Jim Jennewein had already carved out a successful career in the film industry and as a YA novelist when he came to our program to earn his MFA. Now the chair of screenwriting at the New York Film Academy, Jim writes about some of the successful habits of those who make their living writing the words other people say…including his own:
An assistant instantly gave her an iced tea and left, and there I was, alone with Liz Taylor, staring into her famous blue-violet eyes. I was mesmerized. I said, “Ms. Taylor, what would you like me to do?” And batting her eyelashes, she said, “Please call me Liz.” As it turned out, in all of a minute, I was done fixing her lines and realized my audience was over. It was time to go. But I didn’t want to go. I was sitting with one of the greatest movie actresses ever and wanted the moment to last. I wanted to make some kind of personal connection.
So I said, “Ms. Taylor—I mean, Liz—you’ve lived such an amazing life and had one of the longest acting careers ever. I just have to ask you. What’s your secret? What do you attribute your success to?”
She put down her iced tea and closed her eyes, pausing to think. Then her eyes flew open and she reached out and put her hand on mine—our skin actually touched! She squeezed my hand and said, “Truth.”
Read the rest here. And if you’d like to be an alum like Jim one day, applications for spring are due February 1st.