Your Parents Will Never Wish You This Life

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Hi Pamie,

My name is Robyn and I’m a young aspiring TV writer in L.A. who found your blog after it was linked from Jezebel. Your post “The Magical Vulva of Opportunity” really struck a chord with me because between parents encouraging me to “go back to school and became a professional naval-gazer in a safe environment like a college campus” and the snippets I hear every day about struggling, unhappy TV writers, I’m starting to wonder if I’m setting myself for a life of disappointment. This sentence in particular made my stomach drop:

“There have been shows I was almost on, shows I was on, shows I almost created, shows I wrote but nobody read. There have been proposals and pitches and meetings and punch-ups and “I don’t understand; they said you had the job, but now they just don’t have the budget for your level.” I’ve been singled out, recommended, read and “adored.” I’ve been pitched to, passed over, rescheduled and abandoned. I’ve learned a lot, and I’ve written even more. I’m a couple of credits away from being elevated higher than “mid-level female writer,” and I can’t wait to find out what new, terrible, miserable problems the next level brings.”

I know I’m 22 and still outside of that skyscraper looking up at its enormity, and I know it’s not your job to reassure some kid who graduated from college and moved to L.A. the next day with no tangible career prospects except a dream to write for television and maybe movies, but I want to know that you’re happy and that guy and his agent are just (albeit unconsciously) sexist jerks. I want to know that this is the only thing you’d ever want to do and could do. I want to convince myself that if you feel a richness in your life from this career, then my anxiety is for naught. I know it’s a lot to ask, haha.

I currently work in an entry-level job at a tech/marketing company, work on endless revisions to my sitcom spec and half-hour pilot and sometimes send out that Very Dramatic play I wrote last year to theater company’s reading committees. I presume you’ve been there and I’m curious what you would say to your past self knowing what you know now.

Thanks for being an inspiration to young women like me (neurotic as we are.)

All the best,

Robyn Bahr
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The Magical Vulva of Opportunity

I read Tina Fey’s Bossypants over the weekend, because as a lady who writes comedy it is some kind of law. They sent something to my house; it was very official. And because I’m a lady who writes comedy who also likes extra credit, I went to see Tina speak with Steve Martin last week, where I truly couldn’t walk five steps without running into or recognizing another woman I’d either worked with or had a meeting with or interviewed with or knew through comedy since moving to Los Angeles. (I also held the World’s Smallest Impromptu Book Signing, wherein I defaced Tina Fey’s Bossypants.)

I bring this up for a couple of reasons. It’s staffing season, which means right now writers are waiting to find out which shows are going to staff which writers, depending on which shows get picked up for the fall season, and it’s all very hurry-up-and-wait while your scripts get sent to network executives, showrunners, assistants and trashcans. Read more

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I don’t understand why they can’t market hair removal products to women without being utterly condescending. The worst is the Intuition, which instantly puts a Shakira song in my head anyway, but to add insult to injury, they also show these near-retarded women who can’t handle holding a razor. It’s always flying across the room, soap shooting out from their luxurious bubble bath. “Ooopsy! I dwopped my waazor! I sure wish someone would hewp widdle naked me.” Read more

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You know what’s cool about Tom Leykis? Everything. The man tells me exactly how to keep my cash in the bank, and not have to spend any of it on gold digging bitches. That’s all I get these days, are gold digging bitches. Every woman is on my jock, hoping to shake out a few nickels. Read more