A Day In The Life Of An MFA Student

7 Mar

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When people find out I’m getting my MFA in Writing for Screen and Television I usually get one of two responses:

1. I have the coolest idea for a book/screenplay/Hallmark card that you should totally use!

2. Huh.  So…you do what?

For all the “I have the coolest idea” people out there–talk to me.

For all the “you do what?” people out there, I present:

A Typical Tuesday Night Class For An MFA Student:

Writing the Half-Hour Spec For Television

*All times are approximate, as in I made them up right now.  All events took place two nights ago in class.*

5:45pm I arrive to class frazzled and with a tray of chocolate cupcakes—a sure sign it’s been a writing day.

6:00pm Class begins.  Seven students and one teacher suddenly transform into a writer’s room.  I offer cupcakes as a bribe to be nice to my script.  I’m only sort of joking.

6:15pm We read/act my classmate’s Modern Family script.  I’m cast as Claire.  Score!  My acting is Emmy-worthy and does not receive the proper acclaim.

7:00pm We read my New Girl script!  Eek!  I repeat in my head, “Am assured, receptive, responsive woman of substance. My sense of self comes not from my worldly achievements but from within. Am assured, receptive…”

7:15pm My New Girl flash mob scene is a success! I smile like the assured, receptive, responsive woman of substance I am.

7:30pm I read the role of Robin for my classmate’s How I Met Your Mother script. I was born to play this part.

8:00pm Break aka eat more cupcakes.

8:15pm I am cast as an extra in my classmate’s It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia script.  I was not born to play this part.

9:00pm We watch clips from SCTV and talk about my teacher’s time as a writer for the show, life in Canada, and John Candy.

10:00pm Class ends.  Cupcakes gone.  Woman of substance.

10:30pm Rob joins me for a post-class Roscoe’s trip to celebrate another writing day with fried chicken and waffles.

This writing thing…I could get used to it.

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8 Responses to “A Day In The Life Of An MFA Student”

  1. Dee January 17, 2014 at 8:49 pm #

    I totes wanna be in a class like this! Sounds like a lot of fun!!

  2. Camila April 20, 2014 at 3:59 pm #

    Oh this is a very funny recounting of a day in the life of an MFA student. I did my MLitt last year, although mine wasn’t as cool as this sounds! I always wanted to do an MFA in screen writing :) thanks for sharing this funny (yet interesting) day with us!

  3. Amy | Club Narwhal April 23, 2014 at 8:57 am #

    Love this, Jillian! It brought me back to my MFA days, which looked a lot like yours except with less acting (though that sounds super fun). Writing workshops are amazing and weird things, aren’t they?

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