Recently staffed writers share what has worked for them.
Without delving into platitudes about how unprecedented these times are, or debating the semantics of what constitutes the “new normal,” it’s fair to say that looking for work right now is stressful.
We reached out to a number of recently staffed writers—people who were hired after the stay-at-home orders—to get their advice on how they navigated the current staffing landscape. Here is what they had to say:
- Research. “Track what's being developed, track what's started production. Try to read the scripts if you can get your hands on them. If you are lucky to have a meeting, get as familiar as you can with the show/series/pilot/IP and find a personal connection to talk about that is part of your genuine self as it relates to the material.”—Davy Perez (Star Trek: Strange New Worlds)
- Network. “Get the word out—it doesn't matter if it's been two years or two months. Reach out to anyone and everyone you've made a connection with. You never know when an old friend/contact will hear about a job you might be perfect for, but they won't be thinking of you if they haven't heard from you in a while. Be polite. Be respectful. And be bold.”—Christina Walker (The Flash)
- Make a personal connection. “In staffing meetings, remember to highlight how you connect personally with the material or a specific character. Your boss wants you to be able to draw from your own life experiences.”—Alyssa Lane and Alex Sherman (Teenage Bounty Hunters)
- Build a varied portfolio of writing samples. “Think about all the shows you would love to write on, and consider what writing samples you would send to them. If you have gaps in your portfolio, start working on a new writing sample. Be like Hamilton—write your way into your next gig! BONUS: Having more samples also makes you more attractive to agents and managers, so it’s a win-win.”—Teresa Huang (MacGyver)
- Give yourself a break! This piece of advice was ubiquitous. Don’t take rejection personally. It’s ok to feel frustrated and overwhelmed. It’s not ok to give up. Keep writing, keep networking, and persist.
Remember, the WGA Platform is a powerful resource to help you network, research, and put your best foot forward. Members can use the TV Development Project Tracker to stay on top of projects being developed and produced. Sort by most recent to see the latest projects, or sort by scripts and start reading. Keep your profile up to date and ready for staffing by filling out your availability, your experience, and attaching writing samples.
Have a staffing tip you want to share? Let us know by emailing Connect.