KD Farris

KD Farris

Screenwriter and Script Consultant

Santa Barbara, California

Member Since:
January 2019
Last online:
> 2 weeks ago
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About KD

Writing is in my nature and comes easily to me. The silver screen is my first love, so writing and film have always gone hand in hand. Interestingly, I find screenwriting to be both the most difficult craft I’ve ever cultivated and also the most fulfilling. In screenwriting, I have a definite voice.

Growing up in the 1960s and ‘70s in Hawaii and on the East Coast, I was always going to the movies with my father. He saw every new release, and that meant that I did too. To Dad, a movie was a movie. He didn’t even know the meaning of R-rated. My mother, on the other hand was an avid Classics fan. We watched 30’s and 40’s films over and again. The list of movies I watched each month was well into the double digits. Consequently, I developed a passion for film at a very young age. It became my second language.

Along with this incredible exposure to film, I was also introduced to musicals, plays, ballets, and dance performances. My wonderful great aunt—who had been a dancer in the 1930s and ‘40s—took me to see everything on and off Broadway. We saw it all.

When I got into my teens, I saw every foreign film in U.S. release. By my twenties, I was devouring documentaries. Around that same time, I began mapping out remakes of classic films like Miracle on 42nd Street, Here Comes Mr. Jordon, and Holiday. I also spent a lot of time reading plays, not yet knowing how to get my hands on screenplays.

I had dreams of becoming a screenwriter and was California bound. But when I came to the proverbial fork in the road, I pursued a different path. I began a career as a bodyworker, and did an apprenticeship with a psychic healer, as well.

The first time I touched someone in my role as a bodyworker was a revelation. I quickly discovered that I had an innate ability to lay hands on a client and sense their emotional and mental issues. As a kid, I had been a frustrated musician. Now, I realized that the instrument I play is actually the human body.

At the time, it was customary for a bodyworker to pursue a course of study in anatomy, physiology, and kinesiology. I did that but found it limiting. It simply did not match up with what I was learning at the experiential level. I observed that my clients’ bodies did not change unless we were also talking through what was happening with them.

I realized that I needed to treat the whole person. This led me to develop my own artistic and unique therapy model. My work with my clients shifted to address the physiological, emotional, and psychological levels. I supported clients in expanding their creative and artist capacities as well as creating better lives by gaining a better understanding of themselves.

In my forties, I returned to school and got my Ph.D. in Depth Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute in Southern California. I knew that a degree would allow me to operate in the mainstream. I also knew that it would validate my unique practice model and enable me to better support myself—and my writing. I found congruence between my writing life and my work life by choosing as my livelihood a career that is also story oriented.

As part of my creative dissertation, I wrote a screenplay on liminal space. In the decades prior to getting my degree, I had continued to write while building my bodywork and therapy practice. In the mid-1990s, I participated in the UCLA Extension program for Screenwriting, which proved very fruitful for me . In 2000, I authored my first book, MESHE HESHE MISON & ORBIT: What My Grandmother Taught Me About the Universe. In the book, I introduce my own little model of the universe. I’m currently working on its adaptation. In 2015, I re-entered UCLA Extension's screenwriting program, doing both its basic and pro-series with great satisfaction.

My therapy practice grew organically and I became a successful therapist. I work primarily with people in transition, utilizing experiences with Liminal Space, Buddhist Psychology, and Jungian Therapy.

I had first discovered Carl Jung in my twenties, while living in Colorado. This discovery would have a powerful impact on both my career as a therapist and my writing life. As my therapy career developed, my initial interest in Jung developed into a professional passion for all things Jungian and a keen understanding of Archetypes, Imaginal Spaces, and the mechanics of motivation and behavior. You’ll see this reflected in my writing.

My screenwriting approach is descriptive and thematic, with recurring themes of childhood innocence, magical realism, and liminal space. I write from what I know and mix that up with flights of fancy. I have a very fertile imagination!

Having reached a point in life where my therapy career is solid and thriving, I have made a commitment to pursue my writing with greater focus and dedication. For me, writing is redemptive for me and at this stage of life, it brings more joy and fulfillment than any other endeavor. Lucky me!

Unique traits: Ph. in Depth Psychology (think Carl Jung & Joseph Campbell)

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