A Day In The Life Of An MFA Student

7 Mar



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.

Bookmark and Share

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?

  4. tea towels May 5, 2015 at 6:39 pm #

    This is where the resume cover letter example comes in: you still need your standard
    heading, body, and ending, all in a brief billet designed
    to show off your personality. In an algebraic expression,
    letters always stand for numbers. To encourage peak performance from his
    employees, he gave great incentives and commissions.

  5. seo montreal May 22, 2015 at 9:09 pm #

    You see, you end up being very careful when selecting your titles as a person’s success
    in this endeavor is determined by them. To carry available Canadian stations and also import
    American stations, cable television was widely established which constituted
    the biggest majority of signals on systems. On your You –
    Tube file you can put links back to the other landing pages along with
    a keyword string and content notes.

Trackbacks and Pingbacks

  1. My Five Dream Careers with Jillian Lorraine | A Compass Rose - February 27, 2014

    […] a writer and MFA student at Pepperdine University, which means I play pretend, for real, full time. It’s quite lovely. It […]

  2. are you a bed person? - Postcards from Rachel - April 20, 2014

    […] I can be a bit lazy, but I’m actually a fairly productive individual. I’m finishing up my MFA in Writing for Screen and Television. (So look! I can complete degrees that hold no bearing in the real world!) I have two jobs. I like […]

  3. I Miss Pepperdine - Jillian Lorraine - August 10, 2015

    […] have two great sitcom ideas, so so much better than the sitcom idea I pitched last […]

Leave a Reply