It probably sounds insanely dramatic to say that a TV show changed my life, but it’s totally true. Here’s how it happened five times over:
The Protectors – Hardly anyone remembers this British spy series from the 70’s, but it holds a very special place in my heart. I was in junior high school and my best friend and I were both totally hooked on the show. Only trouble, it was a half hour a week! Not nearly enough of Harry, Paul and the Contessa. So we filled the gap with fan fiction. Stories that we devised using the characters we saw on TV. Soon all my friends at school were clamoring for the latest installment of my steamy stories (okay, so not that steamy, I was only 13) and what an ego boost that was. The Protectors started me on a writing quest that has never stopped. I learned to write because of that series. I learned how to craft a plot and develop the rise and fall of a novel and create new characters that people loved as much as they ones they saw on the show. It was the start of one of the biggest things in my life and I’ll always look back fondly at that era, even if the stories I wrote at the time are a bit cringe-worthy by my current standards!
Rat Patrol – Another half hour action series, this one about four soldiers fighting in the Desert Campaign in Africa during WWII. It was the beginning of my buddy show addiction, and one of my most prolific fan fiction periods. And it was that show that was the common ground between myself and my best friend in the whole world, Jeannie Gold. We were both waiting for someone and we both pulled out TV Tie-ins to read. She had The Professionals and I had Rat Patrol. She said, I love Rat Patrol and twenty-five years later we’re still as close as two sisters. Since then we’ve passed in and out of dozens of fandoms and not always the same ones, but it doesn’t matter anymore. We’re eternally linked. Husbands, kids and 3,000 miles between us, she’s still the first person I want to share good news with and the first person to listen when I’ve had a bad day.
Land of the Giants – This is the TV series that gave me my start as a professional writer. I was a schoolteacher in NJ longing for the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. On a vacation to sunny So Cal, fate dropped me in front of one of the stars of the sixties sci fi series, Mr. Don Matheson. Don became my very first celebrity interview, which I subsequently sold to a magazine and from that interview I was hired to co-write a book about Land of the Giants. That book led to my second book and many many more magazine articles. Now, I write full time.
On a related note, it was Land of the Giants that brought me together with my husband! He was a huge fan of all the old Irwin Allen TV series and he heard about me and my interview from a friend. He was so excited to find a girl who loved the shows that he loved, he stalked me at a fan convention, too afraid to actually speak. He ended up writing me a letter (which he had his mother check) to ask me out on a date. We were married eight months later.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer – Though Giants gave me my start as a writer, it was Buffy that gave me the confidence to step it up a notch. When I saw the very first episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer I fell in love and I vowed that I would get myself invited to the set. Visiting the set of my favorite TV show had been a childhood dream and when it finally happened it was one of the best days of my life. Not only did I get to visit the set, but I went on behalf of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Magazine and the actors treated ME like I was the celeb and not the other way around. There haven’t been many moments in my life to compare with the private tour of Giles’ apartment I got from Giles himself! Writing for Buffy magazine led me to my biggest book contract to date, authoring the Official Buffy the Vampire Slayer Pop Quiz Book.
Blue Collar TV – The only thing I’ve ever wanted to do more than write, was act. But I’m not exactly ingénue material, so I never thought I could make it as a pro, let alone on a popular TV series. After years of working theater back in NJ, I signed up to work as an extra out here in Los Angeles. Not so fun, until I got hired to work on Blue Collar TV. I got to go through wardrobe, hair and make-up right next to the stars and never once did they make me feel like I didn’t belong. I had a fabulous time and what a confidence booster it was when the casting director asked for me to come back and film another episode of the show a few weeks later. Since then I’ve filmed a commercial, a terrific sketch for G4-TV and I’ve had roles in several indie movies. Look ma, I’m on TV!
So there you have it. From fabulous friendships to a career I really love, TV has been very, very good to me!
* * * *
Project Blog: This Week’s Challenge:
On Project Runway, contestants were asked to create an outfit that showed who they are as designers. Bloggers, your challenge is equally simple – give us a post about why you do what you do. Why do you blog? Why do you blog about your particular subject? What sets your blog apart? How did you get started? These are just some of the questions you may choose to answer in your post, but the actual content is totally up to you! (For an example of a good post following these guidelines, see “Why NCAA Football has Me in a BCS Frenzy” at BCS Frenzy. Don’t copy this post, though – do you own thaaaang!)
Here’s a list of all the participants. Please check out their blogs then go HERE to vote for your favorite.
1. Kate, Babylune: “The Blog I Write and the Woman Who Writes It”
2. Randi, Brad Pitt Watch: “The First Challenge”
3. Jodie, Gossip on Sports: “Project Blog: Week One Challenge”
4. Cynthia, TV of the Absurd: “The Five TV Shows that Changed My Life”
5. Winnie, Watching the View: “Project Blog: Why I Blog the View”
6. Sally, Style Fix: “The Fashionable Child Who Writes Becomes the Fashion Writer”
7. Kara, Colorado Review: “Why I Blog About Colorado Travel”
8. Mark, Get Incensed: “Project Blog. Bravo”
Here are the prizes up for grabs: