Today I sent a spec script and an application for Writers on the Verge, a program by NBC for new television writers. I won’t know until September whether I have been accepted into the program, but I’m hopeful in the best way that one can be hopeful when probably hundreds of equally qualified people are also applying. I redid my resume and had to scan a signed submission agreement with a one-sentence summary of my spec episode, but there were also a couple of essay questions. This was one of my answers:
“Writing itself is a solitary act, and that’s fine, but what excites me is the idea of working in a writers room, bouncing ideas around, figuring out ways to put a showrunner’s vision onto the page, and building the characters and mythology of a series together as a creative community. I have few illusions about what that life might really be like. Some brilliant showrunners could be terrible bosses. Some staff writers might be territorial or might not enjoy working as part of a team. I get the impression that even in the friendliest writers rooms, the hours are long and the deadlines are short. If I love the process though, and the work itself, then I would treasure those hours and learn everything I could from my co-workers. This is an exciting era for television, both for quality of product and innovation, especially in dramas. Besides dealing art in Paris in the 20s, being one of Jim Henson’s puppeteers in the 70s, or playing the octuple bass in the quantum string section of a trans-dimensional orchestra, I’d be hard-pressed to think of a cooler job than writing for television today.”
I wish I could take credit for the string theory joke, but my brilliant friend Lindsay V. came up with that one.