Monday, December 29, 2008

Monday, November 10, 2008

December Newsletter from Jen Grisanti Consultancy

Hello,And welcome to the December newsletter for Jen Grisanti Consultancy. Happy Holidays to everyone.

This month I'd like to highlight the positive effects of recognition. This focus ties in and was inspired by a book I am going to recommend, THE CARROT PRINCIPLE. The authors, Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton write, "Recognition is effective because it answers a universal human need. We all want to matter to those with whom we work. Communication combined with recognition of strategically important behaviors takes your vision and values off the wall and puts them into the hearts and minds of your people, which is exactly the place you want your vision and values to be." These words really resonated with me as did many others in this gem of a book.

The power of recognition is a huge part of what's so gratifying in my business and why I love doing what I do. Listening, guiding and supporting artists so that THEY themselves recognize their own value and reach their potential, and then watching their skills attract the recognition of others is a phenomenal experience for me.

To continue along this theme, we just completed this part of NBC's Writers on the Verge where the participants finished new specs and are well on their way to wrapping up new pilot scripts. Teaching this group of incredibly talented writers and seeing opportunities arise for them are highlights of my year. I want to take a moment to recognize the most recent accomplishments: Ben Raab and Deric A. Hughes recently staffed on WAREHOUSE 13; Rick Muirragui and Grace Parra signed with UTA; Vivien Lee -- along with writing partner Ann Shrake -- saw her first produced episode of GHOST WHISPERER air and receive great ratings; and Erika Kennair, who helped create and develop Writers on the Verge from the beginning, was promoted to Director of Development at the Sci-Fi Channel. But this is all just the beginning -- there are many things in the works for the rest of this talented group from the program. I also want to give special recognition to Erika for assisting 6 out of 8 of last year's group in getting staffed and with getting all 8 represented. The achievement is a strong reflection of the great work being done all 'round at Writers on the Verge.
On a slightly different note, I know that there are a lot of changes currently going on in our business; and jobs and bonuses are being cut because of the economy. I believe there is no more important time than the present to offer recognition of strong work and to share one's appreciation of another. It is a gift that we can give that doesn't cost us a thing.

And for those of you leaving positions... what you know has value for others. Moreover, as all of us in life come to know at one point or another, there is a lot to be learned through adversity. You come out the other side of it much stronger.

Lastly, I want to extend my sincere gratitude to everyone who has helped me during my first year of business. Since I launched on January 8, 2008, I have worked with more than 100 writers. This business has changed my life. Everything that came before it was my foundation and I recognize the blessing in all of it.

If you're looking to make a change and move forward with your writing career and you are interested in setting up a free initial consultation, please contact me at If you would like to see my list of services, please visit my website at

Jen Grisanti was an absolute godsend this season of Writers on the Verge. Her warmth and insight in the note-giving process led to constructive workshops, and amazing scripts. Jen has an incredible eye for story, character and dialogue. She went above and beyond the call of duty, really getting to know the participants, catering her process to their individual styles and talents. She's an incredible lady who genuinely cares about shaping each piece to its fullest potential.
Erika Kennair
Director of Development, Sci Fi Channel

Working with Jen was an amazing experience for which we are eternally grateful. Her insight was invaluable, her feedback educational, and her passion for helping writers improve their craft undeniable.
Ben Raab and Deric A. Hughes
Staff Writers,WAREHOUSE 13

Jennifer understands what makes writers tick, know how to push you so you look into yourself and extract the truth that's in there somewhere. Her passion, insight and enthusiasm will help you to climb to great heights as a writer. And she wears many hats -- teacher, booster, coach, friend -- but most importantly she's a guide, determined to help you find your way.

Rick Muirragui
Script Coordinator, LIFE

Writer - Nichole Beattie Director - Seith Mann

I am a huge fan of this show. I love what Kurt Sutter has done with it and I particularly love this episode where the writing stood out boldly. What I appreciate most about this one episode is the writer's ability to create intimate, yet universally personal moments amid something much larger going on.
Writers - John Hlavin & Angela Russo Director - Gwyneth Horder Payton

I have not had a chance to watch the finale yet but I hear that Kurt Sutter did an OUTSTANDING job on it. As far as this particular episode, it really impressed me because the writing it so poignant. I enjoyed the strength of the suspense and action along with the writers talent to hit pivotal character moments and express them so beautifully. I met this team years ago and I think they're amazing!
Although I usually just point out writers in this section, for both these episodes of SONS OF ANARCHY and THE SHIELD, I had to mention Seith Mann and Gwyneth Horder Payton, respectively. Both of these directors' exceptional visual style made these stories resonate even more for me. I've taken note of Gwyneth's and Seith's stellar work on other episodes of television during this season as well. And I met Seith Mann a few years ago; I feel he's a star and someone to watch.
Written by Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton

THE CARROT PRINCIPLE reiterates the power of recognition over and over again. It sites the countless successes that have happened as a result of using this simple tool and details the four principles of Leadership -- Goal Setting, Communication, Trust and Accountability. It is a must read for anyone who wants to succeed on every level and know how to bring out the best in others.

Written by Jeffrey Kitchen

I LOVE this book! I took a story structure class at the beginning of my career from Jeffrey. There was one tool I learned at the class that was especially beneficial in the note giving process. He said to go through a script from the back to the front. Look at every scene and make sure that the scene that precedes it in the same story line triggers what happens in the following scene. This advice was gold. So, when I heard about this book, I was very excited to read it. Jeffrey's approach is easy to grasp. For creating solid stories explore Dilemma, Crisis, Decision & Action, and Resolution in your script. He shows how these key elements affect story structure in great movies. I also find they apply tremendously well to story telling in television.

It takes a village to get a writer staffed. We all know this. Networking and cultivating relationships is the foundation to making this a possibility.
As many of you know, I host a networking night the first Friday of every month for entertainment professionals at the X Bar in the Century Plaza Hotel. It is located at 2025 Ave. of the Stars. A fantastic venue, the X Bar has a beautiful restaurant as well as an outside patio with a ton of seating.

The next one is Friday, February 6, 2009. It starts at 7:00 p.m. and goes to 11:00 p.m. If you know people who would benefit from this experience, please have them e-mail me. at and I will add them to the evite list. I also have the event listed on Facebook.

Looking to find GREAT healthy food at a very reasonable price, I've got the place for you!

Pan Mediterranean Foods
8250 W. Third Street (Sweetzer & 3rd)
Los Angeles, CA 90048

This is one of my favorite new spots to pick up food. I LOVE the panini's, salads and hummus but I especially LOVE their Fabo Bowl. I could eat at this place everyday. Natura also does catering packages. You should check out their website at

8117 Sunset Blvd. (Sunset and Crescent Heights)
Los Angeles, CA

The decor in this new restaurant by Chef Michael Mina is AMAZING. The dining room feels like you're in someone's home. The food is probably some of the best I've tasted in Los Angeles. My favorites are the scallops, the crab crepes, the tuna tartar and the pumpkin dumplings. They are INCREDIBLE! The place is pricey. The parking is $15.00. But the whole experience is worth the money.

Check it out on Michael Mina's website at

Have a GREAT month!

We communicate with the masses, but we manage to the one.
Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton

Hello,And welcome to the November newsletter for Jen Grisanti Consultancy.

This month I would like to celebrate the power of the word as it relates to the attainment of a dream; the power of words such as YES WE CAN and IT'S TIME FOR CHANGE. It is amazing to see what power the right words in a specific context can have on the emotions of a nation. No matter what your politics are, witnessing the accomplishment of what, in the not so distant past, appeared to be an impossible dream has forever affected all of us. My hope is that everyone will look at this experience and consider how it can apply to their own lives. What dream do you have that you think is impossible? What are you doing and what words are you saying to yourself and others that can change this?

In my business, I witnessed the attainment of a dream this month for two writing teams with whom I've been working. They both staffed for the very first time on new television shows. Hearing about the opportunities and recognizing how they rose to meet them was an honor and a privilege. Knowing that their lives will change and they're going in the direction they've dreamed about is inspiring on every level. Another two writers I'm working with had their very first produced episode air. These were all moments to CELEBRATE the power of words -- and commitment to one's dreams.

As we know, the entertainment business is full of dreamers and dream makers, and I love celebrating both. One of my greatest mentors was Aaron Spelling. He was a true dream maker. I believe it was one of the things that made him happiest about his life. I personally witnessed him help launch countless careers, and backed people he believed in so that they could soar to heights they previously thought impossible. Aaron's powerful dedication to helping visions come true continues to inspire me on a daily basis.

In fact, Aaron's commitment is largely responsible for motivating me to start my business. When I began designing the consultancy, I knew I wanted it to be something very POSITIVE in a town where rejection is a huge part of the journey. I wanted to treat people the way I like to be treated. My goal was and is to use a nurturing approach to inspire people to get the best from their writing and reach the heights they want to reach.

I believe writers know perfectly well the limitless power of words. When used effectively, words inspire myriad reactions. Readers and viewers get to experience a writer's perspective about what it is to live, what it is to dream and what it is to feel universal levels of emotions. When you couple the power of a human being's imagination with the commitment of his or her words, nothing stands in the way of the idea YES WE CAN.

If you're looking to make a change and move forward with your writing career and you are interested in setting up a free initial consultation, please contact me at If you would like to see my list of services, please visit my website at

"At the heart of it, Jen's business is really about helping people to achieve their dreams.
During our first meeting with her, we quickly sensed that Jen brought so much more to the table than just simple feedback on scripts. Her vast experience in the industry, unique insights and tremendous positive energy helped us break through professionally as well as creatively.
When we started working with Jen, we were mired in doubt and frustration after spending several years trying to break into the business. Only a few months later, we are on a network drama staff.
Since then, whenever fellow writers ask how we got staffed, we tell them that it started with Jen Grisanti."
TJ Brady and Rasheed Newson
Staff Writers, LIE TO ME

"There are so many reasons why working with Jen Grisanti is an excellent idea, but if you are a writer, what you should hear is this... From TV scripts to a novel, Jen simply gives the best, most insightful and truly helpful notes I've ever had. She gets what you're doing, and then gets to the right point. Best craft and career investment I've made."
Steve Harper
Author, TV Writer

This month was again a strong one for episodic writing. I was riveted by the following shows and writiers:
MAD MEN- Matthew Weiner and Kater Gordon
The season finale was PHENOMENAL! The last scene between Peggy and Pete was probably one of the best scenes ever written for television and all the character journeys on MAD MEN are like no other. I applaud Matthew and his entire staff for another compelling season. You inspire all of us!
ELI STONE - Alex Taub and Leila Gerstein
This episode with Katie Holmes guest starring was sublimely romantic and beautifully written.
ENTOURAGE - Ally Musika & Rob Weiss
Fabulous writing this season and, in particular, I loved this episode that explored the choices we make and the question of what is more important: money or loving what we do? It was wish fulfillment at its best.

Written by Maria Shriver

It took me 20 minutes to read this beautiful and uplifting book, and to benefit from its potent message. Maria Shriver reveals the power behind the question "Just Who Will You Be?" When we graduate from one level to the next, we're usually more concerned with the question "What Will We Be?" But by changing this question at any point along the journey to "Who Will We Be?", we open up new choices and discover an empowered place from which to choose. As Maria reveals her own journey about finding identity, she gracefully points us within ourselves where most of the answers lie.

On the topic of spirituality, I went to a charity event at Steve Byrnes and Jamie Mandelbaum's house this month for the organization SFK, Spirituality for Kids. Talk about the power of words in relation to achieving goals:

"One word. Every child. It begins today. It begins with you."

These are the first words a visitor sees on SFK's website. Simple. Powerful. Gets the message across.

The website goes on to explain: SFK teaches kids tools for life to end the cycle of conflict for children at risk emotionally, physically and spiritually. It begins by teaching the tools that will help them realize their full potential and change the course for them and future generations.

At Steve and Jamie's party, children also demonstrated the power of words. There were several booths where children recited stories about the power of choice: the choice to turn down a positive route or a negative one, and how that choice faces each one of us every day. These children's stories were more than enthralling; they inspired us to action.

I love what SFK stands for and was so impressed by the good they've achieved! You can learn more about it at

Also, if you're looking to buy gifts for the holidays, you can buy some GORGEOUS jewelry from Verre New York and choose to give a percentage of the proceeds to SFK. You have my word that the organization and the jewelry will leave you very fulfilled. Verre's website can be found at


It takes a village to get a writer staffed. We all know this. Networking and cultivating relationships is the foundation to making this a possibility. As many of you know, I host a networking night the first Friday of every month for entertainment professionals at the X Bar in the Century Plaza Hotel. It is located at 2025 Ave. of the Stars. A fantastic venue, the X Bar has a beautiful restaurant as well as an outside patio with a ton of seating.
The next one is Friday, December 5, 2008. It starts at 7:00 p.m. and goes to 11:00 p.m. Since it is the holiday season, please feel free to dress up. And if you know people who would benefit from this experience, please have them e-mail me. at and I will add them to the evite list. I also have the event listed on Facebook.

Resources for script sales in Hollywood along with interviews, advice and contact information for agencies and production companies. The best part of this site is the industry chat room, where agents and professional writers freely post and swap ideas on hundreds of entertainment industry related topics.

This is a great site for free downloads of produced screenplays and television scripts.

Everything to help screenwriters sell to Hollywood. Free script listing service; interviews, articles and classes from industry pros; books, software, critiquing service, posting from producers.

As I mentioned in last month's newsletter, Pilar Alessandra from ON THE PAGE recently interviewed me. Pilar conducts interviews with industry professionals from working writers to studio executives thereby getting invaluable information out there to listeners on a weekly basis. You can hear Pilar's podcasts, including my interview on i Tunes. Search under Podcasts then ON THE PAGE. And if you're interested in hearing my interview specifically, it's entitled On Career Pilar talks with Career Consultant, Jen Grisanti.
Have a GREAT month!


Barack Obama

Warmest regards,

Sunday, October 12, 2008

October Newsletter for Jen Grisanti Consultancy

Hello, and welcome to the October newsletter for Jen Grisanti Consultancy.

This last month has definitely been the strongest and most exciting month since I launched the consultancy in January. My first Storywise Seminar at UCLA exceeded my expectations in every way; the day went smoothly, the guest speakers were brilliant, the participants were incredible, and the stories and discussions that came out of it were phenomenal. And there was a moment while I was speaking, when I felt "this is exactly what I am supposed to be doing." I could not have asked for a better experience.

I want to extend a special thanks to my guest speakers of the day as well: Glen Mazzara for sharing his outstanding storytelling gifts and being so accessible to the participants, Elisa Roth for her humor and charm while taking us on the colorful ride of TV development and Gaylyn Fraiche for her honesty and clarity about the feature film business's challenges and opportunities. I'd also like to thank TVTracker, InkTip and Kinko's for being sponsors and to Joann Klonowski for coordinating it all with me. Lastly, I to give a tremendous thanks to the agents, managers and executives who took the time to fill out my surveys; the workbooks at the seminar were a big hit and the information you provided very beneficial.

For more about the day and information about my next seminar, visit my website at and press LEARN MORE next to Storywise Seminar on the home page.

A few days after my seminar, I started teaching NBCs Writers on the Verge program. I LOVE this talented group of writers, and feel this program is incredible for the opportunities it offers. I feel privileged to be a part of it.

A writing team, TJ Brady and Rasheed Newson, which I've been working with for months, was picked up by UTA. To see the work of my clients being recognized was a hugely satisfying moment for me!
I learned so much from all of the above about teaching, marketing, promotions, the value of the people in your life and the relationships you build. There is such a gift in watching others blossom creatively and professionally. I am truly grateful for the fulfillment and inspiration it brings to my life.

If you are a writer who is interested in learning more about the value of a one on one experience with the creative process, please contact me at If you want to learn more about the services I offer, please go to


"Jennifer Grisanti brings an abundance of hard-to-get information and advice on the business and technique of writing for screen and television; all delivered with her extremely attractive and approachable personality. Attended by already-successful and newbie writers alike, Grisanti's Storywise Seminar attracts some of the industry's top executives as speakers, which makes this a must-attend event for trade, craft and networking. I highly recommend this for both professionals and newcomers."

Gato Scatena, VP Marketing -

"With the Storywise Seminar, Jen unlocks key elements to the process of scriptwriting. In just one day, she presents a rich array of essential materials, guiding the writer through definitive discoveries about our stories. Her selection of engaging industry professionals revealed insider tips and tales, and her workbook offers a toolbox full of resources. This event uncovers Jen's unique approach, inspiring and motivating the writer to transform the written page."

Roberta Cruget - Writer

"Jennifer Grisanti's Storywise Seminar is a gift no writer, director or creative executive should deny themselves. The inaugural session was inspiring, moving, uplifting and life affirming. Jen's approach to the work is intelligent, thoughtful and real. The guest speakers were gracious, informative and truly interested in us. The day was, in a word, amazing and I advise anyone who is serious about their craft to get on the list for the next seminar!"

James Bontempo, Co-Writer of the Award Winning play, "A Place at Forest Lawn."

"Jen's first story seminar set the bar high for her future seminars: it was tremendous! She brought the day-long event to life with the story of her journey in this business and by reminding us of our own unique inspiration that brings us to the page day in and day out. Jen then infused the day with crucial information about the creative challenges and rewards of being a professional writer and director; and the fabulous TV and film executives she brought in shared generously their insight about what it takes to work in the industry. Jen -- a passionate advocate for stories and those of us who tell them -- truly delivers."

Jude Roth - Writer, PAGE Int'l finalist, Slamdance & Cinestory semifinalist, Austin second rounder


For me, spiritual books are every bit as important as professional books.


Written by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

This book is incredible! I love every page of it. If you approach your life with intention in everything you do, it is amazing to see what can happen. It is all about the energy you put out. I used this in my seminar to help writers see the value in setting intention when going into meetings.


Written by Ellen Sandler

Personally, I feel this is the strongest new book out there on television. Ellen's approach to writing TV is inspiring, informative and highly accessible, and she offers great tips on how to get to the core of your own story. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking to work in television.


On the Page: the DVD Pilar Alessandra

This is a great DVD for writers who want to dive into the story process. It's a one stop shop that offers writing exercises in easy, fun 10 minute increments that take your script from the brainstorming stage, through outlining, into writing pages, and all the way into rewriting.

Pilar Alessandra is a script consultant and director of the popular writing program "On the Page." Prior to starting "On the Page," she was a Senior Story Analyst for many major feature film production companies.

Pilar's amazing career has inspired me on many levels, and we share several clients. To learn more about Pilar's services, you should check out

The pilot for CRASH is OUTSTANDING. It was written by Glen Mazzara, Ted Mann and Randy Huggins and directed by Sandy Bookstaver and Terrance O'Hara. Every scene in this pilot is an event. The characters are written brilliantly. The cast is fantastic led by Dennis Hopper. Very few pilots draw you in from the beginning. This one does. You do not want to miss it!
CRASH is the first scripted drama on STARZ network. You can watch the first two episodes on the website for Starz.

Other stand out episodes this season were for DEXTER and CHUCK.

The first two episodes of DEXTER were outstanding! The second one, written by Melissa Rosenberg, blew my mind! There was an "oh shit" moment in it that I never thought they'd do this early in the season. But they did. I loved every moment of it. Great work Clyde Phillips and Melissa Rosenberg! I can't wait to see what's going to happen next.

The second episode of CHUCK, written by Matt Miller, was excellent! The story was suspenseful, strong and compelling with lots of romance. Like DEXTER'S second episode, this too has an "oh shit" moment that will really take you be surprise. I'm hooked!

Tasca Wine Bar
8108 W. Third St.
Los Angeles, CA
(323) 951-9890

I LOVE this restaurant. The food is INCREDIBLE. They serve Spanish tapas. I love the Burrata salad, the ravioli and the tuna tartar. I've also had some AMAZING wine there. Most recently, the Cordon Syrah 2003. It is a great place for intimate dinners where you want to be able to hear and enjoy one another.

Crumbs Cupcakes
9465 S. Santa Monica Blvd.
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
(310) 550-9811

Do you LOVE cupcakes? Well, you're going to die when you taste these! I had my very first Crumbs cupcake three weeks ago and I felt like I had died and gone to heaven. I highly recommend the Reese's cupcake and the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. I heard that the Carmel/Apple and the Brownie are also pretty spectacular!

Networking is the key to our business. It is such an important part of the process of getting hired.As many of you know, I host a networking night the first Friday of every month for entertainment professionals at the X Bar in the Century Plaza Hotel. It is located at 2025 Ave. of the Stars. The X Bar is a fantastic venue. They have a beautiful restaurant as well as an outside patio with a ton of seating.
The next one is on Friday, November 7, 2008. It starts at 7:00 p.m. and goes to 11:00 p.m. If you know people who would benefit from this, please have them e-mail me at and I will add them to the evite list. I also have the event listed on Facebook.


This past summer, Carole Kirschner (WGA Showrunners Training Program, CBS Writers Mentoring Program) and Kam Miller (Writer on LAW & ORDER; SVU) launched the Assistant Training Program for Television at USC. Out of the '08 MFA and BFA writing graduates, they selected eight trainees.

They gave these participants a training program over a six day period that included 40 hours of training to be assistants, 6 hours of shadowing on top shows, 21 industry guest speakers from showrunner to writer's assistant and personalized feedback on interview skills, resumes, bios and career goals.

If you're looking for an assistant and want to learn more about these trainees, please go to

I applaud Carole and Kam for coming up with such a great idea!!

DO NOT BE CONCERNED WITH THE FRUIT OF YOUR ACTION -- just give attention to the action itself. The fruit will come of its own accord. The is a powerful spiritual practice.
Eckhart Tolle

Have a GREAT month!Warmest regards,Jen