So, last week, I pitched a web series idea at the Writer's Guild East pitch-a-thon and tomorrow, if I don't get hit by a bus, I'll be pitching at Pitchapalooza. I had no idea what I was doing last week and only have a marginally better idea now. I basically wrote the pitches for the events because I have so many ideas flowing through my nogen, if someone doesn't ground me with a paycheck commitment soon, I believe the tap will be broken forever and I may just be a crazy mole person on the corner spouting random thoughts and ideas out loud to anyone who will listen.
I had an idea to do a sports comedy centered on addicts recovering from watching too much sports, but realized I knew nothing about sports. I ran into my friend Margaret Dodge, who told me to contact her friend Reese Waters, a talented comedian, whom I am super glad I didn't know was as talented as he was so I had no time to be intimidated. We exchanged idea blasts on email, then I went to his house off the shuttle line, missing his stop entirely. I was late and he had to go soon, but when he answered the door, completely cut bod in low riding jeans over peek-a-boo boxers, I had to remind myself why I was there for a hot second. I immediately gave my man-hater speech and he told me who he was dating that night, just to make clear on both ends that we weren't a man and a woman alone together in his apartment and could be doing other things. We got down to work writing the sports dialogue for the pitch. It had to be ninety seconds, there were nine other pitchers besides us and I went for what I now know as an unconventional format, a small pitch book ending a sketch, as played by two characters. It was a strange pitch, I tried to cram as much info and a funny sketch into the time limitations as possible. But the problem was that the ninety sec format allowed for either Olympic Athlete, Swiss watch precision, or loose and easy comedy, both of which were the styles that tied for first place- the precision winner being a well-organized pitch about a dated, strange debacle, and the loose and easy winner an understated geek pitching a show about post-coital conversations. Trying to squeeze both styles into one pitch just didn't work in ninety seconds. Lesson learned!
The info down below is who Reese and I pitched to, him playing a Judge indicting me, a young black man going to jail for misbehaviours due to overindulgence at a TGI Fridays. We each practiced at home, I had no idea if Reese would be ready, met a half hour before, in the rain, my insomnia and mad rehearsing taking the nervousness dead away. A friend said it was a disservice to bomb and made the audience uncomfortable, so I was going to be damned if I were that loser doing that to them. And that is why I practiced my two lines over and over and over. I told Reese I wasn't an actor and he assured me I was. Hmmm. Makes me think anyone can be an actor if they practice their lines over and over and over.
Here's who we pitched to.
WGA Pitch Panel:
Don’t miss the next event in our ongoing Digital Education series! More than a panel – this “pitch competition” will be an interactive, educational way to learn what makes an excellent project for new media. WGA members with web projects in development will pitch to experts in digital media and receive feedback on potential for branding and monetization, elements of digital storytelling and building an audience. Hosted by comedian Wayne Federman (Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Curb Your Enthusiasm) and with refreshments provided by the New York TV Festival. Staff from the NYTVF will also be on hand to discuss their pilot and teleplay competitions.
Please RSVP directly to Ursula Lawrence at firstname.lastname@example.org
When: March 23rd 7pm
Where: Offices of the WGAE: 250 Hudson St, 7th floor, New York, New York
Host & Judges
Wayne Federman – http://waynefederman.com/
Rob Barnett – Founder and CEO MyDamnChannel.Com
Josh Cohen – Co-founder, Tubefilter – the leading authority in episodic web television and web series. http://news.tubefilter.tv/
Jeremy Redleaf – Writer, Creator and Star of Hit Web Series Odd Jobs – http://oddjobnation.com/
New York Television Festival – http://www.nytvf.com/
Tomorrow I pitch here, I wrote a pitch for a novel in five minutes. I've never written a novel. It will probably show, but I am learning on stage:
Wednesday, March 30 · 7:30pm - 9:00pm
Greenlight Bookstore, 686 Fulton St. Brooklyn, NY http://greenlightbookstore.com
The Book Doctors
The Book Doctors, aka, Arielle Eckstut and David Henry Sterry, authors of The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published, will be making a house call in Brooklyn at Greenlight Bookstore. They want YOU to pitch your book at their acclaimed event, Pitchapalooza, which was recently featured in The New York Times. Pitchapalooza is like American Idol for books--only without the Simon. Writers get one minute to pitch their book i...deas to an all-star panel of publishing experts. The winner of the Pitchapalooza receives an introduction to an appropriate agent or publisher for his/her book. Plus, anyone who buys a book gets a free consultation worth $100.
Joining The Book Doctors on the panel will be: Richard Nash, http://www.rnash.com/ and Jason Pinter, http://www.jasonpinter.com/. Nash is an independent publishing entrepreneur, founder of Cursor, and former Publisher of the iconic indie publisher, Soft Skull Press. Pinter is an agent at the Waxman Literary Agency, former editor at three major publishing houses, and bestselling author of the critically acclaimed Henry Parker series.
Arielle Eckstut has been a literary agent for 18 years. She is also the author of seven books and the co-founder of the iconic brand, LittleMissMatched. David Henry Sterry is the best-selling author of 12 books, on a wide variety of subject including memoir, sports, YA fiction and reference. His last book appeared on the cover of the Sunday New York Times Book Review. Together, they’ve helped dozens and dozens of talented amateur writers become published authors. They’ve appeared everywhere from NPR’s Morning Edition to USA Today, and have taught publishing workshops everywhere from the Miami Book Fair to Stanford University. Find more at www.thebookdoctors.com.