“I worked on Wall Street because I didn’t want to do the starving artist route. Then, after like five years I wanted to kill myself, because I just had no creative outlet in my life. So, I gave that up and started acting in some indie films in New York. I always knew I wanted to write and direct, I just wasn’t sure how to get into it. One of the movies that I did ended up winning Best Short at Sundance. And, I had a movie at Slamdance that same year, so I was like, 'Oh, great, I’m ready for L.A.!' Then I get out here and realize no one gives a fuck about indie film. So, I started doing stand up comedy. I had a meeting with CBS, and the first thing they say to me is, 'You’re here because we love you, but we don’t know what to do with you, because you say c*** 47 times in your show.' So, I literally went home and wrote my first script, which was called Earthbound.
“Being in control. Not gonna lie. Here’s the thing: Being a feature writer, no one cares about what your thoughts are. They just want you to write the script and walk out the door and let it hit you on the way out. Obviously there are a few writers that command more attention and more of their viewpoint, but it’s not much. It’s a director’s medium. Obviously, TV writing is the writer’s medium, which is why I do TV, as well. It was also being able to see my viewpoint from beginning to end, so that it didn’t get changed. That’s what every writer bitches about. But, that’s the nature of the beast.”
“I don’t like being driven by fear in any way. So many people asked me, leading up to my directorial debut, 'Are you scared?' No, I’m excited. I feel fear paralyzes people so much. Not to say I don’t get nervous. Obviously, that first day of calling 'action' was a huge moment. But, I changed it to excitement, so that I didn’t get stuck in any kind of fear moment.”
“I definitely steal from my friends. No one is safe around me. They all know that. You know, truth is stranger than fiction. When someone says something among my friends, I’m in the corner writing it down. But, also, in terms of my sense of humor, I do feel like I look at things in an 'off' way. It’s not so much I put myself into it — I put my sense of humor into it, and how I look at the world."
“I love the movie that we made. Especially for the amount of money we made it for — which I’m not allowed to say, but, it wasn’t a lot and money provides time. And, that’s one of the things that everybody wants: more time to do more with it. It was a valuable lesson to learn about budgets and money. You need that time to do it right."
“Bruce Gilbert. He is everything. He produced On Golden Pond, The China Syndrome, Coming Home, Nine to Five. The man is just a genius, and I worship him. He truly taught me how to write a script. And, the only thing he asked in return is that I teach someone else, so that these lessons wouldn’t be lost. "
“Stay true to your voice.”
“Bruce. And, also, turn a scene. The scene should not be in a script if it doesn’t turn in some way — for the characters, for the story — and that was something invaluable. I look through every script. And, also, do a fuck pass."
“Age is a number. It doesn’t matter. Honestly, I feel better now than I did when I was younger, just because I’m happier, I’m more in my own skin. I think the 20s are highly overrated. I just read this amazing book written by Annabelle Gurwitch called I See You Made an Effort, and it’s all about approaching 50 years old, and the indignities that she goes through and stuff. And, one of the quotes is, 'Everyone’s always saying, 40 is the new 30, and 50 is the new 40.' And, she goes, 'You know what? 50 is fucking 50.' It was really interesting, because she was just, 'This is who we are and you've accumulated life lessons that 20-year-olds don’t have.”
“Start drinking good wine. Don’t drink crap. The hangovers are not worth it.”
Look 2: A.L.C. dress; BCBG belt; Kate Spade New York shoes.