Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Awesome Madness

 My last post I was waiting for a lot of things. Well… since then…

My sci-fi didn’t advance past the semi’s of Nicholl, but I had no idea that the semi’s would still get me reads! And it did. I got 14 script requests from various producers and managers to read that script. And from those requests, a few read more of my scripts… and from that… I’m getting ahead of myself.

I have been entering The Page Awards for many years, and each year, I did a little better. I feel like I have been growing up with Page, their competition tracking my progress. They are always filled with such enthusiasm and support. I went from quarters, then semi’s and then last year one of my scripts (a comedy) got into the finals. So it was super significant for me when I won 3rd place for another comedy script last year. I found out in October. (I partied hard.) From that placement, I got 12 script requests from various managers and producers, and a few read more of my scripts… and from that… well, I’m getting ahead of myself again.

In October, I met The Happy Writers. These guys have changed my life. No joke. My friend, Caz, recommended them to me. I went to them for script consulting. I knew as soon as Joey emailed me back within 5 minutes that I’d hit on a company that was different. He was personable, for God’s sake. Not like ScriptShark, or any other consultant I’ve used. The feedback was stellar, totally bang on. I did more consulting. And more. They showed me how to look at my script from a producer’s perspective. I’d never had that before. Eye opening.

Then Joey told me about the Skype pitching services they were doing. You pay to have the opportunity to pitch via Skype to a manager, agent or a producer. My friend Caz helped me with my first pitch. Thank God. I was crapping my pants in that first pitch. But it went down well, and a lovely manager asked to read my script. I was hooked. Joey and Alexis helped me even more with my pitches. I started pitching like mad.

I want to just pause for a moment, to say how much my yearlong association with Toastmasters paid off in spades for me. I was able to do my pitches without throwing up from nerves. Seriously. I am so grateful to them for helping me through my issues with public speaking. Nevermind the difference it made in my face to face meetings… but again, I’m getting ahead of myself.

In Nov, I found out that my drama won the Reel Author’s awards, which was awesome. It’s the first time I’d actually won a contest. A few weeks later, I found out that I’d won The Happy Writer’s contest with the same drama script. Now, I was chuffed that I’d won the Reel Authors, but I was over the moon that I’d won THW. Part of the prize was that they would set up meetings for me in LA. And another part was that I got my services from them for free for a year. That’s right. Free pitching. They’re crazy. I pitched to EVERYONE. I have done 39 pitches since last October. I’m a pitching fool.

I just came back from my 2 week trip to LA, where I got to see my mum, and so many of my wonderful friends (I lived there for 7 years) did 4 Skype pitches with THW, had a consult with an awesome guy from Disney on my comedy, met Joey and Alexis (LOVE those guys!!!!) met with a manager I was connected to via Page (more of that in a mo), met with an amazing A-list producer, 3 devel execs from fantastic production companies, and 2 other managers - all via Joey (truly he’s a superstar!), met the exec director of Page (she’s such a sweetheart!), and the judge who read my script (so incredibly helpful and lovely! A working writer for the past 20 years!), met with a director who was interested in one of my scripts via Nicholl (more of that in a minute), and as if all that wasn’t enough… my brother, who I hadn’t seen in 17 years, flew over from NYC to see me, which I can’t even tell you how wonderful that was.

F*ck me. Quite a trip.

The tangible results from those two weeks are that I now have :

- A manager whom I adore. I met John via The Page Awards. I would be friends with John even if we didn’t have a 2-year contract. (I’m SO thrilled). John is everything I wanted in a manager. We had two amazing meetings, and I feel in my gut that we are going to have a lot of fun together for many years to come.

- An option deal for my psych thriller, that John is working through right now. If it all goes through, as I hope hope it does, then I’ll tell you more about it. For now, I’ll just say that I had two meetings with this director (that I met via the Nicholl Awards), and he’s Awesome. We had a 3-hour story meeting, brainstorming and going through the script. It was a first for me, talking turkey with the director and his fabulous assistant, and really getting to the heart of the story, and bringing it to another level. I learned so much from them, and am so excited about the rewrite. We left feeling like family. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience for my first (potential) option.

- Connections with some amazing people via Joey, who have all told me to stay in touch. They all want to read my scripts, some need rewrites, some haven’t even been written yet. Ha! One of the devel execs I met will come visit NZ, and stay in our guest room. These meetings went well because I had so much experience pitching with THW. I was never caught out by a question I hadn't heard in some form already. I knew all my stories and pitches with ease. And I also felt comfortable talking with each of them, as I had already pitched to them all once before. I had no idea at the time I was pitching that it would save my ass later.

- My brother Jonathan, who is a brilliant composer/lyricist told me that he and a fabulous woman he writes with, want to turn one of my comedies into a musical. This is so incredible for me. First of all, I always saw this story as a musical. Don’t ask me why. Unlike my brother, I am not musical in any way. But the main reason I’m so excited and honoured that this is happening, is that I’ll get to work with Jonathan. Imagine that. Couldn’t be happier about this.

The intangible results are that I got to hang out with my Mom and her hubby. Which was awesome. I really miss her. Jonathan and I got to spend a lot of time together, getting reacquainted. I am so proud to be his sister. And I got to hang with many of my dear friends. I had a blast. We went to the Magic Castle (thanks Michael! And everyone who came. So awesome to see you guys!), the Getty (Great suggestion Robin!) and did some fabu shopping with Lisa! Keg had bubbles at the ready when I got the option (you so ROCK!). Got to meet Joey and Alexis in the flesh. How can you two be so fabulous and so gorgeous as well? Met up with my wonderful friends from the first writing group I ever belonged to. So great to see you guys! Had dinner with some old friends, which was just amazing. Big love and hugs to you all.

I didn’t get to see some pals… Christina, Karen, David, Erin, Barb… I’ll see you guys all next time!!

And that’s the news. I’ve gotten such amazing support from so many people during all this madness. It really does make all the difference.

I am one lucky puppy.

And I have a lot of writing to do...


  1. Hey Lyse, great to read of your positive experiences. You are an inspiration that perseverance, hard and commitment can pay off and that it can happen for people from outside of LA.

  2. Phew! I need to go lie down after reading this. "Madness" - Maybe - Exciting - Yes!

    We are putting out the good vibes into the Ether for you Lyse.