Producing My Own Work

It was the fall of 2006. I was living in New York City desperately trying to get noticed as an actress.

It wasn’t working.
I had moved there in 2005. I was living off the high of working in Detroit. Everyone knew my name in Detroit. Or at least it felt that way. I booked a professional Equity gig before I had even graduated college. I was making loads of money (well….it felt like loads to a college kid) and people were offering me roles. I booked an indie film right as the Equity play finished and I felt like a superstar. So I moved to NYC, like any celebrity would do…..
and then….
I waited. Waited for someone to find me, discover me in a coffee shop. Say – “hey are you an actress? cause you’re perfect for this million dollar movie I’m making”. Who – me? “yes you!”
Yeah…that shit didn’t happen. And it doesn’t happen. At least not to me.
And you know what? I am HAPPY that it didn’t happen.
What happened to me in NYC was this….I sat in my room eating Ben n Jerry’s Cherry Garcia until I was bored and depressed enough to finally get off the couch that I was crashing on and find a job. I worked at an Off Broadway theatre in the heart of the West Village called Cherry Lane. I wrote a song about it.
It was through this theatre that I met people. Good people. Hard working people.
And that fall of 2006, I met a girl. We ate pizza and decided that we weren’t going to wait anymore. We decided to produce a play. We produced a play with some KILLER playwrights. Writers that are now Showrunners of UBER famous TV shows, one is a Pulitzer playwright. They were just getting out of school at the time, which is why they said yes to writing a comedy for my friend and I to star in….get this….about AIDS.
That was the first thing I ever produced. And it was AWESOME! We ran for two weeks (I think). We donated all our proceeds to the YouthAIDS foundation. It WAS funny!!! IF you can believe it.
And then….I had this breakthrough. I was good at producing.
I didn’t necessarily want to do it….but I was good at it….just by my nature. Thanks type A organization skills. And then I realized something else….
When you’re just an actor….you get shit on. People tell you you’re not good enough, not the right type, you need more credits, you need an agent, you need this/that, you should be this way, unique, different, stupid, smart, pretty, ugly, skinny, fat, rich, cute, PERFECT.
So – I started producing. I wrote something. I produced it. I read books. I started interning. I started working in TV production. I went to UCLA for producing. I learned it. I learned it gooooood.
And then….I started doing it. No more Ben & Jerry’s for me.
All of this long winded story for the announcement of today.
Today I premiere a pilot that a very talented writer wrote for me, in which I produced and starred in.
It’s called GRETCH & TIM.
The screening is tonight and it is good!
It is quirky, fun, & thoughtful. We called in SO many favors from SO many talented people. And to all of them – THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I’m a big girl now. Making big girl stuff in this industry.
Next up, to distribute it…..and get paid. 🙂

Sum of this blog post:
If you’re thinking about producing because you’re sick of playing prostitutes in short films like me… it! It’s so worth it. And then, tell me how it goes! 🙂

Love to all.

By | 2018-02-15T15:56:34+00:00 February 15th, 2018|Blogs, Producing|0 Comments

About the Author:

Megan Messmer is an actress and producer.

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