screenwriter to watch
Lifelong company town-er, trading DC for LA. Her work has placed in the Page Awards, the Cinequest Teleplay Competition, the Screencraft Pilot Competition, and on the Bitch List. She has personally given up learning three separate instruments, works as the showrunners’ assistant on Netflix’s STRANGER THINGS, and loves your dog.
How did you break in?
I was accepted into Northwestern University’s Creative Writing for the Media Program, which was essentially an MFA you could take during undergrad. The course drilled lessons on TV writing, feature writing, and playwriting directly into my brain for two years, and I graduated with a functioning (if rough) portfolio of work.
What are the biggest lessons you’ve learned?
There is no one way people break in. When I was still in school and I heard working TV writers tell me this, I thought they were lying to me. “Surely there is an established ladder that I can climb!” But I was kidding myself. Some people sit around for years before making it. For others, it might happen a lot faster. The only thing you can do is keep working, keep meeting people, and keep moving forward.
What has been your hardest scene to write?
The end of a heist movie. Definitely. Keeping a leash on ten different characters and tangling them together juuuuust enough to create tension but not enough to paint them (and me) into an inextricable corner – that was the reason behind a lot of lost weekend hours.
What do you feel was your turning point?
When I stumbled upon a real rare unicorn of a situation: a functioning writer’s group. Meeting with this insanely talented collection of people once every two or three weeks not only forced me to step up my game, quality-wise, but also provided me with a structure that I was missing. Working with them has given me new insight into storytelling – I wouldn’t be here without them.
What are you working on right now?
An indie time travel film, with shades of LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE and THE HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY.
What are your favorite movies?
Jurassic Park, A Night at the Opera, Hot Fuzz, When Harry Met Sally, Singin’ in the Rain. I am large, I contain multitudes.
Who are your favorite screenwriters?
I’m a bit of a TV fiend, so most of my favorite writers work in that space. Mindy Kaling is hilarious, Aline Brosh McKenna and Rachel Bloom are doing some groundbreaking things over on the CW, Bryan Fuller is always captivating, and Mike Schur manages to break the mold over and over again.