Friday, September 5, 2014

Write About Things You Know

            Hello everyone, please forgive my hiatus from this blog! It was a busy summer shooting a new sitcom and I just started working in a new Reality show, both of which I’ll write about in the near future.
Last night was definitely one for the books. I got to attend “The Writer’s Room” at the DBA Hollywood. Moderated by Reza Aslan, the discussion panel featured one of my idols, Academy Award winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black (Milk, J. Edgar), and Academy Award nominee Craig Borten (Dallas Buyers Club).

            The evening started off with a glass of wine and some house music, followed by a stand-up act by a funny man whose name I can’t remember. Anyway, the main event commenced with Mr. Aslan introducing the gentlemen.

            So many things were covered. From screenwriting methods, getting started in the industry, issues that ranged from lgbt rights to religion, and pressure to keep momentum after working on Academy Award winning films.

            “The most important thing about the story is not an event or a place, it’s a person,” said Dustin Lance Black. He stated that stories are compelling not because they revolve around events, but because they happen to a person. “The king of note cards,” as Mr. Aslan called him, said that even though his stories are based on true events, they are tweaked in a way to provoke the present and spark a bomb that will help change things for the future. For example, he thinks documentaries are interesting because they are informative, but his goal when writing a movie based on true events is to make it applicable to current events so that it can inspire action by people. Something else that Dustin said that really stuck with me was, "Write about things you know."

            It truly was an inspirational night. I’ve been a huge fan of Dustin Lance Black’s work since 2008 and getting to sit in the front row and listen to him speak was definitely a highlight of this year. I also had an opportunity to ask him a question during the Q&A at the end of the discussion panel. I asked, “What is the biggest mistake you’ve made in your career that you don’t regret because you learned from it?” He thought it was a difficult question and it took him a while to think about it, but he gave me good advice. Black thinks it’s important to place your projects in good hands and to be on top of everyone and everything. He recalled an earlier project that didn’t come to fruition the way he expected because he let others take too much control of it. Borten also added that it is much better to let producers make creative decisions instead of actors. Now, go write something that moves you!

Olympic Diver Tom Daley


  1. Fantastic blog! Can I ask why you have a photo of Tom Daley? Was he at the event? Did he have a part to play?

    1. Thank you! As you probably know, he's in a relationship with Dustin. I'm a big fan of his since the 2008 Olympics. He happened to be sitting a few rows behind me, so I approached him. He was really sweet.