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3 Old School Exercises to Inspire & Improve Your Writing

Creativity drives good storytelling. Creativity can weave tales that force us to question our own morality or open our eyes to new possibilities. It’s the magical ingredient that transforms a set of mundane facts into a believable and moving narrative. Good writers can use this creative superpower to hook their reader and share their unique vision. But even the best writers struggle to find their creativity sometimes. As a young writer, I found myself sitting at a blank screen, un…

Announcing Our 4th Annual Comedy Writing Contest

So you think you can dance write comedy?TM Then great! Find out if you really can. Especially if the only people who've told you "you're funny" are small children. Because let's be real, they'll laugh at anything. Just any silly face. Any bad impression. Slinkies. Sure, they're great self-esteem boosters, buy they're terrible gauges for top-notch comedy content. Stop trusting this--> And enter Stage 32's 4th Annual Comedy Writing Contest. Now open for submissions! Whether you&rsqu…

That Still, Small Voice: How Ann Dowd Arrived at Stardom in her 50's

My favorite posts here on Stage 32 are the ones that inspire we creatives, actors, and filmmakers in the "second act" of our lives. Because, let's face it, we live in a culture that holds high the accolades and beauty of young, successful men and women in the industry. Of course we can see now that all of that is changing. Slowly. Actress and screenwriter Paula Jean Hixon made that clear in her comedic short film, "Are You My Mommy," which takes a look at how women of a "certain age" a…

Richard Botto Answers: How Do I Get in Front of Screenwriting Managers and Agents to Pitch?

The dream of a writer is to get his or her script in front of the right people. To pitch it with perfection to the very network that we know would swoon over our story. But how do we writer's get into those rooms? How do we find our way to the table to share our brilliant story? Richard "RB" Botto, our fearless leader and CEO at Stage 32, dives into three ways we can get in front of managers and agents. Here's a hint: 1) Only enter contests that get you into rooms.2) Go to events as of…

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5 Writers Share How They Broke Into The Industry

There is no one way to break into writing for TV. Or feature films. We know this. What we don't know, are the unique stories behind the writer's who have made it to Hollywood. Each writer's path is different. But one thing is for sure; They didn't get there without a strong desire for their work and a willingness to bust their butts.   Ben Cory Jones is the Showrunner and Executive Producer of the upcoming BET comedy series, Boomerang. Rebecca Norris, a Stage 32 member, producer…

Indie Self-Producing: Making it Happen

“Don't ever let someone tell you, you can't do something. Not even me. You got a dream, you got to protect it. People can’t do something themselves, they want to tell you you can’t do it. You want something, go get it. Period.” --The Pursuit of Happyness   Will Smith in The Pursuit of Happyness   For many of us, the excitement surrounding the possibility of being in film, or making a film, ends up being tempered by the waiting, the repeated “tr…

Coffee & Content - Screenwriting Tips from Hollywood Professionals & How to Start an Audition Speech

Happy Sunday to all.  Let's hit the ground running today with some strong coffee and even stronger content. First up this time around, from our friends at Variety, some of the hottest screenwriters in the business offer their advice on how to break in and stay in the industry. Next, acclaimed New York acting coach, John Windsor-Cunningham, offers his advice on how to grab the auditioner's or audience's attention with the very first line you say. As always, I ask that you take a m…

From The Vault: 9 Things You Should Never Say to a Writer

In the spirit of having fun, I thought I would pull out an oldie but a goodie blog post from the vault of my own archives. I wrote it after I had a conversation with another writer about the different things people say to us or ask us when we tell them what we do. (He's a screenwriter as well.) I mean, this is a normal question, right? You start yapping with someone and sooner or later they ask, "So what do you do for a living?" When I tell people I'm an actor and writer, they're not…

Got Grants? Here's a List to Help You With Film Funding in 2019

You need greenbacks.Cash.Money. Just a bit more to help you get your production off the ground. Our friends at No Film School compiled a list of grants you just may qualify for. Most of them are for documentaries, but keep digging. You just might find what you need. For the Full List Click Here: A Massive List of Winter 2019 Grants All Filmmakers Should Know About   Like this blog post? Please share it on social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, email etc) by using socia…

November Write Club: Onward

It is with heartfelt gratitude and appreciation that I thank each and every one of you who accepted and embraced our 30-day endeavor, who supported us, and who encouraged our fellow writers along the way. It has been a true pleasure. This November exercise could not have happened without the incredible support from the entire Stage 32 team—much love and thanks to each of them as well, with special thanks to Allen Roughton and Nick Assunto for leading the charge. Through our colle…

Worldwide Premiere of the 3rd Annual Stage 32 Short Film Program

I am honored to present to you the worldwide premiere of the 3rd Annual Stage 32 Short Film Program. This program was curated by Stage 32 and the incredible industry executives (including Oscar winners, producers, managers and development executives) who judged our Short Film Contest. We are featuring 7 amazing filmmakers (from 4 countries) all with bright futures ahead. This is the same program that played at the 2018 Hollyshorts Film Festival and the 2018 Raindance Film Festival. The f…

An Emmy is an Emmy is an Emmy

Let me start with a disclaimer. Any advice I give is worth just what you pay for it. What do I know? I drive a 15-year old pickup and my last royalty check was twelve dollars. But during a tumultuous advertising career I won more than 200 awards. I have enough chrome and lucite to make a couple of Buicks, some of which were even meaningful. Like the one for a literacy campaign. That award got me a presidential citation. (Maybe Carter or Lyndon or one of those.) I wasn't big on politics.…

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