Monday, October 09, 2006

The Upside of Writing Entertainment Magazine Articles

Not long ago, I pitched Emmy Magazine, an entertainment industry trade magazine, on the idea of writing a story about three TV actors and their moves into other areas such as writing, directing, or producing. The actors I chose were Laura Innes, Dr. Kerry Weaver from ER, Bryan Cranston, the dad from Malcolm in the Middle, and Michael Chiklis, Detective Vic Mackey from The Shield. All three of them are very nice people.

The upside of interviewing them, in addition to getting to meet them, is that I get to ask things I want to know because I'm transitioning from acting to writing myself. I also get access to them that I can't get by going through their agents or managers. For example, I talked with Bryan Cranston about the mockumentary I'm writing about the first quadriplegic mime. He thought it was a very funny concept and offered to read it when I finish writing it in December. (I'm really hoping he likes it because there is an excellent part for him in it.) The other upside is that I get to write for a prestigious trade magazine and get a blurb about myself in it, and of course, they pay me.

All I seem to do lately is write, it's a good thing I love doing it. I met twice with a terrific script consultant, Julie Marsh Nelson about "Hip-Hop Zombies". The writing is coming along very well and I hope to have the first draft done before the end of October. I want to write an excellent script that will draw big-name talent. I could probably make a cheesy version of it to release on DVD, but I wouldn't be happy with what I had created. I always strive to make everything I write the best it can possibly be.

I'm currently having my dramady pilot "Area 52" read by top script consultants, Marc and Elaine Zicree, and I will probably rewrite based on their input and start shopping it around production companies within ABC/Disney. (Because I wrote "Area 52" while in the ABC/Disney Scholarship Program, ABC/Disney has an option on it for a year so I can only show it to production companies who have a deal with ABC/Disney. I learned a lot in that program and its totally worth it.)

Having a successful writing career looks easy from the outside, but it's a very tough business. It's tough to get the job, tough doing the job, and tough to keep the job. But, it's my dream and I intend to persevere. In truth, the fact that it's tough motivates me to work that much harder.

The pilot for Comedy Central that I appeared in and creative consulted on "Special Unit" is still in play according to Bryan Cranston who directed it, but that's about as much as I know.

My acting career is also moving along fairly well. I'm going to a callback (a second audition) on Thursday for a part in a very exciting project that I will talk more about when I land the role. (notice I said when and not if).

Don't forget to mark your calendars for October 27th! Color of the Cross the feature film I co-wrote is coming to theaters. (if you look real close at this poster you'll see my name on the bottom line as co-writer ... BOOYAH!) It is the story of Jesus' last forty-eight hours and Jesus, Mary, Joseph, and several of the disciples will be played by African Americans. Please check out the trailer at

Thanks for reading, that's all until next time


  1. Sterling Holobyte2:31 PM

    A "quadriplegic mime"? lol

    I love your humor, Jim!

  2. You aren't mentioned anywhere in the press kits for "Color of the Cross". Why?
    It's all about who produced it. There is a mention of it being written by the "Star". What gives?
    That totally sucks!!