Michael Jamin here. Today, we’re going to talk about Masterclass. Why? Well, it’s my video. I get to talk about whatever I want. I love Masterclass. Okay. For like 200 bucks. I think it’s a great deal. You log on and you can listen to some of the most famous, most successful writers in the world, talk about their craft. And I mean, I just, I sat in bed just watching it. I just loved it. Loved it, loved it. But what none of them talked about, is stuff that I wanted to hear. I wanted to hear them talk about their process. I wanted to hear about how they talk, how they take a germ of an idea and turn it into something beautiful and special. And they don’t really go into that. And I was like, well, why don’t we get totalking about that? Maybe they don’t have a process. Maybe they’re born with so much talent that they could just rely on their gut to create something special and marvelous. But I wasn’t born with that kind of talent. So I have a process and the processes are what I’ve learned from other writers from working in TV. So I think the difference between what my course offers and Masterclass, I really go into the details. How do you take an idea, a small idea, and turn it into something special? And part of that I learned from obviously being on shows. The first day of rehearsal, we call it a table read, we take the script and it’s the first time it’s being read out loud. We sit around a table, and all the actors, all the studio executives, and the writers are all sitting around this table and the actors are reading it for the first time. 

If the story isn’t working, like you could feel the air, just leave the building. I mean, and it’s dreadful, it’s like it’s the longest half hour of your life. And if the story is working, it’s a joy and it’s like, you can feel the energy and it’s not subjective. Honestly, you know, when it’s working and when it’s not working. And so the process is developed over the years, so you don’t have to live through that horror. Most of the time, it’s not the actors screwing up or getting a bad performance, it’s the writing. There’s something wrong with the script and the way the story is broken, that’s not engaging people.

Then when that happens, you know, the table reads happened at 9:00 AM. And you know, you’re going to be there till midnight, fixing the script. It’s just dreadful. So as writers, we do everything possible to know how to tell a story. So we don’t have to stay there until midnight rewriting the thing. And so that’s what I teach. I teach the process that I’ve relied on for many years. And again, it doesn’t just apply to sitcoms, even though I’ve done plenty of sitcoms, I’ve also done many dark comedies, which are closer to dramas, and I’ve done a few dramas as well and in features and stuff like that and pilots. So this is the process. It can help you do. Even if you want to write to be a playwright, I can teach you that. And so once you’ve written a script that tanks at the table, you don’t want to ever happen and want that to happen again. And I talk about that in the class. I talk about a horrible experience I had when I was on King of the Hill. We wrote a script, but we lost the table by page like three. And then you’re like, oh no, how many more minutes of this crap? So if you want to learn how to, you want to learn that process, that’s what I can teach you. Click on the link. Good luck.

Michael Jamin, Showrunner, TV Writer, Author

Michael Jamin

For the past 26 years, Michael Jamin has been a professional television writer/showrunner. His credits include King of the Hill, Beavis & Butthead, Wilfred, Maron, Just Shoot Me, Rules of Engagement, Brickleberry, Tacoma FD and many more.

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