Thursday, August 16, 2012

What am I doing?

I just reread my last post which was written almost a year ago. You think I was freaking out then? Ohhhh buddy. I find myself at the precipice of my last semester, even though I still feel like something terrible involving failure is going to happen and I'll be stuck here longer. I've been thinking about future career-type stuff. I created a LinkedIn profile so I can do what the kids call "networking" and started to feel sick to my stomach with worry. I realized something.

I'm not spectacular. I'm an average student who hasn't received any honors or awards since high school. I studied abroad, which I guess is a point in my favor. I haven't been involved in any organizations for people in specific fields, no sororities for me, and I don't have any special skills that "set me apart".

What am I doing?

I know what I'd like to do. Well, a few things. Most "realistic" and probably at least moderately lucrative being

  • Editorial Assistant at a hoity-toity publishing house. Or, you know, an intern. A paid intern. My student loan bills won't hold off that long.
This requires exciting relocation to a big city, which I could do. But it's also super scary. I have never in my life lived more than seventy miles from my parents (excluding studying in London for a month). When my car was in the shop a few years ago, my dad was able to loan me his car to use until it was fixed. 
Also, business life. Like, working in an office. With adults who are somehow under the impression that I am one of them. Can I fool an entire company into believing that I'm a grownup?

I've thought about just saying screw it and running off to NYC to
  • Join the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater or some such.
But I am so shy about my abilities. I've acted, I enjoy it, but that's in college and community theatre productions. Where there are fewer people and they don't all want to destroy me. I decided a while ago, when my broadway dream was fading away with my change of major, that a performer's life, at least one involving competition and rejection, was not for me.

I've also thought about trying my hand in the LA scene
  • trying to be a TV writer, like I've wanted to be. I've never written an entire spec script, but I have read extensively on the subject, and started at least four.
I'd love to be a coffee-monkey at a studio, and try to get into the business by making connections. But the thought of trying to get my name out there gives me the same stomach pains as that darn LinkedIn. You have to have confidence and drive, and I don't know if I have enough of both of those things.

If anyone has any good advice, or knows of any jobs open to someone who is about to have a BA in English who loves TV, baking, cats, and mysteries, let me know.

Oh, here's me in Edinburgh. It was awesome.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

This post isn't about television.

I've been thinking a lot lately about future stuff. Not robots who will take over the world or the thing on The Jetsons that Jane uses to do her hair every morning (though, who wouldn't want that?), but my future. My future self. I'm afraid this post is going to err on the side of the serious, so if you're looking for laughs aplenty, you may want to skedaddle. But don't do that! You can sit there and listen to me anyway. You obviously have the time, you clicked on my link.
I recently learned that if everything goes smoothly, I am going to graduate next December.

Next December.


So obviously that's a big deal.

Graduation means a lot of good things, like no more classes (unless I decide to go for a grad degree), no more frantically writing papers at three in the morning, and being sort of like a grownup and having a cool grownup job.

It also means a lot of scary things, like paying off student loan money, having big responsibilities, and being sort of like a grownup and having a scary grownup job that I'm not even sure how to find yet.

I mean, I don't even really know what I want to be when the inevitable growing up occurs. I know I want to write, I know I want to have a degree. It would be awesome to go write for SNL or something, but that sounds scary, and I don't know if I have that sort of talent. I could go write a book or something, but again, I don't know that I'm talented enough.

That is, if I even graduate then.
I might fail French, putting me a semester behind that date. The study abroad I want to do next summer might fall through, requiring me to take two additional classes here. I might make it to graduation, and then not find a job and find myself on the streets, unable to buy cat food as my student loan debt slowly takes over my entire being.

So what do you do when you're staring down graduation with a host of little insecurities whispering into your ear about all of the possible ways you could fail? I mean, besides pray?

Oh, here's a pic of my cat.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Happy Anniversary!

Yesterday was the one year anniversary of my first post, so I thought that I would actually post something. ALSO, it's Thursday, which means........

In celebration, I thought I would talk a little bit about some of my favorite episodes of my lovely Thursday night comedies. These are by no means my favorites, (except for The Injury. And possibly Rosemary's Baby) but they are fantastic representations of these awesome shows. (I can think of more superlatives, don't think I won't.)

30 Rock - 2x04 - Rosemary's Baby

This episode shines with a light for all to see. It is one of my favorites of all time. Guest star Carrie Fisher plays Liz's heroine (lady hero. She doesn't want to inject her and listen to jazz.), a former TV writer who inspired Liz to pursue television. (My future Tina Fey? Hmmm.) Meanwhile, Jack tries to help Tracy get to the root of his daddy issues.

"You're not my dad!"
"Never go with a hippie to a second location."
"Help me Liz Lemon! You're my only hope!"
"You know, it's too bad you didn't know Howard Cosell when you were growing up, because I had that one in my pocket the whole time."

The whole Tracy/Jack therapy session was golden.

The Office - 2x12 - The Injury

My favorite Office of all time. It's just wonderfully silly and sweet all at the same time. Michael is in his role as the demanding child, but it is the way the rest of the office reacts to him that make it so so wonderful. And Dwight's concussion friendship with Pam (which I believe they called back to in a more recent episode, anyone remember which?) is just sweet and fun, and just a little bit odd.

"Ryan's... uh, dead."
"Where are you shipping your foot?"
"See you later, Pan."
"The gas station in Carbondale did not have fresh yams."

Community - 2x08 - Cooperative Calligraphy

Community is a relatively recent love of mine, so I don't yet know which is my favorite. My mind immediately goes to instant classics like Modern Warfare and Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas, but I saw this one recently and it is just fun. From Abed's tongue-in-cheek (not really from Abed, but the writers. Abed can't be tongue-in-cheek) references to bottle episodes (an episode of television that takes place in one location), to the sweet ending, I love every bit of it.

"I wanna see if those wiener dogs are born that way, or if they start off normal and then get wiener."
"This is a bottle episode."
"I'll make your ass sense."
"I could never deprive the world of the portion of my chest the strap would cover."

Parks & Recreation - 3X02 - Flu Season

This was last week's episode. My Parks and Rec situation is much the same as my Community situation. Until I've seen each episode multiple times, I don't feel like I can properly decide which is truly my favorite. I chose this one because I'm still kind of on a high from it. In this episode we see Leslie in less than top form, yet she is still trying her best to do it all. We also see Chris in a moment of weakness, a sad, hollow shell of the usually upbeat and fit guy that he is. Also, I had the hardest time choosing a picture for this.

"Stop. Pooping."
"You had me at meat tornado."
"Cartwheels. Am I not doing them?"
"I have to get ready for the chamber of secrets."
"Ann's my doctor. And she's the most beautiful nurse in the world."

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Live, from New York!

Anyone who knows me well knows that I have the tendency to obsess over things, which are usually television, theatre, film, or literature related. Lately, thanks to Netflix, Hulu, and VH1 reruns, I've watched more Saturday Night Live in the past month than I have my whole life.

As a writer who wants desperately to be funny, I've been trying to watch and study as much sketch comedy as possible. Sketch comedy is a wild and wonderful art in which the performer and the writer have only a few minutes to set up a scene and hit a punchline. That being said, I have only admiration of the highest degree for those who write and perform sketch comedy. I mean, comedy is hard. Seriously. The majority of people in this world are incredibly stingy with their laughter, and being able to make that laughter happen is no easy feat.

My current SNL obsession began innocently enough, receiving The Best of Amy Poehler in the mail from Netflix (which I still have yet to send back), and then discovering the wide range Netflix's instant play library, which includes lots of classic SNL, Best Ofs, etc.

I'll just work on ma stick work!

SNL's Best of Amy Poehler has got to be one of the best compilations of SNL sketches and Update bits that I have ever seen. It kicks off with Amy and Tina as Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin, and goes through a list of Amy's other great characters. Highlights (for me):

  • Bronx Beat with Betty Caruso and Jodi Dietz (“What are ya, ya Chippewa? Ya Sioux? Ya got Sioux in you?”)
  • Kaitlin! (“Chazz, one time I was on my trampoline with my roller skates on, and I tried the back flip and I flew up in the air and I thought I was a goner. And time stood still, and I made eye contact with a bird, and the bird was looking at me like "you have not mentally prepared enough for this back flip, I will guide you safely back to earth" And then I landed but I was still so scared and I ran inside and was like "take me to Taco Bell, Rick! I need a tostada to calm my nerves! I need to make a run for the border! Yo quiero Taco Bell!!" Remember that?! Rick! Rick! Rick! Rick!”)
  • The Dakota Fanning Show! (“In my defense, when I read that script I saw it as a metaphor for ethnic violence in central Africa! But, apparently, it was about a cat in a hat!”)
  • Awesomeawesome Update montage! (“Hey, that seat is 50 Cent’s!” “I only have a dollar!” “Naw, naw, naw, that seat is 50 Cent’s!” “Do you have change?”)
  • I'm No Angel perfume ad (In which Amy is incredibly pregnant. And Will Forte plays the old, weird Greg Allman.)
  • One-Legged Amber - ("Yeah, I farted! JEALOUS?")
  • Weekend Update rehearsal bloopers and two rehearsal sketches

In conclusion to the most unorganized blog post in the history of my blog, I love comedy, I love writing, I love funny people. Also, this is a terrible post. I just needed to get something down to get out of my blog rut. Hopefully this fixes it.

In related news, I miss New York City so much today it makes my heart ache a little. Too much SNL and 30 Rock (gasp! no such thing!) make for a sad/awesome mood that is difficult to describe.

ALSO! Tina Fey recently received the Mark Twain Prize for Comedy! Further proof that she is the single most awesome lady on the planet.

EDIT: ALSO ALSO Happy birthday Lorne Michaels, creator of SNL and executive producer of 30 Rock!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Why I love television

Some of my favorite television characters. Truth.

Sometimes when I talk to people about television, I feel like they don't really get why I'm so passionate about it. Most people see television as a temporary distraction from real life, a source of information, or (perish the thought!) white noise. Scripted television has been, until recently, seen as a lesser form of entertainment; serious actors go to film, or the stage, screenplays are more complex and sophisticated than teleplays, and cinematic geniuses certainly don't sully their resumes with television projects. In recent years, those opinions have largely disappeared, but a large chunk of the general population still sees television as the awkward younger sibling of film.

As a child I was a Sesame Street fiend, and watched episodes of Eureka's Castle and David the Gnome while I stayed home with mom, before I started school. They whetted my thirst for stories, which was something I wanted however I could come by it. I had always been a consummate player of pretend, acting out stories in fantasy lands like those I heard about in books or saw on television. By night our family would gather around the television to watch The Nanny and reruns of The Cosby Show, educating me in the sitcom. By the time I was in high school, I had probably watched more reruns of classic television shows than anyone I would graduate with. It wasn't until high school, however, that I really fell in love with with it.

My love of television very much stems from my love of stories, and the disappointment I remember feeling when I would finish the too-short novels I devoured not long after deciphering the English language. All of the stories had endings, but the lives of the characters I felt connected to kept going, at least in my imagination. I wanted to know all about these people, their futures, their dreams, their passions, before I even thought about any of those things in my own life. It was the same with movies; what happened to Thumbelina and Prince Cornelius after they lived happily ever after? Did they have adventures? Did they have eight children and grow to be three hundred years old? These are things I wanted to know.

Television allows viewers to learn more about a character than a 120 minute movie can. We get to know a character over the course of roughly twenty-two episodes each year, each running from 21-50 minutes. Character development is done over the course of years, rather than minutes, and the creators are able to keep telling stories. I think that's really what I wanted when I would finish Zilpha Keatley Snyder's novel The Egypt Game, or the animated classic Anastasia. More stories with these characters I'd grown fond of.

When I first started watching Lost, the second semester of my freshman year of college, I was a woman obsessed. I watched multiple episodes a day, and was finally caught up to season four after a few months (which was not so good for my grades, but hey, awesome show, right??). I was enthralled by this group of castaways with the sordid pasts and the mysterious island that they were all somehow connected to. The characters made me want to keep watching as I became more invested, and the writers wove such fantastic stories with these characters that there was no way I could stop.

I never thought very much about how a television show is written until a couple of years ago. It simply never occurred to me that it was an actual career that I could have, taking my love of writing and meshing it with my love of television. There's nothing I would love more than to write amazing television like I've seen on Buffy, 30 Rock, Pushing Daisies, and so many more fantastic shows that I love.

So here's hoping I have a seat at the 70th Annual Emmy Awards. :)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Did I fall asleep?

It's been over a month since my last post (yes, bad Emily!), but I have fairly good excuses. I started a play a the local community theatre, I've been working, and classes have started, so I haven't exactly been sitting on my rump for a month.

Since my last post, I have worked my way through season one of Joss Whedon's latest television project, Dollhouse. I mentioned Dollhouse in my awesome short-lived series post a while ago, but then I had only watched the first episode, which was cool, but not the amazing piece of television I expected from Joss. The key to Dollhouse is to keep going. The first few episodes, while good television, are not on par with his other projects, but as the season progresses it gets better and better.

By the time I finished the second DVD, I was in love with the show and couldn't wait for more. Eliza Dushku gets to show off her chops, playing a party girl out on the town, a hardened kidnapping negotiator, and the vacant-expressioned active Echo, all in one episode. The supporting cast, which includes Tahmoh Penikett, Dichen Lachman, Enver Gjokaj, Olivia Williams, Amy Acker, and Fran Kranz, are equally fantastic, and are part of the reason I wanted to come back for more.

Favorite things:
  • Victor in his non-imprinted state. He's flippin' adorable.

  • Echo saving the day when the leader of a cult she has joined becomes really scary.

  • Topher and Adele under the influence of the drug in "Echoes".

  • "Oh, my God. I find lentils completely incomprehensible."

  • Topher imprinting Sierra to be his friend on his birthday in "Haunted".

  • Alpha's many personalities.

  • Victor and Sierra. D'awww.

  • "Epitaph One". Gahhhhhh.

  • "Remains" by Maurissa Tancharoen and Jed Whedon. This song plays in "Epitaph One". I had already heard it, but was even more powerful in context. Fwahhhhh. Love it so much.

  • "Carrots! Medicinal carrots! Personal-use medicinal carrots that were here when I moved in and I'm holding it for a friend!"

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Emily's Emmy picks!

The nominations are in, and awards season is a glint on the horizon. In a little over a month, we'll find out who (according to Emmy voters) in television is among the best of the best. Usually the voters in question have a slightly different opinion than I do as to who exactly is the best of the best, so here are my picks:

It occurs to me that the only drama I consistently follow is Lost, but now I don't even have that, making my picks for any of the drama categories slightly biased. The Supporting Actor in a Drama Series category has me torn between two of the best actors on Lost, in my opinion. Michael Emerson always made me cringe (in a good way, a good cringe) as the awesomely creepy Benjamin Linus, and Terry O'Quinn showed us a different side of John Locke at the end of the series as Anti-Locke. Lead Actor is going to have to go to Matthew Fox (even though I really, really do not like Jack. Okay, I hated him less at the beginning and the end.). The only Lead Actress nominee I've seen in action is Law and Order: SVU's Mariska Hargitay, who has only snagged one Emmy out of her six nominations, which was back in 2006, so maybe she's due another. I'm going to root for Mad Men's Christina Hendricks for Supporting Actress, based solely on her performance in Firefly.

I follow far more comedies, which makes it a little easier to be balanced. Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series will most likely go to Jane Lynch as her hilariously awful Sue Sylvester in Glee, which I could support, though it would also be great for Kristen Wiig to finally get her due for SNL, or Jane Krakowski for 30 Rock, but if I were a betting woman, it would be Jane Lynch all the way. My Supporting Actor pick has not changed for the past few years, and after four noms, I want to see a win. I will root for Neil Patrick Harris as How I Met Your Mother's Barney Stinson until he finally gets the award he deserves. For Lead Actress, I'm torn between my undying love of Tina Fey's Liz Lemon and my relative new love for Amy Poehler's Leslie Knope. So I'd rather not go there, thankyouverymuch.

I now move on to another paragraph for the bloodbath that is the Lead Actor in a Comedy Series category. I feel like I need to first apologize to both Steve Carell and Alec Baldwin for this, but I have to go with Jim Parsons as everyone's favorite neurotic physicist Sheldon Cooper on The Big Bang Theory. He's kind of how I picture myself, if I were male, lacked social skills, was good at science, and had a degree or two.

Outstanding Drama Series is kind of a given, considering my prior comments--I'm not even going to insult your intelligence by naming my choice for the award. For Outstanding Comedy, however, I'm a little bit torn. I have to go with 30 Rock. I love The Office and Glee, but 30 Rock has been able to consistently make me laugh more than any of the others nominated.

Miscellaneous Awesome -

Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics
How I Met Your Mother - "Nothing Suits Me Like a Suit" - Girls Vs. Suits - Carter Bays and Craig Thomas

Outstanding Music Direction for a Series (Original Dramatic Score)
Lost - The End - Michael Giacchino, Composer

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Miniseries Or A Movie
Hamlet (Great Performances) -
Patrick Stewart as Ghost / Claudius

Outstanding Guest Actor In A
Comedy Series
Glee - Dream On -
Neil Patrick Harris as Bryan Ryan

Outstanding Guest Actress In A
Drama Series
Lost - The End -
Elizabeth Mitchell as Juliet Burke

Outstanding Reality Program

Outstanding Writing for a Drama
Lost - The End
Damon Lindelof, Writer
Carlton Cuse, Writer

Outstanding Writing for a Comedy
30 Rock - Anna Howard Shaw Day
Matt Hubbard, Writer

I'm sure you all have noticed that I seem to be slightly ignoring Glee's 19 Emmy nominations. I'm not ignoring them, by any stretch. I love Glee, I really do, but to me it's sort of like a cool new friend at school. You like hanging out with this person, and think he/she is interesting, but you still have a core group of close friends that you would drop everything for. Glee and I are still in the first stages of our relationship, and I would feel a little like I was betraying my other sitcoms if I chose Glee over them.

Something that frustrated me a little bit is the total snubbery toward one of NBC's best new shows, Community. I got in on Community a tad late in the game, (like, two weeks ago) and fell in love with it.