Writing a Musical Web Series: Destroy the Alpha Gammas

ImageA few months ago I decided I wanted to do a musical.  I didn’t know where I was going to get the money or who was going to do it with me (If I’ve learned anything from Hollywood, it’s that you can NOT do it alone) but I figured that the first step was writing it.  But what to write?

I knew I had access to my apartment.  So i thought, maybe I could do something like Melrose Place-but a musical!  Roommates and neighbors, lots of drama, everyone sleeps with everyone…  Super slutty!  But to make that into a musical seemed like a bit of a stretch and dare I say, unnatural?  Since musicals are always SO natural… haha

Then I thought, what if I did sororities?  I could shoot it in friends’ houses…I know a TON more girls that can sing than guys….  Plus sororities are fun!  In college, my roommate, Laurita (to this day, one of my closest friends) was in a sorority.  I was a theatre major and they really discouraged you to do anything outside of theatre (kind of cultish, I agree)  Laurita’s sorority was very blonde, wealthy, skinny and hot- the epitome of Orange County, where we went to school.  I noticed how some of the other sororities were…umm…not quite as blessed.  To be fair, Laurita and all of her sorority sisters that I knew were very nice, cool girls!  But, man, I’m sure it was easy for some people to hate them!  It got me thinking about being in a sorority and choosing a group of girls and them choosing you.  It’s such an interesting dynamic that in another life I would have LOVED to experience!  What if I ended up in a not-so-cool sorority?  I’m so weirdly prideful, I don’t know how I’d respond to not getting my top choice!  It was cool to be an outsider and to see all the different groups and this whole sort of unspoken hierarchy and rivalries…  Awesome.

From there, the story was pretty easy.  The loser sorority has had enough after years of bullying by the hot girls- it’s time for revenge….  Pretty much wrote itself.

Now- I still don’t consider myself a writer.  It’s an awkward thing for me.  I don’t write because I think I’m this amazing writer or even because I WANT to write or WANT to be a writer, I write out of necessity!  In college we had to take a bunch of acting for the camera classes and you would have to choose scenes from books or a database.  I never found anything I liked and I asked my professor if I could write my own, and he was like, you can try.  If it’s good enough, you can do it.

So I started writing.  I’d write based on characters I wanted to play, or based on the strengths of my scene partner and I.  We’d shoot a lot of my scenes.  Then I wrote a play called “American Girl” about a wide range of female issues with sex and body image…etc.  (I also double minored in Sociology and Women’s Studies)  I ended up directing the show at Chapman, which was amazing.  My cast of actors was truly gifted.  I can’t tell you why I decided to write a play, because I can’t remember.  Bored?  Curious, maybe?  No idea.  But I’m glad I did.

Next I moved to Hollywood.  A year or so in, my roommate was struggling to get her SAG card.  (SAG stands for the Screen Actor’s Guild, the professional union for actors.)  I had busted my ass on a million sets to get mine, but it was eventually luck and a featured role that did it for me.  We found out that there was a “new media loophole”: If you had a role in a SAG new media project (like a web series), you could earn your SAG card.  It was a lot of paperwork because it had to be a legitimate project, not just dicking around with an iPhone.  I told her I’d write it for her and be in it with her.

So I wrote a little series called, “Roommating,” about 2 female roommates who while interviewing for a third roommate meet a great looking gay guy and make a bet on who can turn him straight.

It made her SAG as well as my friend Zack.  Then I wrote a short: a parody of the reality show:”Toddlers and Tiaras.”  But once again, I wrote because we needed a writer, not because I wanted to write!

The turning point was probably meeting my boyfriend who actually IS a writer.  I would tell him my ideas and he’d always say, “That’s a great idea.  Write it.”  I would be hesitant because I knew my formatting was crappy and I didn’t really know what the hell I was doing, and he’s the one that told me it didn’t matter.  He gave me the confidence to just DO IT.  Since then I’ve written a pilot, a short, started several features, and most recently, I wrote that musical, “Destroy the Alpha Gammas.”

Not going to lie, it’s probably my proudest accomplishment.  I remember watching Stephyn from the art department in the kitchen with a bag of frosting, icing dozens of cookies to read “Slut” on them.  I was like, wow, that was like, in my head, and now I can eat one!  I sort of forgot that it wasn’t just in my head, that by writing it, it was now in everyones head and we needed to create it and put it onscreen!  It becomes much bigger than you.

I can not wait to share the project because I’m so proud of everyone’s hard work on it.  I didn’t have any idea how or IF it would ever get made.  I guess the first step is always doing the thing you think you cannot do.Image

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