok to have an idea that may be a bit niche without them thinking I can only write to that niche?
Thank you again so very much for your time and assistance. It really is invaluable to receive advice from someone with your accomplishments.
Hi, Megan! It’s good to hear from you, and YAY on the improv class! I know it’s scary, but that’s the point. You’ll have more sympathy for the actors in the roles you create, and all actors want is love, attention, sympathy and everything else you have and then more than that and actors can be needy, is what I’m saying.
So, someone told you that your idea wasn’t that great. The next question to ask yourself is, “Do I want that person to be right?” Because if this is the story that showcases your voice, your point of view, your unique place in this huge world of writers and storytellers, then you have to stick with it. If you’re looking to get staffed, showrunners aren’t looking for writers with “broad appeal.” They’re looking for something new, something different, something funny with heart and talent. Did this story happen to you or someone you know? Even better. And even more reason to tell the haters to suck it.
Posting my Austin Film Festival info here for those of you who I want to see, need to see, or hope to see next week. When I’m not at these places, I’m probably in the Driskill lobby, or wherever Chuy tells me to be. Austin, please get your breakfast tacos and Mexican Martinis all in a row because I have only so much time to eat and drink between these fun things:
A couple of weeks ago I was having dinner with the smart and funny Linda Holmes. Linda was in town to cover the TCA’s, an annual two-week tv critic lock-in that sounds like the television equivalent of your dad forcing you to smoke a carton of cigarettes in a closet. It was her last night, and we got together to talk all things.
About twenty minutes into our conversation, I looked up to catch a glimpse of Famous Hair. It was hair so famous I knew without even seeing the face attached to it, who was standing in front of me.
I’ve been around enough famous people now to confidently tell you that the hair of the famous is just different. It’s better. It’s amazing. Even when it’s supposed to be doing nothing, it’s doing something. It’s sitting on a recognizable head being even better than regular ‘ol boring strands of keratin.
Woo-hoo! We have a release date for Notes to Boys (And Other Things I Shouldn’t Share in Public). [For newer readers who may not be familiar with some of Little Pam's finest, I direct you to these older posts. Start here.]
The Polish translation of You Take It From Here was released earlier this year. I love how angsty the main characters look. “I live your life now. I stare at your future. I will use your skin care products even though they do not agree with my complexion. This is how I am best friend to you.”
I am writing on a lunch break because I miss you, dear readers of pamie.com. I hope you know that when I’m not writing here it is because I am always (no, really, always) writing something for you that sometimes you will see later. Though sometimes, unfortunately, you’ll never see it, but it’s always with the intent that it will get to be before your eyes or in your hands some day. Or on your iPads. Or in your Kindles. Or in your closet. Look in your closet! SURPRISE! HI! I AM WEARING ALL YOUR CLOTHES.
Something fun for your Sunday night:
So, you’re the main reason I started playing derby. I’ve been following your blog for 10 years or whatever, and Going in Circles happened to coincide with a Derby league forming in my area. Fast forward almost two years later, and I was just named captain of a newly-forming fourth home team.
Since you’re my derby inspiration and you gave your stamp of approval via Twitter to my derby name (Shevil Dead), I was hoping you would have some team name ideas.
Our three current home teams are;
The Vineyard Vixens
The Beltway Betties
The Backwoods Rollers
My colors will be black and gunmetal grey, and I want us to be dark and scary, to set us apart from the other teams.
Some ideas I’ve been kicking around:
The Night Terrors
The LoCo SuperScars (LoCo is a nickname for our county, Loudoun County)
The Nightmare Machines
The LoCo Terrors
If you have any divine inspiration, I would greatly appreciate it!!!
I’m partial to the LoCo Superstars, myself. Have at it in the comments, wonder killers.
Dear Pregnant Derby Girl:
Much like roller derby, you probably approached motherhood as something you’d seen before, mostly on TV or the movies, and you felt like you’d be pretty good at it. It does look like fun.
But then you went and did it and just like during your first week of roller derby, you’re thinking, “WHY DIDN’T ANYONE TELL ME IT WOULD BE LIKE THIS? IT IS HARD AND THERE’S ALL THIS PAIN. LOOK WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO MY BODY OH MY GOD ARE THERE DRUGS I CAN TAKE?”
The good news is that because of roller derby, you’re already used to thinking of your body as something other than just your “self.” You know what it’s like to have donated your entire life to a higher calling, a greater good. This prepares you well for both pregnancy and delivery, and eventually for motherhood itself.
You are already used to people – sometimes strangers – poking you, pushing you, touching your boobs and your butt. You don’t even blink when someone puts a hand between your legs and moves you to the side. Weird bruises don’t faze you, neither does blood coming from parts of you that don’t normally bleed like that. You go to the doctor more often than most people. You know it’s just a matter of time before you rip open something important. But this time, girl, that thing you’re ripping open will be your taint.
Over the past month I’ve had two encounters where I’ve been talking with friends I haven’t seen in a while — both of whom I know outside the industry but work inside it — when they said to me, “I thought you went home.”
“No, no, I’ve always been here,” I said.
“You didn’t go home and then come back?” Both of them said that, with a cock of the head. “I could’ve sworn I’d heard you left.”
Both of these people are Facebook friends, which pulls from my Twitter feed. This means I’m not doing a very good job of representing myself lately. And yes, I do a lot of work I’m not allowed to publicly discuss, and I’ve learned important lessons in my million years on the web about what is and isn’t wise to share on the Internet, so I probably err on the side of not enough information.
It has been a very busy year, so I’ll try and give something for everyone here. A little work update for those of you who enjoy reading about the writing life, a little bit of baby info, for those of you who want to know the latest on Qwerty, and finally for those of you who just want to know what Mom’s up to next, a little something special.