Thursday, May 22, 2014
Are you actively writing or attempting to write for TV / movies anymore? Are you just working uncredited, or pitching and failing, or are you retired or semi-retired from scriptwriting / directing / producing to concentrate on books and blogs? Are you turning down opportunities, or have they dried up? I can see at some point in everyone’s life not wanting to work the hours required to be on staff or running the staff, so turning those down makes sense. I would think that an occasional directing job would be there if you wanted it, but maybe the age bias, or just out of sight out of mind kills that?
John, I am in the wonderful and enviable position where I can pick and choose what I want to work on. And at the moment I’m quite busy.
My writing partner, David Isaacs and I have sold a pilot to a major cable network and are in the process of writing the script even as we speak. We’re leaving it up to them to announce it publicly.
I also recently wrote another stage play. I’m having a reading of it next week for a select audience, and hopefully in the next month or so will have exciting news to report about that. Stay tuned.
And in July I will direct an episode of INSTANT MOM written by my favorite young writing team – Annie Levine & Jonathan Emerson. It’s a multi-camera show but I’ve been studying Fellini for some stylistic choices I’ve always wanted to try.
Behind the scenes – David and I sold a spec pilot to FX a few years ago that didn’t go because they couldn’t find a companion piece for it. And I’ve helped out on numerous pilots (coming in to provide punch up); some that have gone, others that have not.
What I’m not interested in doing is being on staff of someone else’s show. Happily, I still get asked from time to time, but if I’m going to put in that time and effort it’s going to be for a show I co-created and am very passionate about (like this current pilot). It’s a good thing I don’t have four ex-wives and invested heavily in dot.coms.
That said, I would entertain a gig to come in once a week to consult on a show, but those jobs have pretty much become extinct. And there are certain hour shows I would like to write for the experience, but it's hard to get a GOOD WIFE assignment off of a CHEERS script.
(at least one of which you NEED to buy), created my SITCOM ROOM seminar, teach a course at USC, do improv comedy, storytelling, did play-by-play for the Seattle Mariners, “Dodger Talk” for the Dodgers, and I continue to do talk shows on KABC radio and fill in for Marilu Henner on her nationally syndicated radio show. Oh… and this blog, which I've updated daily for 8 1/2 years.
Jesus, this sounds like I’m writing my bio for a Playbill. All I need is to include my awards, say I guest starred on LAW & ORDER even if I never did, and thank my parents.
So the short answer is: Yes, I'm still in show business. I’m still writing and directing and very excited about the projects I’m involved in, but I’m eating lunches off of actual plates and not Styrofoam. And that has been my goal for many years.
By Ken Levine at 6:00 AM