Balancing Life As A Screenwriter While Working A Day Job by Christine Conradt

Watch the video interview on Youtube here

Film Courage: I’m just trying to figure out the timeline? So the six months ends and then you don’t go back [to work] at the Y [YMCA] it sounds like?

Christine Conradt: Right…well it wasn’t like I was suddenly rolling in money and getting offers either. I did end up getting at that time a lot of interest and I was working and writing. So what I actually ended up doing was being hired to rewrite other people’s scripts. I didn’t sell my own but a production company hired me to do some rewrites for a couple of Lifetime movies (they were doing Lifetime at the time).

And I didn’t know if there was going to be more because I didn’t know when the next one was coming.

During that time I decided I needed to maintain what I was doing during the day. I needed to be able to take these meetings with production companies.

Part of working at the Y prevented me from taking meetings because of my responsibility there. So I basically need a job that had less responsibility. During that time I worked for a temp company that catered to the entertainment industry so I could pick which days I wanted to work and I was also bartending at night. So that was something that wouldn’t interfere and I was waiting tables also. So kind of doing what a lot of people who come to LA do who want to be in the entertainment field do. Because it was really hard to have a job where you can make a decent salary because with that comes with responsibility which precluded me (obviously) from being able to go and have the time I knew I needed to write when I was on those projects.

And eventually I could just quit those jobs one at a time where I was making a living just writing.

Film Courage: Wow! So would you say that it was a few years out or…?

Christine Conradt: Yeah, I would say it was about 4 or 5 years maybe before I could get rid of all the other jobs. But during those 4 or 5 years I was rather consistently working on screenplays and building my body of work.

Film Courage: So you could almost sense that is was going to be around the corner?

Christine Conradt: Right, I just didn’t know when.

Film Courage: Interesting. How were you dealing with being tired from working so many jobs? Because it’s exhausting just getting ready for one of those jobs, but then you still have to keep your mind intact to do rewrites.

Christine Conradt: Yeah…I think…first of all, it helps when you’re in your 20’s.

Film Courage: That’s true.

Christine Conradt: I don’t know if I could do that in my 40’s. But in your 20’s you just have a lot more energy. But also the writing was what I looked forward to. So I would get up and go to the job (because you have to go to the job) but then I would come home and the writing was something that energized me and so I never really looked at it like I needed to be…that I was just too tired to write.

I don’t really think I’ve ever really…(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).

Watch the video interview on Youtube here