Host Jeff Goldsmith interviews head writer Jonathan Igla about the first two episodes of Hawkeye Season 1. Download my podcast here Copyright © Unlikely Films, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. For more great content check out Backstory Magazine!
How do you describe a woman, in a few short paragraphs, whose passions are so numerous, her curiosity endless, and her life filled with joy in all she pursues? This is Dr. Linda Seger. Never satisfied to only do, Linda seeks the best teachers in each of her endeavors. She has learned not to put age in the equation or live her life with regrets. She says: When you feel the need to do something, do it right away. Flow with it. Find joy in it.Linda looks at social justice from the female point of view. She studied at the seminary to see if creativity and spirituality are connected and took apart words in the bible to answer the question: “What do these words mean for us as artists?” You become memorable because you applaud everybody and find joy in the mere doing of all you decide to pursue. - Dr. Linda SegerConnect With Linda:Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgWebsite: https://lindaseger.comHer Books on Screenwriting - https://www.amazon.com/s?k=linda+seger+making+a+good+script+great&crid=1YLCBQ7C1A5M1&sprefix=Linda+Seger%2Caps%2C167&ref=nb_sb_ss_ts-doa-p_4_11Most Recent Book: God's Part in our Art: Making Friends With the Creative Spirithttps://www.amazon.com/Gods-Part-Our-Art-Creative/dp/1737798204/ref=sr_1_18?crid=1YLCBQ7C1A5M1&keywords=linda+seger+making+a+good+script+great&qid=1637346417&sprefix=Linda+Seger%2Caps%2C167&sr=8-18
Today on the show we have legendary independent filmmaker and Oscar® nominated screenwriter John Sayles.John Sayles is one of America's best known independent filmmakers, receiving critical acclaim for films including Eight Men Out (1988), Lone Star (1996) and Men with Guns (1997). He's also written screenplays for mainstream films such as Passion Fish (1992), Limbo (1999), The Spiderwick Chronicles (2008) and did a draft of Jurassic Park (1993) for Steven Spielberg.John has been named by American critic Roger Ebert as"one of the few genuinely independent American filmmakers",which John modestly denies!John has directed over 20 films and written well over 100 screenplays throughout his career. Two of his early films, The Return of the Seacaucus Seven (1978) and Baby Its You (1982), were selected by the United States National Film Registry for preservation in 2012. John was born outside Scranton, Pennsylvania and graduated from Williams College.John is a talented screenwriter as well as director; he made his first professional short film TSR: Thirty Seconds Over Reims (1971) after winning a talent competition with a script for the film. John's work often touches on social issues – including unemployment, inner-city violence and war – which John believes make excellent material for stories due to complex personal relationships involved with these topics.John also discusses his career path, including his decision to become a screenwriter, the difficulties he faced working as a screenwriter in Hollywood and his experience of writing for other directors such as Steven Spielberg.John and I had an amazing conversation that was full of knowledge bombs. It was truly like being in a filmmaking and screenwriting masterclass, hence the title of the episode.Sit back, relax and get ready to take some notes. Enjoy my epic conversation with John Sayles.
We discuss the pilot episode of Friends, from the ever-relatable fears of adulthood, to fan reactions towards long-running sitcoms, to answering the important question: WERE they on a break?Subscribe to our brand-new weekly newsletter at itsinmyqueue.substack.com.Find us on Twitter: @inmyqueuepod • @adinaterrific • @karaaa_powellAnd Instagram: @inmyqueuepodor send comments, questions, and show suggestions to us at email@example.com!
Screenwriting career coach and guru Carole once again joins us on the podcast to talk about her system of networking as a screenwriter: "This business is based on relationships, and it's risk-averse. They want to hire people they know or hire people who've been referred to them by someone they know, so your job in addition to being a kickass writer has to be to build your community of mutually beneficial relationships." Carole goes on to discuss how you can make the most of every opportunity that comes your way: "The business, in terms of succeeding, is a lot about preparation and opportunity. You have to be ready, and one way, in terms of the opportunity part of it, is to know a lot of people because the more people you know, the more opportunities you're going to find out about." Don't forget to subscribe to the Write On Podcast on iTunes! Now available on Google Podcasts!
Host Jeff Goldsmith interviews writer-producer-director-cinematographer-editor Jeremy Workman about his documentary Lily Topples The World. Download my podcast here Copyright © Unlikely Films, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. For more great content check out Backstory Magazine!
"Now that I've met you, would you object to never seeing me again?" For Episode 189, Thomas and Brandon conclude their series on 24 Hour Movies by taking a look at Paul Thomas Anderson's Magnolia. Listen as they discuss the film's history and why it is part of their favorite period of Paul Thomas Anderson. Contact Us: Facebook: @cinenation Instagram: @cinenationpodcast Twitter: @CineNationPod Medium: CineNation E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Happy Charlotte's Web week on Can We Save the Cat! Okay, it's not really but you would think it was based on the way Andrew, Bryan, and Dani talked this week. It's actually Thanksgiving week and the writers talk about the beloved children's book, what it means to be family, and an alien invasion that happens during a "friends"giving. It's...ThanksTAAAKIIING!!!Hosts IG: @bredacted, @officialdanihanks, @writerbrandt, @canwesavepodOriginally recorded on: 11-15-2021.Thankstaking is an irreverent comedy about a group of two-faced twentysomethings at Friendsgiving who must work together to escape a colonialist alien genocide.
Geoffrey chats with Christopher Lockhart (story editor for WME) who has read over 60,000 screenplays. He gives his methodology on what works and what doesn't when it comes down to writing a killer logline.Visit Christopher's FB Group:The Inside Pitch --> https://www.facebook.com/groups/theinsidepitchThe Guide For Every Screenwriter is available at:https://www.thesuccessfulscreenwriter.com/booksDon't forget to visit our website for all your screenwriting needs at --> https://www.thesuccessfulscreenwriter.com/podcast
Coming off of "Mystic River" in 2003, Clint Eastwood's "Million Dollar Baby" marked two straight years of Best Picture nominations -- this time, however, he went home with the big prize, plus a trophy for Best Director. In this episode, Mike and Brian analyze the movie's best moments, talk faith and sacrifice (which leads to an extended conversation about "The Passion of the Christ" [also 2004]), and decide if "Million Dollar Baby" really was the best film of the year. www.bestpicturethis.com Want to choose an movie for a future episode? BECOME A PATRON. Agree or disagree with our takes? EMAIL BestPictureThis@gmail.com And for 15 years of Golden Takes, head over to Letterboxd.
In this special episode, Charles Skaggs & DJ Nik are joined by Doom Patrol writer and producer Shoshana Sachi to discuss Doom Patrol Season 3, Shoshana's favorite moments on the show, what happens in the Doom Patrol Writer's Room, and more! Find us here: Twitter: @TitanTalkCast @CharlesSkaggs @HIDarknesspod @shoshanasachi Facebook: Facebook.com/TitanTalkPodcast Email: TitanTalkCast@gmail.com Listen and subscribe to us in Apple Podcasts and leave us a review!
Host Jeff Goldsmith interviews writer-director Rawson Marshall Thurber. Download my podcast hereCopyright © Unlikely Films, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. For more great content check out Backstory Magazine!
Award-winning filmmakers and multi-hyphenate screenwriting duo, Kaz and Ryan Firpo, spoke to me about their breakout Hollywood moment, writing Marvel's Eternals, and how to eat a whale. The Firpos are cousins who grew up in Northern California – with a storied background in commercials and documentary filmmaking – who describe themselves as "filmmakers who write." In 2017 their first feature screenplay, RUIN, topped The Black List (a showcase for film writers) making them a hot commodity in Hollywood. In addition to writing and directing their first feature, their original sci-fi screenplay MIMI FROM RIO was purchased in a bidding war by Netflix with Ridley Scott producing. Their first entry for the MCU is the complex story, Eternals, about a race of immortals who help shape Earth's history and civilizations, and who must emerge from hiding after thousands of years to protect the world from the evil Deviants. Stay calm and write on ... Discover The Writer Files Extra You can now have The Writer Files podcast dropped right into your email inbox every time there's a new show. No more shaking your podcast app! As a subscriber, Kelton will send you added insights, the chance to get TWF merch (like "Stay Calm and Write On" t-shirts anyone?), curated collections of shows like The Publishing Series and The Writer's Brain, updates, and occasional special offers. Learn more at the link below and take our AuthorPods podcasting course survey. Get 'The Writer Files' Podcast Delivered Straight to Your Inbox If you're a fan of The Writer Files, please "Follow" us to automatically see new interviews In this file The Firpos and I discussed: The importance of The Black List to launching their careers Working with Oscar-winner Chloe Zhao of Nomadland fame World-building vs. act-building in screenwriting Why you should read all the screenwriting craft books you can Having drinks with Angelina Jolie And a lot more! Show Notes: Marvel Studios' Eternals | Final Trailer Bet Raise Fold: The Story of Online Poker Director: Ryan Firpo [Amazon] Story: Substance, Structure, Style and the Principles of Screenwriting by Robert McKee [Amazon] Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting by Syd Field [Amazon] Kelton Reid on Twitter
George Stevens Jr. the founder of the American Film Institute, talks about the passion for film that inspired him to preserve and archive great movies, establish the Kennedy Center Honors and serve as a voice for the arts in Washington DC. as Co-chair of the Presidential Committee on the Arts & Humanities.
Mark and Tom discuss the best routes for facing disapproval from reader's feedback. Next week is Thanksgiving, so the MMDM podcast will skip an episode as Tom heads to Maine for the holiday and Mark dreads hosting Thanksgiving. Mark suggests checking-out a Netflix show called "Swap Shop". Also, listener messages, The Movie Quotes Game, Staff Picks and so much more to be thankful about?
GENRE: Action / TONE: Cry Your Eyes Out / DEMO: Fans of The Coen Bros / MANDATE: Must contain at least one actor from the cast of The Goonies.A Weekend Video Production in association with Plot DevicesSponsored by MusicbedThanks to Musicbed for sponsoring this episode. Use coupon code GAMESHOW at checkout to receive your first month free when you purchase an annual subscription and start unlocking your films' full potential: http://share.mscbd.fm/writersroomgameshowCREDITSHosts/Contestants: Ryan Polly (ryanpolly.net) and Seth Worley (sethworley.com) Edited by: Rene Gomez (renegomez.net)Key Art: Meg Lewis (meglewis.com)Original Music: Ben Worley (benworley.work)Executive Producers: Grant Wakefield at Weekend Video and Anne Fogerty at Plot DevicesGot a better idea? We now have a Notes Hotline! Call 1 (866) HEY-WRGS and leave your name, which movie idea your notes are regarding, and your notes! We want to hear how you would do the assignment better. By leaving a message you're consenting to us possibly playing your recording live on the air.Join the WRGS Discord! https://discord.gg/uxqAxybWJj Check out writersroomgame.show to listen to all of our episodes and keep in touch. You can even submit some of your own studio mandates for us to add to the generator.And don't forget to rate and review our podcast on Apple Podcasts!
Surfing into the Script Apart hot seat this week is W. Peter Iliff – writer of the astonishing Point Break. Peter was waiting tables in restaurants around LA when he began work on this dazzling adrenaline-hit of a movie, about a FBI cop who goes undercover with a bank-robbing surfer gang. The idea came to him while hanging out with the filmmaker Rick King who helped him flesh out the story, before Peter turned it into the blueprint for one of the great movies of the 1990s. The resulting film, directed by Kathryn Bigelow, was both an electrifying action thriller and something that transcended the genre entirely, with plenty to say about America, adventure and the bonds forged between men. In this fascinating conversation, Peter explores the connection between his own struggles with alcohol and the film's life-on-the-edge characters, always chasing their next buzz. He also details how the film's most stunning sequences came together on the page, and how the iconic climatic fight between Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze's characters drew inspiration from samurai movies. You may also want to listen out for a tantalising breakdown of a Point Break TV show that Peter's currently writing. You've met Johnny Utah. Now get ready to meet Joanny Utah, in a climate change-inspired sequel series that Peter's been hard at work on.Script Apart is a podcast about the first-draft secrets behind great movies. Each episode, the screenwriter behind a beloved film shares with us their initial screenplay for that movie. We then talk through what changed, what didn't and why on its journey to the big screen. Subscribe to our new spin-off show How I Write here.Support for this episode comes from Screencraft and WeScreenplay.Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek, with music from Stefan Bindley-Taylor. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on email@example.com.Get a free digital copy of the Script Apart Magazine by supporting us on Patreon! 50 pages of interviews with screenwriters, including exclusive conversations you won't find anywhere else. You can also now support the show on Ko-Fi.Support the show (https://patreon.com/scriptapart)
It's a new week for Can We Save the Cat and love is in the air with this rom-com pitch! Well, in the air for everyone except the producer aka Bryan (it's fine, I'm fine, everything's FINE) and Dani's friend from high school. Join Andrew, Dani, and Tiffany as they discuss a modern-day, transgender love story full of Disney, Dallas, and Doug the douchebag.#TransMenAreMen #TransWomenAreWomenWhen socially awkward music promoter Bryce meets the love of his life, Jake, he realizes they met once before as teenagers. A few decades and a gender transition later, can they both finally be themselves, without caring what other people think?
Geoffrey chats with Gael Chandler (Family Matters, The New Leave it to Beaver) about her new book Editing for Directors and how that can take your storytelling and screenwriting to the next level.You can find Gael's book at:Editing For Directors --> https://amzn.to/3CaMBvfThe Guide For Every Screenwriter is available at:https://www.thesuccessfulscreenwriter.com/booksSupport the show and get access to exclusive content!--> https://www.thesuccessfulscreenwriter.com/podcast
Kenneth Lui's first feature-length film--"Artists in Agony" is a mockumentary about assassins. Hearing about his unconventional approach to write and shoot it over a span of eight years gave me a much deeper appreciation for the kind of creativity and commitment that are required by up and coming indie filmmakers like Lui.
Host Jeff Goldsmith interviews directors Don Hall and Carlos López Estrada and writer Qui Nguyen about Raya and the Last Dragon. Download my podcast hereCopyright © Unlikely Films, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. For more great content check out Backstory Magazine!
Today on the show we have legendary independent filmmaker and Oscar® nominated screenwriter John Sayles.John Sayles is one of America's best known independent filmmakers, receiving critical acclaim for films including Eight Men Out (1988), Lone Star (1996) and Men with Guns (1997). He's also written screenplays for mainstream films such as Passion Fish (1992), Limbo (1999), The Spiderwick Chronicles (2008) and did a draft of Jurassic Park (1993) for Steven Spielberg. John has been named by American critic Roger Ebert as"one of the few genuinely independent American filmmakers",which John modestly denies![presto_player id=46221]John has directed over 20 films and written well over 100 screenplays throughout his career. Two of his early films, The Return of the Seacaucus Seven (1978) and Baby Its You (1982), were selected by the United States National Film Registry for preservation in 2012. John was born outside Scranton, Pennsylvania and graduated from Williams College.John is a talented screenwriter as well as director; he made his first professional short film TSR: Thirty Seconds Over Reims (1971) after winning a talent competition with a script for the film. John's work often touches on social issues – including unemployment, inner-city violence and war – which John believes make excellent material for stories due to complex personal relationships involved with these topics.John Sayles is an example of someone who supports the independent film movement. John's films Lone Star (1996) and Matewan (1987) were both nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture and John himself has been nominated twice for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.John and I had an amazing conversation that was full of knowledge bombs. It was truly like being in a filmmaking and screenwriting masterclass, hence the title of the episode.Sit back, relax and get ready to take some notes. Enjoy my epic conversation with John Sayles.
Minute 29: From Old Man to Unworthy We have a special Shakespearean expert joining us for this minute of royal family drama. Dr. Jeff Wilson from the Harvard College Writing Program talks with us about Thor's Shakespearean connections and why it makes so much sense for Branagh to be directing. In the twenty-ninth minute of Kenneth Branagh's 2011 film Thor... We dig into the Shakespearean elements that Branagh saw in this story that drew him in, notably the story of Prince Hal in the first part of Henry IV. That totally makes sense as his draw to this, not to mention some of the people he cast like Anthony Hopkins and Tom Hiddleston. Dr. Wilson felt that Branagh pulled it off and also heard that the actors and director walked around talking in Shakespearean shorthand on the set (which surely frustrated anyone not as familiar with the Bard and his stories). We discuss comparisons with Shakespeare's Prince Hal. Dr. Wilson also breaks down the story of Prince Hal, part of one of Shakespeare's two tetralogies, and explains the similarities for us in it. And apparently, Branagh gave Chris Hemsworth at one point the St. Crispin's Day speech and told him to come to set with it prepared to read. How amazing would that be to watch? When Hopkins and Hemsworth deliver their biting comments at one another, the Shakespearean training shines through as the lines are full of heightened and grand language. It's like verbal acid they're throwing at one another. What's amazing here, however, is how Hopkins pivots when Thor calls him old and foolish. The way he drops the anger and becomes almost pensive and thoughtful reflects the wisdom that comes with age. And isn't it funny that so many superhero films boil down to the Spider-Man theme – with great power comes great responsibility. Dr. Wilson schools us on the Mirrors for Magistrates as a genre in which leaders (usually princes) learn how to lead responsibly. And to that end, it also fits Screenwriting 101 as a character has to learn and grow over the course of a film. We discuss comparisons with Shakespeare's King Lear. We find out that Hopkins had approached the moment when he realizes his errors in raising Thor as a King Lear moment. So far, two Shakespeare references playing out in this scene! Loki's attempt at interrupting the fight brings up more Shakespearean references. Hiddleston's just so good in this role as he clearly is gaming things right now. We also find out that Hiddleston actually thinned down for this part to look more lean and hungry-looking, taking cues from Cassius in Shakespeare's stories. We even bring up Shakespeare's Iago. There's also references to Iago. Seriously, this is a very Shakespearean minute. This really isn't so much a battle between the old ways and the new ways as it is between wisdom and youthful eagerness. Thor may see it as the old and the new, but that's the view from youth. Thor finally pushes Odin to the brink and Odin begins stripping Thor of his ranks, telling him he's unworthy. This is a big minute. Odin calls Thor vain, greedy, and cruel. He'll call him arrogant and stupid. It seems Odin really has let things build up a bit too much, eh? Look at that! We bring up the film The Life of Emile Zola, definitely not Shakespeare. Branagh referenced the Dreyfus Affair from the film The Life of Emile Zola as a point of how a soldier gets stripped of his ranks. It's quite a ritual in that film. Not so much here, but certainly still involving a lot for Odin to have to take from Thor. To that end, it really seems more like an emotional beat (and to that end Shakespearean?) to have Odin make his decision and take action right here instead of bringing Thor back to Valaskjalf to strip him of his ranks in front of all the Asgardians, the Einherjar and more. It also is more Shakespearean to have this scene set on this threshold here as a key point between worlds. Inevitably, we bring it back around to Prince Hal. Dr. Wilson does point out how it's interesting how this story flips Hal's story on its head – here, it's Asgard where Thor goes to get his education. In Shakespeare's play, it's the reverse as he returns to the palace for his own education. And that comparison of Asgard as a pub kinda makes sense, right? The first thing Odin removes from Thor's armor are the top two discs of the six on Thor's chest plate. It's interesting to learn from this that these discs are actually part of the rankings, and now we want to keep our eyes out for other armor designs to see what sort of rankings we may be able to pinpoint. Dr. Wilson points out sumptuary laws that had existed in England at one point (as well as other parts of the world) that kept certain classes from wearing clothing or outfits from other classes. He also points out the fun that Joss Whedon was having with Branagh by throwing his ‘Shakespeare in the Park' reference in The Avengers that Tony uses to insult Thor. So great. And, of course, since it is Thorsday, we ask Dr. Wilson what his favorite moment is with Thor in all the films. It may involve essentially a play within a play. It's an intense minute of Shakespearean family drama, and Dr. Jeff Wilson's here to walk us through all of it. Tune in! Join the conversation with movie lovers from around the world on The Next Reel's Discord channel! Film Sundries Watch this film: iTunes • Amazon • Netflix • YouTube • Disney+ Join the conversation on Discord Script Transcript Trailer #1 Trailer #2 Poster artwork Original Material Dr. Jeff Wilson on Twitter
Today we're joined by Zach Callaghan, writer on The Brave Dutch, who previously wrote for The Girl Who Wore Freedom. He goes through the process of screen-writing for film. Christian speaks on leading a team with fresh perspectives and allowing them to add their ingredients to a proverbial "stone soup."
This week on the Writing Gym Podcast, Annalisa speaks with Jeanne Covert. Jeanne is an author and screenwriter who novelized her screenplay in the Writing Gym. Listen to learn about novelizing your movie, how to build your author platform and how to know if your novel is publishable. To learn how to novelize your movie, download this step by step free resource guide -- How to Novelize Your Movie Script -- at www.writing-gym.com/screenplay/.
Mark and Tom lay-out why the time-span of scenes in a screenplay are critical to any story. Mark wonders why various young women seem to constantly stop and ask him if he needs assistance whenever he's out and about. Also, messages from listeners, The Movie Quotes Game, Staff Picks and more?
Today we discuss the pilot episode of Gossip Girl, from rich white teenagers behaving badly, to the reappearance of narration by Kristen Bell, to how all of these children's parents are trash. TW: The Gossip Girl pilot touches on sexual assault, and this plays a part in some of our conversation. Here are the timestamps of those moments in case you'd like to skip over them: 1:00-1:00:45; 1:16-1:17:25; 1:19:39-1:21:32; 1:37:27-1:39:27. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter at itsinmyqueue.substack.com.Find us on Twitter: @inmyqueuepod • @adinaterrific • @karaaa_powellAnd Instagram: @inmyqueuepodor send comments, questions, and show suggestions to us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
GENRE: Legend / TONE: Thrilling As Hell / DEMO: Fans of the Jump Street franchise / MANDATE: Must have several 3D out of screen moments.A Weekend Video Production in association with Plot DevicesSponsored by MusicbedThanks to Musicbed for sponsoring this episode. Use coupon code GAMESHOW at checkout to receive your first month free when you purchase an annual subscription and start unlocking your films' full potential: http://share.mscbd.fm/writersroomgameshowCREDITSHosts/Contestants: Ryan Polly (ryanpolly.net) and Seth Worley (sethworley.com) Edited by: Rene Gomez (renegomez.net)Key Art: Meg Lewis (meglewis.com)Original Music: Ben Worley (benworley.work)Executive Producers: Grant Wakefield at Weekend Video and Anne Fogerty at Plot DevicesGot a better idea? We now have a Notes Hotline! Call 1 (866) HEY-WRGS and leave your name, which movie idea your notes are regarding, and your notes! We want to hear how you would do the assignment better. By leaving a message you're consenting to us possibly playing your recording live on the air. Check out writersroomgame.show to listen to all of our episodes and keep in touch. You can even submit some of your own studio mandates for us to add to the generator.And don't forget to rate and review our podcast on Apple Podcasts!
Fran Kranz joins host Jenny Curtis in studio for a candid conversation about his path as an actor, learning to appreciate the value of hard work, lessons from Broadway, writing and directing MASS, and more. ----------- Learn more about Hollywood Unscripted: https://www.curtco.com/hollywoodunscripted Host & Producer: Jenny Curtis Music By: Celleste & Eric Dick Follow Us: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/curtcomedia Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/curtcomedia Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/hlywdunscripted See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Will & David talk with screenwriter Eric Rogers about his career in TV, film, comics, and more. From his early days as a writer's assistant on Futurama, to being a writer/showrunner on multiple projects for Netflix, Amazon Prime, and more, Sean discusses navigating the creative process in team environments and shares many lessons he's learned along the way...including why you shouldn't leave a script on Tom Hanks windshield...
Well, talk about misleading episode titles! This pitch might actually be more terrifying than our Halloween episode! This is one for the creep-out books as Andrew, Dani, and Tiffany join the writer's room to talk the BFF After School Program (it's gonna be a thing, people), Dani's lack of 90s technology knowledge, and a genuinely creepy pitch about a girl who just wants to reconnect with her mother and the woman who pretends to be exactly that.Hosts IG: @officialdanihanks, @tiffany.a.albright, @writerbrandt, @canwesavepodOriginally recorded on: 11-03-2021.The Mommy is a dramatic thriller. When a pregnant teen goes to meet her birth-mother IRL, she finds out that people aren't always who they say they are on the internet.
Intro: Gina is co-hostless and doing her best. PLEASE SUBSCRIBE, RATE, and REVIEW you beautiful Survivors!Interview: SUNY Geneseo, Boston University, Tisch, Juilliard, Playwriting MFAs, competition in writing programs, Marsha Norman, Cry It Out, MAID on Netflix, Hollywood sea changes, female-centered shows, domestic violence, emotional abuse, Hulu, theatre is behind, denial, making mistakes, bad reviews.COMPLETE TRANSCRIPT (unedited):1 (10s):And I'm Gina Polizzi. We went to theater school2 (12s):Together. We survived it.1 (14s):We didn't quite understand it. 20 years later, we're digging deep talking to our guests about their experiences and trying to make sense of it all2 (21s):Survived theater school. And you will too. Are we famous yet?1 (34s):Hello? Hello. Hello survivors. This is Gina. This week. We are sons' cohost, just one host today. I'm missing my better half BAAs. His boss is actually attending to a friend who got terrible health news this week. And she is in her very boss like way being there for her friend and being the amazing person and friend that she is, which is why everybody loves buzz. Anyway, she'll be back next week if you're not. But today we have, honestly, you guys, this is the interview I have been waiting for.1 (1m 19s):Molly Smith. Metzler is a writer extraordinaire. You may have heard of her latest project made number three on Netflix entering its 28th day online, which has some very special meaning for Netflix that I hope to know more about one day and previous to me being the showrunner for maid, she also worked on shameless and several other successful television shows. And before that she was a playwright. And actually I got to know her work because I directed a play of hers called cry it out.1 (1m 59s):And it was a fantastic experience. And I started communicating with her over email when I was directing. And I was so impressed with the way that she responded to me. I mean, a that she responded to me at all that she was available to me at all. And not something you always get with a playwright and B that she really took her time with her responses and see that her responses ended up being pretty impactful for me, just not necessarily related to the play, but as a person. And I'm a little embarrassed that when I talked to her and I told her the way that she had impacted me, I just started seriously just crying, crying, crying.1 (2m 45s):And I was having this thought like, I, this is not a moment I want to be crying. And I'm generally in life. I, I welcomed here as, as a person who struggles to access their emotions. I do. I welcome a good cry, but it not want to be crying to Molly Smith Metzler in this great interview. But you know, it is what it is. If I'm going to be honest, I have to be honest. I can't be choicy about when I'm being myself. That's my, that's my mantra. Recently you have to be yourself in all the ways. Some of those ways are ugly and disgusting and you know, unsavory, and some of them are fine and some of them are be even beautiful.1 (3m 31s):So I'm working on embracing the, a mess that I am, but I really think you're going to enjoy this interview with Molly. She's fantastic. Even without the always wonderful presidents, presidents presence, maybe she should be president even without the always wonderful presence of BAAs. We still managed to have a great conversation and actually that whole experience of her at the last minute, not being able to do this and this being the first time we're doing this with one host, turns out to have been a good thing for us to go through, to learn that.1 (4m 14s):Yeah, sometimes we're not both going to be available and sometimes when I'm not available, she'll be doing an episode on her own. So, you know, whatever we're growing, changing learning, Hey, we're in 22 countries. Now, if you have a, not a subscribed to this podcast, please do. If you have not rated this podcast or given it a review, please, please, please, please, please, please do it seriously. Please do it, please. I'm begging you. Please do it, but okay. Anyway, here's Molly Smith message.0 (4m 53s):Well,1 (5m 0s):No problem whatsoever. Fortunately, my partner is Jen. Her very good friend just got diagnosed with cancer yesterday and she's with her right now helping. So she's not going to be able to join us. This is actually the first time we're doing an interview with just me. So we'll see how it goes.3 (5m 23s):Yeah,1 (5m 24s):It is. And she just, she has a lot of experience with, with cancer. So she's sort of like the first people, first person people call, which is like,3 (5m 38s):Yeah,1 (5m 38s):Exactly, exactly. But anyway, congratulations, Molly Smith. Metso you survived theater school and you're going to have to clarify for me because it looks like you went to four schools, but you didn't go to four theater schools. Did you?3 (5m 52s):I went to four schools. I did. They're not all theater schools, but I went to undergrad, SUNY Geneseo in Western New York and I was an English major. And then I went to Boston university and got a master's in creative writing with a concentration in playwriting. And then I went to Tisch and got an MFA in playwriting dramatic writing. And then I went to Juilliard, which is, you don't really get a degree there. It's called an artist diploma, but it's just finishing school basically.1 (6m 20s):Oh, okay. So the decision to, to do the MFA, were you thinking at that time that you, maybe you were going to be a teacher, I'm always curious about MFA's and writing because you know, if you learned what you needed to know and you know, why not just put yourself out there and be a writer?3 (6m 40s):I think it's very scary to take that jump. The thing about school that I got addicted to is that I'm actually way too social to be a writer. I like being around other writers and every, and every time you get a graduate program, you're with a bunch of writers and you have deadlines and you kind of, you know, it's a really public way to study writing versus alone in your apartment while way to say, you know, and I kept getting academic support to attend the programs. And so that was part of it. I'm not sure I would have gone deep into debt to get all those degrees, but I think giving me aid, I kept going. Yeah.1 (7m 16s):Okay, fantastic. And did you always know from day one that you, I mean, since you were in high school anyway, that you wanted to be a writer that you wanted to write dramatically?3 (7m 26s):I always loved writing. I had journals and I'm from a very young age. I love to write, but I had a sort of more academic feeling about it. I thought I was going to get a PhD in English and join the academy and be a professor. And I didn't know, I was creative in the sense of dramatic writing until my senior year of college. When I took a playwriting class, I didn't know I was a playwright. And I also didn't know. I was funny. Those two things emerged at the same time. Wow.1 (7m 54s):Oh, so you didn't have experience with theater before then?3 (7m 58s):Well, I grew up a ballerina, so I had a great sense of the stage and the relationship between an audience and someone onstage. I really like, I understood light and the power of an audience, but I, no, I didn't grow up a theater nerd at all. I grew up a nerd nerd, like an actual,1 (8m 18s):So that must've been like just a whole new, exciting world. Did you decide pretty much right away that you were going to be getting your MFA when you discovered that you liked to play with?3 (8m 27s):Yeah, I did. I took this introduction to play right in class and it was one of those things. People talk about this, like in a romantic relationship where you're just like, it changes your whole life. And I didn't have that in a romantic relationship, but I had that with playwriting. One-on-one where, you know, I just, I, it came, I don't want to say easily to me cause it was really easy to play it, but it came, it was like a big release in my life that I arrived at playwriting and loved doing it. And it's like a big jigsaw and you can stay up all night doing it. And I knew from the very first, basically from the first act of a play that I wrote that it's what I wanted to do. I'm very lucky. It was very clear.1 (9m 5s):Yeah. Yeah. That is really lucky. So we have talked to almost 60 people now, the majority of them have been actors. So we've really delved deep into like everything about being an actor, especially at the age of undergrad and what that's like to be growing up, you know, just growing up and then trying to figure out yourself well enough to be an actor and all the stuff that comes along with that, including, you know, the competitive best with your cohort. But I imagine that's what it, well, I don't want to imagine what it's like, what is it like with your cohort when you're all writers and you're presumably reading each other's work critiquing each other's work, does it get really competitive?3 (9m 55s):I suspect that it can, you know, I feel very lucky cause I have never experienced that directly in a graduate program situation. Part of it is I think I went to really great places where everyone had gotten in was incredibly talented and brought such a unique point of view and voice that none of us were trying to raise the same place. So it was really easy to just support each other. And also it's fun, you know, you're reading it aloud. So if something's in the south, you're trying an accent and it's super bad cause you're a playwright. So I found it, you know, I became close with the other writers and I mean, I'm married. One of them, I call him my husband, he and I were in the same graduate program at Tisch. And there is something beautiful about meeting someone in a writing workshop because you're just sort of naked.3 (10m 41s):It's all, you know, I imagine it's like, I understand my actors fall in love too. It's like, you're just so vulnerable and you know, each other in a deep way. But my experience has been that writers are pretty, pretty darn supportive of each other. And if you're not, you kind of don't fit in, like if you're a jerk, if you're competitive jerk, like you're not meant to be a playwright, playwrights need to love people. Cause that's what we do, you know? Yeah.1 (11m 1s):Yeah. That's a very good point. Actually, we talked to CISA Hutchinson yesterday and basically said, yeah, isn't she awesome?3 (11m 8s):She's in a beautiful inside and out like just, but yeah.1 (11m 12s):Yeah. She, and she echoed the same thing in what you're saying. So I guess we're going to stop asking this question about competition. It's just that it's so much of a part of like the act. And I think it's part of just how the program is structured. I mean, you're literally up for the same parts against each other and they PO posted on a wall and everybody shows up to3 (11m 35s):Absolutely. And you know, I was at Juilliard where they still cut people. You know, that system has changed a little bit, but I was at the, the version of Juilliard that was structured to drop 10% of the class out. And I feel like you don't get, I don't know. I learned a lot about that cause they cut playwrights as well. And I feel like that doesn't, that doesn't bring forth good creative work from anybody that pressure of, you know, is Sally going to get cut instead of me that's that's, that's not good skills. I don't think1 (12m 5s):It's true. And at the same time, like a lot of the people who were cut from our program went on to have better careers than the majority of us. So it's just like not a lot of rhyme or reason to it.3 (12m 15s):It's like SNL. Yeah. I mean, yes. It's not a predictor. You got it. Right.1 (12m 20s):Exactly. Okay. So you graduated or you've finally finished school with Julliard after doing it for, for a number of years then what happened next? You were, you were married or you're in a relationship and w how did, how do two writers figure out what their next steps are going to be when school's over?3 (12m 40s):Well, I don't know how to writers in general would do, but I can tell you how Colin and I did it, which is that we we've never been competitive because we write really different plays. Like I am talking to, you know, especially as a playwright, my, my work tends to, I mean, I've written Boulevard, comedy. It's like, I really like to laugh. My husband's play is everyone's on meth and they're an Appalachian. It's like, we are, we are really young and yang. And, but I think being, I really recommend being married to, or spending your life with another writer, if you are a writer because they get it and they get you in like a deep, deep way. So if you have to stay up to four o'clock in the morning, cause you're inspired and you have to finish the scene, you know, there's, there's just a, there's no jealousy about that.3 (13m 25s):There's an acceptance. And our, it really, I think I often say, I don't think I'd be a playwright. Certainly won't be any of the things that I am a mother, you know, like everything is because it's all. And I, I had someone who believed in me more than I believed in myself and at points that is everything because, you know, your play opens in New York, you get just the worst reviews in the world and you take, you know, you'd take to the bed and you don't think you're ever going to write again. And it's so important who you decided to spend your life with because, you know, con only saw me as a writer first and foremost. And you know, it's like at the same goes for him. So we, yeah, but just technically do we have money? You know, we lived in a apartment in Brooklyn that we got to kind of like a hookup.3 (14m 9s):My husband was, he managed the bar downstairs, so he knew the guy. And so we got this apartment that we could actually afford, but we both worked full time waiting tables and bartending. And then if I get into the O'Neil, for instance, he would do extra bartending support me being at the O'Neil. And you know, he went up to LA for a few months and did a bunch of meetings and screenwriting stuff. And I supported him with the Juilliard money. Like we just have always worked it out. And for the last handful of years, when we finally don't have to, we can both be working in. It's great.1 (14m 39s):Yeah. That's nice that, by the way, that makes so much sense about the difference in your writing because in watching made, you know, I remember getting to the end of the first episode that he wrote and not, not having known throughout the episode that he wrote it and being like, wow, this is really, really different than Molly's writing. And of course it, it was his, and I kind of tend towards that darker stuff too. So yeah. And by the way, the series is fantastic. It is so good. And how you were having such a moment, you're getting great reviews. People are loving. I saw even today, it's number three on Netflix. How are you doing with success? Because people assume that it's all great, but I'm guessing it's not.1 (15m 23s):And I'm guessing it's kind of scary too.3 (15m 27s):Oh, well this is all pretty, just great. You know, like I think there's probably two things that are tricky about it, which I'll tell you in a second, but the fact is, it's just, it's great. Especially because it's made, you know, made is the closest to play writing. I've done for the screen. I see the show as 10 individual plays and it's really just about cleaning and feelings. It's the most character driven thing I've seen on TV in a long time. There's no murder. There's no cool accents. We're not in Hawaii. It's just about one woman's cleaning and feelings. And every time we turned in an episode, I thought Netflix would call and be like, you know, this is too weird.3 (16m 9s):Like the couch can't eat her. That's just too weird, you know, but they let me make this like, you know, artistic, I think like they're beautiful thing. And I didn't really believe that they were going to air it. And then I didn't really believe that people were going, gonna watch it. And so the fact that the fact that it is exactly what I wanted it to be and people love it. It's very, I don't really, I think it's really exciting just as a writer, it's exciting. It's like, oh, maybe we can return to doing harder things on the screen and on the stage again, you know, I think audiences weren't deterred by the fact that it was difficult, you know, they leaned in. And so I feel like it's really, it's mostly just fantastic.3 (16m 49s):I am surprised that people love it this much, but no, I'm just, I'm so proud of it. So it feels great. That's all there is. Do it.1 (16m 57s):What were the, you said there you'll tell me about the two things that have been challenging.3 (17m 1s):Yes, it is challenging. I, and I know you'll relate to this, but coming up in the theater, there are so many of us that, that are just working hard and waiting tables and waiting for a break. And that was me as well. And you want to help every single one of those people and you want to help every single one of those people whose cousin is also in LA. So like, that's the part that's really hard for me is that I can't, I can't do for everyone. And I want to, and especially theater people, like if you, if someone sends me a cold email that the subject is like a MF playwright, like I read it and then I, you know, I, I can't help it.3 (17m 42s):So that's a little hard cause I want to be good to everyone. And, and can't so that's, that's hard for me. And the other thing that's just hard is, you know, I spend my life in sweatpants and now suddenly have to do a bunch of stuff where I look, I have to look very, you know, Like, you know, writers or writers were writers for a reason. And so, so suddenly I have to like I to buy lipstick. And so that part of it is a little being articulate. Like next to Margot, Robbie is very difficult for me, but1 (18m 14s):I didn't realize until just today that she was the producer. So she's, she's the person who optioned the book.3 (18m 20s):So she and John Wells got the book together. John Wells is a very famous producer. He did west wing ER, and shameless, which is how I know him. I worked in my last four seasons of shameless is a writer on the show. So when he and Margo got the book, LA had just done cry it out, it was cried out, was up like, like had just closed when they got the book and it's a play about moms. And I think they were like, oh, we know a person who writes about moms and they handed me the book. It was so kismet.1 (18m 49s):Wow. That's fantastic. And, but you had to, I mean, I read the book too. You had to create a whole narrative. That's not in the book. So how does that, I'm curious about that process and how it works. Is it that you kind of sit down as the show runner and hatch a basic idea that you, that you then have some writers help you with or do you have to outline all of the stories and everybody else just writes them? Or how does it work?3 (19m 20s):Well, it's a, it's a little bit different with every project. Oh, I'm with a story like made, you know, whenever the memoir I learned so much, like it was, it's really an educational tool and I didn't want to sacrifice any of that. On the other hand, when you go and sit down with your husband or wife and Saturday night to watch Netflix, you don't want to lecture and you don't want to like TV, shouldn't taste like TV, shouldn't taste like broccoli, right. It should taste like it should be a sneak attack. Kind of like my plate is like, I like to sneak people into learning something. So I knew kind of off the bat that that made was an incredible engine, the memoir, and that I wanted all the takeaway to be the same. But I also knew that we were going to have to create a lot of story to do that.3 (20m 1s):So to answer your question, when I first said I would do the book and when we were taking out and pitching it to Netflix, pitching it to HBO, you know, all the places I would have to say, this is what I'm going to do. You know, we're gonna, we're going to do 10 episodes. Her mom's going to be a huge character. Her dad's got a huge character. We're going to really build up. Sean. We're going to get to know some of the people in the houses we're going to get to know Regina, she's an invented character, but this is how she'll structure in the plot. And you really have to know the nuts and bolts of what you're going to do. And the tone of it, like it's kinda like giving a 45 minute presentation on what the show will be. And then hopefully someone like Netflix is like, okay, great. Here's, here's a green light and get your writer's room. So then you hire a handful.3 (20m 42s):If you're lucky, you know, I could, I didn't have any, no one told me what to do. I got to hire whoever I wanted. And I hired only four writers, three of whom are playwrights, three of whom. I'm sure. You know, cause it's Colin, Becca bronzer, Marcus Garley so really accomplished playwrights. And then Michelle, Denise Jackson, who is not a playwright, but should be like, she's an honorary playwright, you know? And so w and then the five of us sit down and we take what I've said, you know, about the show, the 45 minute presentation, and we flush it out. What are we doing in every episode? What does this look like? And that, that process in the writer's room is the closest, you'll get to a table read in the theater, you know, where you're just at the table, you're reading that play.3 (21m 24s):And then you talk about it for, you know, nine days. That's a writer's room is that every day. So it's very, very, very cool experience and everyone's sharing secrets and, and we disagree sometimes and we do puzzles and there's a lot of talk about lunch.1 (21m 43s):That's what everybody says.3 (21m 47s):But also what was cool that mean is that these five, these four writers and me, the five of us, we all really connected to different things in the memoir. And we also, all of us come from all of us can relate to the memoir in different ways. And so you get five different perspectives on something. And I think, you know, Becca brown center did so much of the writing of Regina, and I think she could really connect to Regina. And, you know, that character would not feel quite as beautifully drawn if Becca weren't in the writers room. Like, so, so much of it is it's a dinner party. And the result of that dinner party is character. You know? So it's really, it's the most important thing you do is those writers.1 (22m 26s):That is okay. So I also just learned that today that you didn't write that Regina monologue, because, and this is about my own projection that when I'm watching it, I'm going, oh my God, this is so similar to Claire, Claire. Is that the name of the character and cry it out. That lives up high, up on the hill.3 (22m 45s):Oh, Adrian. Adrian.1 (22m 47s):Yeah. Thank you. Sorry. I was thinking, I was thinking, it sounded like an Adrian, my likes. So that's fascinating that, that,3 (22m 53s):Well, let me explain one further thing, which is, so that's how the show gets written. And yes, Becca brown said, I wrote that monologue, but the other thing that the show runner does is it is my job to then go through all 10 episodes and make sure it sounds like one person wrote them. And, and so the showroom, so you kind of divide the writing in the room and then all funnels back to me and I rewrite it or fix things. Or sometimes, you know, sometimes you're doing a major rewrite sometimes you're just like with Regina monologue, it was so beautiful. You know, we, we had to cut a couple of things for production, but like, it's, it's back as work. And, but it's, that's what TV writing is. It's like, there'll be stuff that Becca wrote in episode seven that she didn't write, or, you know, like TV is very collaborative and then it all funnels through the showrunner who does a pass to make sure it's, it's up to the standard that I want.3 (23m 44s):It's totally what I want. You know, it is, it is a writing job as a group, and then it is ultimately one person's writing job it's book. Does that make sense?1 (23m 51s):Yeah, it does. And thank you so much for answering that question because I have always wondered. And also even on television shows that have, have a different director, every episode, I'm always thinking, how are they keeping true to the tone, but not now, now I understand it. Well, I have so many things to ask you. I want to talk to you about just one thing is that you have said that you love writing about class, which is a big part of made and your, and your place. But, so I want to talk a little bit about that, but I also kind of want to talk maybe first about the thing that you said you were surprised that people like to made, and I've heard a lot of female writers express, something like that.1 (24m 36s):I'm surprised. And maybe people just say it in a way as, as you know, not, not trying to try to be humble. Right. Okay. But I believe that you are surprised by it because it does seem like a kind of recent thing that the universe is allowing us to tell women's stories and having them at the forefront. I mean, it seems really pretty recent. And so are you, do you feel like this is you're part of a big sea change in terms of what's being represented on screen?3 (25m 7s):You know, absolutely. I was talking to Netflix yesterday and they said last year it was Bridgford, you know, these are a lot of things, but they were saying last year, people, the surprise was everyone loved Britain and love Queens gambit. And this year one loves squid game and loves made, which cracks me up. But, but they think to be in the same sentence as Queens gambit as the limited series. I mean, I think that's so exciting as a female writer, because she was an alcoholic kind of like piece of crap who was amazing at chess and went on this like beautiful arc that was not traditionally feminine. It was usually that's a man, like that's usually a male going through that and were riveted by his addiction and his dysfunction and made his, you know, I think we're continuing what Queens gambit did as well.3 (25m 50s):Like it's, you know, Alex has a lot of things, but she's not a woman. She is a character going through an arc and she makes a ton of mistakes and she, you know, is a product of where she comes from. And that is enough to carry a show. And I feel like that is it you're right. It's so recent. And I therefore assumed it would be treated like a, you know, like a niche, you know, maybe 500,000 people will watch it kind of like, cause we don't show up for those shows, but all of a sudden we really show up for those shows and we want to see a multidimensional and rich and layered woman at the story of her own dance story. It's really like exciting.3 (26m 31s):It's exciting.1 (26m 33s):That's what I think about stuff like this. I just imagine, you know, the people who are traditionally in charge of these things, I just mentioned it, but I imagine a bunch of guys sitting around being like, can you imagine people really want to hear about these dang? I mean, I feel like it must be a surprise to, to sort of the old guard that, you know, because of course everything does have to be motivated about what's going to be a return on your investment. And that, that that's understandable. It's I'm not saying anybody's bad for that, but it is curious to me that there was just this, there was an assumption that if you made a female centered show, nobody would want to watch it.1 (27m 16s):Except for every time they make a female centered, anything people want to watch it. Why is this keep being a surprise?3 (27m 24s):I think it's going to stopping a surprise pretty soon because this cracked me up. But my friend was doing a pitch yesterday at Hulu. And I guess like the conversation kind of organically came up with like, well, what's our main, you know, like what's the, you know, the producer was in it, but like, you know, people are starting to look for the, the queen scam, but you know, trying to look for the female, you know, the unconventional sort of what's the would be a surprising female story. We're starting to like, not only are we starting to have it at the table, that the market is the, market's starting to recognize that we're going to get eyes on the screen and it's, you know, I shouldn't be so surprised by made.1 (28m 5s):Right. Right. And it helps that we have people like Margot, Robbie and Reese Witherspoon and females who are having more of a say about what gets produced, you know, with what, what books get optioned and then what gets produced.3 (28m 17s):Absolutely. And, and more and more women are taking those jobs and taking those positions. And it's a good, it's a sea change. I also dare say, I think TV and film has ahead of it than theater. I have to say, I think1 (28m 29s):Girl, that's another thing I was going to say. Cause you had a quote in something I read theater is behind theater is so behind and this is, unfortunately it came as a surprise to me. Like when I woke up to the fact that theater is so behind, it was sad and it also doesn't make sense. It also, you know, it should be it's, it was 40 years ago. It was the most progressive part of art, I think.3 (28m 55s):Yeah. Well the theater doesn't treat women as, as minority voices and they have, and like that's, what's so crazy is we've, you know, I think we've carved out space for there's so much equality and, and like, it's exciting to see the programming in theaters change. And like it's not just white men anymore. That's all, that's very, very exciting. But heterosexual women stories that mother's stories about our struggles stories about, you know, me and my friends, there's no space for us on the New York stage. There's no space for my friends and I on the New York stage. And I feel like, and then, you know, you don't go up in New York, then you don't go all across the regions.3 (29m 36s):And I think a great example is actually cried out because that had a huge regional presence because I think people are starved for players like that, that are about women and just, you know, and not women on Mars and not, not necessarily, you know, like it just normal women, women having, you know, the Wendy Wasserstein plays of today are not produced in New York. And it's, it's a, it's a huge issue I think.1 (30m 0s):Yeah, yeah, it is. So, okay. So the other thing is that you love to write about class, which I find fascinating. I love to read about it in any case, what is your personal connection to your fascination with that issue?3 (30m 17s):Well, I think I grew a group of the Hudson valley, the daughter of two teachers. So, you know, I, I, I can't relate to made, for instance, in the sense of, I always had food and I always had a certain amount of like structure and S and security, but I, my parents were incredibly well educated and they kind of like my dad went to Cornell and it was sort of something we heard a lot about, even though we didn't kind of grow up in a moneyed area or money to house, there was a sense of, there was a sense of you could scholarship your way into the next strata. And I think that I find that fascinating because it's just not true. I, it's almost impossible.3 (30m 59s):It's almost impossible to change your class in America. And it's, it's, I feel like those walls are getting higher, not lower. And I watch people through everything they have at, at, at those chances to change, you know, change their stripes. And I just think the way we, we work in this country is we it's, we've made that harder and harder. There is no bootstrap narrative there. It does. There's no bootstraps it doesn't, it's not a thing in this country. So I find that fascinating because I felt very jipped. You know, I felt like I worked very, very hard and like I was always getting A's and being sophisticated and like, I couldn't graduate and get a, you know, a little studio in New York and intern at a publishing house.3 (31m 42s):You know, like a lot of my friends who came from money could, and there's just, it's so ingrained in our culture and it makes me mad and it's not, you know, it's not fair. Especially when I had a child and started thinking about cried out and just the way we treat that money directly affects maternity leave in this country too. And like, I can't compete with somebody who has a trust fund, you know, I had to put queer where I could afford her. And it's just bullshit that you can claw your way out of the class that you're born into. It's it's extremely rare. So I love that1 (32m 16s):It's bullshit and it's really dangerous cause it makes people feel so inadequate when they can't, you know, and that, that's also a great scene. I think it's in the first episode. Yeah. It's in the first episode when she goes and she's talking to the social worker and she's saying, so I can't get a job because I don't have a daycare and I can't get daycare cause I don't have a job. So I have to get a dog to prove that I didn't deserve daycare. I mean, it's, it's also3 (32m 40s):Backwards. Yeah. You're at a humongous disadvantage. If you are born into, you know, if you're born into poverty, you're at a humongous disadvantage in this country and it's like getting worse. That's the other thing is it's not, I mean, I have to leave. That's part of why made is, is touching so many people's sense of justice too. It's like, oh yeah, it's getting worse. Like, why aren't we talking about this? It's you know, Alex and I are, are not facing the same problems. And it's just by where I was born and where she was born and you know, you what family, your brand and who dictates so much of your struggle.1 (33m 17s):Yeah. And, and that, that the sort of historical narratives would have you believe that it's, it's the opposite of that and that, and that everybody left England to get away from that. But then yeah, just creative things I think here. So another thing that I heard or read that you said that really took my breath away is you said that when you became a mother, your, you didn't say your resolve for your career. You, the phrase that I that's sticking out to me, as you said, I went from being the secretary of my own company to the CEO. And it just, that just really like hit me in the center of my chest.1 (33m 58s):Can you just say a little bit more about it? What, what you meant by that?3 (34m 3s):Sure. I think that we'll probably like probably like many women when they become moms. I, I was frustrated that I had, I had this thing that I was good at, that I had studied for so many years that I've given so much time and love to my playwriting career and that it did not love me back in the sense that I could not afford to take core to a music class, you know? And it made me very, it made me very frustrated that, you know, I, I had devoted my, my self to this, this field that I had a passive relationship with. Like I was waiting for someone to call and tell me they were going to do a reading or, you know, or I was waiting for my career to start.3 (34m 50s):And I think what happened when I had, when I had Cora was I, I wanted to provide for her. And I also wanted to, I wanted to show her that you could be tough and you could be an active participant in your career like that. I didn't have to wait for it to happen. And so part of it was, I was, I just kind of said the things we all want to say out loud as a women, but I actually said them, which was like, Hey agents, what the F I am funny and talented. I want to work in TV. I want to take a music class with my daughter. What do I have to do to do that? And I you'd be shocked. I think how freeing and wonderful it is to just stand up for yourself and to make demands. And, you know, and I wanted to, I wanted to take an expensive music class with my daughter and I wanted to have a career.3 (35m 32s):And I was like, I'm not going to wait for it to happen because I know if someone gives me a chance I'm going to do, I'm going to go far in this field. Like, cause I don't know. Does that make sense? So I kind of like, wait, I said, waiting for the phone to ring and started making the calls.1 (35m 45s):Yeah. And also what I'm hearing is you stopped just blindly participating in the myth that everything can only work a certain way, which I feel like is something that we can all relate. I mean, it's something that boss and I talk a lot on this podcast about like just making so many assumptions about what, what we're definitely not entitled to have and what we're, you know, let's definitely for other people and not for us without ever once actually saying that out loud or asking for what we want. And actually yesterday chiefs have said the exact same thing. She said she, she was trying to be humble and say it's because she doesn't know how the system works. So she didn't know, she couldn't ask which you know. Okay. Maybe, but it's very inspiring to hear that.1 (36m 29s):Now you could just decide what you want to do with your life and your career. You could decide that you want to have a work-life balance and then have it.3 (36m 37s):Yeah. And you know, I think actors have this too. We are always waiting for the phone to ring. And at a certain point, I think that's a really tough way to be a mom because you can't count on anything and you're spread so thin. And I'm just kinda like, no, I'm going to generate, I'm going to generate this. And I can't really define the moment, but I will say for me it was emotional. I, I stopped, I stopped letting theater. Tell me how to feel about myself a little bit theater. I mean, it's a little bit like the terrible boyfriend that you just can't leave. Right. Like I would be like, I would be like, here's my new play. Do you love it? And they'd be like, maybe, you know, maybe we'll do a reading of it.3 (37m 19s):And I'd be like, let's my full heart. And I love you. And then, you know, and I finally like kind of broke up with that boyfriend in the sense that like, no, I'm really good at this. And like, I'm going to go where the love is. And I'm going to figure out how to pay my bills doing this and maybe you'll miss me and come back. You know, you know, it's hard as an artist, you can't let someone else tell you what your worth is. And theater is very conducive to that.1 (37m 40s):Yeah. Oh my God. That's so true. And that's, by the way, like a big part of the character of Alex, she does that too. I mean, she, with not that much to leverage did still find a way to just be very active about asking for what she wants. And I can see what you're saying about how, how having a kid makes that very clear. Whereas maybe you don't feel so I'm entitled to ask for what you want when it's just you, but when you know that it's somebody else who's depending on you, then it's that it doesn't feel like you're asking for yourself. It feels like you're asking for your family.3 (38m 15s):Yeah. And you see injustice with fresh eyes when you have a child, you know, because I don't know. I feel, I feel like certainly in my case, I w I would, I was so focused on being a good collaborator, being polite, being like, you know, you know, being grateful for the breadcrumbs that I got, you know, in my life. And I mean, honestly, it was a professional change, but it was primarily an emotional change. I was like, yeah, I don't want breadcrumbs anymore because my daughter deserves better than breadcrumbs. And so it just sort of filtered across all the fields, but yeah, another had does that.1 (38m 50s):Yeah, it does. It does well. So I don't know if I ever told you this, the reason I was looking through our emails earlier, as I wanted to see if I, I was sure I had said this thing to you, that I can not find in my email. So I'm going to say it to you now, which is that when I was directing your play, I wrote to you just about some things that I wondered if we could change. And you gave me the most thoughtful responses, which was, is to say you didn't invalidate that I was asking you, but you still stood up for what you, for the integrity of the play. I feel like I'm going to cry. I never saw anybody do that before.1 (39m 36s):And it was a really great, I wish I wasn't crying as I started to say this to you, but it was a great thing to, it was a, you were a great role model for me in that moment. And I always appreciate that. So thank you.3 (39m 52s):Oh, Tina, thank you. Well, you know what, thank you for wanting to have a conversation with me about it. Cause like I also think that's the sign of a fantastic director that you let me into your process and your thoughts about it. And I know you did a fantastic job with the play cause I had Scouts in that area who saw it and you know, so whatever you were, whatever you were working with, you artistically, you certainly landed that ship for you. You know, landed that plan beautifully.1 (40m 15s):Thank you. I had, and I had so much fun doing it. So tell me about some of your mentors. We had a nice discussion the other day about the power of mentors and some people go kind of through their whole training and never really feel like they connect with a mentor. Did you have mentors along the way?3 (40m 35s):Yes. I'm very lucky. Actually. I'm very lucky. I'm sure most people who go to Julliard and say this, but I, in my case, it's, it's really, really true that Marsha Norman was a wonderful mentor to me. I met her at Tisch and Tisha's a funny place because it's a larger program. You know, you don't have that. One-on-one with your professors that you do with Juilliard where there's just a handful of you, but, and I didn't stand out at Tisch. I sort of, my husband was, you know, my husband's sort of the star over player at, in class and I hadn't found my voice and I was sort of, I just wasn't like the star student and she was, she saw something in me and I don't think she saw like a Polish playwright yet, but she saw, I think there's just, she saw a way to help me find my voice.3 (41m 18s):And she hired me as her assistant coming out of that MFA program. And I always think like it was sort of charity work because she didn't need an assistant. She was so on top of her life. But I think she wanted to let me hang out with her and see how she conducted her business. So she was working on law and criminal intent. Yeah. Yeah. And so I was on set with her. I get to do research with her, for the scripts. She was doing the color purple and I got to go to rehearsal usually just to bring a coffee that I could watch. And it was, you know, she's also a mother and I don't know it was really, it, it was so generous of her because I got, I just got to see that you, what a woman in power looks like and, and a woman on her voice.3 (41m 59s):And she also says no a lot. And I grew to really respect that. Especially later when I became a mom, but you don't F with Marsha. I mean, she'll shut stuff down. She's really, I mean, she's such a generous person here. She did this thing for me, I'm a total stranger, but she's also like she knows her worth. So I was very grateful. It's been those years with her. And then, and then she invited me to Julliard. And then when I was ready really gave me, I mean, Juilliard is so much pressure. And the thing about Julia is you have to know what your voice is to go there. And so it's almost like she was helping me find my voice. And then when I found it gave me this incredible opportunity to go to Julliard. So sh honestly like very, very good to me in such a mentor in a very lucky.3 (42m 41s):And then on the west coast, I've had a wonderful mentor in John Wells because he, he's just one of the most terrific showrunners and producers, but it's funny cause I, everybody knows that that's not a secret in LA, but to work for him as a writer and to be in his writer's room. I learned so much from him about how to empower the people around you. How did it become like, you know, there's so many toxic writing rooms and toxic jobs with my friends, tell me, and it sounds terrible, but everyone at a John Wells show is thrilled to be there and very lucky to have that job. And they know it and like just that there's a way to do things gracefully. So he, and, and then he got this book and handed it to me and gave me my first chance to be a show runner.3 (43m 23s):So I had a, I've been very lucky to have him as a mentor on this coast1 (43m 28s):And the toxic. I've heard a lot of stories too, about toxic writers' rooms. And maybe that's also something that's going to get phased out because like so many of these things, you just, you just need more samples. You need, you know, you need more samples in your dataset so that, you know, I mean, if 99% of everything is run in one certain way, then there's little, there's little chance that it's going to change. But when, when the tide starts to shift, maybe there's a little, few more samples in your dataset that show, well, you can just be a regular nice person and still get the same, you know, get the same job done. That's that's nice to hear.3 (44m 9s):Yeah. Yeah.1 (44m 12s):So dah, dah, dah, oh, one, another favorite line from made is when Alex is talking to her dad about, I think this is, might be at the last episode or near then. And she says, she's trying to tell him that her or her, whatever boyfriend abused her and her, father's not taking it in. And she says, do you hear the words that are coming out of my mouth right now? That was another thing that really hit me because, you know, denial is really not a passive thing. Like you have to work pretty hard at defending your denial on something.1 (44m 56s):And I'm really familiar with saying something that feels, you know, that's a truth for me to people who, I mean, act as if you're, you know, like you're invisible and that turns out to be a really shaping force in a lot of people's lives. And you know, so anyway, I'm just curious about your own relationship and experience with denial.3 (45m 22s):Well, I love that you love that moment because I remember with that scene feeling like something was missing. And I remember, you know, I know a lot of it denial, but what I really know a lot about is gaslighting and denial is a form of gaslighting where you're just like, I'm, I'm not going to acknowledge a reality. And you know, I learned this tool a few years ago from a fantastic therapist that like, it's okay to just pause and be like, but you actually are hearing me, right? Like this is English. And you understand these words like, and I've, I've actually tried that tool in my life and steal at someone, not, not like, not be able to confirm that they're hearing the words.3 (46m 3s):And so it was when I, and then when I put it in the scene that it felt like, oh, that's what was missing is just this, like, how far are you going to take this denial? And he still can't write. I mean, I think Billy might nod, but he doesn't say anything. Like, I think gaslighting in denial and emotional abuse, I mean, I could write 40 Marsha was about this. I am fascinated by it. And the thing we don't talk about it as a form of abuse. And we should, it's like weirdly I think as well as violent, if not more violent than physical abuse, because you don't realize it's happening like Alex in the pilot, she doesn't know she's a victim of abuse and she is such an, a victim of abuse, which I hope we demonstrate in the show that you have to go on that ride with her, but you know, it's so corrosive and there's nothing worse than having someone tell you what what's real is not real day after day, year after year.3 (46m 56s):Like this is an area that I know a lot about I sent you do to1 (47m 1s):Yes. And actually my kind of where I put my energy in terms of recovery is with codependency and denial and codependency, or just, I mean, that's, that's the it's denial is the perfume of codependency. It's just, it's everywhere. And what I think really gets triggered for people who want to keep pretending, like they hear the words you're saying is because I find this in my family, like the way that denial really shows up in my family is if I acknowledge a truth, that's too true. I think what happens to other people is they feel that if they even just validate that that's my truth, that that somehow means that they have to acknowledge it for their own selves and their own lives.1 (47m 51s):And that's really like the forbidden thing that, you know, that people who don't want to go there can't do, they can't, it's like the Pandora's box. If I start to look at, you know, if I acknowledge that, what you're saying about this is true, then I can't help, but start to acknowledge all of the other things as well.3 (48m 9s):I think what you just said is, is brilliant because I think people think denial is just inactive, but it's aggressive. It's so aggressive. It's really violent, you know, intense denial that gaslighting of like, I will not even acknowledge. I hear the words you're saying it's, it's, it's so active. It's I mean, it's so aggressive. What you said was really, really smart really. Right. Yeah. And I love the people. I love the people are flipping out about Hank with me. Like how does he just sit there and let Sean treat her like that? And like, you know, and that's what I mean, I think she's mistreated throughout the show, but I think what Hank does to her in that moment with the denial is, is I think a lot of us recognize that.1 (48m 49s):Yeah. And I really appreciate the w the way you rolled out this whole concept of emotional abuse, because even I who feel like I've spent so much time working on this stuff, and I was a therapist, even I was found myself being like, oh, he didn't hit her. You know, she left, he didn't hit her. Hmm. I really had to check that in myself. And I was because one of the things that denial, I mean, in the absence of act, you know, saying you're wrong or whatever, and it's just, I don't hear you. You just assume that what you're saying, isn't valid, it's it becomes this thing that you do to yourself where you, you know, if somebody invalidates you enough, you start to invalidate yourself.1 (49m 38s):So I loved how you rolled that out in the series that are people talking to you a lot about that.3 (49m 45s):Yes they are. And how about in episode eight, where you are like, oh, Sean's changed and he's turned around and he's going to be a carpenter, you know? And like you it's in you, you find yourself. Or at least I did. And I assume it seems like audiences to just kind of like, oh, maybe this is a happy, love story. Like maybe he like, you know, and, and that, you know, that is all by calculated manipulative writing that I like my secret agenda with me. It was, you know, and I claimed 10 hours cause I wanted, I wanted the audience to go on the actual experience of that cycle and to get thrown off by it and caught up in it like, oh my gosh, I'm back, I'm back. And I'm in the pit, how did this happen?3 (50m 26s):And I wanted to show you how it happened. I also was like, I dare you to wash made and tell me that that's not domestic violence because it is emotional abuse is violent. It, what happens to her is violent. So that was like my secret mustache totally goal with the show.1 (50m 43s):Yeah, no, it, it hit, it totally played. And, and I think the other thing that's great about that is that when we have seen depictions of violence against women in film, I mean the best we could entail television, the best we could have hoped for is some woman who's abused who isn't a total idiot, because mostly what it is, how it's portrayed is some dumb person who doesn't, who's too dumb to know she's being abused. So therefore she goes back and also the various, the subtle, wow. I don't know if it's settled, but the, the subplot with the first roommate that she has when she goes to the, not roommate, but you know, the woman who lives in the shelter with her who introduces her to, you know, how, how to do life there.1 (51m 31s):I love I, that was heartbreaking her story of, because it is that you, you, you, yes, in the audience were saying, yeah, maybe sh maybe Sean is a good guy. Maybe, maybe all he really needed was to sober up and become the good person he was meant to team.3 (51m 50s):Yep. I mean, it's funny. I did an interview yesterday where this gentleman was like, is Sean okay? Like, does he end up okay. In life? And, and I, and I found myself sort of being like, I've never really thought of that cause he, you know, he's fictional, but I, I don't know. I'm not sure that that guy is ever going to make it out of that trailer, you know? And I'm not sure that he's going to get sober and be a great dad. I'm not. But I do feel like when he says at the end, I'm going to get sober and come see her all the time. I don't believe him. And, and I think that's his TV show, right? That's his cycle that he has to break. But my goal was to show that he's caught in his own cycle too.3 (52m 29s):Like, we are all kind of caught in our own cycles and it's so hard to break, you know, an Alex barely makes it out. And most women and men in her situation, the show ends in episode eight under the, in the pit. Most people don't get out of the pit and she is so smart and driven that she can, but she's the exception and not, she's a great exception. Yeah.1 (52m 53s):Yeah. Yeah. So we're, I want to be honoring your time. I told you we're only going to talk for an hour, but, but before we begin to wrap up, I just want to ask you, so since we've spent a lot of time talking about your success, let's hear about some of your failures. What have been some mistakes that you've made, maybe, maybe you maybe even like when you, when you made first, the transition from playwriting to writing and Hollywood, what were some of the mistakes that you made along the way?3 (53m 23s):Well, I, I think the, one of the great learning opportunities I've had as a human being, not just as a writer, was my first big production as a playwright in New York. And it was, you know, I was barely out of school and I felt I'm just so grateful for the opportunity. You know, it was a big production with stars in it and fancy director and everyone there was fancy except me and the process I have to say kind of went that way, like, like, huh, there's this element of it's actually, it's when I play close up space is about a dad and a daughter. It's about grief and pain and there's a lot of magical realism and I'm sure it's far from the perfect play, but it got obliterated by the press and squarely blamed on me the most inexperienced person in the production.3 (54m 11s):But what I learned from it is that I knew things about it were wrong. I knew immediately things about the production were wrong and I didn't use my voice. I didn't, you know, what happened with the play is my fault. I didn't, I didn't ring the bell. I didn't say, well, I didn't refuse the rewrites. Like I, you know, and everybody there had good intentions. Everybody wants to have a hit play, but people saw it a different way than I did. And, and it was wonderful people. There was no reason why I couldn't have said, Hey, yo, this isn't what I wrote. And I really, it was a crushing blow to have that play go so badly and to, to get such her, I mean, if you went for that and just Google it, it's the worst reviews. It's like, one of the, one of the reviews was like, is she sleeping with the director?3 (54m 53s):Like, why did she even get this product? You know, it's just straight on misogyny. I mean, it was, it was so mean, but what it taught me was I, since that moment I've really listened to my gut. And if my gut says this isn't right, I say it, and I don't worry about how it's going to come across. It sounds like I did that with you, but I have my sense of like, no, and, and it, and I learned the hard way in that moment that nothing is more important than your own gut. And so, and, you know, kind of re I had like a, kind of, a lot of momentum as a playwright really stop that momentum. It sent me into a deep depression. I mean, the, I lost so much because I didn't listen to my voice.3 (55m 36s):So that was my big theater lesson, which is applied to everything. But the big mistake I've made in TV to film, I've actually been really, really, really lucky and worked with fantastic people. But I think that stuff can go sideways here. It's a, it's a funny town, you know, and I've worked with wonderful people, but once in a while, you know, something's happening and then it just disappears. And so, you know, like that, you're gonna, you know, I, right before me and I came so close to having another job that I really wanted and was passionate about, it would have been my first time kosher running something, show running something, and, you know, we were all but celebrating.3 (56m 21s):And then the whole thing fell apart because the actress wanted her friend to write it and like bull, bull, crap. Like that happens all the time in LA. And so it's a hard time. It's a hard lesson the first time, you know, where I was like, oh, people don't, you know, like my agent sent me champagne. Like it was, it was happening. And then it very suddenly wasn't. And so I think it made me realize that don't pop the champagne until the contract is signed1 (56m 51s):And put that on a t-shirt.3 (56m 57s):That was a tough lesson to learn though, because I was like, wait, oh my God. Like, I went from like sky high to, and you know, nobody really, nobody apart, it was just very sobering. So,1 (57m 7s):And writing is so personal that it's really hard not to take both the criticisms to heart and then the, the opposite of the criticisms. And, you know, it's, it's hard not to make it. It's hard to stop making it about personal validation. You know, when, when somebody likes or doesn't like your stuff. Yeah. That's the journey I'm on right now. Not making it about, you know, like if somebody didn't like my play doesn't mean they don't, it doesn't have anything to do with whether or not they like me.3 (57m 40s):Yeah. You know, that's, I'm glad you're learning that because I also can tell you, I just staffed a writing room for the first time. And so that experience was really opening because I read unbelievably fantastic things and I didn't meet with them because, you know, you're designing a dinner party with five people and you kind of have to, and like you, the truth is, like I said, I passed on a lot of wonderful writers whose work I freaking loved. And like, can't wait to read for the next thing and have mentioned and recommended to other people. And that's part of it is like, you don't know how people are experiencing your work and the fans that you're building along the way. And I think we quickly assume the worst. Right? I know I do. But like, but the fact is like, you don't, you don't know how close you got it.3 (58m 24s):My guess is you're getting close to stuff and you don't know. And aren't able to know that1 (58m 29s):At the end of the day, the only thing you have control over is whether or not you go back to your computer later that day and just keep writing.3 (58m 36s):Yeah. You got to run, run your own race, which is so hard to do. I mean, listen, it really, really is. But yeah. The only thing you, the only thing you can control is your output true. Which is horrible. I mean, I, I, for the first time, in two years that don't have anyone calling me today to be like, where are the pages? You know? Like, I mean, part of it too is it's, it's helpful when you have deadlines and pressure. That's why I love to grad school because I'm the second Monday of October, I was reading my play out loud. And so I had to go right. You know, make sure I write it. So I also feel like that's, without that, it's also, that's a hard thing about feeling like you're not moving forward too, is that lack of deadlines.3 (59m 19s):But again, you don't, you don't, you don't know how far your work is going and how who's reading it and what it will lead to the next time. And I mean, I've gotten, I've gotten rejected on so many things that have led to a meeting later, you know, like so many things that, so many jobs I wanted that I didn't get, but then later someone's like, oh, we read her for that. We should meet her for this. And I didn't get that job either, but, but it's like, it's just funny. So yeah,1 (59m 48s):Like leaving a whole blanket of your career and you never know, you know, w where this, where the threads are going to end up.3 (59m 55s):Absolutely. And every time I get bummed out, which is a lot, because I'm a writer, all writers gets on debt. I, I try to think about and visualize the stack of things. I'm going to write in my life. And when I get terrible notes or when I get clobbered with notes and I feel depressed, I also think about the stack of work that I'm going to do in my life and how this piece that I'm writing right now is just one of them, you know? And that, that's my, that's my real tombstone like that pile, you know?1 (1h 0m 22s):Oh, I love that. What a great image and what a great note to end on.4 (1h 0m 37s):If you liked what you heard today, please give us a positive five star review and subscribe and tell your friends. I survived. Theater school is an undeniable Inc production. Jen Bosworth, Ramirez, and Gina plegia are the co-hosts. This episode was produced, edited, and sound mixed by Gina for more information about this podcast or other goings on of undeniable, Inc. Please visit our email@example.com. You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Thank you.
One of the most frequent discussions in our business is the discussion around achieving a work/life balance. Things get personal as Meg, Lorien, and Jeff share their own complicated relationships with this conversation, and how can we stay MINDFUL of the big picture as we pursue our work. OUR FIRST PATREON WORKSHOP IS WED, NOV 17! Sign up here!: https://www.patreon.com/thescreenwritinglife --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/thescreenwritinglife/support
Our guest today is the well-regarded screenwriting lecturer, story consultant, and eminent author, Robert McKee. Reputable for his globally-renowned ‘Story Seminars' that cover the principles and styles of storytelling. I read his book years ago and refer to it often. I discovered McKee after watching the brilliant film Adaptation by the remarkable Charlie Kaufman. Kaufman literally wrote him into the script as a character. McKee's character was portrayed by the Emmy Award-winning actor Brian Cox.If you haven't heard of Robert McKee then you're in for treat. Robert McKee is what is considered a "guru of gurus" in the screenwriting and storytelling world.He has lectured on storytelling for three decades, and his book Story: Substance, Structure, Style and the Principles of Screenwriting (FREE AUDIO BOOK VERSIONS HERE) is a "screenwriters' bible". It's also become the bible for TV writers, and entertainment executives, and their assistants.McKee's former students include 67 Academy Award winners, 200+ Emmy Award winners, 100+ Writers Guild of America Award winners, and 52 Directors Guild of America Award winners.Some of his "Story Seminar" alumnae including Oscar® Winners Peter Jackson, Julia Roberts, John Cleese, Geoffrey Rush, Paul Haggis, Akiva Goldsman, William Goldman, and Jane Capon, among many others.McKee's work has shaped the way Hollywood movies have been written for years. Particularly, Story: Substance, Structure, Style and the Principles of Screenwriting, written in 1997. A very resourceful guide for screenwriters. In Story, he expands on the concepts he teaches in his $450 seminars (considered a must by industry insiders), providing readers with the most comprehensive, integrated explanation of the craft of writing for the screen. More than 100 big-name screenwriters have benefitted from his seminars at one point or another.Many of you might have been introduced to McKee's work in the film Adaptation,where the great Brian Coxportrayed him. This is how I began my journey into McKee's game-changing book Story: Substance, Structure, Style and the Principles of Screenwriting.Nicolas Cage is Charlie Kaufman, a confused L.A. screenwriter overwhelmed by feelings of inadequacy, sexual frustration, self-loathing, and by the screenwriting ambitions of his freeloading twin brother Donald (Nicolas Cage). While struggling to adapt "The Orchid Thief," by Susan Orlean (Meryl Streep), Kaufman's life spins from pathetic to bizarre. The lives of Kaufman, Orlean's book, become strangely intertwined as each one's search for passion collides with the others'.My interview covered discussion on McKee's latest book which is linked below, Character: The Art of Role and Cast Design for Page, Stage, and Screen. And a combination of his other books Dialogue: the Art of Verbal Action for Stage, Page,and Screen, andStorynomics: Story-Driven Marketing in the Post-Advertising World, which are both linked in the show notes.This interview felt like a free pass to one of McKee's sold out seminars --- packed with knowledge bombs.Absorb as much knowledge as you can because it come fast and hard. Enjoy this conversation with Robert McKee.
Join Mind Over Murder hosts Bill Thomas and Kristin Dilley in a fascinating conversation with David Rambo, writer and producer on the hit TV show CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. This is part 3 of a 3 part episode.David Rambo: https://www.davidrambo.com/New Article in Virginia Gazette: 35 Years Later, Victims' Families in Colonial Parkway Murders Still Searching for Answers, Hope DNA Advances will Solve Case By Em Holter and Abigail Adcoxhttps://www.dailypress.com/virginiagazette/va-vg-colonial-parkway-murders-anniversary-1024-20211022-76jkpte6qvez7onybmhbhp7nfi-story.htmlNew Article in Medium: The Colonial Parkway Murders — A Tale of Two Killers? By Quinn Zanehttps://medium.com/unburied/the-colonial-parkway-murders-a-tale-of-two-killers-1e8fda367a48Washington Post: "Crimes of Passion"https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/opinions/1997/08/15/crimes-of-passion/0a38e8f9-6d04-48e4-a847-7d3cba53c363/New feature article in the Daily Beast: "Inside the Maddening Search for Virginia's Colonial Parkway Serial Killer"https://www.thedailybeast.com/what-happened-to-cathleen-thomas-and-rebecca-dowski-inside-the-hunt-for-the-colonial-parkway-killerCheck out our new line of "Mind Over Murder" t-shirts and other good stuff !https://www.teepublic.com/stores/mind-over-murder-podcast?ref_id=23885Washington Post Op-Ed Piece by Deidre Enright of the Innocence Project:"The FBI should use DNA, not posters, to solve a cold-case murder" https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/06/25/julie-williams-laura-winans-unsolved-murder-test-dna/New Story on Oxygen: "Loni Coombs Feels A Kinship To 'Lovers' Lane' Victim Cathy Thomas"Loni Coombs felt an immediate connection to Cathy Thomas, a groundbreaking gay woman who broke through barriers at the U.S. Naval Academy before she was brutally murdered along the Colonial Parkway in Virginia.https://www.oxygen.com/crime-news/loni-coombs-feels-a-kinship-to-colonial-parkway-victim-cathy-thomasNext year's CrimeCon will be held April 29-May 1, 2022 in Las Vegas. We will both be there!Details: https://www.crimecon.com/cc22Featured Case from Othram and DNAsolves.com:The Will County Coroner's Office and Othram Team to identify a Young Woman Found in 1981:https://dnasolves.com/articles/will_county_jane_doe_1981/You can contribute to help "Mind Over Murder" do our important work:https://mindovermurderpodcast.com/supportCheck out Mind Over Murder on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mindoverpodcastJoin the Colonial Parkway Murders Facebook page with more than 14,000 followers: https://www.facebook.com/ColonialParkwayCase4 new episodes on the Colonial Parkway Murders are available on Oxygen as "The Lover's Lane Murders." The series is available on the free Oxygen app, Hulu, YouTube, Amazon, and many other platforms. https://www.oxygen.com/lovers-lane-murders Oxygen" "Who Were The Colonial Parkway Murder Victims? 8 Young People All Killed In Virginia Within 4 Years" https://www.oxygen.com/lovers-lane-murders/crime-news/who-were-the-colonial-parkway-murder-victims Washington Post Magazine: "Victims, Families and America's Thirst for True-Crime Stories." "For Bill Thomas, his sister Cathy's murder is a deeply personal tragedy. For millions of true-crime fans, it's entertainment." https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/magazine/wp/2019/07/30/feature/victims-families-and-americas-thirst-for-true-crime-stories/Daily Press excellent series of articles on the Colonial Parkway Murders: "The Parkway" http://digital.dailypress.com/static/parkway_cottage/main/index.htmlNew Colonial Parkway Murders website: https://colonialparkwaymurders.com New Mind Over Murder Podcast website: https://mindovermurderpodcast.comPlease subscribe and rate us at your favorite podcast sites. Ratings and reviews are very important. Please share and tell your friends!We launch a new episode of "Mind Over Murder" every Monday morning.Sponsors: Othram and DNAsolves.comContribute Your DNA to help solve cases: https://dnasolves.com/user/registerFollow "Mind Over Murder" on Twitter: https://twitter.com/MurderOverFollow Bill Thomas on Twitter: https://twitter.com/BillThomas56Follow "Colonial Parkway Murders" on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ColonialParkwayCase/Follow us on InstaGram:: https://www.instagram.com/colonialparkwaymurders/Check out the entire Crawlspace Media network at http://crawlspace-media.com/All rights reserved. Mind Over Murder, Copyright Bill Thomas and Kristin Dilley, Another Dog Productions/Absolute Zero Productions
Today we're joined by none other than Edgar Wright and Krysty Wilson-Cairns. Krysty you'll remember from our recent episode on the fantastic 1917. Edgar, meanwhile, is one of British cinema's best-loved blockbuster auteurs – the writer-director behind movies like Baby Driver, Scott Pilgrim and of course, his Three Colours Cornetto trilogy with Simon Pegg (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and The World's End). We could spend the next few minutes giving you our glowing appraisal of the pair's latest film, Last Night In Soho, but Stephen King probably said it best when he tweeted: "This one is special. Time travel with a twist.” As reviews go for your first real horror movie, Krysty and Edgar couldn't ask for much better than that.Yes, Last Night In Soho is a horror movie. But it's also a time-travel movie, an ode to ‘60s Soho and a brutal dismantling of British pining for “the good old glory days” that politicians and cultural commentators love to invoke. It follows Eloise, an aspiring fashion designer played by Thomasin McKenzie, who moves to London for uni and forms a seductive, supernatural connection to a girl in ‘60s Soho – Sandy, played by Anya Taylor-Joy. Full of intrigue and surprises, the film packs all the directorial flair and storytelling invention we've come to expect from Edgar, and all the powerful characterisation and dramatic tension that are becoming Krysty's calling cardsWe spoke to the pair to hear how Edgar pulled on his mother's own experience of supernatural phenomenon to help craft the story, how Krysty approached the infuriatingly relevant issue of exploited women in the script and the subtle condemnation of Brexit that this movie may or may not have simmering under its surface. The pair asked to not delve too deep into the movie's ending as they want to allow people to form their own conclusions for now, but otherwise this is a spoiler-filled conversation, so be sure to check out the movie before tuning in.Oh and one last thing – stay tuned to the end of the episode for an exclusive sneak peek at a brand-new podcast from the Script Apart team! How I Write is a show in which great screenwriters reveal their step-by-step creative process, from outline to the finish line on incredible TV shows and movies. Click here to subscribe.Support for this episode comes from Screencraft and WeScreenplay.Script Apart is a podcast about the first-draft secrets behind great movies. Each episode, the screenwriter behind a beloved film shares with us their initial screenplay for that movie. We then talk through what changed, what didn't and why on its journey to the big screen. The show is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek, with music from Stefan Bindley-Taylor. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.Get a free digital copy of the Script Apart Magazine by supporting us on Patreon! 51 pages of interviews with great screenwriters, including exclusive conversations you won't find anywhere else. You can also now support the show on Ko-Fi.Support the show (https://patreon.com/scriptapart)
Heeeeeello everybody to a NEW episode!...Okay, that was my radio voice. How did it sound? ANYWAYS, on this brand new episode, the writer's room gets unintentionally science-fiction on your butts with this pitch about tv series where your past will continue to shape your many, many futures.Hosts IG: @bredacted, @justineugene, @therealgracegiffune, @canwesavepodOriginally recorded on: 10-27-2021Born Again is an hour-long drama series taking place over multiple, interwoven timelines where a common worker is sentenced to do time for crimes committed in their past. Can our hero discover the truth in the puzzle their past self left them, or will time finally catch up with them?
In today's episode, I welcome Kelsey Aicher! Kelsey is a trapeze artist and coach, as well as the Artistic Director of Aerheart and the Training Company Program Director for Kansas City Aerial Arts. She shares her experience with mental health issues and why she's so passionate about opening conversations about it. She shares with us her heart behind her latest show "n0rmal" (premiering in Kansas City and on livestream soon!) and some of her exciting future plans. (Fun fact: the cover image for this episode is part of the show image for "n0rmal"!) Get in touch with Kelsey Aicher: www.kansascityaerialarts.com | email@example.com Enroll in Lindsey's dance and wellness courses: www.elevateart.thinkific.com Support Artfully Told: www.paypal.me/elevateart Artfully Told links: www.facebook.com/artfullytold | www.artfullytold.podbean.com | firstname.lastname@example.org Get a free audiobook through Audible! http://www.audibletrial.com/ArtfullyTold Schedule your own interview as a featured guest with Artfully Told! https://calendly.com/artfullytold/podcast-interview Episode 75 - Kelsey Aicher [00:00:00] Lindsey Dinneen: Hello, and welcome to Artfully Told, where we share true stories about meaningful encounters with art. [00:00:06] Krista: I think artists help people have different perspectives on every aspect of life. [00:00:12] Roman: All I can do is put my part in to the world. [00:00:15] Elizabeth: It doesn't have to be perfect the first time. It doesn't have to be perfect ever really. I mean, as long as you, and you're enjoying doing it and you're trying your best, that can be good enough. [00:00:23] Elna: Art is something that you can experience with your senses and that you just experiences as so beautiful. [00:00:31] Lindsey Dinneen: Hi friends, whether you are just getting started or you're a seasoned professional looking to up your game, I have an exciting opportunity for you. Did you know that I am actually the creator of 10 different courses online that range from ballet, jazz, tap. They also include a mindset detox course and two Stretch and Tone courses. So if you're looking to start a new hobby or get a little bit fitter, or you're looking to do a deep dive into your mindset, really perform a true detox, I have the course for you, and I would love to help you out with that. So if you go to elevateart.thinkific.com, you will see all of the different courses I've created. [00:01:26] You don't have to step in a classroom to take your first dance class. I teach a signature 20 Moves in 20 Days course that allows you to learn 20 steps in just 20 days. It's a lot of fun. We have a great time together. And I think you're going to absolutely love the different courses. And Artfully Told listeners get a little something from me. So if you go, you'll sign up and use the promo code "artfullytold," all one word, and when you do so you'll get 15% off the purchase of any and all your favorite courses. All right, listeners, enjoy that. Again, it's elevateart.thinkific.com. See you there. [00:02:11] Hello and welcome back to another episode of Artfully Told. I'm your host Lindsey and I am very excited to have as my guest today, Kelsey Aicher. She is a trapeze artist and coach. She is the Artistic Director of Aerheart and also the training director for Kansas City Aerial Arts for their training company. She's the director for that. And I am just absolutely thrilled that she is joining us here today. Thanks so much for being here, Kelsey. [00:02:43] Kelsey Aicher: Thank you for having me. [00:02:44] Lindsey Dinneen: Of course. Well, I would love if you wouldn't mind sharing just a little bit about your background, maybe how you got involved in art in general, and then specifically in aerial arts and let us know a little bit about what you're doing now to, if you don't mind. [00:02:58] Kelsey Aicher: Yeah. So I have a very strange accidental journey to where I am right now. I've always been really good at math. And that's honestly what got me into art was, I was just, I skipped a grade in math and in third grade and was always advanced. And I was so bored in all of my math classes in high school because I just felt it was too easy. So I started writing short stories instead of paying attention in class. And that's when I fell in love with writing. I started taking creative writing classes, realized I love writing short stories and wondered if I could make a profit or like make a career out of it. So I started studying screenwriting by reading every book that I could. And when I was a junior in high school, I took a summer screenwriting camp at Drexel University and studied screenwriting intensely with the professors and fell in love, went to NYU at first and then switched to Columbia College to finish my Bachelor's in Screenwriting. [00:04:01] And then my life pulled me into Portland. My ex-husband got a job there and I didn't know what to do. And so I was freelancing as a screenwriter doing commercial scripts. I started taking aerial classes to do something, to feel, to feel productive. It was just a hobby. And then a year later I started performing and coaching. And a year after that, I was hired professionally to perform trapeze and just somehow accidentally became a trapeze artist. I don't think that's most people's journey. And now moving to Kansas City, I moved here four years ago. I've been able to combine my love of writing and my aerial arts by writing circus stage shows for the training company, student company, and the professional company. [00:04:54] Lindsey Dinneen: Yeah. That's amazing. I love that you've been able to incorporate both of your passions into this one cool endeavor that you've been able to undertake. So that's, that's really interesting. So, like you said, sort of the accidental everything coming together, but it sounds like it, it came together pretty, pretty, perfectly, so that's, that's great. So you talked about, you know, starting with the background in, in writing. And so I'm curious how that transition has been, because you were talking about screenplays and whatnot. So, so how have you found that background to be obviously incredibly helpful as you plan out shows, but then also, how has it changed or evolved over the years just because it's necessary to do so with producing a, an aerial show versus let's say a movie? [00:05:45] Kelsey Aicher: So starting at NYU for college, they have your freshman year, you have all the --all dramatic writing students are combined to a class. So it's playwrights, TV writers, and screenwriters. And the first semester, all we did was study plays. And then the second semester we started moving into TV and films. So I actually got a lot of training in playwriting as well as part of my education into screenwriting. When I write a show: one, I think just in general, any type of writer, whether it's short story, novels, whatever, there's still always standard structures of a story. They're generally three acts and character development, multiple plot points. So just understanding story, I think, helps with creating any type of show on stage. Even if it's silent, like ours are-- I shouldn't say silent, but free of dialogue, like ours are-- in a circus show. But having the playwriting understanding actually helps me more. I treat it like I'm writing a musical, so I still outline all my habits and stuff like that like I do for screen writing. I write like my treatment, my outlook. [00:07:01] But then when I think about it, conceptually, I think of it like a musical, because a musical has this narrative story, but then the idea of having a musical number where you're just singing is so removed from reality that it's like a large moment that's just capturing one tiny little feeling. And that's kind of what I do with aerial is like, okay, we're having this story flowing through. And now we have this character locks eyes with this character. And instead of singing a song about it, we're going to have three aerialists on silks doing a whole dance that's showing how these two characters have just fallen in love at first sight. [00:07:41] Lindsey Dinneen: Oh, I love that. Yeah. I can completely see that. It's so helpful to have that background of understanding the, the building blocks of creating a story in order to translate it to an art form that you really can't do as much with as far as-- well, you could, I suppose with dialogue-- but traditionally you don't. So yeah, I think that's, that's really neat. And I'm curious, has there been one show in particular that you've worked on, perhaps that has been the most difficult to translate from your concept in your head and like, "I know I want to get these messages across" to put it on, you know, an aerial production where they can, they can interact with each other? Yes, you can see those very human moments and these connections, but still to get across your main point, you know, what was, what has been one of the most challenging that you've experienced so far? [00:08:36] Kelsey Aicher: I think the one that has not actually been released yet. I wrote a show for the training company, Kansas City Aerial Arts called "The Spaces Between," and it's very conceptual. I started writing it-- honestly, I think it was the first show I started to write. But it just didn't make sense to have them start with the students, start with like a really highly conceptual show. And so I put it on hold for several years and we finally were doing it to debut on April 3rd, 2020. So we spent six months building up for this show, getting everything ready. And the three weeks before the show, we shut down the whole studio. And so we actually just filmed it in this past April, April 2021, and it's still in the editing process, so I haven't seen it yet. So that's why I'm interested to see if it goes across. [00:09:33] In the past I've written really, really narrative shows. We've did one about the story of Prometheus and the one that we did before "Spaces Between" was called "Masked: A Superhero Love Story." And it was very clear that here's our hero, here's our villain. And they fall in love and like everything that's happening. So generally I go very narrative where like one person is playing a character and it's the whole through line. With "The Spaces Between," there was a narrator that was just telling the story about growing up, dealing with parents' divorce and death of her sister and escaping, using her imagination to escape what was the stress of what was happening in her life and going to your imagination by thinking of like the worlds that are created in the space inside of bubble or the space between two pages of a book. So it's interesting to make things really, really highly conceptual, where people are just like in normal clothes. And it's not really obvious. They're not heavy characters. Even if the narrator is talking about bubbles beforehand, will people be able to tell that these three lyra performers are supposed to be fairies come to life in this magical world between bubbles? [00:10:46] So I, I think that that's the hardest one, but I also don't know yet the end results, since it hasn't been released yet. It's not fully edited. So I'm when we interested to see if the whole concept and idea that comes across. I hope it does, but I know that that's definitely-- it's a lot harder to convey a concept, especially when we're doing everything very conceptual anyway. Like falling in love is easier to do with dialogue than with aerial, but at least we can create a lot of set up with the right music and costuming and movement to convey it, than trying to convey something like-- I'm trying to think of an example. Oh, there's one where it is-- they're portraying the space between notes in music and on trapeze. And whether that's going to come across or not, I don't know. [00:11:45] Lindsey Dinneen: Yeah. Yeah. You know, on some level I think every time I write and produce a show is, you know, I, I have some level of confidence having been able to produce shows that I'm proud of in the past, but there's always that, you know, when you produce something new, is it, is it going to read, is it going to come across to your audience or did you just create this cool thing in your head that everyone's like, "oh yeah, that was interesting," but they don't quite get. So I can certainly relate to that. But I'm excited for that, that show. That sounds really interesting and unique. And I think, I think that will be a really cool concept to watch. Well, a series of concepts to, to watch in a, in an aerial show specifically. Well, I know that you're currently working on a show that is coming up pretty quickly here, just a few weeks away. And I would love if you wouldn't mind sharing that. I know it's a very, you know, personal thing for you. And I don't want to give anything away ahead of time. I want you to speak to it, but I would love if you would share just a little bit about maybe your next upcoming production that is finally live again. So exciting. [00:12:56] Kelsey Aicher: I am very excited to be back to live theater. It is, I don't enjoy filming things that were meant for stage, despite my screenwriting background. Yeah. So I am making, I've directed the student company before. This is my first time directing our professional company, Aerheart. It is also my first time directing a show that I'm performing in since I'm in Aerheart, but the show is called "n0rmal." Doesn't sound so exciting, but I want to spell this out. We're spelling it lowercase n, the number zero, r m a l. I put the zero in because I wanted to show that like no one is free from mental health or no one is untouched by mental health topics. Like everyone is affected. We're not alone. So I put the zero in there, one, to make the spelling a little bit quirkier, but to, to show that like we're all in this together, no one is exempt from dealing with mental illness or mental health issues. And that's the subject of the show we are talking about trying to normalize talking about mental health and suicide prevention. [00:14:07] Yes, you mentioned that it is a more of a personal story or personal project for me. One, in the pandemic, I saw a lot of my friends have more mental health issues. And for me, I went deeper into my depression, which I've been dealing with since I was 14. And more on a very personal level, I had an addiction to self-harm, to cutting specifically when I was in high school, and I struggled a lot with it. I was hospitalized in college for self harm and I have struggled on and off, but I've been pretty good in my adult years. And during the pandemic with everything being as hard as it was and depressing that it was, I picked up the habit again and it was a struggle and it was a thing that I didn't like. And so I resumed therapy and got back out of the, I stopped it before it became an addiction or a habit again. So I was already dealing with like, "okay, I'm having a tough time. And I know I'm not the only person having a tough time, but none of us are talking about it." [00:15:17] And I'm coming from a place of privilege like that I get to create art all the time. I have been in therapy. I am willing to talk about my own struggles with anyone. But not everyone feels that safety because there are so many reasons to feel like talking about having depression or having suicidal thoughts is taboo. It's going to be a sign of weakness or people just don't understand. And people end up feeling isolated and alone for that reason because they feel like they're the only one feeling what they're feeling. So I wanted to create a show that was to say like, "Hey, you aren't alone." We all experienced this thing in different ways, but it's okay to talk about it and there is support out there. So that's kind of how "n0rmal" started. [00:16:09] Lindsey Dinneen: Yeah. Well, first of all, I just want to say, you know, for me personally, but just for, for the world, for people in general-- I, I'm so thankful that you are willing to, to address this and to address it in a way that brings people together and says you're not alone, that, that many of us struggle daily with various, you know, mental health concerns. And I think that, you know, I agree with you a lot of times we're led to feel like we're the only ones experiencing something, and that's just not true. And I've noticed for myself that the more honest and open I can be about my own struggles with, you know, with the appropriate people-- not, not everybody-- but with the appropriate people that there's this extremely supportive community in the feeling of, if I can be honest, that allows other people to be honest too. And then we can support each other, but if we don't know what's going on and we can't be honest, then we're stuck in this loop of, of feeling like we're alone because clearly nobody else is going through this. Everybody else has their lives together when that is so not true. So, yeah, I, so I really commend you for, for doing this, and I'm really curious to me, this sounds like one of those concepts that is extremely difficult to translate to an aerial show. So I'm curious how that process has gone for you. And are you sort of tackling different aspects of mental health per piece or is there like a very clear running narrative throughout the whole? [00:17:55] Kelsey Aicher: It is more the former. So I have a description that has some statistics and my, my apologies if this number is wrong. If you come see the show, the correct information is on the program, but it's-- I have a two paragraph description, one paragraph for each act, and the first act talks about some statistics. Like the first piece is called-- and I'm going to get this number wrong, I'm so sorry-- 48,481, I think is the number, which is the number of lives lost to suicide in the year 2020 in the US. Wow. Which is a lot. And so I start with the first act being a lot of statistics and things like psychosis, depression, and substance use disorder are three of the highest risk factors for suicide. Things like being a member of a minority community, especially LGBTQ, or having experienced post-traumatic stress disorder, veterans. There are a lot of risk factors that show signs like that go into complete suicide. And so the first act kind of covers a lot of the different warning signs or common risk factors that can lead to suicide. [00:19:28] And then in what I think is the hardest piece in the show, like not hardest physically, but the hardest piece to watch is an acro number where-- I'm in this piece, of course, my partner and I at the end commit suicide. And then the second act is more about like, okay, so we know that there are these problems that people are facing. There's these mental health issues. There are these risk factors. There are certain groups that are more at risk than others and it's really prevalent. So then the second act is about like, okay, so people might be drawn to suicide because they feel like they're a burden to other people or because they want their pain to end and we can support them. And what you're talking about with the, having the conversation to find out, like, by actually saying like what's going on and you end up finding that you're not alone and that there's a support system. The second to last piece-- which I'm also in-- apparently I'm in the hard pieces emotionally. [00:20:29] It's called "Honest Conversation." And it's performed with my duo partner, Elena Sherman, and my real life best friend. And we are-- our piece is duo lyra, and we're having an honest conversation where in this piece we are through aerial saying like, "Hey, I have been feeling this way." And then all of a sudden hearing, "oh, I've been feeling this way too, and I love you." And we love each other and maybe we can like support each other. So having that honest conversation, just talking about it. So it's very conceptual because there isn't like a strong through line, but I did have these two paragraphs written in the program. And the title of each act is in bold and caps in the paragraph. So if you want to kind of follow along, so you're just like, "I don't even know what's going on right now," you have that safety backup to find out like what we're talking about with psychosis, hopefully like in the piece specifically about psychosis, where we have two people that are kind of like the same sometimes, and then moving further away from each other at other times, hopefully you can kind of get that sense of having -- not multiple personalities-- but having conflicting feelings and manic and depressive states that are sometimes together and sometimes battling each other. Hopefully in the piece about depression, you get the sense of just feeling defeated and depressed. But there is that option of go back and look at the paragraph and you can figure out what we're doing. [00:22:00] Lindsey Dinneen: That's awesome. Yeah. And I know this show is coming up pretty quickly. So do you want to share the details of how we might be able to watch it, whether we're local to Kansas City or not? [00:22:12] Kelsey Aicher: If you are local to Kansas City, we are going to be performing this show live at City Stage at Union Station on November 18th, 19th, 20th, and 21st. You can buy tickets at kansascityaerialarts.com. There'll be a link to our EventBrite page. If you are not local to Kansas City, and you want to check out the show, we are going to do a live stream on the Friday, November 19th show, and you can buy tickets through our same EventBrite page there. And if you do the live stream, you'll be able to not only watch it live on Friday, but you'll have access to watch it at another time after that, that weekend. So I know some of my students that are coming to see the show in person that have family members that are in different states are also gifting a live stream to their family members so that everyone they want to share it with can see this show. [00:23:06] Lindsey Dinneen: Oh, that's a perfect option. Thank you for sharing all about it and the process and all of that. And I'm wondering how it's been for you personally, and you can go into as little or as much detail as you want, but this is obviously-- like, we've kind of touched on something near and dear to your heart. And I, I, I know from my own personal experience that sometimes taking something that is really, really difficult, and frankly, even just difficult to talk about regardless of your comfort level of it, it's just still hard. I'm, I'm curious how that's been for you to translate that for yourself as a performer and then watching your creation come to life. How has that process been for you? I mean, I can only imagine that you are, you're needing to do a lot of self care on the side to really you know, not go down a rabbit hole of, of, of you know, reliving some of those harder moments, but, but, but still able to portray it. Do you mind speaking to that? [00:24:11] Kelsey Aicher: Yeah, of course. Yeah, I feel like I've been sharing my story more in the last few weeks than I ever have in my life, but I have, I've decided about five years ago that I was going to stop worrying about covering up my scars and not worry about telling people that I have depression, like not trying to hide it. I grew up in a Catholic small town, rural Wisconsin, conservative family. And when the school counselor told my parents that like I had talked about suicide ideation and that I should seek counseling, my parents were really upset that I would need extra help. My mom would drive me to and from therapy in silence and she would always like give me a doctors' note, like that I had a doctor's appointment. Like she would not let the school know that it was for counseling. I was told that I was not allowed to tell anyone, like none of my friends. So I went through my teenage years, dealing with an addiction to cutting, dealing with depression, dealing with starting meds for major depression and anxiety. [00:25:24] And my parents wouldn't talk to me about it. And I couldn't talk to any of my friends. And so I grew up being like, everything that I'm dealing with is something to be ashamed about. And even when I was hospitalized in college, it was only because some one saw --a neighbor in the dorms. I started like bleeding through my shirt and I didn't realize I was bleeding through my shirt from all of my wounds that I had self-inflicted, and they're the ones that took me to the hospital. And then coming back from that break, my parents and I really didn't talk about it. So it's just been like this whole, like life of like, you're supposed to be ashamed of having depression. You're supposed to hide it. You're not supposed to talk about it because like it's improper and it reflects poorly on your family and everyone else around you. [00:26:09] And in Portland, I had a coach who was wearing tank tops all the time and I could see her scars. And I asked her about at one time, like really like hesitantly about like, "Why do you feel comfortable showing your scars?" And she's like, "I get hot easily. I don't want to wear sleeves when I'm training." And it was just like this whole idea of like, "oh, this isn't a big deal." And so I made it a goal for myself that once a week, from them that point on, I was going to wear either shorts or short sleeves or something that revealed at least a scar once, once a week. And it wasn't necessarily around people I knew, or to like my aerial classrooms, and that it would be like to the grocery store, but I was just going to like gradually become okay with like having my scars exposed because I would like literally wear long sleeves and pants. And I like cover absolutely everything. [00:27:02] And so when I started getting comfortable with like my body and people seeing this, and I started like realizing. There's this other person that has this thing. And then we start talking these other people and they have depression. I was like, "oh, I'm not alone." And "Hey, I can start talking about these things." And I've found for me that the best thing for my own mental health and my own control of my problems with self harm has been being honest in talking about it. So I think for me, because I have been now for like, six, seven years been very open. Like if anyone asks me about something that's going on or my past experience, I will tell them. I will be honest. And it's just been something that's been so helpful for me. So I think along this journey, working on this show, even though it is so personal to me and personal to all the performers, I've already-- I don't want to say made my peace but it's the best phrase that's coming to my head right now-- made my peace with that that I don't feel super vulnerable to it. [00:28:00] That said, I am reading something on stage that I wrote. And I have found that when I listened to myself say these words, I have a really tough time. That's when I get triggered. So I have to, there's a piece where I'm reading something I wrote while a contortionist is performing to my words on stage. And anytime she sends me her videos to show me like, "oh, this is what I'm working on," I have to turn the sound off because if I hear myself saying these words, these about having anxiety and feeling stressed out, I get like, I have a physical reaction. So I have found that like, that's my one like trigger in this show, everything else I've been okay with. I've seen a lot of the performers, so many of the performers, if not every performer in this show has started putting their own emotions, their own feelings and their own experiences into this show as well. And so I've seen it more, I've seen more reactions from the other cast members seeing like how their real feelings are getting into the pieces and sometimes disrupting it. [00:29:09] And so I've talked to some of the newer performers. And the way that I keep my, the way I picture it is, you want to be you adjacent. So I think like, there's this character and then there's yourself and you want to have them next to each other so that they're just touching enough that you can pass the emotions and the feelings of your own experiences into your character, but you don't want them to be overlapping and you don't want them to be the same. Because if you are now becoming your reality into this piece, it's going to be so hard as a performer. It's going to be too easy to break down and to not actually separate yourself from the art that you're working on. So I talked to someone else about this and they just decided that they described it as a mask work, where you don't want your mask to be so tight fitting that it's yourself. You want to have a little bit of space between you and your mask that you're presenting. I think of it as being adjacent. Either way, it's this idea that you need to put all of your feelings and your experiences and your person next to your character that you're being. So pull on your experiences of self-harm and depression in this piece about depression, but don't make it actually your real experiences. If that makes sense. [00:30:25] Lindsey Dinneen: Yeah, and that's great advice. And I wish I had heard that advice a few years ago. I performed a piece where my character was the subject of some pretty intense bullying and, you know, a lot of gossip swirling around the character and the character had to deal with it. And, and it was very difficult to, to be adjacent to that character, having experienced some, some similar kinds of-- not the same obviously things-- but similar things to have those feelings brought back up, right? And so, yeah, that is such a good piece of advice. Yes, draw on your own experience to be able to portray it, to be able to share with the audience, "this is how this feels to me," but not so much that you get to a point of reliving the difficult, like-- I mean, trauma is a strong word-- but you know, things are traumatic, so don't relive the trauma exactly. But yeah, but, but be willing to sit with the feeling. And stay a little bit separate. I like, I like the way that, that you talked about that. Yeah. That's really important. [00:31:33] Kelsey Aicher: And you don't want to completely remove yourself from it because then your performance is inauthentic. Like you still want to give an honest portrayal, but that's why I always think of it, like as adjacent, like touching but not overlapping. [00:31:46] Lindsey Dinneen: Yeah. That's, that's fantastic. And I'm sorry to hear that you didn't have that support system growing up. I think there-- there's still is-- but there were for many, many years just so much stigma surrounding any sort of mental health difficulty. And I'm so thankful that you have a great support system now, from the sounds of it. And again, we, we are all touched by it. I love what your concept of that is, is nobody has been untouched in some way, whether it's you yourself or, or somebody that you love deeply or whatever. It's, it's there. And so being able to have those honest conversations and draw on the support of others and professionals. And I'm a huge advocate for therapy. I, I think therapy is for absolutely everyone. [00:32:30] Kelsey Aicher: Yes. I think that is something that everyone should experience at least once in their life. Like we go to the dentist twice a year to make sure that our teeth are still okay. We go to the doctor to make sure that everything's okay. Why don't we do this same thing for our emotional and mental wellbeing? Like everyone should be just at least once in their life should get that like tune-up. We do it for our cars. We do it for everything. But we should do it for our brain as well. [00:32:54] Lindsey Dinneen: Yes. Amen. Fully on board with that. Yes. So I'm sure that you're a pretty wrapped up in, you know, everything that is "n0rmal" right now, but then what is on the horizon for you? Where do you see yourself heading to next? [00:33:12] Kelsey Aicher: Well, always more things. I'm sure you already know that our training company is doing this production in December with VidaDance, called "Cracked!" So I'm simultaneously working on training and getting everything together and directing "n0rmal" while also doing some choreography and coaching for the training company for "Cracked!" And the training company at KCAA is already starting to work on our spring show which is a pop goth, gender neutral fairytale retelling, called "The Glass Combat Boot." So I'm already doing auditions for that and choreography and getting everything lined up. That will be in May, again at City Stage. And then, because I'm always thinking so far ahead, I'm getting the concept ready for their Fringe show and I'm already working on Aerheart's show for next year, next fall. So I'm constantly, I always like to stay one year ahead when it comes to writing the show that we're going to do. [00:34:17] So I kind of have a system of "alright, idea for next year's show needs to be done at least one year in advance. I need to have an outline at least 10 months in advance. I need to start auditions and choreography" by the time that we have started by the time we're in production of the previous show. So I'm going year-round constantly thinking of like what the next project is. It helps that I always like to create, so I get excited about things and the people I work with, both in Aerheart and in the training company, they're so inspiring. And so sometimes they'll just say something or do something and I see an image and that sparks a whole entire show. [00:35:02] Lindsey Dinneen: Yeah, absolutely. Well, and I have the privilege of actually knowing you in real life, not just, you know, over the, the podcast. And so, yeah, you are one of the most organized people I've ever met, which obviously you have to be, considering you always have like 15,000 things on your plate, so kudos to you. [00:35:21] Kelsey Aicher: I don't usually feel that way so thank you for the compliment. [00:35:24] Lindsey Dinneen: Well, yeah, and I understand that the not feeling that way, but clearly, you know, you are very. So good, good for you, but yeah, that, that is awesome. And for those who haven't had the chance to experience Kansas City Aerial Arts yet-- first of all, I just have to say the company, the professional company Aerheart, and then of course the training company, but the students in general are just amazing people first and they're amazing performers second, but they are just-- you have to watch, you have to watch their shows, frankly. Just shameless plug, but like, it just, you have to do it because they're, they're so good. And one of the things that I enjoy so much about watching them perform is how much they enjoy performing together. It's just obvious. [00:36:11] Kelsey Aicher: Yes. Yes. 100%. This is the most supportive community I have ever known. Like, I am constantly baffled by them. We hold auditions and it's almost like people get more excited to find out that they didn't get a solo because they're excited that someone else got the solo. It's, it is so crazy how much they all support each other and love each other. And like you said, it just shows on stage. [00:36:38] Lindsey Dinneen: Yeah. It's, it's magical. It's a really special atmosphere that you all have obviously carefully curated and support, but it is awesome the kind of people that you draw in and the way that they interact with each other. It's, it's always a blessing when we get to interact with y'all, but just in general, it's so much fun to watch you. And I would highly also encourage that if anybody is local to Kansas City and has any interest in aerial art, definitely that's the way to go. Like I said, they're extremely supportive people. Even if you've literally never done anything aerial before, they're not going to make you feel goofy or anything. I mean, I did an intro lesson one time and I was so like, I, you know, don't have the upper body strength or anything, and everyone was just so supportive and sweet and you know, that's the way to go. Well Kelsey, you know, thank you so much in general for, for being honest and open with, with us and specifically with the show. I'm really excited that you're doing this and I commend the work. I think it's extremely important that you're doing it. So thank you so much for that. I do have a couple sort of generic questions that I like to ask my guests if you're comfortable with that. [00:37:50] Kelsey Aicher: Yeah, of course. [00:37:51] Lindsey Dinneen: Awesome. Well, first of all, what is one change that you would really like to see in the art world? It could be really anything-- could be a very serious sort of change that you feel like needs to be made or something fun. Just what's one thing you would like to see changed about the art world? [00:38:10] Kelsey Aicher: One thing that I really struggle with is I don't feel that artists receive the same respect as someone that works like a standard nine to five. Like we're constantly asked to work for experience or do work for free promotion, but you wouldn't ask an architect to build a design your building for free, just for exposure. And I think that artists frequently thought of as, "oh, you're just doing it because you love it. And so you should just do it for the love and you don't have to worry about getting paid or getting paid equally." And I don't know, I feel like it's kind of like, you know, people that are computer programmers, they don't just write code because they want to make money. They do it also because they enjoy it, and artists do their work because they enjoy it. But why are we expected to just enjoy it and not seek compensation? So I do wish that there was a little bit more respect financially for artists. [00:39:12] Lindsey Dinneen: Yes, yes. And amen. Yep, absolutely agree. And then is there something arts related that you still want to explore that you haven't yet? So maybe another form of art that has it kind of, you know, prodded you here and there that, "oh, try me!" But you haven't had the opportunity or, or haven't gone for it yet? [00:39:38] Kelsey Aicher: Hmm. That is a really good question. I tend to be a person who-- I don't want to say impulsive, I'm impulsive light. So if there's something that interests me, I usually go for it and I dive in to it. So most things I feel like I have tried. I do still have the goal and it's not new. I, I love writing and I still write regularly. I still have the goal of writing a novel someday. But I'm trying to think of other art forms that I haven't dabbled in that I had just like really would like to try. I can tell you that one of my favorite art forms to watch is, I love watching dance. I love watching all types of dance and I just get mesmerized by it. And when there's an aerialist and a dancer on stage at the same time, the audience is almost always watching the aerialist because that's the thing that they haven't seen so much. And for me, I'm always watching the dancers cause I'm like, "But, but the dancer!" But I, I have tried dancing. I'm not great at dancing. I really respect everything that you guys do. Because I, I'm not a great mover on the ground by any means. [00:40:43] Lindsey Dinneen: But maybe something to further explore someday if you feel like it! [00:40:46] Kelsey Aicher: Possibly. Yeah. I mean, things in the circus arts, I know I want to get better at hand balancing and I've even considered-- it's just like, not professionally-- but like, I'm like when I retire from aerial, I think I might try to get a little bit more into contortion. You know, cause someone just gets into contortion for fun. But yeah, I think that my art, I just like to, I like being creative. I like, I like to move my body a lot, so I think it'd be something along those lines or even in the martial arts, I know. Not everyone considers that to be an art, but there certainly is a movement and an art form to things like Tai Chi or TaeKwonDo. So I think maybe the martial arts would be something I would try out. [00:41:30] Lindsey Dinneen: Yeah, absolutely. Great. And then my final question is-- so at the end of your life, what is one arts related experience that you would want to experience one last time for the last time? [00:41:45] Kelsey Aicher: Directing a show with aerialists. It's funny that I have fallen in love with it in the last few years, because I, when I was in film school, I really just wanted to be a writer. I had no ambition to be a director, almost everyone I was in classes with was like director, director, or writer, director. And I was like, no, I really do not want to direct. And the last four years with Kansas City Aerial Arts and working with the student company in particular, like being able to see us, all that team effort put in heart and soul from choreographers and performers and coaches and make a vision come to life. And it's not just like this vision that I have, like, I love seeing their reaction. Like "Masked" was my favorite show that we've done so far on stage. And after "Masked," so many of the students came up to me were just like, "We can do this again, right? Like we should just like, get the, the theater again next week and just keep performing this show." And that joy and that excitement of "we did this together as a team, we got this concept, we were the best artists we could be and we executed a vision." It's just so incredible. And so I imagine that like at the end of my life, I just want to direct one more show with this community again. [00:43:06] Lindsey Dinneen: Yeah. I can understand that. Certainly relate to that. Yeah. Well, Kelsey, thank you so very much for being here today. I'm just so inspired by what you've been talking about and your courage in speaking out about things that are important, that matter to you, that matter to everyone. So thank you for doing that. And if, if people are interested in connecting with you specifically, is there a way for them to do? [00:43:33] Kelsey Aicher: Yes. You can go to kansascityaerialarts.com and you'll be able to find my bio and my contact information. If you want to email me, it's email@example.com. I am not very good about social media, but I do have an Instagram account, which is mindfulaerhead. Airhead is A E R. So M I N D F U L A E R H E A D. So mindfulaerhead because I am really into mindfulness while being in the air. And yep. So you can follow me on Instagram there and message me that way as well. I will do my best to respond. I'm working this year on improving my social media presence, but it has been a thing that I have been removed from for several years. [00:44:23] Lindsey Dinneen: Oh, I can relate to that. Well, thanks again so much for being here. I really appreciate it. And if you are feeling as inspired as I am after listening to this episode, I'd love if you'd share this with a friend or two, and we will catch you next time. [00:44:41] If you have a story to share with us, we would love that so much. And I hope your day has been Artfully Told. [00:44:51] Hi friends. I wanted to share with you another podcast that I think you're going to fall in love with just as I have. It's called Harlem with a View, and it is hosted by Harlem Lennox, who was a previous guest of mine on Artfully Told and a dear friend. Just because it looks easy doesn't mean it is. There is so much that goes into the work of your creative. She wants to know how the artists got into their line of work, what inspires them, but most importantly, what keeps them going? She'd asked them about how they make it through the blood, sweat, and tears. She wants to know what it's like to live this creative life: the good, the bad, the ugly, and even the magical. So she goes behind the scenes with creatives, from different genres and she explores their history, their take on life and talks about the business of art and the dedication of making art. She has a brilliant, brilliant platform. I think you will fall in love. I highly recommend that you search for Harlem with a View. Thanks!
Ali interviews writer, story editor, producer and voice director, Eric Trueheart. Eric shares how he got his start in the industry, advice for writers trying to break in, the early days of his comedy troupe, The Ministry of Unknown Science, lots of fun stuff from his book, The Medium-Sized Book of ZIM Scripts Vol 1: Pigs 'n' Waffles, and how he deals with writer's block. He also talks about writing the ZIM comics, being a script consultant on Invader ZIM: Enter the Florpus,voice directing on Yin Yang Yo!, pilots he's written and his podcasts, The Army of Drunks and One Man Murder Maze, plus lots of great screenwriting tidbits along the way!
Geoffrey chats with Director Dan Attias (The Wire, True Blood, The Boys, Homeland) about the unique differences between directing a feature film and television. Dan also discusses the importance of working with the writers of a tv show as well as keen insights into his new book.To check out Dan's incredible new book:Directing Great Television go to https://amzn.to/3wfO7ehThe Guide For Every Screenwriter is available at:https://www.thesuccessfulscreenwriter.com/booksSupport the show and get access to exclusive content!--> https://www.thesuccessfulscreenwriter.com/podcast
In Episode 63 of the Wealth On Any Income Podcast, Rennie is joined by Erik Luhrs. Erik is a Highly Uncommon High Performance Coach who works with executives and entrepreneurs who have used high performance coaching, but feel that they are capable of far more than that kind of coaching can provide. Erik helps them by working at the levels above "high performance."Previously Erik created the GURUS Selling System and wrote the book BE DO SALE.In this episode Rennie and Erik cover:Erik's journey to creating 3 powerful systems for selling.What Erik discovered his next step was.How he discovered what made his clients successful – what changed for them.The two levels that transcends people beyond high performance.What working at the highest level is like.What Highly Uncommon High performance can do for you –“ Happiness is at a higher level than optimization”.Erik's favorite charity - St. Jude's Children's Hospital.Get started working with you higher self by signing up for Erik's One Question Power SessionTo sign up for your one question power session with Erik visit https://www.erikluhrs.com/powerAbout ErikErik Luhrs is a fun enigma...With experience and expertise in F500 Management Consulting, Martial Arts Instruction, Neuro-Linguistic Programming, Sales System Creation, Screenwriting, Startup Founding, Hypnosis, Government Contracting, Public Speaking, Inventing, Lead Generation Strategizing, Psychic Intuition Application, Operational Performance Optimization, Acting, Advisory Board Member, Corporate Communications, Meditation, Fitness Training, Brand Positioning, Energy Healing, Fundraising, Peak Performance Coaching, Real Estate Investing, CEO Mentoring, and many other eclectic skills...He is the guy you expect the least when you need him the most... visit https://www.erikluhrs.comIf you'd like to know how books, movies, and society programs you to be poor, and what the cure is visit wealthonanyincome.com/tedx. You'll hear Rennie's TEDx talk and can request a free 27-page Roadmap to Complete Financial Choice™ and receive a weekly email with tips, techniques, or inspiration around your business or money. Rennie's Books and Programshttps://wealthonanyincome.com/books/Rennie's 9 Days to Financial Freedom program:https://wealthonanyincome.com/programsConnect with Rennie Websites:WealthOnAnyIncome.comRennieGabriel.comEmail: Rennie@WealthOnAnyIncome.comLinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/renniegabriel/Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WealthOnAnyIncome/Twitter: https://twitter.com/RennieGabrielYouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdIkYMOuvzHQqVXe4e_L8PgInstagram: https://www.instagram.com/wealthonanyincome/
Canadian writer Lindsay Gossling reveals the work and effort that went into writing and directing her disaster movieThirteen Minutes. She also talks about the challenges of making her film Un Traductor which went on to become Cuba's submission for the Academy Awards.
Emmy and Golden Globe nominee Justine Bateman is an author, screenwriter, producer, and director. After decades as a successful actor, with roles on Family Ties, Satisfaction, Men Behaving Badly, and Californication, Justine made her feature film directorial debut with Violet, starring Olivia Munn, Luke Bracey, and Justin Theroux, which opens in theaters on October 29 and will be available on VOD on November 9. Justine is also author of bestselling books Fame and Face: One Square Foot of Skin. What you will learn: What inspired Justine to write the books Fame and Face, and what the writing process was like. Justine's thoughts on the concept of fame, what it means and what it doesn't mean, and how fame (or lack thereof) plays out at events like red carpet premieres. [0:00-12:02] Justine reveals why, out of the numerous screenplays she has writiten, she chose Violet as her first feature film to direct. What steps she took to make the film an immersive experience for viewers, and what the casting process was like. [12:02-25:28] How Justine found funding for Violet, the hustle required to pitch to film festivals, and thoughts on the shift in the entertainment industry (and humanity in general) due to COVID. [25:28-35:10] What Justine has planned for the future, from a new book to a handful of scripts, and the added hurdles COVID presents for filmmakers. She shares about her personal experience with sexism in Hollywood and how that did and didn't translate to her film Violet. [35:10-46:12] Advice Justine has for those wanting to break into the television/film industry, as well as book recommendations (listed below). [46:12-1:00:03] Why Justine toiled over the final edit of Violet and what steps she took in editing to help the film come together as she had originally envisioned. How the actors during the shoot were in the dark about much of what would be on screen until the final product was revealed. [1:00:03-1:13:38] Resources: Justine Bateman's: Website, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn Justine's book recommendations: Like Brothers by Mark and Jay Duplass, A Man With a Camera by Nestor Almendros, The Big Goodbye by Sam Wasson, and A Life in Movies by Irwin Winkler.
Geoffrey chats with the legend himself Christopher Vogler as they discuss his book The Writer's Journey. Now on its 25th anniversary.You can find The Writer's Journey here --> https://amzn.to/2SrIuJMThe Guide For Every Screenwriter is available at:https://www.thesuccessfulscreenwriter.com/booksSupport the show and get access to exclusive content!--> https://www.thesuccessfulscreenwriter.com/podcast
In this episode Ryan talks with Actor / Screenwriter Paul Campbell (Battlestar Galactica, The Big Year, Turner & Hooch - Disney +) about his writing process and the importance of writing dialogue that is not forced.