Nicole has been living her dream as a Writer's Assistant on top TV shows in Hollywood and spends most of her free time working on original scripts of her own. Driven by her obsession for writing, she’s worked hard to get to where she is today. Let's get to know her better...
Writing is your world, and you've built castles in the air...
“I’ve always loved writing. As a kid, I adapted my American Girl doll books into screenplays on my dad’s old typewriter. I constantly wrote stories for the neighborhood kids to act out. So when I discovered that I could do this professionally, I knew exactly what I wanted to be when I grew up. Currently, I’m the Writers’ Assistant on the CBS show “The Code”. I describe my position to non-industry people as a “writer in training”. I pitch in the room with the other writers, but I’m also simultaneously taking notes and organizing them into outline form. The front seat to the writing process and ability to creatively contribute has provided me with an invaluable education in storytelling. My next steps are becoming a staffed writer and finding representation – my biggest dream is to create and run my own show!
I love that my job is imaginative, intellectual, and collaborative. Every day I sit in a room with about nine writers to come up with a story. It’s hard to believe I get to call this “work”, because it’s so much fun. I really appreciate the collaborative aspect and how the story becomes enriched by the diverse perspectives in the room. I also enjoy the intellectual challenge of structuring the story and researching its content to maximize its impact on the viewer.
I read this quote by Henry David Thoreau in my 11th grade English class and it just clicked. I’ve always been the type to build castles in the air… it sometimes feels like mine are in outer space. But even though my ambitions can feel out of reach, I never give up. This industry can be tough and success can take time, so I remind myself that I’m lucky to have a passion, and I work tirelessly in my pursuit.
Explain your creative process.
I find inspiration everywhere – during my travels, interactions with friends, dates…nothing is off limits. I’m interested in people’s stories and why they do the things they do, act the way they do, etc. There’s something about the human condition that unites all of us: we all understand the same emotions – what it’s like to be insecure, or excited, or scared. It’s that empathy that I want to tap into in my writing, and that can establish a connection between a viewer and a character that are radically different. What motivates me is two-fold: it’s both telling stories that can touch and unite an audience, and selfishly doing what I love to do. Creating makes me happy, but I think it’s important to recognize that happiness isn’t just career based. My family and friends make me happy. Hiking makes me happy. Reading a book or watching a show/movie makes me happy. Traveling the world makes me happy. I’ve realized that a work/life balance is really the key.
When I get a new idea for a script, I feel the most alive – I couldn’t be more excited and the possibilities are endless. In that moment, it’s the best thing I’ve ever written. But then I actually sit down to outline the story, and it’s trickier than I thought. I encounter hurdles that I didn’t anticipate, and it’s incredibly frustrating. I keep trying things that don’t work, until finally I have my “ah-hah” moment. But then I get this epiphany of how to overcome those obstacles and finish the script. Even if the final product doesn’t match my initial expectations, I still experience an overwhelming feeling of accomplishment.
As far as how I got to where I am today – these jobs are highly sought after and extremely difficult to get. Networking is required to even be considered for these positions. I’ve spent years both growing and maintaining my network, which is why I’ve been consistently employed. I’ve been working in this industry for just over 3 years, and I’m already on my 5th show. I started as a Writers PA on “Powers” and “Rizzoli & Isles”, then was promoted to Writers Assistant on “24: Legacy”, “Lucifer”, and “The Code.” This industry is unpredictable (every show I’ve worked on has gotten canceled), so I’m constantly utilizing my network for employment. My best advice is to be kind to everyone, go above and beyond in your job, and always write thank you notes. Also, always make time to write your own material on the side – you never know when someone will ask to read a sample!
As a writer, you must have a few, but pick your all-time favorite book.
I absolutely love the Harry Potter series. I grew up reading them, and they taught me the power of the imagination and the joy of reading. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, is my absolute favorite!
You have so many cute dresses!
There’s a Reformation dress from the summer collection that I can’t stop wearing. It’s lightweight and midi-length with buttons going down the front. In fact, I love it so much I bought it in two different prints. I usually wear it with white sandals and a purse I bought in Bali. It’s effortless and fun – and I always get compliments!
Your TOP 3 HANDBAG ESSENTIALS, go!
#1: A Pen. You never know when you might need one. #2: Chapstick: Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment is my favorite. Keeps my lips smooth and it has SPF 15. #3 Cash: No one carries cash anymore! But I always make sure to have at least 20 bucks just in case.
All photos by @CAMBRIA_FODEN
November 5, 2018