Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I'm Not Finished Yet (Part Two)

Life is strange.

And circular.

And everything really does happen for reason...exactly when it's supposed to.

Years ago I had a not-so-great experience working in "the industry", also known as Hollywood. I was much younger. Really naïve. Incredibly hopeful. Way too trusting. And I got burned. Bad.

While I'm very grateful for the huge learning lesson that my two years of living in L.A. turned out to be, I'd long ago given up on the idea of resuming a writing career in film or television.

Now, all of that is about to change.

A week ago I was asked by a wonderful colleague (i.e. the one person I trust working in Hollywood) to write the pilot episode of a new, potential television series being created for an actress whose work I've respected for many years. The concept for the show is brilliant. Just to be a part of this project in any way I can is a tremendous honor.

In addition, we will soon be pitching my own original television series (Better Luck Next Time) for network consideration. It's a terrific show, written for and about women. Very hilarious. Very real. I've been told by many (already) that my little show has huge potential.

It's the perfect time for both shows to happen. Not just in my life, but in the world of television. Now, more than ever, women are achieving incredible power in television. Take a look at the line up: The Good Wife, Hawthorne, Drop Dead Diva, Damages, Hot in Cleveland - just to name a few.

Ironically enough (remember the rule in comedic television - the best moments happen in threes - and doesn't life often feel like a sitcom?), I received an email from a producer-friend I had not heard from in quite some time, asking if I had some original television series ideas (primarily for teens and children). I looked through my very outdated library, brushed the dust off a few, brainstormed with my wonderful and creative partner for some new concepts, and responded with ideas for six shows.

I received a reply asking for more info about four of them.

So, guess how I'll be spending my summer break from teaching? If you guessed writing, you're absolutely right. Somewhere in the middle of all of this, I have a novel that's begging to be finished, too. And a new play of mine will be opening in New York in eight weeks (more on that soon).

I'm putting the past behind me, and I'm embracing a new, honest relationship with "the industry". My secret weapon: I really do know better this time.

Don't trust anyone. Get everything in writing. Don't take any wooden nickels. All very sound advice.

But, what's so incredibly different this time around is that I'm ready for it. My writing is stronger. My vision for the projects I want to create is crystal clear. I know there's a place in the television landscape for my voice, my characters, my stories (and yours) that I want the opportunity to tell.

I haven't been this passionate, excited, and enthused about new projects in quite some time.

Who knows if anything will come out of these concepts/ideas/dreams, but it's certainly worth a try. And, sometimes, that's all you have to try.

I tell my students to write fearlessly. It's time I do the same.

Opportunity knocked on the door of my life once, over a decade ago. I shut the door on it and walked away.

Now, it's back. And I'm better than ever.

To Hollywood, I say...bring it on.

Stay tuned.

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