Let’s begin today with some awesome news:
My LEGACY script got the runner-up spot in this year’s JHRTS Pilot Script Competition (Drama Category)!
Celebrate good times, come on!
Incidentally, this seems like a great time to talk about how awesome JHRTS is.
No, this is completely unrelated to my pilot script placing.
In case you’re unaware, JHRTS stands for the Junior Hollywood Radio & TV Society. It is the (shocker!) junior branch of famed HRTS (a networking forum for top executives).
I have previously mentioned the importance of “industry” groups, specifically in my TV writer roadmap.
JHRTS is, simply put, a large (assistant-level) industry group that holds regular networking events, charity drives and topical panels. You can get a glimpse at some past events in their archives.
A recent example of an awesome JHRTS panel I attended is “Crafting a Career in Writing for Television“. As the name may or may not state outright, the topic of conversation was about having a career as a TV writer. The panelists were Community‘s Dan Harmon, Empire‘s Wendy Calhoun, Black-ish‘s Kenya Barris, The Comedians‘ Dan Grego & Doug Mand, and Silicon Valley‘s Amy Aniobi.
The best part about these panels is that the moderators usually have some prior relationship with the panelists, meaning that they get right down to the nitty-gritty. In this case, moderator Marcus Wiley honed down on legitimate TV writing career questions, as opposed to usual “TV writing 101” topics such as, say, the difference between a “spec script” and a “spec pilot”.
I joined JHRTS nearly five years ago, almost in time for their 2010 holiday party.
In November 2010, then-assistant Sam Miller made me a sweet deal on #TheGreyBox for me to join JHRTS, even if I wasn’t going to be able to attend the holiday party:
Sam: but i’ll make you a deal – if you buy a ticket + membership, i’ll treat you to a two hour open bar of your own some time after your birthday
Five years later, he still owes me those drinks! (Yes, Sam, I’ve kept all the IRC logs.)
But let’s get back on track.
The reason why I’m bringing up JHRTS is simple: when it comes to television networking, JHRTS is pretty much the go-to place outside of your usual spots (i.e. work and play).
Thanks to their events, I’ve met a lot of great people I wouldn’t otherwise have known; one of whom being CAA’s Matt Thilenius, who also name-dropped JHRTS in his interview.
I’m a big believer in the idea of “putting yourself out there”. In this industry, and this town, you have to be a part of the conversation.
That doesn’t mean constantly waving your scripts around, but it does involve human-to-human interaction.
This applies to you too. (Who? Me?)
Most writers have some form of social anxiety. (Why else would we retread behind pen and keyboard?) We rarely mingle outside our kin.
Putting yourself out there is hard, especially with people who, you feel, may not understand what you’re going through. The thing is, agents, managers and executives are people too.
“Networking” is a dirty word to a lot of folks. They go in expecting either the need to find someone to help them, or the need to sell themselves.
Instead, you should go in with the need to meet cool new people. Whatever happens after that is, well, whatever happens. Kind of like dating.
That’s also why “context” is key. Having a forum, a place where you can meet like-minded individuals who are also here (hopefully) to meet cool new people (you).
Enter: JHRTS. It’s a bunch of cool new people waiting to be met. Also, panels.
Finally, and since I rarely do it, I’m going to take this opportunity to pimp myself out (L’Oréal Paris told me I’m worth it).
Dear agents, managers and executives reading this post: definitely contact me to read my audience-backed industry-loved award-winning(ish) TV pilot LEGACY.
It has a proven track record of people saying it’s not the worst thing they’ve ever read. Plus, it even got second place in this year’s JHRTS Pilot Script Competition.
Contacting me is just a click away. Act now and you’ll get a free bag of Jelly Belly beans.
It’s an offer you can’t afford to refuse!