Thursday, December 6, 2012

College Lesson



From Mama Kat's Pretty Much World Famous Writer's Workshop, I give you a little story of a life lesson learned from a college experience.

I wanted, more than anything, to be an actress!  I took classes, called in sick to my day job so I could be an "extra" in non-union productions, and even took some work that could only be filmed from midnight to morning (grocery store commercial).  I was young and stupid, but not yet willing to let go of the dream.  When I tired of competing with the gazillion other young and stupids chasing the same dream, I thought about looking for work on the other side of the camera...writing.  I had no idea whether or not I was any good, but I had always enjoyed writing.  Let's give it a shot!  I went back to college and enrolled in a screenwriting class.  I was pumped!

For a project, I scoured the newspaper for a word or two that spoke to me. I found some, and began writing an outline and the first few pages of a script that included suspense, romance, and exotic locations.  I had a specific TV show in mind to work this story around.  It was fun, challenging and such a boost to my self-esteem to complete the project.  The creme was getting an "A" on it, which meant stamp of approval from someone who was currently working in the business.  "Someone who was currently working in the business" should have spoken to me, as well!

Flash forward a few years...it's a 2:00 a.m. feeding for my second wee one...I turn on the TV to a rerun of a favorite show of mine.  The story seems familiar, and I just think that maybe I've seen it already.  Then the proverbial light goes on.  IT'S MY STORY!!!!!!!!!!!!  It's my story, with a few minor changes in dialogue. I curiously and patiently waited for the credits at the end of the show.  Guess what?  The screenwriter was one and the same as my teacher!  I felt robbed, and after the initial four-letter words spewed from my lips, I realized there was nothing I could do about it, and I actually conceded that maybe he needed the work more than I did.

My college lesson...and loving suggestion to all writers...protect your hard work. 

Please visit Mama Kat and enjoy some great pieces offered by some wonderful writers!  Just click on the link above!  Thanks for stopping by today!  Hope you have a great day!

9 comments:

tori nelson said...

That's crazy! On one hand your story was good enough for TV (impressive), but on the other hand your teacher totally creeped your plot line.

Bee said...

Oh. Em. Gee. That was really low. Good for you for being able to take a lesson from it and move on.

Carol said...

Really! I can't believe that happened. Who would steal someone else's hard work? I guess it happens. We live in an unfair world. Keep writing and for goodness sake, protect it from the next would be robber!

Jerralea said...

Unbelievable! But at least you know your work IS good enough for television ...

But that teacher ... how can he look himself in the mirror ...

B Nickerson said...

Wow, I can feel the enragement! What an unethical teacher. Good story---something to watch out probably with any creative writing course!

TMW Hickman said...

How horrible! All that work--stolen. On the other hand, YOUR stuff was good enough for tv! That part is awesome!

Mama Kat said...

No way!! Is that even legal? Seems like you should definitely be attributed for that work!

Linda O'Connell said...

That is a low blow, but you are certainly gracious. Thanks for stopping by.

Mrs4444 said...

Interesting! That's Hollywood, I guess...You're probably better off.:)