UCLA Professional Program in Screenwriting 2017
Well, it happened: I made it to the end of the program and to the end of the year! The year zipped by so fast; I feel like we just started. Where did the year go?
This was definitely a great experience and I’m so glad I did it. I’ve only heard nothing but good things about the program and now I can finally attest to that. The Monday night lectures were fun and enlightening. As someone new to this world, they were the perfect gateway into the reality of writing in LA. We had an impressive list of guest speakers, from Damon Lindelof to Meg LeFauve and Phyllis Nagy to name just a few. The Tuesday night workshops have strengthened both my writing and my passion for writing. And honestly, the workshop alone is worth it: having ten different pairs of eyes on your work every week is priceless. We also got to expose our work in a supportive environment, were allowed to fail (and trust me, I needed that safety net). The classmates and professors I had in the workshops were easily the highlight of the program for me and I will miss them so much.
During the year, I had my share of mini-crises where I told all my friends and family I didn’t know why I’m here trying to do this. Since there is no one right path for writers, the uncertainty of it all scared the shit out of me. I was in class Tuesday night on November 8 and all I remember is checking my phone every two seconds and being in a state of anxiety all night. Our class had our ups and downs, our struggles and triumphs, and I’m proud to say we all supported one another, made it easy to lean on each other. The biggest thing I took from the program is to work hard and develop a strong sense of discipline, not be afraid to follow your dreams, and don’t be an asshole. I’ll try my best on that last one.
We had the certificate ceremony last night where we all came together for the last time to celebrate our achievements. I’m extremely grateful to my classmates for all the great feedback and notes every week. They were there from Day 1 when we were just developing our ideas, so I’m 100% positive I wouldn’t have finished two scripts, let alone one, without them. I’m also thankful for the professors I had in the program, Marc and John. This was my first screenwriting class ever, and to have their support and guidance meant everything to me. I will miss everyone without a doubt; it feels bittersweet to be done and it feels weird to know I don’t have to drive to class next Monday. But for now, it’s time to keep writing and moving forward. And at least I don’t have to pay another $140 for a parking permit every quarter.