You know the stereotype: the boss who hoards knowledge and tears their subordinates down, secretly terrified of being replaced by them someday. It’s immortalized in pop culture, particularly among females–Quinn and Rachel from Unreal, Diana and Liza from Younger, and Miranda and Andy from The Devil Wears Prada. The trope of the selfish, domineering woman with power is everywhere, especially within competitive industries.
And what industry is more competitive than television? Although it’s true that new platforms and streaming services are producing more content than ever, the market is still crowded, and there are still only so many jobs. It’s almost understandable why someone would hold their cards close to their chest.
On the flip side, breaking into entertainment can be frustrating and overwhelming. Sure, there are hundreds of books out there on format, thousands of available classes on craft, and millions of Google search results on the subject of networking, but what information is the most valuable? Who can you really trust to tell you the truth? And where do you go for more specific advice that can’t be found in any of those places?
Lucky for aspiring television writers everywhere, two female showrunners are smashing all tropes and defying all the preconceived notions. Showrunners Gloria Calderón Kellet (Netflix’s hilarious and touching One Day at a Time) and Raelle Tucker (Facebook Watch’s groundbreaking and bold Sacred Lies) can often be found generously posting insider knowledge on social media, opening the door and making information accessible in a way it’s never been before.
Calderón Kellet’s medium of choice is Twitter. She’s known for posting in-depth threads spanning all aspects of the industry, covering everything from the ins and outs of pilot season to pitching, professional networking etiquette to working with agents, the truth about diversity hiring to perfecting a writer origin story.
Calderón Kellet frequently encourages her followers to ask her any specific questions they may have during her limited free time on plane rides or when her kids are in bed. She is also in the process of creating a free masterclass to offer more comprehensive advice.
Raelle Tucker uses a Facebook group entitled Sacred Lies: The Community in order to share her expertise. Tucker generally shares broader, more technical information, such as detailed looks into what various producer titles mean and the steps to making a season of television.
Tucker has encouraged more junior members of the writing staff to get involved as well. Both writers’ PA Kelcie Gruenberg and writers’ assistant Caroline Hayes have partaken in Q&A sessions, sharing how they recently broke into the industry.
As if creating and managing two of the most layered and inclusive shows on television wasn’t enough, Calderón Kellet and Tucker are taking things a step further by personally empowering the next generation of writers. In addition to inspiring the world with their unique and heartfelt art, they are singlehandedly leveling the playing field, using their platforms to invite fresh, new voices into the conversation and changing the game forever.
— Taylor Gates