You can write for TV -- maybe
THERE WILL come a time when people will become sick (and I mean throw-up sick) of "reality TV," although I would have bet on it happening after Hulk Hogan and the exceedingly scary Janice Dickinson got their own shows. (Dickinson, owner of Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency, looks like the kind of creature Dr. Frankenstein might have created had he been a cross-dresser into Armani and Gucci.)
When a wooden stake is finally slammed into the heart of reality TV, there will be a great need for -- what did they used to call them? -- oh, yeah, writers. And you could be one. Seriously. I mean, I was one, so how hard can it be? Of course, some people claim it was my short stint as a writer on "Baywatch Hawaii" that not only killed that show, but staff-written shows in general and launched the entire reality-TV craze. That hurts.
But writers will be needed, and thanks to the Honolulu Lite Department of Shameless Promotion, I can tell you that my former colleague on "Baywatch," Maria Jacquemetton, will be presenting a "Writing for Television" workshop this weekend at the University of Hawaii. Maria and her husband, Andre, are a writing team, which is pretty cool until, you know, the TV writing industry collapses and then the whole family is out of work.
ACTUALLY, after I killed "Baywatch," Maria and Andre landed jobs at "Star Trek: Enterprise." Maria also became head of Writing for Film, Television and Interactive Media at the Vancouver Film School.
There is a lot to know about writing for TV. For instance, if you want to write for, say, "Lost," you can't. You might be able to write for some less popular show, but you have to know all the ins and outs of putting together a professional script, how to pitch it and how to handle rejection. (I've got the last part DOWN.) And you've got to be versatile.
Maria and Andre wrote a TV movie called "Billboard Dad," which starred Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen when they were just little girls. They also wrote for "Highlander," "Relic Hunter," "Baywatch," "Star Trek" and many other projects. From the Olsen Twins to Klingons, now THAT's versatile. So, if you think you can handle that kind of weird psychopathy (is that even a word?), TV writing could be for you, presuming reality TV croaks.
, the National Society of Newspaper Columnists' 2004 First Place Award winner for humor writing, appears Sundays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org