I have wanted to be a Writer (capital W, always) my entire life. I remember forming stories in my head as a child and dictating them to my grandmother because I couldn’t write yet. I started with fiction as a kid, then found my voice as a terrible poet in high school. High school theater introduced me to playwriting, which nudged me toward screenwriting and a BFA program at NYU and an MFA program at Columbia. I came out of my expensive education dazed and severely, crazily, like-OMG-FML-WTF-ROFL in debt. So I produced, big jobs and small. I worked insane hours. I lived on coffee, cigarettes, and my cell phone. I feasted and I famined. I burned out. After years of blindly blazing through production (and relationships), I called it quits, picked up and moved to LA to focus on writing. Which I did … sorta. I also focused on me, and within a four-year span, I rescued a dog, met my husband, got engaged, got married, got pregnant, rescued another dog, bought a house, and had a baby. Two weeks after my c-section, I was called in to pitch an animated series, and landed my first real writing job: writing and developing a reboot of RAINBOW BRITE for Hallmark and Feeln.
I didn’t tell the exec how recently I’d had my baby, a darling nugget of a babe named Olive. He was a young, fresh-faced thing, and I didn’t want to seem weird. I didn’t have the heart to tell himduring the pitch that the baby was sleeping in the car with my aunt watching her because I didn’t have a babysitter I trusted yet. This same aunt accidentally set off my car alarm twice, an alarm so piercingly loud that the exec and I could hear it in his 8th floor office. But as the weeks went by, this exec got to know my daughter. He had no choice. I couldn’t leave her at home: driving from Santa Monica, where the office is, to Glendale, where my home is, and vice versa, was like driving to the moon with Jell-o for wheels. This baby needed to eat boobs. So I brought her and a trusted girlfriend to the office. I set them up in the exec’s office while I attended story meetings and broke episodes, popping out every 2 hours to feed my then 5-week-old. The writers’ room had a direct line of sight into his office, and I would catch him every now and then looking curiously at the flurry of non-activity taking place there: Ollie sleeping in her stroller, my friend reading a book. He seemed endeared by the whole thing, and impressed that I was able to do the work I did with the tiniest of tots. Indeed, I look back and wonder how I did it. There were three factors: I have a writer for a husband who spent a lot of time watching her when he was home from his show, I found a mother’s helper to sit with her on days I had a deadline, and I had a babe who was sleeping through the night at eight weeks. Without those three key items working in tandem, I would never have made it.
When the show aired its three-episode run, Ollie was nine months old. She sat on my lap and squealed when I showed her my name on the screen. Since RAINBOW BRITE, I’ve worked for Disney, Dreamworks, and Nick Jr. on a variety of shows, writing freelance episodes. I’ve been incredibly fortunate. Immediately before giving birth, I fired my manager (who had repped me for 13 years) and my agent: I wanted to start anew post-babe. Every job I’ve had since giving birth I was brought in by someone I knew, or someone who’d heard of me, or by an exec who was a “fan”. It’s all come to me. I know at some point my luck will run out and I will have to get representation, but right now, it’s nice being able to take home that commission. I think it has everything to do with Ollie. “Babies bring luck and babies bring work,” my girlfriend, another writer, told me at my baby shower. “You will find your success once this baby’s born. It’s a power they have.” This wasn’t the success I’d anticipated, but being able to pay my bills writing stories that aren’t terribly far off from the ones I dictated to Granny is an amazing feeling.