working it.

There’s no easy way to explain this, the amount of work, luck and good fortune that goes into a lovely combination of producer interest, agenting, and studio support. Everybody has to invest time and energy and smarts and faith in creating a new possibility.

On the afternoon AB Chao was flying to Los Angeles, hours after I’d gotten off the red-eye from running the marathon, I was pitching a sitcom. A pitch is a twenty-or-so minute song-and-dance where I outline the themes, characters, and world of a show. I explain how it would be funny, how the characters interact, and why people would want to watch more than once. A lot more than once. And why a network should take a chance on purchasing that sitcom.

During the pitch there are people all around me. Producers, agents and execs — Team Pam — there to show support, to talk up me and the project before I start my speech, who explain why they’re excited and therefore think the network should get excited enough to pony up and take this property off the market. Continue reading

I told you: good jobs

Esquire columnist, Oprah magazine contributor, and Daily Show correspondent Stacey Grenrock-Woods I, CALIFORNIA, a memoir of being born and raised on the left coast which tackles, among others, the titillating power of Peter Frampton’s bare chest, how posing for Playboy makes you hungry, and the shame you feel when a loved one unearths your old Sting tee-shirt, to Rob Weisbach at Simon & Schuster, at auction, by dan Greenberg at Levine Greenberg Literary Agency (world).

Go, Stacey.

Oh, wireless internet. How beautiful

Oh, wireless internet. How beautiful you are.

I’m actually on a shoot, right now. I’m sitting on the floor next to a monitor. The director is blocking out the next scene. The producers are discussing how they think it should look. I’m finished making script changes. Everyone is now teasing me for working on my blog, so here:

I wrote something for Friends of the Heroes that posted today.

The good, the bad and the unknown.

Working on this television show is teaching me how to add more specifics to my writing. When I write here, or a recap, or even a script Liz and I will eventually perform, there’s a tendency to write in shorthand, to deliver enough information that someone “gets it,” and then move on. Here I’m learning what happens if you leave things up to interpretation, the confusion that can happen when a script goes through ten different hands before it’s heard out loud again. There’s no room for imagination. Everything will actually exist and there are a thousand decisions to make. If the writer doesn’t specify, there will be notes, questions, and the possibility of something getting cut because it’ll take too long to interpret.

[scripty]
Liz is in the kitchen. She stands by a table, eating food.

LIZ
Chinese food is so messy.
[/scripty]

Is the kitchen in a house, apartment or office? What kind of table? Can it be a counter? Is the food in a bowl, on a plate, in a container? Is she eating Chinese food, or just talking about it because she can’t eat it because it’s too messy? Continue reading

pre-production

We have spent the past week in pre-production at the Oxygen show.

Pre-production means the producers are planning out the shooting schedule, while we rewrite the script over and over again until it satisfies the network, the budget and the cast (in that order). This is when it gets more intense, and a bit frustrating. This is when you have to, as the comedy saying goes, “eat your babies.” Gone is your hilarious joke about chick lit — too “smart.” Gone is your clever dig at tearjerkers — they don’t “get it.” Another segment gets changed entirely, as the location was impossible to rent affordably. Jokes are rewritten, made “broader” and softer, and less “political.” You are told to lose the subtlety. Sometimes we marvel at what does get in. Jokes we thought were too raunchy or silly, sketches that we threw out there because someone needed to say something at that moment — some of this stuff was in Plan D. Now we’re writing the script backwards, trying to fit the same joke or the same social commentary around a budgetary restriction, and it can be very difficult. It can be extremely frustrating. You know how to make the joke work one way, the best way, but you can’t do that, so you’ve got to sneak it in or illustrate it in another fashion. Continue reading

We found a copy of

We found a copy of Wai Lana’s Yoga Sound CD here at the Oxygen office today. Stacey and I freaked out Johanna with our vast knowledge of this unique little woman. View half an hour of addictively creepy right here.

Move over, Wendy. There’s a new recipe card queen in town. Do you think apple sauce tofu balls are Core?

Turning House to Home

Still no DSL. I’m waiting for the dial-up to finish downloading email. With 367 pieces of spam and growing, I may be waiting for some time.

We painted the living room/dining room. We moved in the plants. We unpacked some of the books and all of the CDs. It is now starting to look like our home. Somewhere just after the painting, after we ordered the couch, right around when we put the table back where it belonged, that’s when I realized how much I love our home.

The sunsets are beautiful, and if you stand in the middle of the living room, it’s a panoramic view of the setting sky. A breeze kicks in through the house in the middle of the day that I love. Continue reading