Writer

MaryLynn co-wrote the awarding winning web series, Tri-State and has more writing samples available upon request.

My Thoughts…

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Sitting here at my desk in my office on the Sunset Bronson Lot where Netflix is located, I think of how much gratitude fills me to be in this place and present moment. I have candles on my desk, and if I lit one for each blessing that has come my way, security would probably deem me a fire hazard. I feel on top of the world in my current position, surrounded by the most wonderful, kind and grounded showrunners and writers, and yet I also know that as of December 20th, I will, once again, be unemployed. I moved to LA 14 months before I started working as a Showrunners’ Assistant, and many people have told me that I am seven to ten years ahead of others on the same path, but that statement is truly false and doesn’t give credit where credit is due. I’m a born-and-raised Jersey......

I moved to NYC in less than two months after graduating college. Initially, I wanted to be on Broadway and solely act. I imagined myself on TV, but moving to LA seemed like an unrealistic daydream. Family and friends were all east coast. I wanted to make it work here. My NYC years were filled with open calls where I waited from 6 am until 4 or 5 pm to sing for 30 seconds or do a one-minute monologue. I took voice classes weekly and served tables in Times Square on the weekends. I went to seminars and acting classes, but it felt like nothing I did was getting me where I wanted to be. Even performing in three Off-Broadway shows and joining Actors Equity did not seem to give me an edge. I played a principal role in a web series that was created with friends I made at......

That first time at Catalyst was eye opening for me. I made so many new friends in such a short time. It felt like drama club in high school where strangers became friends in a matter of minutes. I went to every panel, took extremely diligent notes, and approached execs after to make a meaningful comment that could open a door to further communication. I attended screenings and met creators who are my friends to this day, and some of which I have actually worked with on other projects!  The man behind Catalyst is Philip Gilpin, Jr., and I kept in touch with him after the festival as he started planning out networking events in NYC. I loved going to them because it gave all of us a chance to reconnect. It was also a good reason to give myself a night off from the restaurant I worked at in......

Running Catalyst was a whirlwind. The energy in the air was electric and exciting, and it made all of those late nights and spreadsheets so very worth it. It also made my glass of wine at the end of the night, chatting with creators and executives alike, more than worth it. Getting to know each other by fire pits under stars that you can actually see feels so magical. It was my chance to set aside my work and let people get to know me as a person. I’m a real, live person with feelings and emotions. ::grabs tissue box:: After the awards show, we all celebrated at a local restaurant. My designated driver wanted to go home, but I was not ready to end the fun! One of the executives told me she would drop me off, and so I decided to stay. By the time the power went......

Once Catalyst ended in 2017, I booked a flight to LA for a 12-day trip. I set up over 20 meetings within that time frame that I scheduled on spreadsheets. Who me? Use a spreadsheet? No. Freaking. Way. I set the goal to reconnect with executives, see what work is out there, and decide if I would really want to live there. A friend who produces for HGTV asked me to work for her on set during this trip, and I thought, “I do not even live here yet, and I am being offered work. This must be a good sign!” I weighed the pro’s and con’s carefully, soaked up the inspiring view from the Griffith Observatory, and I decided that it was time for me to make a life-changing decision: I was moving to LA. When I say “life-changing” I truly mean that in every sense. I was not......

My brain was thinking of two paths: the pay rent path and the beef up my producer resume path. I set it up so that I was producing a friend’s short film right as I landed so that I immediately had something to talk about with people. Two weeks after moving, a Catalyst exec connected me to her friend who brought me on to co-produce his short as well; however, I still needed to bring some money in. I planned a networking event for Catalyst and wanted to use that as another way to let people know I am in LA to stay! After that, I reached out to the rest of my network and told them that I would take any work on set. I don’t have an ego, and I was not afraid to start at the bottom in this way. It took time to hear back, but......

I had one meeting with the VP of Development at a major studio that really got under my thick, New York skin. I had only been in LA a couple of months, and I brought my resume to meet this person, get some advice, and see if there were any positions available within their company. Creators are told that they have to “make their own path” and “do it all.” Well, here I was, sitting across from this person with my resume in their hands, outlining the many hats I wear, and they said, “So you produce? You write? Do you act? What do you really want to do?” My answer of wanting to do it all, and that my resume clearly shows I have applicable skills to do it all, would not suffice. I explained how I moved to LA wanting to focus on producing, and he said, “This......

I got my first Production Coordinator credit on a feature film being produced by an exec from Catalyst. That was my longest amount of work since I moved to LA: three weeks! I learned a lot on this set within my position and then as I watched this producer.  After, I sent my network of contacts an email sharing this experience and said, “I am now looking to be a Producer’s Assistant.” and attached my resume in case they heard of any leads. I did this every couple of months when I would have an update to share and a clear request. Things are constantly moving and changing, and people will forget your needs quickly as they are figuring out their own. This gentle reminder every so often kept us connected, even if they did not have any opportunities for me, and that is great! Another exec from Catalyst (are......

As I reached my one-year anniversary of living in LA, I also reached the most debt I have ever personally had. I saved over $8,000 to make the move to LA, and it went faster than free samples at Costco. Groceries were paid for on credit cards because paychecks weren’t coming in on time, or I was having a hard time finding work. I stepped foot into two restaurants with my resume in hand, and I thank God that they never called me. My heart sank when I did it, but I did not know what else to do.  I got on Brand Ambassador groups on Facebook and worked random events and even handed out protein bars at Costco which is why I know how fast those samples go. If you are a freelancer looking for easy, decent pay work, then check out Brand Ambassador groups. Most jobs start at......