Reasons You Should Hire Me for Your TV Drama Series

Working as a writer on a dramatic series was a dream that belonged to a teenage girl who hoped and wished. I now know without hesitation that the dream is not only possible but probable. It’ll take hard work – work that I’m ready, willing, and able to manage…I would love to gain insight from those currently in the Dramatic Writing profession. Understanding the paths they took may help guide me along my own.  – Day 31 of the Artistic Spirit Pledge: DRAMATIC WRITING

I write characters better than I sketch them!
I write characters better than I sketch them!
  1. DEDICATION: It takes a lot of hard work, time, energy, and talented artists (in front of and behind the camera) to bring a TV series to the screen each week. You only need read the end credits to see how many people are working together, united for a common goal. My passion and respect for the TV drama industry makes me a valuable asset to the team, whether you hire me to edit a script for consistency, answer telephones, or run errands for a producer.  I seek to develop my craft and learn from those whose expertise shines in the work they create.
  2. COMPLEX CHARACTERS: The characters I create and those I root for on a dramatic series must have inner turmoil on some level. I strive to develop situations where the labels of “protagonist” and “antagonist” no longer apply. It is through conflict exploration both internal and external that the characters develop, thus adding depth and complexity to the entire canvas.
  3. DIALOGUE: When I start a new story, it’s the dialogue that moves it forward. I can write idea after idea about what’s going to happen, but once the characters start conversing, the story takes on a life all its own. I find it not only exciting but creatively stimulating to create dialogue for each character that gives them a unique voice.
  4. TARGET MARKET:  I’ve spent most of my adult life utilizing my skill sets in programs, workshops, or completed writings that target teenagers and young adults.  With two decades of volunteer involvement in youth-oriented programs, I have a keen insight into their struggles, hopes, and goals. This understanding led me to write an 80,000 word Young Adult fantasy novel, which follows a young woman on her journey of individuality through family responsibility.
  5. GENEALOGY: I hated history, truly I did. However, when I realized that the ones who came before me experienced the same range of emotions (though the specifics differed) as I do, I saw them with renewed focus. We aren’t simply names and faces – we each have a story to tell.  My ancestors are complex characters in their own life story, and through genealogy research, I help create the first draft.
  6. APPRECIATION: The profound respect, admiration, and appreciation I have for the TV drama industry continues to inspire me on a daily basis. I love watching behind-the-scenes videos, reading interviews from Executive Producers and Show Runners, and discussing the episodes with viewers who share in my excitement. I hold this industry in high regard while also being able to look at it objectively.

I look forward to discussing my qualifications with you in greater detail. Please email me directly at kdeenywriter@yahoo.com.

Best wishes,
Kelly Deeny

TV Moments That Moved Me to Tears: ‘ONE LIFE TO LIVE’

Without further ado, the top TV Moment That Moved Me to Tears is…

This moment deserves a little photo creativity!
This moment deserves a little photo creativity!

#1 – MEGAN GORDON (One Life to Live, ABC Network):  When Megan died from the effects of lupus in 1992 it left an impression on me that’s lasted twenty-three years. I saw and appreciated what brave storytelling and brilliant acting could do.

BACKSTORY

Megan burst onto the scene, full of life, energy, and confidence. She quickly became one of my favorite characters, thanks in large part to her portrayer – Jessica Tuck. As sometimes occurs in the interesting world of the soap opera, Megan was revealed as the long-lost daughter to the show’s beloved matriarch – Viki Buchanan. This connected a popular character to an established one, only intensifying Megan’s role in the fictional town of “Llanview, Pennsylvania”.

Despite receiving a kidney from her mother, Megan’s body could no longer hold off the damage lupus had done. I remember so vividly the moment I first cried during this storyline: Megan’s sister, Sarah, sat at her bedside and tried to remain happy and positive. The two acknowledged the reality of the situation and said a tearful goodbye. From there, the tears continued as she said goodbye to her younger siblings, former flames, and newly-found mother. I thought about my own siblings, parents, and loved ones. How would I react in that situation? Reflecting upon those ideas made the storyline all the more impactful.

Her missing husband (held captive and found just in time) arrived to share some final tender moments with his ailing wife. Jake helped Megan to the hospital room window to show her their wedding tree he had transplanted the hospital lawn for her. Attached to the branches were heart-shaped paper ornaments, tied by ribbons, blowing in the wind.  She held one of the hearts that he gave to her in the hospital room and as Jake spoke about the future, with beautiful music swelling, the paper heart fell from her hand and her body went limp.

LASTING IMPRESSION

It was the first time I recall crying as a result of a fictional character’s death.  This storyline remains etched in my memory, and I have lasting respect for the writing team, directors, actors, and music supervisors who created so many moments of television excellence.  One Life to Live introduced us to memorable characters, educated us about social issues, and created a world that viewers wanted to visit Monday through Friday.

Though gone from the world of daytime dramas, OLTL will live on through the fans who loved it and the actors who graced the screen.

*DISCLAIMER: No endorsement by anyone associated with One Life to Live, its parent company, affiliates, or artists implied!*

TV Moments That Moved Me to Tears: ‘ANGEL’

We’re so close to revealing the top moment! The runner-up is…

Angel

#2 – FRED (Angel, S5 Ep15, “A Hole in the World”): When Joss Whedon kills off one of his characters, it’s not just for the ‘hellmouth’ of it nor is it pretty.

The gifted writer/producer/director always introduces us to a wide variety of characters: rebels, villains, and flawed heroes/heroines. Then there were the ones that held them all together: Willow in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Kaylee in Firefly, and Fred in Angel. Putting any of those three in dangerous situations upped the ante for the rest of the characters and tugged on the viewer’s emotions.

Portrayed to perfection by Amy Acker, Winifred Fred’ Burkle became the heart, soul, and innocence of the team.  A character full of so much heart, joy, intelligence, and compassion added balance amidst the tormented souls that surrounded her.  From the moment she was introduced on the show, Fred’s journey was one we wanted to follow. Over the course of the next three years we watched her come into her own and flourish. So, when Fred died in the arms of the man she loved I wept along with the characters. “No, not Fred.  She can’t die,” I thought.  “She’s too important.” I didn’t have long to mourn the loss of such a beloved character, because in true Joss fashion, Fred’s death opened a portal (wink, wink) to a new character. Fred’s spirit ceased to exist and Illyria took over, thus, providing Amy a new acting challenge and giving the show added conflict. We lost Fred but still had Amy, and she continued to impress.

This TV moment ranks high on my list not only because Fred is one of my favorite TV characters, but because of the episode as a whole. Written and directed by Joss Whedon, “A Hole in the World” paid tribute to a character we all came to love and admire. As her friends rushed to find a way to save her, we felt the fear that they wouldn’t be able to and the disappointment in realizing that they couldn’t. This stunning hour of television remains embedded in my memory due to the talents of those in front of and behind the camera.

Dramatic television series can inspire, motivate, educate, and empower. However, they also have the ability to reach us on an emotional level. They do so by creating characters we enjoy watching, and rooting for, only to take them on journeys that make us reflect on our own lives and choices. While I’ve cried many a time during TV shows, there are five TV moments that not only had me sobbing like a baby but impressed me on a creative level. 

*DISCLAIMER: No endorsement by anyone associated with Angel, its parent company, affiliates, sponsors, or artists implied!*

TV Moments That Moved Me to Tears: ‘GENERAL HOSPITAL’

The next item on our countdown is…General Hospital  (ABC Network)

Dramatic television series can inspire, motivate, educate, and empower. However, they also have the ability to reach us on an emotional level. They do so by creating characters we enjoy watching, and rooting for, only to take them on journeys that make us reflect on our own lives and choices. While I’ve cried many a time during TV shows, there are five TV moments that not only had me sobbing like a baby but impressed me on a creative level. 

General Hospital

#3 – ZANDER SMITH (General Hospital, portrayed the role from 2000-2004): I’m accustomed to characters dying on daytime dramas; after all, I’ve been watching them for over thirty years. Given the numerous and impactful deaths that occurred on General Hospital over its five decades on the air, Zander’s death may seem an odd choice for this list. Emotional storylines like B.J.’s death in 1994 and Stone’s a year later changed the canvas of the show. I cried along with the characters and applauded the artistic choices. As emotional as those deaths were for the other characters, the show, and the viewers, Zander’s death affected me for a much different reason.

Behind-the-scenes changes (i.e. head writers, executive producers, network reorganization) affect the daytime dramas too, sometimes more significantly and not always in ways that do justice to the show, the characters, or the gifted actors. The hard-working teams that bring daytime dramas to the screen five days a week have responsibilities that many of us can’t fathom. I respect the art form and those involved, and write this from a viewer’s perspective.  To clean the slate, or erase storyline choices, interesting yet complex characters get used as scapegoats. Their actions become unstable and very quickly shift to dangerous. From my perspective, they were vilified in order to wrap a storyline and find a character on which to lay blame. Within a year’s time, General Hospital killed off three such characters: Stefan, A.J., and Zander.

Zander’s arrival may not have intended to prompt such passionate reaction from the viewers, but the on-screen chemistry and acting prowess of Amber Tamblyn (Emily) and Chad Brannon (Zander) created a relationship that we wanted to see develop. And that it most certainly did. When Amber left the show and Chad remain, this beloved on-screen twosome had a bittersweet goodbye that showcased the growth of each character and the beautiful love story that developed over time. Emily was recast some time later and the relationship changed. Zander quickly became the “not-as-popular” love interest for new Emily and his character started making choices that were unusual, confusing, and head-scratching. Ultimately, they wrote him into a corner, having him hold Emily hostage (a cyclical choice, as that’s how their storyline began) only then to be gunned down by the police. I knew it was coming, yet I sobbed uncontrollably.  I cried over the death of a character I enjoyed watching, the frustration over storyline choices that did a disservice to the show, and for all the character development opportunities missed.

*DISCLAIMER: No endorsement by anyone associated with General Hospital, its parent company, affiliates, sponsors, or artists implied!*

TV Moments That Moved Me To Tears: ‘THE VAMPIRE DIARIES’

Next up on our list…The Vampire Diaries (The CW Network)

Dramatic television series can inspire, motivate, educate, and empower. However, they also have the ability to reach us on an emotional level. They do so by creating characters we enjoy watching, and rooting for, only to take them on journeys that make us reflect on our own lives and choices. While I’ve cried many a time during TV shows, there are five TV moments that not only had me sobbing like a baby but impressed me on a creative level. 

Moment 4

#4 – AUNT JENNA (The Vampire Diaries, S2 EP21 “The Sun Also Rises”):

While binge-watching The Vampire Diaries, I realized very quickly that the writers on this drama series knew how to create strong, conflicted, multi-layered characters. Rooting for and against a character frequently interchanged and you never knew when the tables would turn. Case in point…

After the death of her parents, Elena Gilbert’s family consisted of her brother, Jeremy, and her Aunt Jenna. Elena did all she could to keep her loved ones protected from the danger, violence, and supernatural beings that infiltrated their lives. While Jeremy encountered the danger early on, Jenna remained an outsider to the reality of witches, werewolves, and vampires. The relationship between Jenna and Elena became one of my favorites, as you watched the elder try to mentor, guide, and parent the younger though they weren’t far apart in age.

Putting either of Elena’s family members in danger immediately raised the emotional stakes for the show’s heroine.  Losing either of them would be a life-changing moment for Elena. So, when Jenna’s journey came to an end, I knew the stakes had changed.  Elena stood helpless as her aunt, who only recently discovered the truth about her supernatural community, turned from human to vampire. Elena offered comfort to her aunt in those last final moments, and in an instant, the fictional town of Mystic Falls was changed.  It was a moment I didn’t expect, and the sobs escaped.  I understood how painful this death was for Elena, yet it was even more emotional given that Jenna’s final act was to protect her niece as much as she could, trying to thwart the plan that required Elena’s death.

I applaud Nina Dobrev (Elena) and Sara Canning (Jenna) for their hauntingly beautiful work. They embodied the essence of not only their individual characters but the importance of that relationship.  It truly was a stunning scene that won’t soon be forgotten!

The Vampire Diaries writers excel where others do not by getting us to care for characters we love and those we love to hate. We know that no character on the show is safe, but we go along for the ride each week.

*DISCLAIMER: No endorsement by anyone associated with The Vampire Diaries, its parent company, affiliates, sponsors, or artists implied!*

TV Moments That Moved Me to Tears: ‘REVENGE’

Dramatic television series can inspire, motivate, educate, and empower. However, they also have the ability to reach us on an emotional level. They do so by creating characters we enjoy watching, and rooting for, only to take them on journeys that make us reflect on our own lives and choices. While I’ve cried many a time during TV shows, there are five TV moments that not only had me sobbing like a baby but impressed me on a creative level.

First up…REVENGE (ABC Network)

TV Moment 5

AMANDA CLARKE/EMILY THORNE (Revenge, S2 EP14, “Sacrifice”): When two women, connected through shared juvenile experience, swap identities, neither one’s life is the same.

Years after her beloved father is framed for a crime he didn’t commit and ripped from her young life, Amanda Clarke embarks on a plan of retribution. She enlists the help of fellow juvie inmate (Emily Thorne), though their relationship is fractured, and the two start their lives anew.  Not always liking one another, or trusting the other, Amanda Clarke and Emily Thorne ultimately formed a familial bond; one that the show’s protagonist came to appreciate as her “sister” lay dying in her arms. The woman who first answered to the name Amanda wept at realizing her long-time friend sacrificed her life for the other’s. When “I’m so sorry” broke out through choked emotion, handled exquisitely by the talented Emily VanCamp, tears ran down my cheeks. The strong, independent, and resilient Emily Thorne cradled her alter ego while I sat on my couch sobbing. I cried because the death affected the main character so tremendously, and I give credit to the writers, to Ms. VanCamp, and her talented co-star (Margarita Levieva) for such a heartfelt moment.  Many more emotional/heartbreaking scenes followed in the past two years, but “Amanda’s” death remains at the forefront of great storytelling, acting, and plot twists.

*DISCLAIMER: No endorsement by anyone associated with Revenge, its parent company, affiliates, sponsors, or artists implied!*

Revenge Season 3 Finale Recap

Season 3 of ABC’s Revenge started with a bang and a splash, keeping our interest the entire season through.  So, it’s no surprise that the finale would not only match the opener but take it to the next level of anticipation and intrigue!

Let’s recap, briefly, because there’s a great deal we need to discuss:

  • David Clarke was framed for a crime he didn’t commit
  • He was framed by Conrad and Victoria Grayson
  • David’s 9-year-old daughter Amanda was there the night her father was forced to the ground and taken into custody.
  • David Clarke died while in prison
  • Amanda Clarke, now grown, returns to the Hamptons as Emily Thorne, moving in next door to the Graysons.  Her plan – seek revenge for those who framed her father.
  • She married Conrad and Victoria’s son, Daniel, only to be intentionally shot by him on their wedding night (long story involving a fake pregnancy, alcohol, and a subplot about an ex-girlfriend).
  • Along the way, Emily/Amanda was helped by a handsome trio – David’s protegé (Nolan Ross), another revenge-seeker due to the David Clarke set-up scheme (Aiden Mathis), and her childhood sweetheart who only learned of her true identity during last year’s jaw-dropping season finale (Jack Porter).

WARNING: Spoiler alert!  Spoiler alert!  If you are not up to date on the last two episodes of Season 3, be forewarned that spoilers will follow.  Proceed at your own entertainment “peril”!

 

When we last left the Hamptons, Victoria had figured out that Emily was not all she claimed, Emily and her trio of helpers successfully trapped Conrad into admitting his long list of crimes and he was arrested, Charlotte Grayson Clarke (product of Victoria and David’s affair) finally opened her eyes, metaphorically speaking.  Oh, and Jack informed Emily that there’s a teensy-weensy possibility that David’s still alive.  And that brings us to tonight’s phenomenal season finale…

An entire hour of twists and turns, all lead up to a final few minutes that set an entirely new game in motion.  In summary, Victoria killed Aiden (I sobbed), Charlotte realized Jack was the “kidnapper” (darn it), and Emily had Victoria hospitalized in a mental institution (well played, Ms. Thorne).  Oh, wait…did I forget something – or someone?  A very much alive David Clarke climbed out of that van and revealed himself to a flabbergasted Conrad.  That is, right before David stabbed his former employer and drove away.  This sets up a multitude of directions for the show to take when it returns in the fall.  And I, for one, can’t wait!!  When does the full Season 3 DVD set come out, so I can watch them again? 🙂

Television programs receive my high praise when they keep my interest each week.  They hook me in with intriguing characters and surprising plot twists that ultimately create an added level of dimension to the story and the players.  Revenge is one such television drama series.  I’ve seen every episode from the pilot on through and look forward to seeing what happens next!

TV insights: The “Shipping” Industry

That ship has sailed! Fans of TV romantic pairings are quite familiar with the term “ship” for reasons that differ greatly from what may be your understanding of the word.  They champion a certain pairing, send letters, start campaigns, and write post after post after post in “support” of the fictional coupling that moved them more than others.

California coast

While I acknowledge there are certain fictional couples that I root for more than others, I don’t get as passionately involved (pun intended) as my fellow “shippers.”  I sit back, watch the show, read the fan postings and either roll my eyes or chuckle at some of the absurd remarks.  I’ve spent many years observing, and sometimes partaking in, the entertainment “shipping” industry. From all my years of observation, I’ve come to the conclusion that “shippers” fall into three categories:  Smooth Sailing, Bumpy Ride, or Lost at Sea.

  • SMOOTH SAILING:  You know they’re going to pair up one character with another.  You know it’s coming!  It makes perfect sense from a story purpose and character development.  It’ll add intrigue, conflict, and perhaps set the pairing on a journey all their own.  You enjoy the characters on an individual level but when they are in a scene together, the chemistry is palpable.  You may follow a website dedicated to the pairing or comment to a blog when the writer is blatantly disrespectful, but you wouldn’t take the time or effort to bombard head writers or actors with postcards, gifts, or letters.
  • BUMPY RIDE:  Hold on tight now, because you’re in for quite a ride when your favorite TV pairing hits a story pothole.  “They broke them up?!  Noooooo!!!!!”  Okay, I’ll admit it; I’ve uttered those very words a few times.  But that’s only because the Powers-That-Be were wrong.  Sarcasm aside, passengers on the “Bumpy Ride” ship hold on for dear life while forging friendships with others dealing with the same ups and downs of the journey.  They are passionate, determined, but never prone to cruelty just to make their point.
  • LOST AT SEA:  Some “shippers” have left port and are so far out to sea that they’re on their own deserted island.  They’ve lost the know-how of communicating with others.  They are always right.  Their wants and needs supersede anyone else’s.  So, if they believe that the TV couple they “love” is getting the shaft, they come out claws sharpened and tongues wagging.  They slash at you, pounce on you, and couldn’t care less if they stepped over you just to achieve the goal they deem to be of more value than yours.  They use insults, hurl accusations, and misquote everyone associated with the show if that will prove their point.  They twist words and write with tunnel vision.  They are so far out to sea that they wouldn’t see the buoy if it was floating right in front of them.

Whether you are, or know someone who is, part of the 3 “shipping” groups, don’t worry…there’s plenty of others out there who are on the same boat!

General-ly Speaking: Why Claire Labine and Wendy Riche Inspire Me

Writers, executive producers, directors.  Individuals whose skills, talents, and artistry are frequently overlooked by the general public, yet without them our favorite films and television programs would never exist for us to adore.  Actors and actresses graced my screen, big and small, mesmerizing me with their talent.  Most of the time, I didn’t care one bit about who directed the episode or what an executive producer did.  I was only concerned with what was on my screen.  Twenty years ago, I started caring about those who worked behind the scenes.  My mind opened and my creativity flourished thanks to two exceptionally gifted women who helped bring my favorite daytime drama series to excellence.

In the early 1990’s, General Hospital excelled in not only the daytime drama medium but throughout all of television.  The writing was superb, the acting brilliant and the storylines heart wrenching and uplifting at the same time.  During this time, the teenage me was intrigued to learn more about those who worked behind the scenes.  Who wrote the storylines and dialogue?  Who was making the decisions that created such excellent television programming?

As head writer, Claire Labine took GH and its characters to emotional levels that left the viewers exploring their own lives.  If we didn’t care about the characters, then why should we care about what happened to them?  With Claire and her writing team, GH viewers knew that we’d be in for a combination of beautiful everyday moments between friends (“Lois” and “Brenda” or “Brenda” and “Robin”) or in-depth serious issues (“Maxie” gets “B.J.’s” heart / “Stone’s” death and “Robin’s” H.I.V. diagnosis).  When these characters cried, I cried.  When they examined their own prejudices, I re-examined by perspective on important issues.

During my Media and Society class in college, I had to pick someone or something that made a substantial impact on media.  I chose Ms. Wendy Riche, the Executive Producer of General Hospital at the time.  “How many of you know who {insert well-known primetime series mogul} is?”  All hands went up.  “Now, how many of you have heard of Wendy Riche.”  The latter question prompted only a few raised hands.  I proceeded to discuss the impact that GH had at the time, the ground-breaking issues and critical praise it received.  An excellent television program is deemed so, in my opinion, only if each part blends to create an exquisite piece of entertainment.  Each and every aspect of General Hospital excelled, allowing none to supersede another.  Writing, acting, editing, music selection, cinematography, etc…all played a part to bring about a finished work that deserved the critical and viewer appreciation it received.  Without an Executive Producer who values the medium and seeks to help it flourish, General Hospital would not have been the brilliant drama series it came to be.  And I attribute its brilliance to Wendy Riche – a woman I still hold a great deal of admiration and respect for twenty years later.

Both of these women showed me through their craft that high quality and artistic passion are not mutually exclusive.  I respect them for not only the work they created but the evident love of industry.  As a fan of all things entertainment and a writer of various genres, my artistic career would be one step closer to fulfillment with an opportunity to work with either Claire Labine or Wendy Riche.  Perhaps once my novel is complete, Claire will write the screenplay and Wendy will produce the film.  A girl can dream!!

*SIDENOTE:  I wrote one of my first fan letters to Ms. Riche in the mid-90’s and was elated to receive a postcard back.  I kept that card tacked upon on my inspiration board and thankfully it was part of the collection of items that were spared in my apartment fire earlier this year.*

The Envious Queen V

One week from today, Revenge returns to my television line-up…thank goodness!  Last week I posted two blog entries, one for “Emily/Amanda” and one for “Charlotte.”  Who better to round out this creative writing venture with than the matriarch herself – “Victoria”.

Cameo pendant with accent beads
Cameo pendant with accent beads

Representative of the Grayson matriarch’s spitfire personality and protective yet manipulative inclinations, I created a necklace design that’s a blend of royal violets and emerald-green crystals.  Dubbed “Queen Victoria” by the show’s writers and fans, I choose a cameo pendant symbolizing elegance, class, and high-society.  Plus, using a Victorian-style pendant was too perfect to pass up.

“Victoria Grayson” rules her world with fervor, determination, and ultimately a belief that she’s protecting her children.  Her intentions may be good, but her methods cause mayhem and tragedy.  Deep down, despite her faults, I am of the opinion that “Victoria’s” motives stem from envy.  Jealousy of those who the love she lost and reflective of the choices she made to get her where she is now.

The Revenge writers created a character that you love to hate while also feeling sympathetic to her situation, though self-inflicted.  “Victoria’s” portrayer, Madeleine Stowe, excels at bringing forth the complexities of her character.  As such, this necklace represents not only “Queen V” but the elegance and talent that Ms. Stowe shares each week.