How To Get Your Own TV Series

Ahhhhhh, wouldn’t you like to know (insert evil laugh here) With the proliferation of TV shows out there-propelled no doubt by the presence and growth of different streaming networks-and the need for content that is quickly consumed, it should be easy to land a TV series in this day and age.

So I will give you the answer on how to land your own TV series deal. As you may or may not know, Chasing The George is about the journey I’m on to create and carve out the career that I see and want for myself. And along the way, I share my advice, my wins, my losses which become lessons, etc…so that you can be inspired in the pursuit of your own dreams. It’s important to share my journey so that people can see that there is no such thing as an overnight success. That it takes a sustained effort.

So the answer to landing a TV series deal with Netflix or HBO or Showtime is……..I don’t know! NOW HERE’S WHERE YOU WILL PROBABLY STOP READING. Please don’t. This is a process. This is a journey. If you decide to keep reading, you will see what I’ve been doing to get my newest series picked up.

I’ve been down this road before with another TV series I created a few years ago. With that series, I had a literary agent. I had producers attached. I pitched my series to CBS, Showtime, Youtube, Logo and HERE! My series was pitched and submitted to different production companies. I independently shot the pilot episode and submitted to film festivals.

With my new TV series, this is what I’ve done so far. Hopefully this helps or inspires you. The idea first came to me in 2015 and I wrote a rough pilot for it. It wasn’t until the fall of 2018 that I decided to pick it up again and devote my energy to it. And since then, this is what I have done to arm myself with tools and resources.

**I studied many half-hour shows on Netflix (the pilot episodes only) to get a sense of the style and tone of each show to see what resonated with the style and tone of my new series. Also, I studied when the main character was introduced, when the other characters were introduced and how quickly the problem for the main character was introduced.

**I rewrote the pilot episode of my series based upon the information I received above.

**I created a spreadsheet that lays out the first eight episodes of season one (I decided that 8 would be my magic number for season one) The spreadsheet lays out important information from the characters to episode titles, etc. In this way, the buyer can get a clear map and picture about the possibilities of season one.

**I wrote the second and third episodes of my series. Again, in this way, the buyer can get a sense of my writing style and also see where the series is going.

**I’ve brought in scenes from all the episodes to read out loud in class to see what works, what flows, what doesn’t make sense, etc. Then, I applied the notes I received and brought the scenes back to class.

**I wrote the TV bible for my series.

**I wrote my pitch. And the biggest part of my pitch was articulating WHY I am telling this story and WHY I’m the only person who can tell this story. The next step is for me to start practicing it out loud to see how it flows, to see if I’m engaged and interested, to see if people get the story, etc. And how I came about writing my pitch was through doing research. There are many different ways to pitch and I made my life sane by choosing one approach that I really liked and sticking with it. If I went down the rabbit hole of looking at the many ways to pitch, I would have driven myself insane. I decided to model my pitch after the way Gloria Calderón Kellett does it (she has a video on Youtube where she breaks down how she likes to pitch her TV shows)

**I’ve met with one my mentors-who is in the industry-for advice and homework. And boy, did he give me a lot of exciting homework each time we met. The homework was designed to not only help me hone in on my voice as a writer, but to hone in on literary managers who will most likely be more receptive to repping me as a writer. Also, he guided me to utilize my relationship map for connections and possibilities. And no, I will not tell you who my mentor is LOL.

**I’ve recently met with a big TV producer (thanks to someone on my relationship map creating an intro for us) to ask questions about their professional journey and to start building a relationship with them. My mentor above encouraged me to ask the producer if I can do “takes”. I asked the producer and they were open to it! And no, I will not tell you who this producer is LOL.

**I’ve recently connected with a TV writer (thanks to someone on my relationship map creating an intro for us) so that I can ask them questions about their professional journey and to start building a relationship with them. And no, I will not tell you who this writer is LOL.

**I need to start reaching out to literary managers from the homework I did. Relationship map? Query letters?

**I will keep listening to the people I admire and respect on social media. Engage in genuine ways. Ask questions. Let them see that I am about it. One of the things on my to do list is to read this thread that a working writer posted where they honestly answered questions they received about submitting scripts to selling them to attaching directors and producers to a project, etc. In this way, I can see a different point of view.

Okay, I’m going to stop here. There are other things I have done this year and there are many other things I still have to do. Thinking inside the box and outside of the box. Tackling from all angles because there is no one way or answer. I think you get the point though.

Maybe this helps you. Maybe it doesn’t. If you have other ideas, please let me know in the comments below. What good moves have been effective for you in getting your series out there? Do I need to rent a plane and spell out a message over Hollywood?

Have a good week!

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That First Moment When…

Hello artists! How the heck are you?!?! Wow! It’s been a MINUTE since I last posted a blog entry! My focus over the last few weeks has been on putting the finishing touches on the pitch package I’ve been building for the new TV series I created and developed.

I hope your summer 2019 has been filled with exciting artistic possibilities and opportunities!

As consumed as I have been with my new TV series, I had a moment one day that reminded me of why I entered the entertainment business in the first place: I was a little kid when I first watched Christopher Reeve play the role of Superman. Christopher Reeve played the role of Superman in the 1978 movie.

It was several years later that I would watch this film for the first time…and it changed my life forever. I KNEW right then and there that I wanted to save the planet with my super powers. Every time I watched this version of Superman as a kid, I would tie my baby blanket (which I still have) around my neck and “fly” around my room…visiting places on Earth and beyond…and fighting any bad guys in the process.

I knew that I wanted to be Superman. I wanted to be on screen and fly and save and protect and be a hero. I knew that I didn’t want to be a normal person. I didn’t want to be an anonymous entity. I didn’t want to be ordinary. I didn’t want to be like everyone else. I wanted to be someone. I wanted to stand out. I wanted to be a star. I wanted to fly. Superman represented what I wanted to be and so I started my journey of being an actor…an artist…an entertainer. Superman made a difference in his world………….and I wanted to do the same in mine.

Superman was the moment I knew I wanted to be an artist.

What was THAT MOMENT WHEN YOU KNEW you wanted to be an artist?

I’d love to read your answers in the comments section!!!

See you soon!

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Celebrate! Then Keep It Moving!

Celebration is a vital part of the journey. Celebration marks the journey. Celebration acknowledges the work you’ve done to achieve a win, a moment, a milestone.

I had a wonderful, blessed past week of artistic wins. I was able to share them with everyone in my universe and beyond. I was able to enjoy the inflow that resulted from my outflow. And I was grateful to understand that my wins are a collective. My wins are connected to my friends, peers, colleagues, teachers, classmates, etc. who have helped me get to where I am today.

I want to recap my wins for the past seven days below and how I celebrated. And now that I have celebrated, it is time to move forward with the next step of career administration. I have celebrated, and now it is time to get back in and administrate the next steps for my career.

Here are my wins from the past week and also my celebration of those wins:

**The Doppelganger, a film I wrote, executive produced and co-starred in will play at the AMC Theater this July in Manhattan as part of the Dominican International Film Festival. More film festivals to come!

**A feature film that I am in, Zombie TV, has finally received DISTRIBUTION! It’s a spoof on zombies and reality television. 8 contestants are locked in a house with zombies. The sole survivor at the end of the night wins one million dollars. Does my character win????? Stay tuned!

**I submitted a self-tape monologue to Twinkie Byrd’s Flip The Script monologue competition. The competition was in conjunction with NBC. Out of the 1,200 submissions received, she sent 64 auditions over to NBC. I was one of the 64!

**I was on the set of the SAG web series, The Rejects, playing the role of Kenny. So much fun!

**I had two commercial auditions!

**I had a wonderful meeting with a fellow Vassar graduate about the literary agent world and they gave me so much homework to do!

**I am finishing up my tweaks on the three episodes, the series bible and the season one chart for me new TV series.

I am an artistic warrior!

And here is how I celebrated:

I bought Madonna’s new album, Madame X, on vinyl. (By the way, fun fact: Madonna earned a #1 album with Madame X on the Billboard 200 albums chart and a #1 song, Medellin, on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs chart today. She extends her record as the artist with the most #1’s at every Billboard chart combined, with 163 number ones!!!!!!!!!!)

Here’s a video montage of my wins from the past week:

 

And here is how I celebrated:

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Another Day, Another Pilot Written

Hello Artists!

I just finished writing a new half hour pilot! I shared it in my Professional Development Program 3.0 class at the Richard Lawson Studios to hear it out loud and get feedback on the characters and the storyline. I’m excited for this new series!

And to reiterate the point of my blog, Chasing The George, it’s to include people on the journey I’m on to carve out the career that I want (and to provide industry advice along the way)

So here’s a few of the things I have planned to Chase The Ambulance, to Chase The George, with urgency and intention:

**Write the second episode (Which I started doing on March 2nd!)

**Write the third episode

**Carve out an 8-episode bible for season one

**Submit the pilot episode to writing competitions to use as leverage and attention

**Secure a new literary agent

And there’s more administration planned around my new series. And remember that all of my career administration is directly pulled from my Declaration of Independence (aka business plan)

With all of the streaming platforms that are currently out there and that are coming out in the near future, I will get a development deal.

Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Apple, HBO, etc…………………

Part 2: Are You A Pain In The Ass?

Hello my fabulous artists! My last blog entry, “Are You A Pain In The Ass?”, was quick and to the point. Here is the link to that entry: https://wp.me/p8uI5M-Fq

And a few people reached out to me to expand on what I meant by being a pain in the ass. So, here is a short list that reflects sentiments collected from casting directors, producers, teachers, stage managers and assistant directors. This list is not exhaustive. I’m sure there are more.

Below are things that will make people not want to work with you:

**You have a bad attitude (So you’re not directable or teachable and then some)

**You know everything already (So you’re not directable or teachable and then some)

**You are non-compliant with assignments or with direction that is given to you (So you’re not directable or teachable and then some)

**You have a bad attitude (So you’re not directable or teachable and then some)

**You arrive late to a meeting, to an audition, to class, etc. and don’t communicate about it

**You talk down to people because of their gender, their ethnicity, their “lack” of credits, their “lack” of experience

**You complain and complain and complain, yet come up with no solution to be at cause

**You have a bad attitude (So you’re not directable or teachable and then some)

**You make other people’s job exponentially harder

**You are entitled and feel that everything should be handed to you

Get the picture?

I share this because I want artists to WIN. Artists are powerful. We have the ability to create change faster than any other profession. We have a responsibility to our calling as artists. Don’t treat this responsibility lightly.

So please: DON’T BE A PAIN IN THE ASS! It will cost you in the industry!

Your Mother-Effing Wins!

As 2018 comes to a close, I hope all of you have a chance to reflect on the numerous wins you’ve had this year. A win is anything that is an accomplishment. Something that moved your life or career forward in some way, no matter how big or small.

This being my last blog entry of 2018, I want to continue the tradition of letting the last entry be a listing and celebration of some of the wins I’ve had this past year.

Arrogant (definition means “claiming for oneself” and “pride”) So have some arrogance as you generate your list of 2018 wins. You’ll be shocked at how many wins you DO have!

Below is my list. Check it out. Let it inspire you to remember your own wins. Let it inspire you to see the different types of wins that exist.

See you in 2019!

A sample of my 2018 wins:

January 1st: Made it to another year

January 13th: Celebrated another birthday

January 20th: Drove down to Tijuana to do research on a scene I was doing from Weeds

January 21st: Attended the SAG Awards screening at the Alex Theater

February 1st: Put up a scene from Weeds

February 9th-12th: Went to San Diego for a mini-trip

February 15th: Put up a scene from Best In Show. Richard Lawson opened up my work to the class

February 17th: Acted in a table read for the feature film, Support

March 3rd: Met with the playwright, the director and the executive producer of the play, The Blade Of Jealousy, because they were interested in casting me in one of the leading roles

March 4th: Attended Oscars viewing party at the WACO Theater Center and delivered a kick-ass Best Actor Oscar speech to everyone in attendance. An once again, I predicted the Best Picture winner: The Shape of Water

March 5th: Auditioned for a leading role in the feature film, Moon Made

March 14th: Paid off my Wells Fargo credit card debt

March 23rd: Received a residual check from SAG-Aftra for a feature film I was in, Balls To The Wall

March 31st: Saw my favorite drag queen in the world, Bianca Del Rio, on her sold-out world tour, Blame It On Bianca Del Rio

April 3rd: Auditioned for the feature film, A Kiss On Candy Cane Lane

April 21st: The Haeggstrom Office submitted me for a series regular role (they don’t even represent me!) but I am friends with someone who is represented by them

April 22nd: Acted in the Homeward LA production at the WACO Theater Center

April 26th: Submitted myself for a series regular role in Tales Of The City

May 3rd: Did a scene from Black Mirror. Richard opened it up to the class

May 3rd: Received an offer for commercial representation from Green & Green Talent Group

May 8th: Officially signed commercially with Green & Green Talent Group

May 10th: Commercial audition for Fox Sports

May 11th & 12: Attended Drag Con!

May 14th: Commercial audition for Fed Ex

May 19th: Shot the scene from Black Mirror for my theatrical reel

May 22nd: Met with the LoveStone Agency for theatrical representation

May 23rd: Commercial audition for Honda Pilot

May 24th: Applied for the NHMC Television Writers Program

May 29th: Did a kick-ass prepared audition and a kick-ass cold reading for TV episodic director, Lily Mariye

May 31st: Acted in two scenes for scene study class: Girls Trip & Elaine Earnest

June 1st: Commercial audition for WALLY

June 4th: Got a callback for WALLY

June 6th Commercial audition for Universal Studios

June 7th Put up a repeat of Weeds in scene study class

June 8th Audition for Amex

June 11th Audition for Thermador

July 9th Audition for Google Chrome app

July 10th My weekly blog, Chasing The George, celebrated its 3rd anniversary

July 26th Finished paying off my Citicard credit card

July 31st Finished post production on The Doppelganger, a film I wrote, executive produced and starred in

August 3rd Submitted The Doppelganger to the Santa Barbara international film Festival and to Sundance

August 7th My blog qualified for the Word Ads program on WordPress

August 11th Submitted The Doppelganger to the Atlanta Film Festival

August 13th Audition for Toyota

August 15th Meeting with MZA for theatrical representation

August 16th Got a callback for Toyota

August 18th Submitted The Doppelganger to the Maryland Film Festival

August 26th Celebrated 16 years in LA!

August 27th My blog entry, How I Wrote A Script In One Hour, got published in Medium and Thrive Global

August 30th Signed with MZA for theatrical representation

September 7th Commercial audition for a national PSA for Teachers/PTA members

September 22nd Submitted The Doppelganger to the D.C. International Film Festival and the Florida Film Festival

October 3rd Got a series regular audition for a new TV series titled, People Just Do Nothing

October 8th Had successful eye surgery

October 21st Leased a new car

October 30th Voice over audition for a Slender Tone fitness product

November 3rd Did a kick-ass cold read audition in front of a packed room at the Actors Expo in Hollywood

November 14th Had a successful glaucoma surgery

November 15th Submitted The Doppelganger to the Phoenix Film Festival and the Tribeca Film Festival

December 1st Commercial audition for LA Tourism

December 4th Commercial audition for Diet Coke

December 5th Did an audition from All American in class

December 12th Re-introduced a new half hour pilot I wrote

December 12th Commercial audition for Facebook

Overall 2018 wins:

Taught many classes at the Richard Lawson Studios

Did numerous prepared auditions and cold read auditions in my PDP 3.0 class (Professional Development Program)

Increased my financial abundance

Quality time with my partner and friends

Made new friends

Supported many friends in their personal and professional endeavors