how to pitch a show in hollywood without pitching a fit


The pep-talk I never posted:

I am a nervous wreck. I don’t know what it is! My mouth is all dry and pasty; my hands are actually quivering; I feel like I can’t focus. I am worried about driving to a studio across town, worried I won’t find it in time, circling, with the damn GPS sending me to the wrong San Vicente, not giving myself enough time to get there on time given traffic and having no sense of how long it will take me to get anywhere! Then I needle at my pitch draft, hoping I leave enough time to print a copy… only shit, I don’t have the right driver to work with this printer. HOLY FUCK. It never ends. And um, I so need to shower, is there time?

I can’t sleep. I toss and turn, rehearsing everything in my mind. Then new thoughts come up, and I think, I’ve got to work that in, I better do it now before I forget.

And how exactly does someone walk TV executives through over a handful of character descriptions, the concept for the show, it’s theme, how it’s personal to you in 20 MINUTES? I’ll tell you how: you rehearse the shit out of it.

The only way to combat nerves is to say, “I’m nervous. So what?” Then, get over it and realize that the antidote to nerves is preparation (not to be confused with perspiration). So keep walking through it until you know it inside out. HELLO, it’s a conversation, it’s material you know and live. And they’ve INVITED YOU to share your creation with them. They want to hear from you. They’re lucky to have the opportunity to hear your genius idea. So when you’re hands start to quiver, give them the finger, and say, “Fuck it. I’m just gonna be myself and tell this story the way I’d tell it to a friend at a bar.” And when you’re done with the pitch, no matter what comes of it, you did it. No, you rocked it. (And even if you do stumble over your words or lose your place, IT JUST DOESN’T MATTER, because ultimately, it’s not about how great of a pitch you can give, it’s about the idea. And that’s one thing you’re dead sure about. You go kick some Hollywood ass Ms. Stephanie Klein!