On Wednesday, July 15, television writer, Ryan Shankel, visited LAMusArt’s Creative Writing class to speak to our students about his passion for writing and how he turned his skill into a thriving and fulfilling career. He is currently a writer for several TV shows, most notably, ABC Family’s Young & Hungry.
Shankel spoke of his inspiration for writing as a child and where he draws ideas from to this day. Shankel explained that as a child he used to watch the show Family Ties, which made him wonder about the complexity of the stories and most importantly about the writing behind the scenes. Nowadays he is influenced by daily life, including the people he meets and the places he visits. Shankel encouraged the students to write from personal life experiences, to be inspired by daily moments, to be an open book, and to spend less time immersed in electronic devices. He encouraged the young writers to watch TV carefully and to study the timing, format, and stories as opposed to watching mindlessly.
Ryan Shankel also explained some of the job duties of a television writer. He described the process in which a team of writers is split into two in order to write an episode, one team generates ideas and outlines stories, while the other team turns the outline into an actual script. Furthermore, he revealed the role of agents and managers as well as producers.
At the end of a short Q&A, Shankel gave the students some words of advice for becoming television writers, he finished his visit by encouraging the young writers, “do not let competition scare you, work hard and always believe in yourself.”
Creative Writing is taught at LAMusArt on Wednesdays at 6:00 PM by instructor Monica Viera – the class is designed to strengthen student’s writing skills, provide a creative outlet of expression and the opportunity to work on a long-term published project they will be able to walk away with and cherish. Visit our office to register!