AMERICAN ODYSSEY Co-Creator Tells “How I Made It In Hollywood”

That co-creator is Adam Armus, and we won’t kid ya – we’re all ears:

american_odyssey_adam_armusby Adam Armus

I started off as a lawyer. I grew up in New Jersey, went to school in Chicago and then went to UCLA law school. I was always a big TV fan, and I always wrote, so it was in my blood already then, but I got a job as a lawyer.

I worked at a really large law firm, and I worked with this particular lawyer. We would talk about television — about stories, about good episodes, shows that I liked. We had a conversation once when he asked what’s my dream job. At the time, I said, “Well, being a lawyer is great!” but he persisted, “No, really?” I told him that it would be to write for television. He said, “Well, you ever think about trying to do that?”

Of course, I said no. I hadn’t gone to film school, I hadn’t done any of the things you do when you’re younger to be writing in television. I was working so hard as a lawyer that I actually had a birthday party and wasn’t able to make it. All of these people had a birthday party for me and I missed the whole thing.

I remember my girlfriend saying, “Why are you driving yourself crazy for something you don’t want to do?” And I said, “Well, I don’t really have a choice. This is my career. This is what I’m doing.” But she said, “But it’s not what you love.” Thankfully — given that she’s now my wife — she was like, “Take the time. I’m making the money for the both of us. Just do it.” For a year and a half, two years, she basically supported me. I owe it all to her.

I started taking writing classes. UCLA offered extension classes in TV sitcom writing. I was kind of funny at the time, so I thought I’d give that a try. I remember the teacher was Steven Pritzker who wrote for The Mary Tyler Moore Show. There, I met my writing partner Nora Kay Foster.

We wrote a sitcom. It was basically a script that was part hers and part mine, and we put our scripts together and got in the Warner Bros. Writer’s Workshop together. After being in the program, we could actually call an agent and they would take our call!

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