From LA Weekly:
The Working Poet Radio Show
7:00 p.m. June 4
Los Angeles Central Library
Mark Taper Auditorium
Whether it’s Twitter, YouTube or Instagram, digital media are changing the business world, one click at a time. The whole concept of sharing has swiftly become more than social, and if you’ve seen Jon Favreau’s latest film, Chef, you’ll understand how quickly your Twitter game can change your career. Enter The Working Poet Radio Show, a new monthly radio and television talk show sponsored by the Los Angeles Public Library, which seeks to explore the lives of creative people. The June 4 show, “Working With Humor,” will focus on comedians and how digital media are changing their professional lives. Sit with the live audience and listen as L.A. success stories Flula Borg, a German techno DJ; Key & Peele director Jay Martel; and best-selling author Pamela Ribon discuss how humor has changed because of social media. “It’s such a struggle for people to get to where they want to be,” says show host (and L.A. Weekly contributor) Joseph Lapin on the struggle to be successful while maintaining creativity. “This show appeals to those who want to be creative.” Mark Taper Auditorium, Central Library, 630 W. Fifth St.; Wed., June 4, 7 p.m.; free. (213) 228-7338, theworkingpoetradioshow.com.
— By Kellyn Kawaguchi
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:
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.
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.
I’ve started a new screenwriting job that has me working at an office.
It’s been a long time since I’ve been a part of corporate culture. I worried it had been too long since I worked business hours with normal people, having co-workers who didn’t have tails or wear diapers. I worried not for me, but for them. It’s been a very long time since going to work means I have to put on pants.
It’s that time of year when networks are ordering pilots. This means tv writers are sitting around anxiously waiting to find out which scripts they’ll be viciously hate-reading.
It’s been a little while since I’ve had time to do a Weekly Procrastination, so I’ll do two today.