Why My Anniversary Was So Special!

On August 26th, 2021, I celebrated 19 years of living in Los Angeles. And what made my anniversary so special, what made it a full circle moment, was that I shot a role on an Amazon Prime feature film that day!

19 years ago, I flew out to LA on a one-way flight from NYC, armed with one suitcase, my leather CD book, and a resolution to pursue my artistic dreams full-time. I had no job lined up. I had no apartment lined up. I had no car lined up. I just had my dreams that out-created what I temporarily lacked. When I landed in LAX, I got into a taxi and immediately quoted Madonna when she landed in NYC in 1977 and got into a taxi as well: “Take me to the center of everything.” Madonna’s taxi driver took her to Times Square and my taxi driver took me to Beverly Hills LOL. The rest, as they say, is history.

As I sat in my trailer on August 26th, 2021, I was filled with so much gratitude. Shooting a role on my 19th anniversary of living in LA was not lost on me. But beyond the role, I was filled with so much gratitude because I am still doing what I love to do. 19 years later and I am still actively involved as an artist. 19 years later and I am still going. 19 years later and I am still standing. And it’s such a testament to my raison d’être, my career bus that contains a community of persons, places, and things that keep me going. My community. My DOIN (Declaration of Independence aka business plan that we learn to create and build at the Richard Lawson Studios.) My DOIN is so important and I literally pulled it up two days before I booked this role to add and edit some things within it.

I am grateful to still be on this journey when a lot of people have stopped their own artistic journeys to pursue other endeavors (no judgement by the way!)

I am grateful that since I landed in LA 19 years ago, I have become a more causative, 360-degree artist. To know that 19 years later, I have weathered the highs and lows, the ups and downs. I mean, come on: The Covid-19 pandemic could have destroyed and obliterated me, but I found myself so creatively plugged in during 2020 by attending classes over Zoom, by working on my writing, by building my own rocking self-tape station and being able to film self-tape auditions, by submitting filmed monologues and scenes to various casting director open calls, by teaching classes over Zoom, by researching various industry topics, by attending artistic panels over Zoom, etc.

2021 has also been filled with artistic excitement. Some highlights:

**Self-tape auditions for TV series on Hulu, Netflix, Fox, HBO, ABC, etc.

**My feature film script placed as a semi-finalist in a big industry writing competition (Scriptapalooza) and it will be promoted to a network of 125 producers for one whole year.

**The same feature film script film script also placed in the top 15% of discoverable projects on Coverfly.

**I placed as a semi-finalist (in the top 6% of applicants) for a program with the Writers Guild Foundation.

**I’m waiting to hear back from other established industry writing competitions and programs.

**I revisited and rewrote a TV pilot script and I am now revisiting and rewriting another feature film script.

**Weekly career administration group meetings where we hold each other accountable to our artistic goals.

**Attending weekly classes.

**Writing meetings with the PDP 3.0 collective.

**I bought printer ink so that I can print up my sides (yes, even buying printer ink is a big win!)

**Relationship map building and outflow.

**In the 36 hours leading up to my film shoot, I had to complete two Covid tests, I had wardrobe fittings, I taught class, and I had to film two self-tape auditions for two different primetime TV series on ABC (one of which was due in six hours!)

So, as I sat in my trailer, the last 36 hours was not lost on me. 2021 was not lost on me. 2020 was not lost on me. My 19-year anniversary in LA was not lost on me.

Happy Anniversary!

Featured photo courtesy of: https://www.whsmith.co.uk/products/champagne-glasses-happy-anniversary-card/5051937310033.html

Spending My Summer With Ryan Murphy, et al!

Hello artists! As we quickly approach the beginning of summer, I decided to pull out an exciting blog entry from the vault and share it with all of you again. Below, I shared how I was preparing to spend my summer with the likes of Ryan Murphy, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Steven Canals, Tanya Saracho, etc. to discover the shows and movies I would have killed to write on. And as I sit here today, I celebrate how far I’ve come since the original blog posting. It’s happening, folks, it’s happening! And I hope that my journey below helps you in formulating the kind of shows and movies you want to write, plus the literary reps and production companies to target.

Original post below:

On June 15th, 2019, I met with a mentor of mine for coffee in the Hollywood Hills. As countless luxury vehicles pulled in and out of the parking lot, I told him that I needed some help and direction in the TV literary world. A fellow Vassar graduate, I’ve known him for several years now. The writers retreat he hosted at the Sturtevant Camp in Sierra Madre, CA, is still one of my fondest memories.

I told him that I needed to navigate the TV literary world with more focus and clarity because I was a little bit all over the place. I also asked him how to obtain a literary manager. We spoke for a while and he gave me a lot of homework that would help me get more focused in this area, more focused on which literary managers would be best for my writing voice, and to discover opportunities for myself as a minority writer.

After taking pages of notes, I was excited to tackle the homework he gave me. One of the homework assignments was to identify 25 TV shows/movies that I would have killed to work on as a writer. He told me to create a spreadsheet and to include different columns of information for this particular homework assignment (e.g. the production company behind each show, the literary reps behind all the writers, etc.)

Side note: At the time of our meeting, I could only identify two TV shows that I would have killed to work on as a writer LOL.

After our meeting, I immediately got to work. I started watching lots of TV shows and movies to find my voice in them. Does this TV show or movie sound like my voice? Does this TV show or movie sound like what I’m interested in writing? I would watch at least two episodes of each TV show to see if I would add it to the list or not. I typed in specific genres that I was interested in. I looked at recommendations from Netflix, Hulu, and IMDB (i.e. “If you liked Black Mirror, then check out…”) Next thing I knew, my list of shows started to grow.

When my list grew to 15 shows, I hit a wall. I was like, “There is no way I’m going to find 25 TV shows/movies.” I emailed my mentor and asked, “Is 25 a hard number? Or can I have less than that?” I asked him this question knowing fully well what his answer would be. I knew that 25 was a hard number. And that he gave me 25 TV shows/movies to push myself, to explore, and to think outside of the box. He emailed me back and he confirmed everything I already knew. So, I recommitted to reaching the magic number of 25. And I’m glad I did because I didn’t want to take any shortcuts. I wanted to fully comply.

On July 27th, I reached the magic number! When I found my 25th show, I cheered! I was so happy and ecstatic. It took me almost a month and a half, but I got to spend my summer with Ryan Murphy, Ava DuVernay, Steven Canals, Tanya Saracho, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Ryan O’Connell, and so many other amazing creators! And, I was also able to identify the literary reps behind them and behind all of their staff writers. These literary reps represented writers who represented my voice. Plus, I identified production companies that produce the kind of work I want to create as a writer.

I discovered/reconfirmed a few things with this assignment:

*I am interested in the following areas for TV: urban dramedies; stand alone sci-fi episodes; comedies where the lead character is truly an outcast.

*My writing heart resonates with half-hour TV shows.

*When it came to identifying movies, urban dramas made the list. Although, I also love comedic apocalyptic films like Shaun of the Dead and The World’s End (both written by Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg)

*ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE! When I saw the amount of creativity in each show, the storylines, the kind of different and dynamic leading characters, etc., I realized that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE! There is an audience out there for any show and storyline. There is no way that my own TV series can’t be picked up. All of the shows I watched (whether they made the list or not) reconfirmed that my series has a place on TV. No one can ever tell me that there isn’t an audience for my work after all of the TV shows and movies I’ve seen.

So, ladies and gentleman, here are the 25 TV shows and movies that I would have killed to work on as a writer because they resonate with my writing voice. In no particular order:

  1. Pose
  2. Black Mirror
  3. Pen15
  4. Room 104
  5. Electric Dreams
  6. Weird City
  7. The Twilight Zone (the reboot)
  8. Special
  9. Bonding
  10. Shrill
  11. Difficult People
  12. Schitt’s Creek
  13. Ramy
  14. Barry
  15. Atlanta
  16. Fleabag
  17. Vida
  18. When They See Us
  19. Tales of the City (the reboot)
  20. Looking
  21. Moonlight
  22. Gun Hill Road
  23. Quinceanera
  24. Roxanne, Roxanne
  25. Culture Shock (part of the Into The Dark series on Hulu)

Header picture by Anete Lusina: https://www.pexels.com/photo/crop-person-standing-near-fence-and-old-tv-5721863/

Writing Competitions: Where To Start????

Hello my fellow artists! If you’re in the United States, I hope you are having a fun and safe Memorial Day weekend. For my fellow screenwriters and TV writers out there who are interested in submitting content to writing competitions, but don’t know where to start, I hope that my quick blog entry will help.

As with film festivals, there are a PLETHORA of writing competitions. It can seem and feel daunting when looking at the myriad of choices out there. For example, when I recently logged into my Coverfly account, the dashboard revealed 154 writing competitions available for submissions. 154?! What?!

And if you don’t know what Coverly is, here is some info about this platform: https://www.coverfly.com/brief-introduction-coverfly-writers/#:~:text=Coverfly%20is%20an%20opportunity%20for,your%20competition%20successes%20to%20work.

Submitting to writing competitions (and film festivals) as a way to get your work out there, to get noticed, to receive feedback or coverage, can become a very expensive endeavor. Don’t just submit blindly. The best advice I can give to you before you begin your journey is to do your homework. Research. When I started submitting my films to film festivals, yes, I submitted to some of the big ones (Sundance, Cannes, Tribeca, New York Film Festival, Atlanta Film Festival, etc.) cause why not? However, once I got the big festivals out of the way, I also did further research to find the festivals that would be tailor-made for my films. For example, if my film featured a Latinx cast and storyline, then I knew that I should find film festivals that were geared towards Latinx-based projects. If my film was directed by a woman, then I found film festivals that celebrated and encouraged films directed by women. If my film was sci-fi, then I found film festivals that focused on this particular genre.

As a result, my submissions became more targeted. More focused. My films fell within the zip code of those particular film festivals because I was speaking their language. Writing competitions are no different. Do the research. Aim for the big ones (cause why not?) and aim for the ones that are targeted to the type of script you have for a more specific, bullseye approach. Not all competitions are equal and built the same way. Some have been around for a while and are highly-regarded and respected. Others are brand new and have only been in the game for one year. Some competitions come and go.

Some factors to consider: how long the competition has been in existence for, its mission statement, its end goals for the writers who enter and win, the judges involved in the competition, the sponsors behind the competition, etc. By the way, I’m not here to say which ones to submit to and which ones to avoid. It’s up to you to do the research and decide for yourself. Listen to your instincts and use your common sense.

Below, I have listed a few established, industry-recognized writing competitions. I found these writing competitions based upon industry colleague recommendations and through my own research. There may be a lot more established, industry-recognized writing competitions, but at least this list will get your wheels going (If you know of other established writing competitions, please leave a comment below so I can add them to the list.) And with the exception of the Academy Nicholl Fellowships which only focuses on screenplays, the other competitions listed below accept both screenplays and TV scripts.

Academy Nicholl Fellowships: https://www.oscars.org/nicholl

Austin Film Festival: https://austinfilmfestival.com/submit/screenplay-and-teleplay-submissions-2/

Final Draft Big Break: https://www.finaldraft.com/big-break-screenwriting-contest/

Page Awards: https://pageawards.com/

ScreenCraft: https://screencraft.org/screenwriting-contests/

Scriptapalooza: https://scriptapalooza.com/

Script Pipeline: https://scriptpipeline.com

Shore Scripts: https://www.shorescripts.com

The Black List: https://blcklst.com/

Tracking Board Launch Pad: https://tblaunchpad.com/

Featured image courtesy of Suzy Hazelwood: https://www.pexels.com/photo/black-and-red-typewriter-1995842/

Revisiting My Oscars Speech

Oscar

Happy Oscars day! Today is my Superbowl! And I love that the Oscars were scheduled earlier this year (February 9th) so that we can enjoy and wrap up awards season sooner rather than later. I revisited a blog entry I posted on March 10th, 2018, in which I shared the experience I had delivering my Oscar speech for Best Actor. And what stood out for me was that what I wrote in 2018 still rings true today. My career is still real and alive for me. My postulates are still real and alive for me. I am still in belief with what I see for myself, with what I am creating for myself and with the wins I am having.

I recently did a video testimonial for the Professional Development Program at the Richard Lawson Studios and when I slated with my name and what I do, it was with full belief and conviction: “Hi, I’m Jorge Ortiz and I’m an actor, writer and executive producer.”

So, take a stroll down memory lane with me below. Have you wavered on your dreams? Have you lost belief in your dreams? Two years later, are you in more belief or less belief in terms of your dreams?

Original Post:

On Sunday, March 4th, I attended what I call the Super Bowl of all awards shows: the Oscars. I live for awards season and the Oscars is the culmination, the peak, of this exciting and hectic season.

I attended an Oscars viewing party at the WACO Theater Center and it was hosted by Richard Lawson. We were asked to come dressed in our Oscars best. I chose to wear a black blazer, black pants and black shoes. I was going to wear a crisp, button-down shirt underneath, but I quickly discovered that dry cleaning stores are closed on Sunday (I was going to drop my shirt off the day before) So I quickly improvised and decided to wear a simple maroon t-shirt underneath. Rock and roll, baby!

As we settled inside the theater to watch the Oscars, Richard made an announcement. He said, “Now you know…because I teach about the power of postulates, I’m going to randomly call up a person to deliver an Oscars speech during each commercial break.”

(By the way, here is the definition of a postulate: A self-generated truth. A prediction. A proposition that requires no proof, being self-evident, or that is for a specific purpose assumed true, and that is used in the proof of other propositions. To demand or claim something.)

I could feel some people in the room shift uncomfortably in their seats and I also heard slight groans and murmurs of protest. Perhaps they felt this was some hokey pokey nonsense. Perhaps they don’t have belief in their own abilities to reach this pinnacle of industry recognition.

Not me. I wanted to lean into and embrace this opportunity! Winning an Oscar is on my DOIN’ (Declaration of Independence aka my business plan) and what better way to get closer to my postulate of winning an Oscar than to deliver a speech in front of a live audience of artists. What better way to assume the position and believe and experience.

On the second commercial break, Richard called my name over the speaker system! “And the Oscar goes to…JORGE ORTIZ!”

As soon as I heard my name, I was in instant belief. I jumped up to my feet and grabbed the glass bottle of mineral water I was drinking so that it could represent my Oscar. I remember seeing people around me giving me a standing ovation and cheering very loudly and happily for me. I remember walking with energy down the stairs and Jordan Bull giving me a hug along the way. I got to the stage and then quickly got off of it and ran back upstairs to give my partner a hug and a kiss! I made my way back to the stage and soaked in the applause and cheers. The lights shone brightly and warmly on me.

I heard Marlo Stroud yell from the front row, “I love you Jorge!”, and I quickly pointed to her and yelled back, “Thank you Meryl Streep!” When the applause died down, I began my speech. The first thing I said was, “Well I guess this means one thing: My IMDB star meter will FINALLY be number one tomorrow! I’ve always wanted that!”

My speech flowed. It was moment to moment and it had equal parts humor, charm, irony and earnestness. I was impinged. I impinged the audience. I would look at my glass bottle Oscar with pride and joy. I ended my speech, and to pay homage to the winners who sometimes walk off the wrong way, I did the same. When I realized I was exiting the wrong way, I played up the mistake and then pointed to the usher who helped me exit the right way.

I walked down the hallway and made my way into the lobby where I was still in absolute belief as people congratulated me on what a great job I had done. So many people congratulated me and I felt like I was in the press room that winners immediately go into to answer questions from the press.

Someone asked me in the lobby, “What kind of film do you think you would win an Oscar for?” I immediately said, “I could see myself winning a Best Actor Oscar for being in a film like Moonlight. A movie that pushes, provokes and inspires.”

This was such an incredible and real experience!!!!!!!!!

As the night continued and I watched other speeches, it was interesting to see who was in belief and who had a judgement about it. And all I can say about the latter approach is that this judgement, this non-belief, this doubt, this feeling of it being hokey pokey nonsense are all postulates. That’s right, these are postulates too. Negative postulates. You’re putting that negative belief out there. This self-generated truth, this prediction, this proposition that requires no proof, being self-evident…is all rooted in negativity and doubt. What you put out there is what you get back. So if you don’t believe that you can have an Oscar, then you won’t get it. You won’t ever put yourself in a position of belief to get closer and closer to the postulate of getting an Oscar.

And it’s just not about the belief in getting an Oscar. I’m curious to know where else you have doubts about your own career. Do you have doubts that you can have wonderful representation? Do you have doubts that you can put together a great demo reel? Do you have doubts that you can be a working actor? Do you have doubts that you can do a great audition or put up a great scene in class? Do you have doubts about the power you have as an artist?

“The man who says he can, and the man who says he can not. Are both correct.”-Confucius

What Is Your 2020?

Happy New Year! A new year. A new decade.

What are your goals for 2020?

Goal: the result or achievement toward which effort is directed; aim; end. The finish line of a race.

I have identified four central goals that I am actively working on for the first quarter of 2020:

**Secure a literary manager.

**Finish the handful of film festival submissions for The Doppelganger (a film I wrote, executive produced and co-starred in) Accumulate those laurels, hunty!

**Begin submitting the pilot episode to my new TV series to established writing competitions.

**Align with a powerful showrunner and/or powerful executive producer who loves my voice as a writer. Who just fucking gets me. You know what I’m saying? Once we align, we create a game plan for the rest of 2020 to get my TV series picked up by a major streaming company or premium cable network for active development, production and distribution.

These are the four goals that really speak to me for the first quarter of the year. Each goal has an administration plan attached to it that will help me stay on track.

What are you after this year?? And most importantly, who is on your career bus that will ask you the right questions, cheer you along the way and hold you accountable? Art is communal and you can’t do it alone. Let me know what your goals are in the comments below!

Welcome back!

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!

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!

ddp_00109010

 

Spending My Summer With Ryan Murphy et al

Hello gang! I hope everyone is having a wonderful summer.

On June 15th, I met with a mentor of mine for coffee in the Hollywood Hills. As countless luxury cars pulled in and out of the parking lot, I told him that I needed some help and direction in the TV literary world. He’s a literary manager and also a fellow Vassar graduate. I’ve known him (and his wife) for several years now. I’ve been to a few events they’ve hosted from Christmas gift-wrapping parties for needy families to casserole parties to a writers retreat at the Sturtevant Camp in Sierra Madre, CA.

I told him that I needed to navigate the TV literary world with more focus and clarity because I was a little bit all over the place. I also asked him about how to obtain a literary manager. We spoke for a while and he gave me a lot of homework to execute that would help me get more focused in this area, more focused on which literary managers would be best for my writing voice and to discover opportunities for minority writers such as myself.

After taking pages of notes, I was excited to tackle the homework he gave me. One of the homework assignments was to identify 25 TV shows/movies that I would have killed to work on as a writer. He told me to create a spreadsheet and to include different columns of information for this homework assignment.

Side note: At the time of our meeting, I could only identify two TV shows that I would have killed to work on as a writer LOL.

After our meeting, I immediately got to work. I started watching lots of TV shows and movies to find my voice in them. Does this TV show or movie sound like my voice? Does this TV show or movie sound like what I’m interested in writing? I would watch at least two episodes of each TV show to see if I would add it to the list or not. I typed in specific genres that I was interested in. I looked at recommendations from Netflix, Hulu and IMDB (i.e. if you liked “Black Mirror”, then check out….) Next thing I knew, my list of shows started to grow.

When my list grew to 15 shows, I hit a wall. I was like, “There is no way I’m going to find 25 TV shows/movies.” I emailed my mentor and asked, “Is 25 a hard number? Or can I have less than that?” I asked him this question knowing fully well what his answer would be. I knew that 25 was a hard number. And that he gave me 25 TV shows/movies to push myself, to explore and to think outside of the box. He emailed me back and he confirmed everything I already knew. So, I recommitted to hitting the magic number of 25. And I’m glad I did because I didn’t want to take any shortcuts. I wanted to fully comply.

On July 27th, I hit the magic number! When I found my 25th show, I cheered! I was so happy and ecstatic. It took me almost a month and a half, but I got to spend my summer with Ryan Murphy, Ava DuVernay, Steven Canals, Tanya Saracho, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Ryan O’Connell and so many other amazing creators!

I discovered/reconfirmed a few things in this assignment:

*I am interested in the following areas for TV: urban dramedies; stand alone sci-fi episodes; comedies where the lead character is truly an outcast.

*My writing heart resonates with half hour TV shows.

*When it came to identifying movies, urban dramas made the list. Although, I also love comedic apocalyptic films like Shaun of the Dead and The World’s End (both written by Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg)

*ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE! When I saw the amount of creativity in each show, the storylines, the kind of different/dynamic leading characters, etc., I realized that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE! There is an audience out there for any show and storyline. There is no way that my own TV series can’t be picked up. All of the shows I watched (whether they made the list or not) reconfirmed that my series has a place on TV. No one can ever tell me that there isn’t an audience for my work after seeing all of the TV shows and movies I’ve seen.

So, ladies and gentleman, here are the 25 TV shows and movies that I would have killed to work on as a writer because they resonate with my writing voice. In no particular order:

  1. Pose
  2. Black Mirror
  3. Pen15
  4. Room 104
  5. Electric Dreams
  6. Weird City
  7. The Twilight Zone (the reboot)
  8. Special
  9. Bonding
  10. Shrill
  11. Difficult People
  12. Schitt’s Creek
  13. Ramy
  14. Barry
  15. Atlanta
  16. Fleabag
  17. Vida
  18. When They See Us
  19. Tales of the City (the reboot)
  20. Looking
  21. Moonlight
  22. Gun Hill Road
  23. Quinceanera
  24. Roxanne, Roxanne
  25. Culture Shock (part of the Into The Dark series on Hulu)

Where You At?!

Hey artistic warriors! How the hell are ya?! I’ve been gone for a few weeks and I’ve missed you all so much. So, where you at?! We are halfway through the year (can you EFFING believe it?!?! “She’s a woman!” Thank you Miz Cracker)

That being said, I thought this was a good time to check in and assess the artistic journey so far. What goals have you accomplished that you set for yourself back in January? What goals did you set for yourself back in January that you flinched on? “Flinch” meaning to pull back, back away, shy away, draw back. What goals started off with a bang, but for this reason and that, they/you lost steam and momentum?

What have you accomplished and celebrated? Do you have a list of your wins since January 1st and have you been celebrating along the way? I have five recent wins that I need to celebrate. I’m telling you this so that I am held accountable as well (To celebrate, I really want to buy a record player and some Madonna albums in LP form released from the year 2000 and beyond: Music, American Life, Confessions on a Dance Floor, Hard Candy, MDNA, Rebel Heart, and of course, the new album coming out on June 14th, Madame X…shameless plug and devotion to the Queen of Everything)

So, where you at my fellow artistic warriors?! Let me know in the comments section below.

For me, on the actor side, I need to schedule a new commercial headshot session. I’ve already picked out my wardrobe and will take pictures of myself in them and send to my agent for feedback. Once I solidify the looks, I will book a headshot session. For me, on the actor side, I need to buy a white ascot for a SAG web series pilot shoot that’s coming up. I had an impulse that my character would wear that. I shared my idea with the creator and they loved it. Also, looking at what scene to do in class from my new casting list. And more things to do…

For me, on the writer side, my focus has been on my new half-hour TV series. So far, I have 1) Three episodes written; 2) I have created a spreadsheet for season one that contains the main characters, their A&B storylines, the episode titles and descriptions, etc.; 3) I’ve written a series bible. My goal is to finish all tweaks by the end of June 2019. For me on the writer side, I want to utilize my relationship map for help and guidance. I’ve already begun reaching out to people (Two of whom I flinched on reaching out to for a while and they offered to meet with me!) For me, as a writer, I want to submit the pilot episode to various writing competitions. For me, as a writer, I want to secure literary representation and pitch meetings.

For me, on the writer side, I will continue submitting my film, The Doppelganger, to more film festivals. Good news coming soon in this area. Stay tuned.

For me, on the 360 degrees of my career, I just joined an amazing career administration group that will kick my ass and hold me accountable. I already shared my enthusiasm with the leader of the group and that I’m coming into this group not knowing anything (meaning that I’m willing to listen and learn…that I don’t have to know everything. It’s actually freeing to know that I don’t have to have all the answers. Ask the next question. Then ask the next question.)

For me, on the 360 degrees of my career, making sure I make noise in order to be considered. To show up more in the rooms I am in. To demand of myself that I be considered. To be uncomfortable. To look at where my energy is going because where I place my energy defines me. Thank you Keili Lefkovitz for this paragraph of advice.

Part of my artistic journey, which I call Chasing The George, is that I’m not perfect. That I make mistakes, but I learn from them. That I don’t know everything and that’s okay. That I don’t know everything, but what I DO know, I know it fucking WELL.

So, where you at my fellow artistic warriors?! Let me know in the comments section below.

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…………………