Tuesday, June 22, 2010

What sets you apart

Writress and I met up last night with a friend of mine who was one of my junior writers on my college TV show who had just moved out to LA. We offered her some advice on getting started, and one of the more important things I've learned came up.

You need to find something that makes you different and interesting.

Writress got her recent Writer's PA job partly because she had been a competitive ballroom dancer in college. She's traveled all over the world. She has things that make her stand out when you talk to her beyond the fact that she's smart and nice.

Smart and nice are needed, but for a white guy who's an Ivy league alum from the Northeast, I need something more substantial to be my own personal hook, the same way that characters on the page need something special.

I'm still working on it, but one thing that I've noticed about myself that could be useful in a writer's room is that for some reason, people are willing to confide very personal stories to me. Sometimes right after they first meet me. And some of these stories are a little out there. In the first conversation I had with one of Writress's coworkers when I met her a few few weeks ago, the coworker told me that she once went on a date with a guy who asked her to use a strap-on on him.

I've been told that I'm not overly judgmental, and since I love hearing stories of all kinds, I think that people just feel more comfortable opening up sometimes. I think that being able to draw on not only my own stories, but on the random things I've heard along the way will help make me an asset if I'm ever lucky enough to find myself in a real writer's room.

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