Then you have to understand them. What are they like? How do they want to hear things? Are they — what type of personalities do they like? You can’t really change yourself but you can readjust some things when you see how the rhythm is of what they like to do and actually, one of my favorite stories is that you also can cheat because I recognized early on in a particular show that there was a gentleman who didn’t like other people to win and so when you started to pitch he would find ways to tear it apart before the boss could say yes. Once you go the yes, he would be on board, because he wasn’t going to go against what the boss said. So, a joke I often tell students and friends is I had an idea that I wanted to pitch and I didn’t want to do it in front of that person being in the room so I waited until the boss — who happened to be another female — went to the bathroom and I pitched it over washing our hands at the sinks and by the time we got back to the room, she liked it enough that she started with “Rosanne had this great idea. We should talk it through,” and I saw the guy’s eyes across the table and I saw that he wanted to say something and he stopped and then I got the script because I stole it away from him. So…
It’s always fun to sit down with students and share stories about entering the television industry and how things work at all stages and I had that opportunity the other day.
Daniela Torres, a just-graduated (Congratulations!) student of the Columbia College Semester in LA program asked me to guest on a podcast she had recently begun hosting with another college student she met during her internship (good example of networking in action!).
We could have talked all morning (the benefit of a 3 hour class session) but we held it to about an hour and fifteen minutes or so. Hopefully, along the way I answered some questions you might have about how the business works. So often it amounts to working hard at being a better writer and gathering a group of other talented, hard-working people around you so you can all rise together.
Dr. Rosanne Welch is a television writer with credits that include Beverly Hills 90210, Picket Fences, ABCNEWS: Nightline and Touched by an Angel. She also teaches Television Writing and the Art of Film at San Jose State University.
Rosanne discusses what made shows like Beverly Hills 90210 compelling, what to do and not to do when attempting to pitch a show to broadcast or streaming, what most young writers neglect in their writing process, and much more!
The Courier Thirteen Podcast is available on YouTube, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud, and Audible.