HOORAY, I’ve been up for 29 hours script-polishing!

I’m not entirely sure I ought to be posting right now since I’m a little loopy  (see above post title), but hey – I am trying to give you guys an accurate picture of what life in H’wood is like. (Hint: There is no typical Hollywood experience.)

Hey! People on the beach! Heard of bathing suits? Hint: THEY DON'T INVOLVE SUITS.

You guys, this is a real picture. I was at the beach last week and saw these businesspeople walking in the surf. I thought it was so funny, I took their picture. PAPARAZZO’D! This just proves my point: LA is anything you want it to be.

I’ve been following the blog of an awesome, informative girl named Amanda over at Amanda the Aspiring TV Writer. She’s also from the East Coast, but she’s been in L.A. a lot longer than my one month (read: 3 years).


Anywho, she posted about a writing fellowship with DISNEY AND ABC! OMG YOU GUYS!


Most of you probably don’t know this, but I have a career goal (for now…) — to work in development in the teen/tween market for channels like Nickelodeon and Disney. OH, LOOK. DISNEY. How perfectly would that fit into my life plan?

FELLOWSHIP: 1 year, $50,000 annual salary (blows unpaid internships out of the water), and you get to work on-on-one with programming/development execs. When your year is up, you are almost guaranteed to get “staffed” (hired as a writer) on a TV show.



The biggest piece of the submission was a “spec script” (look at me giving you all these industry words). A spec script is an original script you write based on a current TV show. Say you wanted to do a spec script of 30 Rock. You would come up with a plot, dialogue, everything, and have it star Liz Lemon and the gang. The point: You are selling yourself as a writer. Are you good? Do you suck? Your spec script will reveal all.

I wrote a spec script based one of my favorite TV shows, Modern Family.

SURPRISE!! I've never written a script! Let's submit my first script ever to an extremely competitive fellowship program!

Full disclosure: I have never written a script. Correction: I had never written a script before today at roughly 8 a.m. Not only is it written, it is on a CD in a FedEx bin on Vine St. and will be in Burbank by 3:30 p.m. tomorrow. (And for $20, it BETTER be there.)


I’m trained in straight journalism. Nothing creative. So, girlfriend, I know how to research.

This is basically me all the time.

Instead of just coming up with a plot based on how well I know the characters from TV, here’s what I did:

– Found five Modern Family scripts that have already aired. Read them all. Searched for nuances in structure.

– Watched full episodes online to get a sense of how the characters interacted and how they spoke. Found it hilarious that I was watching TV for research.

– Watched web extras featuring “Phil” talking about his character. Discovered things I’d never realized before and included them in my script.

– Took notes in a spiral notebook on all of these points. Example: Found out that the “interview” portions of each episode ended with a joke or a snide remark, so I made sure my own script closely matched the style of the originals.

– Laid spiral notebook on lap while I squeezed my eyes closed and tilted my head toward the ceiling in order to think of plots. Switched this up with putting head in hands and shutting eyes. YEAH, I’M SURE THIS DIDN’T LOOK WEIRD AT ALL WHEN I WAS IN PUBLIC PLACES. The only way I could think of plot points was by closing my eyes.

Whatever it takes, guys.

So I’d been working on this script on and off for a few days, but I had to pull an all-nighter last night because submissions are due July 1st – the day after tomorrow – and dammit, June hath only 30 days. Ugh.

My 1 a.m. drink of choice! Hooray! A full pot? Okay!

The good news: I finished. I LOL’d at my own jokes, which tells me they’re funny. I stayed away from forcing characters to say certain jokes I wanted them to say (this sounds super-awkward, except if you’re a writer yourself). I stayed true to the characters. But enough about me. What do you think about me?

Undoctored tableau: this is what my work looked like when I finally finished. And this is when I start to use words like "tableau" because I need more sleep.

Just kidding. LOL. I’m going to bed.

This entry was posted in fellowships, i like coffee, i need more sleep, i wanna be a writer, i'm good at researching and other life skills, is this such a great idea?, living in L.A., LOL, scripts. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to HOORAY, I’ve been up for 29 hours script-polishing!

  1. Susan says:

    Now I’m dying to read the script … any chance you’ll share it?

    Also, can I just tell you how much I love all the tags for this post?!

    Congrats on the accomplishment and good luck on the fellowship! 🙂

  2. Kelsey says:

    STEPHANIE you’re hilarious. especially when you’re exhausted. i’m i’mpressed you could put sentences together as well and as hilariously as you just did. good luck on your application! when can we read the script?

  3. Pingback: Oh. So THIS is why networking is totally freaking awesome! | Last Train to Tinseltown

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