When this TVWriter™ minion took Larry Brody’s Online Workshop some months ago, he was always yakking about how we should “write roles that actors will want to play.”
The writer’s main job, LB stressed, was to “write to service the actors. Good roles are what good actors live for. Not only are great characters good for the script and the show and the stars, they’re also good for the writers because when you get down to it, being loved by actors is like having an all access pass for your burgeoning career.”
So, with that in mind, here’s a little ditty about just how much good new writers are needed. (Armed with this info, we’re sure it’s just a matter of time till you push your way to the front of the line.)
by Randee Dawn
Katy Colloton, one of the six executive producer/writer/stars of TV Land’s “Teachers,” has an ongoing problem: She’s so good at separating her writing duties from her acting duties that more than one script she’s penned has left her dismayed on filming day.
“A lot of times I’ll get to set to do a scene and go, ‘Wait, I have to do this on camera?’” she says. “I forget I’m the one who’s going to have to have something squirted in her face, and I’m like, ‘I know I wrote that — but do I really have to do it?’”
First-World problems for a writer-star of any TV series, to be sure. But Colloton (along with her fellow “Teachers” multi-hyphenates Caitlin Barlow, Cate Freedman, Kate Lambert, Katie O’Brien and Kathryn Renée Thomas) is part of an intriguing “auteur” trend in television — a trend that is being led mostly by women (not necessarily all named some form of Kate).
Bored and turned off by the lesser two-dimensional (often) male-written roles available, a large number of women (more often in comedic roles than not) are writing their own tickets by creating their own series — consider Amazon’s “Fleabag,” the CW’s “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” Netflix’s “The OA” and HBO’s recently ended “Girls” and Hulu’s soon-to-end “The Mindy Project.” And what they’re putting out there is turning heads and causing executives to rethink what it means to put women in charge of their own TV destinies.
“When you’re beginning as a young woman [in Hollywood], the parts available to you require some kind of moral or political compromise,” says Brit Marling, creator and executive producer (with Zal Batmanglij) and star of Netflix’s “The OA,” one of the few female penned-and-starring dramas. “You have to be willing to wade through the muck to get to meaningful stories….”