Myth of Hollywood Overnight Success Stories

Carole Blog


I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing Shawn Ryan, creator of the ground breaking TV series, The Shield several times. He talks about how he won a playwriting contest when he was in college. They flew him out to L.A. and he spent time in a comedy writing room.

Then he sold the show an idea and they hired him as a writer the next season.


He just didn’t understand what everyone was talking about in terms of how freakin’ hard it is to break in… then he didn’t get another job for four more years!  And during that time he worked at a day job and wrote 15 spec scripts, before he went on to create The Shield. What people often don’t see is the years of hard work that leads to seemingly overnight success. I go into detail about it in my interview with Film Courage. Watch the video and tweet me, I’d love to know your thoughts on the subject.

About Carole

Director of WGA’s Showrunner Training Program, creator & Director of the CBS Diversity Writers Mentoring Program, international speaker and a leading expert on entertainment career strategies, Carole Kirschner teaches creative professionals how to navigate the often mystifying landscape of show business. Her book, Hollywood Game Plan: How to Land a Job in Film, TV and Digital Entertainment is a primer on how to break in and move up in the entertainment industry. Through her popular workshops, Carole teaches writers, producers, directors and executives the real world strategies that will help them not just succeed, but thrive.

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