Alumni 2012


Mo Masi

Where are you from and what inspired you to become a television writer?

I’m from Erie, Pennsylvania, where I grew up wanting to write novels – long, Dickensian novels. (Obviously not the most social kid.) But as I got older, I realized the novel business just wasn’t what it used to be… in Victorian England. TV writing felt like a natural move for me because, just like novel writing, I enjoy telling stories in long form and really developing each character to his or her full extent.

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Adria Lang

Where are you from and what inspired you to become a television writer?

I hail from the charming hamlet of Merrick, Long Island. Growing up, TV was a big part of my life. I was obsessed with shows like Twin Peaks, The X Files, Northern Exposure, Quantum Leap, and Star Trek: The Next Generation, but I never dreamed that I would end up writing them. I was the performer of the family. I studied ballet at Juilliard, had the lead in all the school plays, went to England, got a degree in theater, and ran a burlesque cabaret. I didn’t consider writing as a profession till I was in my late 20’s. A screenwriter friend of mine suggested I try adapting a short story — he loaned me his copy of Final Draft and gave me a few specs to guide me — It was like falling in love, like finding a magical outlet for all the voices dancing around in my head, and being “classically trained” gave me a wealth of knowledge to draw upon. I focused on feature specs for the first few years, and it was around that time that I started getting into LOST. It had the best elements of all my favorite shows from when I was young — mystery, intrigue, conspiracy, magic, cliffhanger… Totally inspired by that show, and long form storytelling in general, I turned my attention to the small screen and haven’t looked back. Read more…


Dan Holden

Where are you from and what inspired you to become a television writer?

I’m from a small town in northern Minnesota called Brainerd. Growing up, television showed me a bigger world, with exciting characters and incredible stories. So, when I got a glimpse inside a comedy writers room, and realized it is by far the most fun job you could ever have – I was hooked. Read more…


Michael “Brandon” Guercio

Where are you from and what inspired you to become a television writer?

I’m from a small suburb outside of Detroit, Michigan and ever since I can remember I’ve been watching a disturbing amount of television. I guess it’s because TV has been like a forbidden pleasure for me. Growing up, my house received a few over-the-air stations and I was allowed to watch only a couple hours a week. So I had to get creative. I still remember going over to my friend’s house and gorging in all night TV marathons. The writing bug didn’t really hit me until my freshman year in college. That’s when I saw Curb Your Enthusiasm for the first time, and it was like this magical door opened. I realized it took the neurotic genius of a guy like Larry David to breathe the heart and soul into one of my favorite series of all time, Seinfeld, and I just said to myself – I want to do that. Read more…


Colin Garland

Where are you from and what inspired you to become a television writer?

I grew up on the South Shore of Massachusetts. My family was lucky enough to live on top of a hill. So, though our town was the last in the county to approve cable television, my household had several TV stations to choose from. What this meant was that we were able to receive both stations from Boston AND Providence. And that meant twice as many syndicated episodes of “M*A*S*H.” Every day I was able to see at least two solid hours of Hawkeye and the gang and if I was home sick from school, double that. As a child it informed both my sense of humor and sense of morality. I learned about the senseless nature of killing, the insanity of war and how, in the right light, they can be used for humor. It showed humor as a defensive mechanism against madness. In that sense, “M*A*S*H” “made jokes not only seem powerful but noble. Who wouldn’t want to do something noble for a living? Read more…


Dan Dietz

Where are you from and what inspired you to become a television writer?

I come from a quiet, reserved Midwestern family. We moved from small-town Ohio to Atlanta, Georgia when I was eight, and suddenly it was like I was surrounded by storytellers. All my new southern friends seemed to have these crazy uncles and life-of-the-party aunts who could turn the most mundane event in their lives into an epic tale that would have you on the edge of your seat. And as I listened to those stories, a light bulb went off in my head, and I knew I wanted to learn how to captivate an audience the way they could. I got into theatre and became a playwright, and now am thrilled at the chance to tell stories with even longer arcs to an even bigger audience via television. Read more…


Amy Higgins

Where are you from and what inspired you to become a television writer?

I’ve lived in New York City for all of my Big Girl life, but grew up as an only child on an Iowa ranch gazing woebegone across the plains waiting for Clint Eastwood to gallop by with a warrant and sore need for someone to ride second saddle. In other words, I was short on companions and television characters were my best friends. Watching The A-Team and reruns of M*A*S*H were times when my family and other families sat together and laughed. The stiff upper-lips of the Heartland, typically forbidden to show emotion, and all-business Dads and Moms tired from long hours, could sit down and cope for a while. Hawkeye’s wise cracks expose the ludicrousness of war AND the ludicrousness of life. This line between comedy and drama is why I wanted to be a television writer. The genius of M*A*S*H is that war, or failing relationships, or lost jobs or extra shifts for decreased pensions is exactly the place where comedy is most needed, most apt, most counted on. When I am powerless to do anything else, at least I can hope to make’em laugh. Read more…


Frank Angones

Where are you from and what inspired you to become a television writer?

I was born in Miami, FL, to a pair of first generation Cuban-Americans. I’ve always been obsessed with cinematic storytelling; my Dad likes to tell the story of us sneaking into a full screening of E.T. when I was three. We had to sit on the steps in the aisle and he claims it was the longest he had ever seen me sit still and shut up. But the story my Dad won’t always tell is how he inadvertently introduced me to the power of television. My father was very warm and loving at home and would always goof around with me, but he was also the guy who woke up early, put on a suit, and went to work at a big office building downtown. I never knew he could have a sense of humor on his own terms. Until one night, I caught him falling off the couch in a fit of laughter while watching an old episode of Taxi. After a long, stressful day of work, my father, the dictionary definition of “straight-laced” could be reduced to a giggle fit by a couple of well-placed lines by Christopher Lloyd. That’s why I want to be a Television Writer: to make serious men fall off of couches. Read more…