Bring The Funny: Celebrating Asian Women Writers, Part 1

Bring The Funny: Celebrating Asian Women Writers, Part 1



I am really excited to hear from everybody about getting hired staying hired and moving higher up the food chain so we're gonna start with cherry right now what work were you doing before you became a TV writer and what was the smartest thing you did to become one what I was doing before I became a TV writer was a I was a writers assistant which i think is a smart move and an awesome job for anyone who can get it because you get to learn about how a room works before you actually get in there yourself I will tell this short story because carol loves it do not be offended if when you're hanging out in a writers room whether at your job or some other job if someone decides to show you porn be cool with it and that will work out for you pretty well it's the smartest thing you did to break into because I wasn't offended by it anyway but yeah it yeah yes you knew you were made for coming oh my god yeah Vera I was in school and so I got a job offer which I promptly turned down because I was gonna go do the after college travelling thing so the smartest thing I ever did was cancel that trip and accept the job of being a writer a TV writers assistant so that's what I was doing yeah so there's a theme there so far yeah don't be an idiot don't be an idiot and don't mind porn yeah Erica so I started out as a PA and working in the production office I couldn't get the writers assistant job the one time I interviewed for him but I did then have children which sort of delayed things a little bit but I think the smartest thing I did was just while I was sort of like busy with that I just kept writing and watched a lot of reality TV but then you know wrote shorts and stuff that helped me keep the muscle going right Janny I was a book writer I'd written like three books and one of them had gotten option for TV and I had nothing to do with it at all but I kind of got to see the process and how crazy it was and then I was getting interested in tea and I guess when I came out here I was living in New York City and I came out to LA and I was like see what this is all about first and I had a bunch of meetings but I'm like I still don't understand what's going on about TV so then I was back in New York and I met an executive producer on hope and faith at the time in New York City and I met him at a party and I think the smartest thing I did is like after I met him I was like I got to be that girl who calls the next day and says what could I take you out for coffee and would you please explain the TV industry to me because I just didn't understand enough so I really needed that and so but it's really hard to get up that courage to do that so I called and his assistant was unbelievably nice and she's now a friend of mine and I was like I'm the girlfriend the party at the boss cuz there anyway he would do this and to his credit and I will always thank him for that he did you know we had dinner and he walked me through like what TV was about and then later on he ended up being the one to help me get a job out here so sometimes have to be aggressive it's hard to make that thing especially I think as a woman to to make that call but you gotta just sometimes go for it I think you always have to get forward may so before I became a writer I worked in post-production house doing closed captioning and I did that for four years just typing typing other people's words and I had applied for all the different you know writing programs and writing fellowships and none of them wanted me did like four years oh and I had heard about the Nickelodeon writing fellowship and it was fairly new at the time so I thought you know hey maybe I'll try for this one and I got in and so I think the smartest thing I did was kind of go off the beaten track and you know and do the Nickelodeon one yeah yeah what did you do in your first interview with your first showrunner what do you think you did that got you the gig these kinds of meetings are usually more like they just want to get to know you and know you know whether they would get along with you and want to hang out with you for like 12 hours a day or whatever it's not so much interview isn't they ask you questions it's just kind of like Oh tell me about yourself or whatever um so you just sort of like go and act like a normal person I guess be yourself don't be weird and hopefully if you mesh personality wise then that's a showrunner being that has gone well the thing I know I did right was that I was really excited and I think when you're interviewing with a more experienced showrunner you know and I'd do it now where you just see someone who has all that zest and ideas and you it like is contagious a little bit so I feel like that's a factor now when I meet with show runners or if I'm on the other side of like oh yeah I want to be with that person they seem like they have a ton of ideas my first TV job was writing for Children's Hospital on Adult Swim and they're basically my friends the producers so along the way I've helped out giving notes or feedback or help them punch up stuff and so when I when the show became a TV show they gave me an opportunity based on that I would say is you have to compliment the showrunners writing because you've read their script and I think they really do appreciate that because even though they're a big showrunner and they're you know seemingly successful because they have a show on the air they're still a writer they're still neurotic they're still like you know everyone's a little insecure about their work and they really do appreciate like hearing what you liked about their script and showing general understanding of their characters in their world and then again I agree with what everyone else is saying is like you have to be yourself you have to you know I think it helped that I started late I wasn't already in my mid 30s it's like you have to be sure that you have life experience and be unafraid to just tell any story embarrassing terrible tragic and you know and find the humor in it and I think that really helps I remember when I went in with my first two my first showrunner meeting I was nervous and just I honestly told him how nervous I was and how I'm not great at these meetings and he told me later that's what got me the job because he has a great with people that were you know name-dropping and just you know putting on a little song and dance and he's like I didn't want to be with those people for 1213 hours a day and so I think you know be be who you are and I think that helped I mean I just told you know the story of how I met the person on the bus and you know and that I was willing to come out from New York City and you just share your own life because that really is what it's like in a writers room you really have to be willing to lay it all out there good and bad because that's where all these stories come from so they want that they need that that's the point of the writing room what have you to make yourself invaluable so that you got the next gig well I'm gonna give it tell you something that I got I heard from a showrunner in terms of advice especially when you're starting out at lower level and you're a staff writer you're in the you know cuz I was staff writer staff writer staff writer like forever and then I slowly got to finally on one show I was able to move up but what I was told is like you're not there to fix the problem so being negative never helps when you're at a lower level they want not to you have to be a cheerleader and go team but you're there to like be positive and help the showrunner like he's driving the Train you have to trust in him and believe and no one wants a naysayer so you have to just believe that the higher level people will be able to fix it and just be willing to work and be a team player anybody else I think also like having almost like idea stamina you know it's like that's a great way to say oh yeah keep like not only stay out like you're on the train but also like if someone's your showrunner you don't want the people on your train to get tired and fall off it's like you just like hold on like a hobo kind of thing and like keeps going and that's what I would look for in someone it's like I don't need you to be tired cuz I'm tired you know I need people are gonna give me energy so I think that idea stamina you can't figure something out but it's like I think I keep going and that's helpful in a room everybody's going to want to know this how did you get your agent or manager I got my agent through a writer that I had worked with and I asked him hey can you please send my script over to your agent and I knew that his agent was going to be at the Austin Film Festival which I had a script that was in the final round or something so I sort of set up this you know elaborate trap knowing that this guy I asked my friend to send my script and he did and then over the weekend I figured out where the agent was because he was doing a panel and I went there and I said hey you know I met him and and I said hey I actually my script is on your desk you know one of your your clients sent it over and he's like oh okay well I'll read it Monday and then we went out for drinks and Monday you know he went back and he read and he remembered me and so I set up this COO Jenny did you have an agent when you got to town or I had a CA was my book agent already for dramatic rites and so then they I met with the TV department there and then I had they gave me sort of a assign someone to me and I did not have a great experience with this person on the phone and so then I was like it kind of made me nervous because I'm like this is supposed to be a major relationship and so I kind of put some feelers out and then I met with Broder when they were still Broder Carlin something something yeah and so and then I met with them and they did the whole like we're a small agency we're really big at TV and I like the small agency feel because I new book agents from New York and I liked always small agencies better because you do get more personal attention and I went with the young agent too who was hungry cuz i was like oh cuz i'm a young writer and i think that's kind of the way to go and they said you can kind of move up the ranks together and then literally a week after i signed with them they're like oh i see em bought us so i'm like in the meeting you knew you were gonna be a big agency but you sold me the whole big you know small agency thing but oh well i let that go and so now that was how i so you're an ICM yes i'm at ICM great so Erika I was sort of grandfathered into my husband's representation because I work how did that happen I just worked I helped him and his partner out on a number of projects just sort of on the side and then I was hired to work on on their movie they didn't move you for universal a few years back the agents managers were like okay well now we have to get serious about what you're gonna do now no they're like just come on let's not do the dance just you're with us now that's great come on let's not do the dance who atha everybody wants to hear that Vera so there's kind of two parts of my life where it's my experience in Canada and then I moved here in 2010 so in Canada the writers I was a writing assistant for recommended me to my Canadian agent and that's important because when I moved here in 2010 my Canadian agent had a relationship with an agent at ICM so I did come down here and I had met other agents at like the Banff Television Festival and Canada and I thought I would come here cuz when you're a bad for every one's like oh we want to be on Team Santa Maria and I was like oh my god someone wants to be on my team that when I came down here they were like yeah we're not sure we're not ready you came too late etc so I used my Canadian agent and his relationship with an agent at ICM and that's the agent I ended up going with so that's great and that's so show business we want to be on Team Santa Maria and then yeah you know the team like cherry my manager introduced me to my agent so that's how that happens but I got my manager because before I was a writers assistant a couple jobs before that I was the assistant to a TV producer at a management production company so literally I was you know sitting at the desk answering phones next to the assistant of the woman who eventually became my manager and so I just knew her just personally seen her every day sometimes I'd cover her phones too and I've been called you know told coming in by the person who'd had the job before that you know hey this manager is great she's really open to new writers you know if you want to ask her to read your spec script she'll totally do it and it took me months and months of like being too scared to do it but I finally asked her to do it and that's sort of how that came about that goes back to being an assistant and sometimes that can really an assistant sometimes it can help you can be people through a job in the industry absolutely

7 Comments

  • verdatum says:

    "Don't mind porn"….this shouldn't need to be a thing. I mean, I'm all for porn, but, I really can't imagine busting it out at work; regardless of what my coworkers were like…Good for Cherry for rolling with it, I guess. Weird that she would ever need that ability.

  • DeCarlos Jones says:

    Needs more views. Power ladies!

  • Tornado1994 says:

    Cherry Chevapravatdmrong is one of the lead producers of Family Guy and is also the Longtime Steady Girlfriend of Seth MacFarlane .She joined Fuzzy Door in 2004, but originally was hired by Seth in 1999 as an Intern while she was still attending Michigan State. MacFarlane(Born October 26,1973 in New Hartford,CT) was 25 when Family Guy started production in late 1998.

    Cherry was born in Thailand on June 12,1976, her parents immigrated to the US in Early 1978.

    Shes bilingual in Thai and English.
    Cherry and Seth have been dating since 2006.

  • 66C10Kid says:

    There is no way that is her last name. It looks fake though

  • King Flitz says:

    love u ladies who are so creative in ur writing

  • Mhn Five says:

    Why am I not surprised watching porn is a normal office occurrence?

  • Brian Sounalath says:

    Thanks for posting this! Wish more people would watch this.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *