Ever since I was a kid, I loved to act. I used to put on plays in the basement of my childhood home and by “put on”, I mean I was the Director, Actor, Producer, Costume Designer, Production Assistant, you name it. This was a stage play, but when a camcorder was involved, I guess you could say I was the Director of Photography, but I think my skills might have been lacking in that department at that age. Although my father was more qualified, I handed that role over hesitantly as he knew nothing about the arts and this “show” (who are we kidding, all of them) was destined for Hollywood.
I’ll skip over the boring stuff (college) and get to the real action: getting into the biz. I somehow did everything backwards (I’ve never been one for traditions). Usually one starts as a Production Assistant working on set (or at an agency) and climbing up to a Producer or a Director, or whatever executive level position they’d like to be, I, however, found myself a Producer on my second job, winging it. Earlier on in my career, I had the good fortune of landing a job as an Executive Producer on an independent film. I half knew what I was doing from being on my first set as a Production Coordinator, and from doing copious amounts of research on what a Producer actually does. This job was one of the best learning experiences. It was like going to film school. You couldn’t teach this in a classroom. This propelled me into being able to option scripts and develop projects in house. I was finally able to “comfortably” call up agents and negotiate actors contracts. They don’t teach you that in school either, sheesh.
Learning to properly put together a budget for an independent film, SAG paperwork, making a few more mistakes along the way (whoever says they don’t make any mistakes in this business is a LIAR), all led to creating the reality series “Atlanta’s a Drag”. I had dealt with films in festivals and the process of distribution, but television was a completely different process. So here I was, using my knowledge of film, applying it to TV, putting my big girl pants on, and winging it (again).
A lot of this business is being prepared to go with the flow. Things change all the time. Schedules change, actors drop out, budgets change and you have to be prepared. I have re-negotiated contracts, re-worked budgets, sat with editors to redo scenes many times, and I’d do it all over again.
As time went on, I took more and more jobs, of all different sizes. Continued to put more tools in my tool bag so to speak. Anyone who is good at their job continues to learn and grow throughout their career. As I was working hard being a Producer and developing these stories, it reminded me of childhood and what I used to create in the basement.
As a kid, not only did I act out those bomb ass plays and made for TV movies, but I wrote a lot. Some “scripts” we’ll call them, but also journaling, short stories, and narrative types. I got away from it in college, but really started missing it when I would be reading other inspiring scripts.
In 2014, I went through a pretty tough divorce. I took to journaling and writing as my outlet. I didn’t expect this dramatic, emotional (Dr. Phil yo’ girl here) experience to inspire me to write a comedic memoir, “Female. Likes Cheese. Comes with Dog: Stories about Divorce, Dating & Saying I Do.” This released in February 2020. It was, of course, the worst timing. Right before the coronavirus lockdown. But this led me to keep writing and… keep thinking.
Although, I didn’t want to stop Producing, was this a sign that I should focus more on writing opportunities? Sure enough, this past year, the direction as an author and writer has presented itself in a very clear light. I’ve decided to focus on other media outlets that I’ve had the pleasure of writing for as well as a second book. I’m still a Producer and will still take jobs that I find valuable and important because I love film and TV, but I believe I bring a lot to the table as a comedic writer.
I’ll continue to wing it and go with the flow in this journey of entertainment. I love to make people laugh through relatable stories and look forward to sharing my future work.
Learn more about Lauren on her website. You can find her book on her site and Amazon.