Host: I guess I’ll ask, why why did you also want to teach?
Rosanne: I actually — my first job was as a high school teacher because I come from Ohio — a college in Ohio and there was no way you were going to convince your parents or anybody that like it was legitimate to think you’d get a job in television. So I had to get a real like get a degree in something real. So it was in high school and I taught literature and things like that for a couple years until I could make the move to California and I could make it because you could teach in Ohio. You could teach here. So I could get a long-distance job as a teacher which gave me a financial way to make a move like that. So I actually liked it. I missed it in a weird way. I mean certainly doesn’t pay as much as TV but there’s a lot of things you do as a teacher — there are skills you have and a lot of that translates into writing in that and pitching because pitching is like I’m giving a lecture and explaining an idea to you to make you love it so much you’ll pay me to do it. So that’s a skill. That little performance thing comes from a teaching background and I also think that television particularly because it’s — well was free and even if your parents are paying for it essentially is free — as opposed to movies you have to fork over 20 bucks to go see them. So television is like this giant podium that a teacher would stand at and lecture and a TV show and a movie — any piece of writing that’s good that sticks to you — has a message — is there with a theme about how you want other people to live their lives. A lesson that you wish other people would learn. So really writing is like being a teacher on steroids.
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.