Kelly Anelons’s LA Adventures – Part II

In Fall 2012, fearless scribe Kelly Anelons ventured out to Los Angeles for a series of industry meetings. With a clear goal of expanding her network and deepening her relationship with existing contacts, Kelly spent a week in Los Angeles taking meetings and going to events. Here is the second installment of her adventure:

As I run the mile and a half from my hotel to the L.A. cafe where I’ll brunch with an award-winning writer/director, I feel like the bum in “Pretty Woman”. He wandered the streets of Hollywood yelling, “Everybody’s got a dream! What’s your dream?” Well, I’ve got a big dream and I’ll spent the next seven days getting advice from professional screenwriters and directors on how to make it come true. I have a list of questions to ask and a business plan to follow.

Waiting anxiously on the curb for the greenlight, I am a little worried, am I prepared enough.

Weeks before I arrived in L.A., Lee and I laid out a simple but effective plan of attack. I had two new high concept scripts and a pitch for what will be the most marketable screenplay in my portfolio once it’s finished. I was excited and optimistic.

Now at the midpoint of this expedition, I’m exhausted and pragmatic. My new contacts have gifted me with insider advice, firsthand anecdotes of A-list antics, and offers to pass my scripts on to their agents. I meet with Lee several times to review my progress and exploit unexpected opportunities. She’s my coach and confessor, offering support and listening to my frequently funny faux-pas.

Lee takes me along as her guest to a screenwriting event, where I unexpectedly catch up with two more of my mentors, producer/script consultant Barri Evins and TV writing coach Ellen Sandler. Both of these incredibly skilled women have improved the scripts in my portfolio, as well as sharpened my business skills. Then, Lee introduces me to Steve Faber, writer of the hysterical “Wedding Crashers”. He sits on a panel dispensing story advice to a mesmerized audience of newbie writers. Renegade screenwriter Dwayne Smith then floors the crowd with his opening statement. He leans forward, jabs his finger at us and says, “Nobody is waiting for your script.” From my seat, I watch about fifty sets of shoulders slump. I empathize with them and hear the voice of that Hollywood bum again. Isn’t this the very thing I’m worried about? What’s the point of my being here? When will I book big management meetings? What’s the point of my being here? How will I achieve my dream?

The writers all around me scribble nonstop in their notebooks and tap away on their laptops. And that’s when I realize…I don’t belong in the newbie crowd anymore. Despite my doubt and distance from Hollywood, I have made huge progress. I have private email addresses for incredible directors, producers, writers and managers at some of the industry’s most successful companies. My new scripts, including that hot pitch, have already been requested by pro readers. Most importantly, I have that business plan, which changes with every opportunity I find, each step getting me closer and closer to achieving my dream.