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Introducing My Consultation Service

I'm pleased (and somewhat nervous) to announce the opening of my personal script consultation service. I would be humbled if you would join me below the fold so that I can explain my experience, my approach, and how I intend to help you move forward.

Before I dive into what I can do for you, a little about me. I've spent the last several years working directly for (or indirectly with) several screenwriter resource services both large and small. I have been:

- Contest Admin for the International Screenwriters Association, running their contests and Fellowship; reaching out to industry pros; proofreading, training, and overseeing their rather extensive reader staff, and helping maintain the database of 50,000+ writers;

- Development Coordinator, also for the ISA, which among other things included creating their Development Evaluation Service from scratch (which I still think is one of the better eval services in town and has greatly informed how I approach my own coverage);

- Script Reader for a couple dozen different competitions and evaluation services across the spectrum, with over 8,000 scoring and/or feedback evaluations performed (and counting!)

- Writer Advocate, often in partnership with Coverfly, assisting a handful of extremely talented screenwriters in growing their careers.

That work as Advocate led directly to four manager signings, three paid writing gigs, an option, a few high placements, and several strong industry pro connections that writers will use to continue growing their careers. One such writer is Jennifer Cooney (@halfjacksnap) who spoke with Coverfly about her stratospheric career trajectory, including our work together:

All that, to say this: I would like to prove that I am worthy of your hard-earned dollars by establishing my own simple "method." My coverage will be targeted towards three goals:

- Trust from the writer

- Empathy for the writer

- (k)Nowledge to help the writer move forward

I playfully call it the Rule of TEN (still on the fence with that one), but I strongly believe script readers should approach the work as such:

- TRUST: If you work with me, I understand that you're trusting me to help YOU improve or gain perspective. You're also trusting me to support you by treating your work fairly and honestly, rather than blowing smoke. I'm direct #boston but I will never be mean, which leads me to:

- EMPATHY: For my notes to be useful, I need to know what message you're going for, how you're trying to get there, and what I can do to bridge any gaps. I'm not interested in assigning you my voice – I want to help you find yours. (This includes approaching every script from a point of *positivity*. Honestly, the worst thing a script reader can do is discourage the writer seeking their advice. I'd rather lift you up.)

- (k)NOWLEDGE: Yeah it starts with a k, but aside from acronym issues it's not simply my experience at film school, managing a Blockbuster & a mom+pop store, reading 1000s of scrripts, writing several, & running a staff of 30+ readers (tho that too). It's also knowing what's "now." QT, Spike Lee, the Coppolas, Kubrick, M. Night, Ephron, Cuarón – these are legendary writers whose work can inform your craft. However, it's important to recognize none of them "made it" in the climate you're now trying to make it in. We're finding your path, not theirs.

Script readers often get derided as festering pustules on the rectum of the industry (I've heard), but that's focused on a few scammers/peak Dunning-Krugerites rather than the range of working writer/readers who give thoughtful, kind, & useful notes while making survival money. It's those like me (and some of you) who are still working our way in. In fact, based on the thousands of such anonymous coverages I've provided over the past five years, the odds are not small that you may already have received my notes - and hopefully found them useful.

The only habit I've had longer than writing is acting (3rd grade vs. 5th grade, and only because my hand usually cramped during cursive). That, in fact, has been my pursuit since third grade. I have a BFA in Acting and several Boston and LA based studios under my belt.

That work informs my writing/reading, as actors are the only collaborative artists who live within the script, rather than without. (This is also why I suggest every SW work other creative muscles by taking at least a few acting and improv classes).

I'm also a playwright (my faves include Pinter, Shakespeare, Hansberry, Shepard, Gilman, Eno, and Stoppard) which I believe gives me great insight into narrative. Especially structure, mostly because I really don't care about structure – except that you have it. Saving cats? Fine. Event every 10 pages? Cool. 7 or 15 or 22 steps to make your arts? Go for it. My job is to help you find and maintain *your* structure, not adjust you to someone else's.

To be clear: my goal is not to be a life-long professional script reader. My goal is to continue growing in my own writing career – and to help as many people get their own along the way as I can. I can't do that pro bono yet, but I can certainly make it affordable.

This weekend I'm opening w/ a Labor Day sale. I want to build that trust of which I spoke, so I'm giving anyone who wants to give me a shot a big discount so we get to know each other. I'm here for "the work," and I'm looking forward to reading yours!

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