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January 2, 2013 2:45 PM   Subscribe

This past fall, comedians Sara Schaefer and Nikki Glaser (hosts of popular podcast You Had to Be There) had "the amazing privilege" of hiring a writing staff for their upcoming TV show, Nikki & Sara Live. Sara "was flattered and honored when hundreds of people applied. It was a super fun experience, but it was also an incredibly illuminating one. Reading so many packets made a couple of things very very clear: there are some really easy, basic things you can do to improve your chances of getting a job writing for TV." Step 1: Dedicate Your Entire Life to Comedy
posted by Potomac Avenue (19 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
I meant to link to this New York Times article about their new show as well. I fail.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 2:51 PM on January 2, 2013


"Dedicate your entire life to _____" pretty much applies to any field of endeavor.
posted by Ardiril at 2:53 PM on January 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


The last three links aren't loading for me. Anyone else having an issue?
posted by mrnutty at 2:55 PM on January 2, 2013


The first link about what you should do applies to pretty much applying for anything. Most of it boils down to: read the directions, and make it easy for the person judging applications to read.
posted by pombe at 2:55 PM on January 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


I dedicated my entire life to Comedy, but she was totally listening to another station.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:02 PM on January 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


So, it's pretty much the same as writing NIH grants?
posted by juliapangolin at 3:03 PM on January 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


I think I am now in love with Sara Schaefer.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 3:14 PM on January 2, 2013


Dedicate Your Entire Life to Comedy
I've done this. Albeit inadvertently.
posted by Smedleyman at 3:27 PM on January 2, 2013 [4 favorites]


So, it's pretty much the same as writing NIH grants?
posted by juliapangolin at 6:03 PM on January 2


I give my technical writing students a lot of this advice. It always helps to have a good title! And read the instructions! And don't spell their name wrong!
posted by Tesseractive at 3:53 PM on January 2, 2013


A very wise person once explained to me that it feels like we are all fighting for a piece of the pie. And there are only so many pieces of pie to go around. But that’s a myth! There isn’t just one pie! And guess what, you can MAKE YOUR OWN PIE.

Amen, sister!
posted by Glinn at 3:57 PM on January 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


"you can MAKE YOUR OWN PIE."

You just gotta find some sucker to buy it.
posted by Ardiril at 4:07 PM on January 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


Do you know how much energy it takes to stalk powerful industry types and find out where they are hanging out and then give them all blow jobs?

Yes. Yes I do.
Figure at least ten powerful industry types with conventional prostates and about equal penile sensitivity so you can average out the amount of suck required and fold it into force used to bob the head, average sized head, so call it 10 pounds plus resistance so about 50 newtons.
Given they're straight on, we can dispense with making an angular velocity profile and since they're being stalked where they hang out, mostly work, we can say it's an elliptical motion with the major axis oriented perpendicular to the jerking motion (peak jerk angular velocity when the jerking is fully horizontal) which would also mean assuming a constant velocity, say 20 rpm, and a geometry not unique to each subject's chair and body (assume they're all the same size, 5'10, 170lbs) and assume the same sagittal, transverse and coronal plane.
So that's - call it 50 newtons - acting on an erect penis (assume no flaccidity) weighing roughly 4 oz, negligible given inertial swing from the testicles and it's essentially fluid weight anyway. Get rid of more complex detail - independent mass and friction (given no use of KY or lubricants; saliva also zeroed out here) call average penis length 15.64 cm, so .1564 x 50 Newtons is 7.824 joules per head bobs. Call it 150 headbobs (about 30 rpms over 5 minutes). Back of the napkin here...

So 1173.6 joules of work on one blowjob alone. Times 10 is 11736 joules.

Tracking them down depends on distance and nightclub stoichiometrics and other details, but work is a scalar so you can just add the walking time, chatting and so forth assuming other things being equal, average weight (call her 120lbs) so about 960 calories per executive, but that's food calories, so 9600 relative 4.186 joules, call return calories for Mojitos and semen negligible...

But about 51921.6 joules of work per executive stalked and fellated. That's just ballpark really and I should have stuck with Nm, but yeah, a lot of work.
posted by Smedleyman at 4:18 PM on January 2, 2013 [9 favorites]


Back of the napkin, indeed.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:50 PM on January 2, 2013 [6 favorites]


What is "51921.6 joules" in terms of calories? Would carbo-loading be the best approach?

(On preview, I see you have already addressed this. How thoughtful of you.)
posted by she's not there at 4:51 PM on January 2, 2013


You want to make yourself the answer to this question: “You know who might be good?” Do whatever it takes to make yourself the answer to that question.

Regardless of your situation, just keep working and you’ll be surprised where it all takes you. No matter how you get your chance, the key is that you have to be ready when it comes.


This article is full of good advice but the thought of all this has always been so exhausting to me. It feels oddly less exhausting when it's in the context of something you're good at and like doing and is well-paid. But even then! Ugh, when is nap time.
posted by bleep at 5:26 PM on January 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


How thoughtful of you
Just for fun I did a Tyrannosaurus Rex stalking and fellating powerful industry types as well. He would have to have eaten 17 ornithopods or one good size Iguanodon to complete the task. Calorically speaking.
It's the stubby little T-Rex arms. They really toss off the calculations.

Um, no. I worked my ass off for 11 years, slowly developed a respectable resume, got lots of positive press about my comedy, won some Emmy’s, developed important relationships, became a one-woman production crew,

This seems to be the big problem with doing this as a second career or later in life. You simply can't devote the resources to it. You've got too many other things. Complexity. Mellow. As Ardiril said above, it applies to any field of endeavor.
But it seems staggeringly hard with show business.
I have a friend in show business. He's been in some plays, did some big films, he's sort of a character actor. You've seen him. You don't know him, but you've seen him. He's one of those guys.
Anyway, I am probably quicker witted, funnier, etc. than he is. All things considered, I'm more gifted. And for years I had no idea what show business people do when they're not on stage or doing the actual "show" thing.
I got that they work on their craft. That's obvious. But what did they really 'do' do?
And I finally got a look at it and they're pretty much like pro-athletes. The successful ones. They train stupid hard and work unbelievably hard for what amounts to peanuts and seconds of screen time. They know loads of stuff about the work itself and every nuance, perhaps they're overthinking it, but same thing with an athlete "what if a plane crashes into the stands just as I'm stretching out to catch the ball? Well, then I'll grab it, tuck and roll with the explosion then if no one has tagged me I'll head for the endzone" sort of thing.

So saying I'm in essence more talented than my friend is the equivalent of saying I was a hell of a high school ball player to Jerry Rice. There's no comparison. Devoting your life is an understatement. Putting in the time is all that matters there no matter where you started.
I suppose having devoted my life to something else I can see where the seeming ease comes from. But it's a mistake to not look past the ease into the godawful amount of genuine work going into it. And that ease comes from them making it their environment.

Although I don't know how much the background desire drives anything. Schaefer wants to belong. Some people want to make you laugh until you piss yourself.
But I do see where Schaefer is coming from. Comedians definitely have a belonging kind vibe to them. That's a society unto itself. One so strong and loyal, at once so self-deprecating and mocking but too supportive and genuinely affectionate. It's such an exclusive sort of club based on a hard won experience and giving others joy so lonely and yet so welcoming of others of their fellowship that frankly it really makes me want to investigate the shit out of them.
posted by Smedleyman at 7:23 PM on January 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


This advice goes for applying for any kind of job, submitting any kind of proposal, writing any kind of grant, and doing your goldern homework in middle school, says the English teacher. But it's remarkable how gloriously impatient people are with the idea of following directions.

And how impatient they are with the idea of getting names right. A former student, now long graduated, who is trying to raise money for a film he's making, sent me a personalized e-mail addressed to "Mrs. [Peach]." Since my husband has a different last name, and since the young man called me "Dr. [Peach]" when I taught him, you can bet my first impulse was simply to delete the e-mail instead of sending him any money. I finally thought better of it, wrote back, and politely corrected him, but though he apologized I don't particularly want to send him money. It's galling to be reminded of your name's relative unimportance when someone wants you to give them money.

Or proofreading. Not just spelling errors. When I was hiring teachers, there was a little something about seeing the name of a rival school in the cover letter (or the correct school name but an incorrect addressee name) that turned me off.
posted by Peach at 7:26 PM on January 2, 2013


Dedicate Your Entire Life to Comedy.

I'm dedicating my entire life to austerity, but my will explicitly states to donate my body to comedy.
posted by Navelgazer at 8:14 PM on January 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


Don’t sit there and wonder why you got stood up for the dance; fucking sew yourself a pink dress with weird angles and SHOW UP ANYWAY.

Hello, fellow child-of-the-'80s!

The piece of advice (aka vehement lecture from a prof) that still sticks with me from my brief period as a journalism major: "SPELL NAMES CORRECTLY. There is NOTHING that most people care about more than having their name spelled correctly. It doesn't matter if you write that the sun rises in the west and Napoleon was the first person to get to the North Pole — SPELL NAMES CORRECTLY."
posted by Lexica at 8:50 PM on January 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


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