Back to School: Gotham Edition

It’s hard to think that graduation was almost a year ago. And, in the time since then, while I’ve written plenty, I haven’t quite found my niche. By now I hoped to be out in Hollywood– Malibu by day, meetings with Adultswim by night– yeah, no, nah, not at all.

At least I’m not in a classroom at least.

Or so I thought.

Tuesday. Television Writing II. Jim Mendrinos. Writing the TV Pilot.

Shit. It’s been a while.

The classroom was small, attendance slim. Only 4 other people decided to show up of the 8 registered to take the class– intimidation maybe.

Jim’s got a fiery writer’s gaze, manspreads like a motherfucker, and can silence a room with the hiss of a freshly cracked diet pepsi.

He talked vicious industry standards, the daft rules of the game, and what “successful TV writing” looks like with such conviction that I genuinely felt like I’d chosen the wrong career path. No teacher would ever dare let us stray from our blind, unabashed optimism back in college.

The 3 hours breezed. We talked our genres of interest followed by the pitch. Oh that dreaded pitch. I thought I’d been prepared. I was mistaken. I ended up frantically scribbling down ideas in my notebook to little avail. Fortunately, I was able to come up with something. But, after Jim was through with it, I was probably better off not pitching anything at all.

I left the class unsure of myself. God, was I really struggling with an elevator pitch? Fretting over a deadline? Had it really been that long since college?

But, along came a new day, and I felt good about having a weeks time between classes. I had time to think and more importantly to write. I sat down with my brother and together we developed characters and scenarios for hours: some funny, some tragic, and some off-beat and plain weird. It was refreshing.

Yeah, I’m not sipping sangria in Santa Monica. I don’t have Judd Apatow on speed dial. But, I’ve got a deadline next week and a pitch to knock out of the park. I feel like I’ve taken the classroom for granted, and now I can’t wait to return.

I’ll update the blog from time to time on how things are going in class, surprises, goofs, ideas etc.

R.I.P Charlie Murphy. Saddens my heart.

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