Q&A with Kate Powers

May 16, 2014 by

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Interview with Rectify writer and script coordinator, Kate Powers

Kevin Fukunaga (Scripts & Scribes):  What started your interest in writing and in television writing in particular?

Kate Powers:  I was always kinda lost in my head, growing up.  I read a ton, and I just alternated between being totally lost in other peoples’ stories and making them up on my own.  I did all kinds of little doodly things as a kid, but things accelerated when I learned to type in the 8th grade and my parents got me a computer.  I started writing Raymond Chandler parodies for my high school English classes, and that was it.  I didn’t know how I was going to make a living as a writer, but that was the only real option.

I didn’t really take television seriously until I went to college and worked in a media lab at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  There were shelves and shelves of recordings — things professors had requested over the years and nobody had gotten around to erasing or throwing out.  It was like working in a candy store.  I’d cover the front desk on weeknights and use it as an excuse to watch old seasons of Twin Peaks, Roseanne, The X-Files and just kind of lose my mind at how good they were.

But I didn’t know that writing for TV was actually a job you could do.  After college, I wrote for websites and various online games, and I thought, welp, I’m making a living as a writer, my work here is done.  Then I got laid off, and spent about five months on my living room couch, becoming obsessed with Buffy the Vampire Slayer — which was airing twice a day in syndication, and then once a week on the WB or CW or whatever.  By some total fluke, a UW alum named Dan Vebber had written a Buffy episode (“Love’s Bitch,” which is spectacularly good) and when I saw his name in the credits, my brain just exploded.  I started questioning all my preconceived ideas about how TV gets made, and who makes it, and how they get started.  Somehow I stumbled upon the ABC/Disney Fellowship, and about 24 hours later, I started writing my first spec script.

Kevin:  You were a writer’s intern on the first season of MAD MEN.  Can you tell me how you got that position and what the job entailed?

Kate:  So, when we last left Kate, she was living in Chicago, writing spec episodes and sending them to the ABC/Disney Fellowship.  But she was never good enough to make it even past the first round.  Honestly, it’s kind of embarrassing.  I wrote two Buffys, an O.C. and a Grey’s Anatomy, and nothing.  But I did have more than enough writing samples to apply to film school.  I applied to NYU, Columbia, UCLA and USC, but only got in to USC — likely because I was so obviously obsessed with TV, and those other three places are much more feature-oriented.  Also possibly because I was not a very good screenwriter.  (See also: Getting dinged in the first round of the ABC/Disney Fellowship three years running.)

Anyway, I enrolled at USC as much to justify moving to L.A. as anything else.  I vaguely assumed that once I got out here, I’d find a job or, failing that, an internship that I could turn into a job.  When that happened, I’d drop out of USC and start my career.  Four horrifically expensive semesters later, I had a 3-credit work study job in the writing department, and not one scrap of industry experience.  I interviewed for things at Fox, Disney, Paramount and never got anywhere.

January of my last semester, I saw a posting on an USC mailing list — intern wanted for AMC’s new cable series, research skills a plus.  I figured out it must be Mad Men, which had shot its pilot about six months earlier, got the script from an assistant friend, read it and went into the interview, 100% sure there was no way I would ever, ever, ever get this.

And really, I shouldn’t have.  The woman who interviewed me literally wrote on my resume “Really green.”  I talked about how I’d had a professor who worked as a showrunner, and ran his class like a writers’ room, as if that would in any way qualify me for this job.  But by some fluky miracle, my interviewer liked me, and offered me a 1-day-a-week slot.

That interviewer, by the way, was Gennifer Hutchison, who was Matt Weiner’s assistant on Mad Men’s first season.  Without her, I pretty much don’t have a career.  Over the semester, when other interns dropped out, she offered to let me cover their days.  When I made dumb mistakes, she kept me from making an ass of myself.

So the internship was basically a lot of research, and a little covering of phones.  Because I was still in school, I had access to USC’s online library, and a hundred years’ worth of NYT, Wall Street Journal and a ton of other stuff.  I spent a lot of time tracking down words or phrases, proving that they’d been in use before 1960, or finding people who’d lived and worked in NYC during the 60’s, checking their salaries, the neighborhoods where they lived.

It was a ridiculously great experience, if only because it made me a complete nerd for accuracy and first-hand research.  Especially when the story is going someplace where the audience might second-guess you, there’s no substitute for talking to people who really do that job, or lived through that experience.  Wikipedia is great for answering trivia questions, but it’s less useful when you want to describe a woman going into labor who didn’t even know she was pregnant.  That’s when you need to talk to doctors and nurses who’ve had patients in that situation.

Mad Men is also where I realized that I didn’t know one goddamn thing about writing a good TV show, and that I had a much better shot at figuring it out if I kept my head down, did my job and paid attention to what was going on around me.

When I’d collate scripts, I’d look at what was changing from one revision to the next, and try to figure out what motivated the change.  I came back for a few months in Season Two to cover for the writers’ assistant, Kater Gordon, and taking notes in the room, I’d watch how the writers would listen, pitch, listen some more.  I’d notice the kinds of pitches that got Matt excited, and the pitches that didn’t.  Above all, I noticed that I was in way over my head.  Knowing what you don’t know is hugely valuable when you’re starting out.  It kept me from saying or doing so many stupid things over the years, I can’t even tell you.

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Kevin:   You’ve also spent time as a showrunner’s assistant, a script coordinator and writer’s assistant on shows such as BREAKING BAD, THE GOOD WIFE and currently RECTIFY.  Can you describe a little about what the responsibilities of each of those positions are and how they fit into the very loose television writer track?

Kate: So here’s the weird thing.  I’ve been calling myself an aspiring TV writer since the first time I applied to ABC/Disney, back in 2002 or 2003.  And when I got into USC, I did more or less think, “I’m going to get an internship, and then get a job as a writers’ assistant, and then I’ll figure out how to get hired as a staff writer.”  But once I started interning at Mad Men, I stopped pushing towards a staff writing job.  Partly, I knew I wasn’t ready.  And partly, I could see it wouldn’t happen until other people — without any input or pushing from me — decided I was ready.

So I’ve never gone after a job, thinking to myself “Ah, yes, this will get me closer to my ultimate goal of world domination!”  I applied for jobs on shows where I knew and liked the people involved.  It probably helped me get hired, but that wasn’t my motive — I just wanted to work with people I respected.

It also turns out that showing up, doing my job, and learning as much as I could along the way is remarkably good training for working as a writer.  Looking too far down the road is both a waste of time, and I find, really unproductive.  I can’t focus on the scene at hand if I’m also freaking out about how much there is still to be done, how worried I am that my boss won’t like this, how much trouble I’ll be in if it’s not done by deadline, etc.  In that sense, every one of my jobs prepared me a little more for working as a writer.

But to offer a more literal answer, here’s roughly the progression:

Writers’ PA – A lot of office management, running errands, making copies, getting lunch, plus covering phones.  Did a fair amount of research, both setting up the office (replacing the phone system, arranging a secure shredding service) and for the writers (how to make a battery out of stuff found in an RV, what kind of novelty inflatable balloons can you rent for your business?).  It was just me and the WA (Gennifer Hutchison again!  This time in the room taking notes!), so the main challenge was to keep the office running while keeping an eye on the phones.  My solution was to keep a running kitchen inventory, and when we were running low, I’d hit the grocery stores on my way home from work, keep the cold stuff in my fridge over night, and then bring it all in the next day.  To this day, I am still a big believer in checklists and planning ahead.

Showrunner’s Assistant – I was still working as the writers’ PA when I became Vince’s assistant.  So in addition to all the stuff I was already doing, I took on some scheduling, travel plans, personal errands.  But the bulk of my job was passing information between production in Albuquerque and the writers’ offices in Burbank.  If every single person just emailed Vince directly, he’d never get anything done.  So I became a human email filter.  I’d gather all the email and phone questions; organize all the photos of props, costumes, sets; present to Vince and get his feedback, then email/call everyone back with their answers.  I learned a ton about production and who does what, but it also taught me to listen very closely, take good notes and — most importantly — communicate with both accuracy and diplomacy.  I also got in the habit of reading the one-liner and paying attention to what shoots when, so I had a sense of what still needed addressing.

At Breaking Bad, both the above jobs involved sitting right outside the writers’ room.  So for more than a year, I got to eavesdrop on the room and listen to the writers breaking story.  (Luckily, the acoustics of the office were in my favor, and I could answer the phone without disturbing the writers.)  It was like the best radio station ever.  I know a lot of assistants angle for a chance to get in the room, hang out with the writers, etc., but I was happy just listening to them work.

Writers’ Assistant/Script Coordinator – Sometimes I’ve done both these jobs at the same time, sometimes just one or the other.  At Breaking Bad, we had enough lead time that you could do both — the writers worked on the season for about five months before we went into production.  When Genny got a freelance script in S3, she trained me to cover for her as WA/SC.  So I started taking notes during the day, doing research as needed, and proofing/distroing scripts after the room wrapped for the day.  When she got staffed, I stepped in permanently — and again, you can see, I basically don’t have a career without her help.

Most people think of the writers’ assistant position as the one that leads to working as a writer — you’re in the room as they break story, you’re taking notes, maybe you can offer an idea or two along the way.  But script coordinating is, in many ways, even more educational.  You’re reading every script so closely for typos, spelling mistakes, formatting errors that you can’t help noticing the way the writer uses language, how they balance dialogue and action, even how they hide necessary exposition behind conflict or some piece of comedy.  Also, when you see how several different writers — ranging from staff to showrunner — work, you start to realize, there’s no one right way.  Some people get up at dawn, some stay up until 2 a.m.  Some write only dialogue, some track the characters’ emotions in the action.  Some like to send what they have as they finish, some hold onto the script until they’re happy with the whole thing.

Kevin:  How many spec TV episodes and pilots have you written since you decided to pursue a career as a television writer?  How many of those do you feel are strong writing samples and represent what you can really do as a writer?

Kate:  Oh brother.  I’ve lost count.  Not counting the features I wrote at USC, I think… 11?  12?  I tend to write a spec, send it off for some deadline, then come back to it three months later and do such a massive rewrite that it doesn’t look anything like the first version.  That’s how I ended up writing two (terrible) Buffys, two (better) Dexters, two (decent) Good Wifes (Wives?).  Plus various pilots and comedy assignments for school.  I think my last Good Wife (written before I worked there) was pretty good as a script, but fell short of being an actual episode of the show.  Now that I’ve seen a script come together, I realize now what makes the Kings so good at their job — they never stop at just two or three ideas.  Every storyline is a mash-up of about four great themes, all working simultaneously.  And I’m pretty happy with my latest original pilot, which is the writing sample that got Rectify to offer me a co-writing assignment.

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Kevin:  I know you attended USC’s screenwriting program.  I attended the film production program there and found that, regardless of the education received, the most valuable thing about attending film school at USC was the relationships and contacts I made there.  What was the screenwriting program like?  Did you feel it was worthwhile in terms of your screenwriting career and if so, in what way?

Kate:  My standard answer is that absolutely nobody needs to go to film school.  There’s lots of other ways to start a career.  In my case, I had already been out of school for a couple years, I had some money saved and I qualified for enough federal student loans to cover the balance.  On the other hand, I didn’t have any industry connections.  I figured if I started completely from scratch, it could take me ten years to get my foot in the door, and god knows how much longer than that to get hired as a writer.  So I decided to trade money for time.

It didn’t work quite as well as I hoped — I really did think that, like one of my classmates, I’d drop out after a semester and start working on a show.  But truly, I never would have gotten that Mad Men internship if I hadn’t been on the USC student mailing list, so in the end, as expensive as USC was, the gamble worked and, for me, it was worth it.  (I came out in August of 2005, and I got my first real job in May 2008, so at a guess, it saved me about seven years of knocking on doors.)  I’m also really lucky it did work.  I have classmates who took out privately funded student loans — which are outrageously under-regulated and exploitive — and classmates who are still trying to break in, and I’m not sure they feel the way I do.

The Mad Men opening isn’t the only thing I got out of it.  I feel silly about bringing it up in my Mad Men interview, but truthfully, it did help that I’d taken Prof. Jeff Melvoin’s class on the hour-long drama, because he did treat us like a writing staff, and he talked about the kind of stuff that happens in a writers’ room, so I was much more prepared than I would have been otherwise.  I did learn to analyze story structure, and to offer constructive criticism, both of which have helped me tremendously over the years.

The sad thing about my time at USC is that I didn’t yet have a point of view, so there was a limit to how much I could really grow as a writer.  And to be fair, some professors made a point of helping students figure that out, and I think those writers got a lot more out of the program as a result.  But it is kind of a crap shoot — you can choose electives, but for the core screenwriting courses, the department puts you in a specific class, and that’s it, you can’t switch or transfer.

So my other piece of standard advice is that, if you HAVE to go to film school, try to already know what you want to write, and why.  There used to be this picnic table next to Lucas where I’d drink coffee and work.  Maybe once a week, some parents would walk up to me with their kid, and ask me if I was a student, did I go to the film school, what did I think?  My answer was always the same: If the kid wanted to be a DP, or an editor, or a sound person, yes, absolutely, USC was great for that.  But for writing, I thought the undergrad program was a waste of time and money, because maybe one 18-year-old in 100,000 really knows what they want to do with their lives.  God knows I didn’t.  My god, I got to USC after having already earned a BA at UW, held a couple jobs, lived in a couple cities, and I still didn’t have it all figured out.

Kevin:  Writing television is very different than writing features, with a TV writer’s room being much more interactive and collaborative.  Can you talk a little about your experience working in a writer’s room?  What is the normal hierarchy in the room?

Kate:  A strong, supportive writers’ room is a thing of beauty.  It’s not that everyone is exactly the same — if anything, the opposite — it’s just that there’s a baseline respect that everyone has a right to be there, anyone could find the thing we’re looking for.  That Myers-Briggs Inventory?  Man, that thing is REAL.  Some people feel better when things are tied down and decided, some people itch all over when it comes time to commit to one course of action.  Some people respond to emotion, some people are incredibly analytical.  And in a good room, all these different people will swirl around, listening, thinking, bouncing ideas off each other, trying things out, and two weeks later, you’ll have an actual, honest to god episode.

I have never been shut down by someone who thought assistants — or even junior writers — should be seen and not heard, but I know it happens.  I do listen a lot, and weigh my ideas before chiming in.  And I generally don’t pitch unless I think it will materially advance the story, will put an emotional spin on the character that will carry us to the next beat.  I also pay attention to the vibe after my pitch.  If it sinks without a trace, or what is worse, people are kinda solicitous and “oh, good job!,” then I realize I’m not tracking with the room at all, and they’re being nice to me because it’s rude to yell at an assistant for wasting the room’s time.  That, to me, is the cardinal sin — don’t waste the room’s time.  Don’t pitch just to hear yourself talk.

All the rooms I’ve worked, the writers all gather at 9 or 10, they gossip a little bit about whatever show they’re all watching, and then eventually, somebody chimes in with something they’ve been thinking about.  From that point on, there might be little breaks to watch a YouTube video on my laptop, or go get coffee, but otherwise, we’re working.  People might glance at their cellphone when it buzzes, but they don’t text or browse the web, and I’m the only one who has a laptop.  We eat lunch in the room, break afterwards for 20 minutes so people can answer emails, then work more or less straight through to 6 or 7, and call it a day.

I’ve heard stories of shows — procedurals, usually — where people are wandering in and out of the room all day, everyone’s on their laptop, kinda half paying attention.  I don’t know what it would be like to try to break story when you constantly have to repeat and explain your pitch to the three people who weren’t listening.  I’m hoping I’ll never find out.

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Kevin:  How did you get the opportunity to pitch and ultimately get to write an actual episode on RECTIFY?  (Congratulations by the way!  Very exciting!)

Kate:  Thank you — but to be clear, I am only co-writing the episode.  I have many friends who got their first script by pitching ideas to the showrunner, and eventually getting the chance to write one of those pitches up, so yes, that’s something that happens.  But I tend to work on shows that are so character-driven, you can only build one or two episodes out from where you are, if that.  At Breaking Bad, wecalled it brick-by-brick.  First question out of anyone’s mouth was always, “Where is Walt’s head at?”  (Or Jesse’s, or Skyler’s, or…)  You’d look back at the previous episode, and try to put yourself in the character’s shoes, what he or she was feeling now, what that might mean.  So there’s virtually no way to pitch an episode the way, for example, my friend on White Collar could pitch an episode where the characters go after such-and-such kind of scam.

That’s not to say I haven’t, over the years, floated an idea or two.  My sister was a varsity field hockey player in high school and college, and one of her coaches used to say “Pain is weakness leaving your body.”  So when Hank was in rehab in Season Three, I pitched that line for Marie, and they ended up using it.

At Rectify, the first season’s writing staff was tiny — a pair of staff writers, a Co-EP and the showrunner — and only the Co-EP had ever been in a working room before.  So I kinda had no choice but to pitch in.  When we went into production, the writers wrapped for the season, and the showrunner moved to Georgia to supervise filming, while I worked remotely from my apartment as script coordinator.  As the season progressed, we sometimes needed audition scenes for casting — and the showrunner would ask me to take a pass on those, and he seemed happy with my work, but it was a short season, so it wasn’t like there was a spare episode to give me.

I wrapped on the first season of Rectify in August, 2012, and went onto other jobs, and then, to my complete amazement, I got a call from The Good Wife in March, 2013, asking me to interview for their script coordinator spot.  (See above, re: my repeated attempts at specing the show.  I am a giant nerd for TGW.)  I went in, it went well, they hired me.

A month later, Rectify finally premiered, and Sundance ordered a second season.  For a couple weeks, I kept checking and rechecking my email, but I didn’t hear anything, and I figured I wasn’t coming back.  I started at the Good Wife in June and loved it.

Then more or less out of nowhere, I got a call last September from a Rectify producer — more than a year after I wrapped there.  Did I have a writing sample I could send her?  Thank god, I did.  Not long after, she called me back: If I’d come back as the WA/SC, they’d let me cowrite a script with the showrunner.

To be completely honest, I didn’t totally believe it would happen.  Rectify knew I was on The Good Wife, and they knew I couldn’t leave that job mid-season unless they offered me a chance to write.  (That’s not me being greedy, that’s just industry convention — assistants can only leave a show mid-season if they’re poached by a show that’s offering a script or a staff writing job.)  I was so “well, we’ll see, I know things sometimes change” that at one point, one of my Rectify producers was like, “Stop saying it might not happen.  Listen to me, it’s happening.  I’ve given you my word.”

And she was right.  It did happen.  I wrote half the outline and half the script for Ep. #204, and apparently it went pretty well, because I’m cowriting the finale with the showrunner.   Which… holy hell.  I didn’t see that coming.

Kevin:   Can you describe a little of what that experience is like co-writing your first episode of RECTIFY with the showrunner? (Ray McKinnon?)  How much freedom do you have in writing a first draft?

Kate:  We had broken the episode out in the room, so for me, I was taking those beats and fleshing them out into full scenes.  Our showrunner, Ray McKinnon, has a lot more flexibility — it’s his show, so if he wants to change a location or totally change the tone of a scene, that’s his choice.  That being said, there’s always stuff to explore, stuff to find in a scene that wasn’t part of the original pitch.  Whatever the character’s emotional state, you have to figure out how they get there, or where they go from there.  I’ve worked with a couple writers who trained as actors — Sam Catlin, and Moira Walley-Beckett — and in their scripts, they often give the characters a little business, something that externalizes their emotional state, so that’s something I try to weave in there.  And not to just name-drop like crazy, but I’ve also worked for writer/directors who are just so, so visual in their storytelling (coughVinceGilligancoughPeterGouldcough), that to this day, I can’t leave a scene until I’ve thought about the first image, the last image, the way things are revealed on screen, and that often leads to interesting things.

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Kevin:  What is the writer’s role during the shooting of an episode they had a hand in writing?

Kate:  It varies from show to show.  Some shows, the writer never goes to set at all, especially if it’s in a different state.  On Rectify, showrunner Ray McKinnon is on set pretty much constantly, so he’s got it covered.

When we shot Ep. #204, the writers’ office was wrapped and I was working remotely as the script coordinator from my apartment, so I asked for permission to visit the production in Georgia.  I had to pay my own way, but once I got there, everyone was incredibly welcoming and supportive.  I was still the script coordinator, so I’d have to sneak off and borrow the producers’ trailer now and then to put out pages, but I got to be on set for nearly everything.

The episodes are really shaped by Ray and the director (in the case of 204, the astonishingly talented David Lowery), but there would be little things they’d ask me about, and I’d offer my two cents.  In general though, I think keeping a writer on set helps track the story arc, because there are episodes coming where these characters will need to feel X or be Y, and maybe the writer is the only one who’s aware of any of that.  So if you know there’s a dramatic moment coming at the top of the next episode, maybe you offer a note to the director that this scene should feel more subdued, or even with some building tension, but to not let everything to go 11, because you need to save something for the next beat in this story.

Kevin:  Any memorable writer’s room stories that you can share?

Kate:  God, I wish.  Alas, I am a world champion keeper of secrets.

Kevin:   To be a script coordinator, how strong does your understanding of Final Draft and Movie Magic Screenwriter need to be?  Are there any other programs that you use frequently that you feel are imperative for a script coordinator to know?

Kate:  Those are the two biggies.  I’ve actually worked on shows that started out on one, then switched to the other.  I don’t recommend it, but if you ever live through something like that, you’ll end up knowing both programs cold.  It’s not a program exactly, but I am a big fan of Scenechronize, and I’m always trying to get shows to sign up for it, because it locks a personalized watermark into a PDF.  Talk all you want about discouraging story leaks — people keep really close track of their scripts when their names are written across every page in inch-high letters.

I use Word for cover pages, set and cast lists, and when I’m in the room, I take notes in a Word document that’s got a bunch of customized commands to make it easier for me to tab in and out.  I also back up obsessively, because I live in horror of a lost file.  I like DropBox, because it’s seamless, but I know some people have bandwidth issues with it.

My other secret weapon is my phone’s built-in hotspot.  That thing has saved my butt so many times.  I am pretty hardcore when I’m on a show — I don’t make social plans or big outings if there’s any chance I’ll get pages to put out — but sometimes a wedding or family event will force me to travel.  I’ve literally put pages out while parked in a Chevron off the 5, halfway between SF and LA, thanks to my phone’s hotspot.

Wait, one more secret weapon: A subscription to the NYT.  I have reasonably good spelling and grammar, but sometimes I get stuck.  If you can find a phrase used in a NYT article (not in a quote or an opinion piece, but in the reportage), that will tell you whether it’s correctly used in the script.

Kevin:  As a script coordinator you’re likely mandated to use whatever your showrunner and staff writers use in terms of screenwriting programs.  What would you choose to use if you had to make the decision yourself?

Kate:  I like Movie Magic.  It crashes less for me than FD and I think the scene numbering is less buggy than FD.  I know it’s stressful to change programs when you’re used to one specific thing, so I’m sympathetic when FD writers join a MMSW show and have to learn a new program, but I think sometimes writers feel frustrated by the experience of using an unfamiliar program and mistakenly conclude that MMSW is itself confusing.  But that’s just my opinion; I’m fine with whatever the showrunner prefers.

Kevin:  What shows are you currently watching?

Kate:  Archer is the only show I’ve ever found that’s filthier than I am, so anytime I turn something in, I get to watch whatever’s backlogged on my DVR.  I find the creative psycho-drama on Mad Men very soothing, so that’s the one thing I make time to watch no matter what.  But in general, my Tivo gets incredibly backed up when I’m on deadline, because I’m not allowed to watch TV until I’ve finished my day’s work, and by then, I’m usually too tired for anything but sleep.  I have half a season of The Good Wife waiting for me, all of Veep, all of Silicon Alley.  Louie just started, but every episode I watch just makes me want more, so I’m hoarding them.  I am really looking forward to Masters of Sex coming back, and Orange Is the New Black.  And Homeland.  I can’t wait to see where they’re going with Carrie’s character, and I have such admiration for the pure balls of hanging a major character, on camera…  They went so far with it, I more than half expected the character to void his bowels.

In a universe where I had an unlimited amount of free time, I would be binge-watching The Americans, Game of Thrones, Orphan Black, The 100 and Star-Crossed.  Every time I start watching one of these, I just get totally sucked in, but I’m lucky if I watch even two hours of TV a week, and they always end up losing out to other stuff.  I was looking forward to Fargo for a year, and I still haven’t even watched the pilot.

Kevin:  What advice would you give to aspiring television writers out there?

Kate:  Despite all my nattering about working up from writers’ PA, the assistant track is not for everyone.  You really do have to put your own needs aside and focus on doing the job at hand, and do that without getting resentful or taking it out on the people around you.  If that’s not who you are, don’t torture yourself or your coworkers out of a mistaken belief that this is the only way in.  It’s absolutely not.

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BONUS Q’s:

Kevin:  Having worked on such amazing television shows, are you completely spoiled when it comes to work now?  If a show isn’t already up for at least a dozen Emmy nominations, does that dampen your interest in working on it?  Or perhaps you’re a lucky charm?  😉

Kate:  Well, it makes it hard to tweet during the Emmys, because I’ve got friends on three or four different nominated shows and I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings 🙂  I do sometimes look at my resume and think, how the hell did this happen?  I didn’t plan any of this; if anything, I tend to take jobs for more or less random reasons.  I’d never worked on a comedy or on a lot, so I helped out on a single-camera half hour last year, just to see what it was like.  I worked on a pilot because I liked the writers.  I read the Rectify pilot and it scared the crap out of me, so I figured, well, that’s probably a good sign.

Kevin:  Which Kate would play the title role in the “Kate Powers” TV series:  Kate Beckinsale, Kate Hudson, Kate Mara or Kate Winslet?

Kate:  The real answer is Kristen Schaal, because I’ve been mistaken for her more than once.  And my boss likes to pretend that he hired me under the mistaken impression I was actually Kat Power and my continual non-playing/writing of songs is a constant disappointment to him.  But as long as she was willing to go brunette for the role, I’d love to be played by Kate Winslet

Kevin:  What two superpowers would you choose if you could?

Kate:   I actually already have a superpower, and I don’t think I could handle the moral pressure of any more.  Try not to be too impressed when I tell you — remember, I put my pants on one leg at a time just like everyone else.  Okay, here goes: I make the best gravy you’ve ever tasted.

 

Kevin

Kevin

I invented the Frappucino. My dream is to visit Dollywood. Sometimes I host a podcast on writing @ScriptsScribes. Only one of those things is true.
Kevin

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