If you want to break into Hollywood as an actor, a writer, a director, a producer, hair and makeup, editing, whatever. There’s an important question that you need to have the answer to, but first a story. So as a kid, my dream was always to be a sitcom writer. After college, I moved from New York to LA. I got a job as a production assistant on the sitcom, great. Everything was good. I did it for about a year. And after about a year, I grew really unhappy with it. The money was bad. The hours were long. I didn’t enjoy the job. And so I opened a variety and in the back of variety, there was an ad for a writer. So I applied for this job writer. I got it. And it turns out it was for writing infomercials for Dionne Warwick, psychic friends network. Okay. 

So this is back in the nineties, this was huge. Everyone knew Dionne Warwick psychic friends netowrk. It was like a popular joke. It was like on Saturday night, live, everyone knew it. I was the writer. Great. So now I have the job. I was making more money. I was sitting in it. I was typing all day. I was doing what I wanted to do. I was happy. After about six months, I had a realization and that was, I wasn’t any closer to my goal. My goal was to be a sitcom writer. I was nowhere near that. Now I was actually further away. So I quit this job that I liked, and I got another PA job on a TV show, doing something I didn’t want to do, but at least now I was closer to my goal of being a sitcom writer. 

I did that for about two years. Eventually, I pitched my bosses. They were the showrunners. I said, I have an idea for an episode. I pitched them the idea they’d bought it. The show is called Lois and Clark. The Adventures of Superman. They bought it. Now. I was a TV writer. Okay. And now I was in the Writers Guild. I was on my way. And it was all because of that one important decision I made, which was, am I closer to my goal now? Or further away from my goal?

Many of you are posting like, well, I want to be a writer. Can I stay where I am in New Jersey or, you know, Chicago or whatever, and make my YouTube videos? You can do whatever you want. But what if you made those same videos in Los Angeles, wouldn’t you be exposed to more opportunities? Wouldn’t you be around people that were doing the same thing that you wanted to do? Let’s say you went to a barbecue and you met someone, Hey, I’m, uh, I’m in, post-production on a TV show. Let me help you out. You’ll have more opportunities. That’s just something to think about.

Whatever you’re doing now, you need to ask yourself that question. Am I closer to my goal or further away from my goal? And maybe you’re happy with your answer, right? I don’t know. It’s something you have to answer. Now in the comment section, here’s an idea, you may want to leave a comment about what you’re currently working on or what you aspire to do. And maybe someone will leave a comment underneath and say, oh wow, I want to do the same thing. And maybe you will strike up a friendship and then maybe you’ll collaborate on something and maybe you’ll help each other up on your way to your goals. I’m just throwing it out there. It’s just an idea. You don’t have to do it now for more helpful tips, you can follow me anywhere on social media, TikTok, Facebook, Instagram @MichaelJaminwriter.

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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