SomeTV! is alive!

SomeTV! poster

As some of my ever-patient followers of long ago may remember, there was a time that I co-wrote a sketch comedy show called SomeTV!, that we essentially described as the love-child of Monty Python’s Flying Circus and The Muppet Show.

Like any good creative project, this was a labour of love and mass insecurity…and took for-freakin’-ever to see the light of day. Well, seems that day is next Friday (March 11) at 10 pm (ET).

Kevin Scott

In its inaugural run, SomeTV! will air as a one-hour special on Rogers Television in Toronto (think Wayne’s World), but it should be available shortly thereafter online. So happy to see this project and all the hard work that went into it (not just mine) finally come to life.

Still waiting for my producer, director and Godhead Nicholas Lemon to post the teaser trailer…will update this post when he does!

See also:

Writing for puppets

SomeTV Pulse

NeoHuman podcast, starring me

Willis NeoHuman

My friend Agah Bahari is interested in everything, which is one of the things that I love about him.

Not that long ago, he decided to indulge his interests by starting something he calls the NeoHuman podcast (which matches nicely with his NeoHuman blog), inviting many of the interesting people he knows to discuss pretty much anything that comes up.

Well, seems he ran out of interesting people and so he invited me to participate…and we talked about anything: biotechnology, pharma, global healthcare, designer babies, creativity, writing, screenwriting, 9/11, marketing, and the novel he and I are writing about his life.

But my favourite part is the question he asks all his guest, which is roughly:

If you met an intelligent alien life-form, what would you describe as the greatest human accomplishment and as the worst human accomplishment?

Never boring, my friend Agah.

Agah-me

(Photo stolen with love from Kelly Brienz Showker)

Creative trash talkin’

Canadians by and large are not particularly well known for their trash talking, even in sports. We’re more a smile to your face and mutter under our breath kinda people.

But I am no ordinary Canadian, and when it comes to my beloved Toronto Marlies, I won’t just defend my team, I’m happy to pick the fight. And it particularly nice when I can take a shot at my fellow Canadians.

John

Sometimes they kinda write themselves

Moose_AT-AT

With Star Wars night coming up, how could I resist drawing parallels between Hoth and Winterpeg?

When your mania becomes a MANIA

As many of you patiently know, I am a fan (see “fanatic”) and season seat holder for the Toronto Maple Leafs AHL farm team, the Toronto Marlies. I am also pretty much whack-a-doodle crazy. These two facts are related if not necessarily cause-and-effect.

I make my living with words (several of them, in fact), but I am also a not-terribly-closeted graphic designer wannabe. Thus, when my hockey mania was given a booster shot with the launch of the new AHL season, I took to my lap top and started to play.

My apologies to all those on whom I will inflict my insanity…to the rest of you, enjoy.

Exorcise

(Please note: Demon image used without permission)

Hunting

(Please note: Pond image used without permission)

A collection of my photos and season schedule for fans (available for $20 CDN + postage)

A collection of my photos and season schedule for fans (available for $20 CDN + postage)

Do what you want to be

University grad Xingyi Yan, 21, has taken a placard to the street in a bid to land a job in advertising or marketing. (Credit: MARTA IWANEK / TORONTO STAR)

University grad Xingyi Yan, 21, has taken a placard to the street in a bid to land a job in advertising or marketing. (Credit: MARTA IWANEK / TORONTO STAR)

This past week, I read an item in The Toronto Star about a young university graduate who was finding it difficult to get a job. To highlight her availability, she took to standing outside Union Station, Toronto’s main transit hub, wearing a placard.

She’s hardly alone, unfortunately, and I applaud her moxy for putting herself in the middle of the pedestrian business traffic, but I question how effective her plan will be.

The young woman is interested in a career in marketing and advertising. Unfortunately, her sign suggests she does not have the creative talent for such a job. It’s a white sign with black letters that tells me her problem, not how she’ll solve mine. Even her choice of location tells me she doesn’t understand modern marketing and advertising.

>99% of commuters at Union Station not in a position to hire

>99% of commuters at Union Station not in a position to hire

More than 99% of the people walking past her every day are not interested in her goals and cannot do anything for her. She’d have been much better off jumping online for a couple of minutes to learn the locations of all the major marketing and advertising firms in the city and camping outside their doors.

That’s what I did when I was looking for a job years ago, after completing my M.Sc. studies. I didn’t wear a placard, but I did post “Lab Technician Available” signs around the research wings of the universities and teaching hospitals around Toronto and nearby Hamilton.

And the signs didn’t just announce that I was available. They also listed the laboratory techniques in which I was proficient, and therefore, how I could help your lab.

I got a lot of interviews out of that campaign and landed a couple of job offers.

Just over a decade ago, while working for a couple of science magazines in Washington, DC, my group needed to hire a couple of writers. As one of the hiring managers, I met all of the candidates and routinely participated in the same conversation:

“I’ve always loved writing,” the candidate would gleefully tell me.

“Well, that certainly helps with this job,” I would smile. “What have you published?”

The candidate’s smile would waver.

“Well, nothing,” he or she would hesitate. “But I love writing.”

“Great. Do you have any samples?”

An embarrassed shuffle in the chair.

“Um, no,” the candidate would visibly shrink in the seat. “It’s mostly just personal writing.”

By this point, I would have been willing to look at that.

To a person, I would offer the same advice at the end of our conversation:

“I can’t say how this process will go, but if I can make a recommendation: If you want to write science, write science…for anyone…whether paid or for free. If I can’t see your writing, how do I know you can write?”

If you say that you’re dying to do something, then prove that to prospective employers by actually doing it.

I would never apply for a job as a screenwriter without several screenplays in my pocket. And I’m pretty confident that it is not enough to stand on the corner of Hollywood & Vine in Los Angeles offering my services (at least not screenwriting services).

hollywood_and_Vine3

And when you do the thing you’re dying to do, make sure you do it well.

If my screenplays are shit, why should anyone hire me? If the placard you’re using to market yourself is unimpressive, why would a marketing company hire you?

Your effort doesn’t have to be professional-grade necessarily—what individual had that kind of budget?—but if it’s not exceptional in some manner, why would I make an exception and hire you?

I wish the young student well. She has taken the first step, but has so many more to go before she is likely ready.

When life interferes

It has been an incredibly slow week on the blog as far as new posts are concerned. But whereas most people slow down periodically to take care of things that distract us from our writing like work, family obligations, vacations, etc, my absence from the blog has had more to do with writing than with not writing.

The past week has been an endless series of projects, all of which require some degree of writing.

Last Thursday, I started the latest of my screenwriting classes and needed to do some final edits before bringing my pages to class to be read aloud. As well, I needed to read the works of other students to get a handle on their work and to offer insights.

Friday brought meetings with potential clients to discuss their web and marketing strategies (and a lovely Indian buffet to boot). And the afternoon was spent doing research for an upcoming article on the anniversary of the elucidation of the structure of DNA (Happy 60th Birthday, DNA!), followed by an evening at baseball (yaaaaaawn) and then drinks with my screenwriting circle. I also picked up a new medical writing freelance gig.

Saturday and Sunday were chock-a-block full of my attempts to live-Tweet two hockey games between my Toronto Marlies and the St. John’s IceCap in the American Hockey League. You want to miss half a sporting event? Try live-Tweeting a hockey game. By the time you look up from your phone, you have another incident to Tweet.

The weekend and Monday were also spent on that freelance writing gig, so I buried my head into the wonders of neuropharmacology and tried to make sense of a chimera of a slide deck, trying to tease a coherent story out of the presentation. Yes, even medical information comes in the form of a story…or at least the better ones do.

And then to rattle my brain a little, I headed back to Art & Fear; a little book on the challenges that present themselves when trying to create art (more on the book in a later post). Step One: Go, create Art. The guilt from the book was enough to make me sit in front of my laptop and churn out 3 more pages for my latest screenplay…a lovely little family drama-comedy set in Eastern Canada.

And so, my poor blog languished in neglect. No doubt, feeling unloved and forgotten.

Not so, my blog, not so.

But you will need to learn to share my attentions with others. It’s all for the best, I promise.

Lucked into a team photo with the Toronto Marlies (me=last person, second row, right)

Lucked into a team photo with the Toronto Marlies (me=last person, second row, right)