Interview: Amanda Alpert Muscat

“Don’t sleep in, don’t turn on the TV, and stay off of Facebook,” are just a few writing discipline tips from showrunner’s assistant-turned-TV writer Amanda Alpert Muscat. Alpert Muscat, who wrote two episodes of the recent Hellcats, worked many an industry job before deciding to focus on TV. “In college, I worked at a video store about 20 hours a week, which provided me (with) an invaluable education in crap cinema,” she says. She also worked in the newsroom and research department at the ABC affiliate in Chicago, did a “weird” cable access show, and helped out at the Democratic National Convention before moving to L.A. in 1999 right after college – “literally three days after graduation.”…

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Interview: Roger Wolfson

“To me, you can't really be a great writer unless you've had great life experiences,” says TV writer Roger Wolfson (Saving Grace, The Closer, Law & Order: SVU). And his “great life experiences” include stints – several years – working outside of Hollywood, including:for the U.S. Senate (alongside Ted Kennedy and Joseph Lieberman, for example); running a multi-national consulting firm; as a VP of one of the largest news organizations in the country; and practicing civil rights law (he is a member of the bars of several states, such as NY and DC).…

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Interview: Dee Johnson

When asked what advice she would give an aspiring TV writer, Dee Johnson (The Good Wife, Army Wives, ER, Melrose Place) says, “(My) first impulse is to tell them to run away. Failing that, just make sure your work is as bullet-proof as possible before you hand it over because you only get one first impression.”   When Johnson first started out, writing spec after spec, “too many to count as I was trying to figure out where my voice best worked,” she worked everywhere from in accounts payable at a computer software company to being a production assistant on a TV show.  On what made her want to be a TV writer, Johnson says, “TV saved my life. Or at least allowed me to see that things didn’t have to be the way they were in my particular household. In essence, it gave me hope.”…

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Interview: Jeff Greenstein

“Preston Sturges was a failed inventor who didn't write his first play till he was 30,” says Emmy-award-winning television writer/executive producer Jeff Greenstein (Desperate Housewives, Great State of Georgia, Will & Grace, Friends) when asked if writers should give themselves a certain number of years to “make it.” “On the other hand, (your writing) may stink,” Greenstein adds. “My advice is to keep at it until enough boyfriends or girlfriends dump you that you have to get a real job.”…

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