Episode 20 - Everything Is Blue (Season Finale)Everything Is Blue
(aired 2/21/17, 64 mins)
...in which Sheila answers writing & biz questions from her mentee, Sarah
E., who's not even watching. Topics include: reflections from the WGA
Awards; how a show's tone and cast size can determine its format;
beating out storylines for characters and blending them together;
Sheila's overuse of a certain action line; determining where to start a
pilot story; questions to ask before diving in; differences between
agents, managers, & lawyers; the complicated relationship between
playwrights and theater reviewers; and how Sheila deals with rejection.
Also, Sheila is horrified to realize her sweater matches her chair.
Episode 19 - WGA Awards, BitchesWGA Awards, Bitches
(aired 2/19/17, 17 min.)
Sheila and her fox purse take us on the road to the WGA Awards and
inside the show, where she is the first one to lose. Featured moments include: a
slow-moving Segway tour; Sheila's emergency shoe-bag; a guest check-in
table; a man in a cat-print suit; a glimpse at the red carpet; Patton
Oswalt making drunk Tr*** jokes; James Woods stealing a shoe; and Sheila
losing to someone at the table next to her. HOWEVER! Sheila receives a
special shout-out from the stage by a man she deeply admires.
Episode 18 - Slapping The Meat In Public; Or, Ass Sex In A Public RestaurantSlapping The Meat In Public; Or, Ass Sex In A Public Restaurant
(aired 2/7/17, 65 min.)
(**WARNING: POOR AUDIO QUALITY!!**)
...in which Sheila and returning guest David Iserson (US of Tara, Mad Men, Mr. Robot) eat steak and
talk turkey in a Hollywood restaurant. Topics include:
why David chose a career in writing instead of art; the inherent
dangers of basing characters on loved ones; how to avoid playing
the victim-card when writing from personal experiences; ways in which evolving TV
formats change how audiences consume the medium; whether a blank
page is terrifying or liberating; why David is known as "The Ice-Man";
and a lightning question round (let it be known: Ice-Man
loves a good question). Also, intermittent audio glitches from 21:41 to 37:27. ☺
Episode 17 - A Very Karaoke BirthdayA Very Karaoke Birthday
(aired 1/24/17, 75 min.)
...in which Sheila performs a set of viewer-requested songs in
sparkly pants using excessive reverb. This is ostensibly to demonstrate
how she blows off steam while on deadline. But also, it's her effing
birthday. Songs include: I'm On Fire; Wanted Dead or Alive; The
Jefferson's Theme Song; Bad Romance; Wannabe; One Way or Another; Space
Oddity; Tribute; Rehab; Wonderwall; Summer of '69; and other classics.
At her side is master air guitarist/pro-dabber/irish dancer Cal,
who awards us a quickie piano recital at the end. And, a SURPRISE MYSTERY GUEST
performs two(!) duets with the birthday girl from
Episode 16 - Just Do A Little PinchieJust Do A Little Pinchie
(aired 1/10/17, 63 min.)
Sheila and actress Kate Morgan Chadwick (theater: BED, tv: SHAMELESS)
pinch their cheeks and talk endlessly about Kate's hair. Topics
include: How Kate lied about her guitar skills to land the lead in
Sheila's play BED; how it felt for Kate to portray a character based
partially on the author; BED's evolution from script to production,
along with discussion of the rehearsal process; coping with last-minute
script additions in new plays; how Sheila acts during tech; Kate's
experience filming a nude TV scene; whether Sheila felt better or worse
after writing BED; and the differences between table reads in theatre
and TV. Also, Kate humps a periscope prop.
Episode 15 - Low Ceiling, Tiny DicksLow Ceiling, Tiny Dicks
(aired 12/28/16, 66 min.)
which a jetlagged Sheila 'scopes from Dublin to discuss ways of staying sane/insane.
Topics include: Panic attacks and medication; reasons she fired her therapist; how to keep your
inner demons from
hindering your creative process; why dudes troll; practicing self-care while immersed in one's work;
the benefits of pausing in a good place; finding a writing "opposite" to achieve balance;
writing exercises to help stay loopy (in the good way); and the delicate equilibrium
between sanity and insanity.
Also, Sheila sings an impromptu song called "Never
A Girl" and fails to unearth someone who understands the significance
of catching a Mr. Mime.
Ep 14 - I'm A F*cking ZombieI'm A F*cking Zombie
(aired 12/13/16, 44 min.)
...in which Sheila fields questions about her theater career to remind herself she has one.
Why she identifies with fan frustrations; a story about
being one of Marie Claire's "18 Successful Women Who Are Changing the World";
her favorite plays to write and why; her love of linguistics; how writers interact with actors in
TV vs theatre;
how she copes with opening nights;
the differences between casting sessions for TV and
theater; and how this particular periscope broadcast is a shitshow.
Also, Sheila has a dramatic encounter with the phrase "blue tick,"
while her graphic shirt causes unwelcome controversy.
Ep 13, PART TWO - Drunk PeriscopeDrunk Periscope
(aired 12/6/16, 25 min.)
(**SPECIAL PERISCOPE FOR SHAMELESS FANS**)
Sheila finally and accidentally grants a few Shameless fans their request
to discuss the show
Not giving spoilers
about 7x11; a potentially good sign regarding a season 8 pickup; what her
family might eat for dinner; a failed attempt at novel writing; how
Mickey got his real name; how Mickey could have broken out
of jail; why "sides" aren't allowed on set; actor/writer relationships; and
how to end a long-running TV show. Also, Sheila makes a
friend named Patrick and dutifully ignores every alarm she sets.
Ep 13, PART ONE - Sexism, Jammies, & Woke BaesAfternoon Jammies, Woke Baes
(aired 12/6/16, 57 min--currently unavailable until Sheila gets over the shame of rambling earnestly and incoherently on a subject she cares about)
Sheila mixes (and drinks) the left-over whisky from her fundraiser while tackling
questions about sexism.
Disrespectful behavior and poor character vs.
sexism and bias; the complicated influence of power dynamics; downplaying
predatory behavior as a way of attaining status; unconscious vs. overt sexism;
the uncomfortable ways women deal with sexist behavior; sexism as punishment/reward; how to gently illuminate
a co-worker's unconscious biases; the "woman slot" in Hollywood; and why confidence makes you an
attractive hire. Also, Sheila accidentally gets drunk.
Ep 12 - Twitter Wants You Fired.Twitter Wants You Fired.
(aired 11/29/16, 49 min.)
...in which Sheila plays Pitbull while anxiously waiting for her assistant Bianca to show up.
important qualities for a writer's
assistant; how Bianca got her job; being a fangirl and a writer at the
same time; working unconventional hours; the "high-stakes" of TV writing; the
origins of the title "I Am A Storm;" building a boss-assistant rapport;
how a fan's perspective benefits a writer's
assistant; legitimizing fan-fiction; unconventional script structures;
make good tv; and Bianca's
worst assistant tasks. Also, Sheila takes a phone call from
her boss while Bianca trashes the joint.
Ep 11 - Cab Ride, Mik-HAY-loCab Ride, Mik-HAY-lo
(aired 11/27/16, 21 min.)
(**SPECIAL PERISCOPE FOR SHAMELESS FANS**)
...in which Sheila discusses her just-aired episode "Ouroboros"
on the ride home from the airport. Topics include:
how to pronounce a specific character's name; fan reactions to the ending; the most difficult scene to write;
the struggle between creating good drama and keeping fans happy; the ways in which
side characters function to serve the main characters' stories; and how the best line of the ep was ad-libbed.
apologizes for droppin' f-bombs in front of impressionable young
Ep 10 - Copper Gloves, Sheila's DignityCopper Gloves, Sheila's Dignity
(aired 11/22/16, 44 min.)
...in which Sheila breaks down the process of writing her latest pilots
from pitch to page.
how writers work with producing companies; developing a pitch; writer's block vs. grappling with story;
how research can save you; the responsibilities of a showrunner; tips for making your
pitch personal; the importance of a killer opening; the seven essential things to include in a pitch; and
understanding the arc of a season. Also, Sheila gives us a tour of all the fundraiser crap on her floor.
Ep 9 - Art as Political ActionArt as Political Action
(aired 11/15/16, 29 min.)
...in which Sheila discusses using writing to instigate awareness and activate change.
the therapeutic benefits of creating art in times of turmoil;
why it's necessary to establish critical distance when writing politically;
how invoking empathy can help create change;
avoiding polemic and propaganda; using metaphor to address social ills; the power of amplification;
and how/why community is important. Also, Sheila shares inspirational quotes from artists and
activists. But she forgets to credit Picasso.
Ep 8 - Bathtub, GangbangBathtub, Gangbang
(aired 11/1/16, 42 min.)
...in which Sheila and her friend/special guest David Iserson (US of Tara, Mad Men, Mr. Robot) attempt to stay on track with the help of a concierge bell.
Writing main vs supporting characters; careers as love-affairs; tips for
rewriting; advice for tackling controversial subjects;
writing multiple projects at once; how co-writing works; the "tension of
opposites" in dramedies; dealing with criticism/rejection; and what
writers and tight-rope walkers have in common. Also, David plugs his wife's taxidermy business.
BONUS: another *extra-special* guest
Ep 7 - Self-flagellation, Vintage RingSelf-flagellation, Vintage Ring
(aired 10/25/16, 51 min.)
...in which Sheila rambles from exhaustion & scrambles to retrieve hearts. Topics include:
trolls; knowing when a story is finished; creating dimensional characters; how pivotal scenes work/why they're fun to write;
the usefulness of character dossiers; the importance of
expressing gratitude; and the hierarchy of a writers' room (coherence proves challenging here). Also, she tells
the story of being caught in a wormhole with the word "affordable," and a legendary salad she was unable to
eat. BONUS: a poet gets outed!
Ep 6 - Shakespeare Socks, Theme SongShakespeare Socks, Theme Song
(aired 10/18/16, 38 min.)
...in which Sheila wears a shirt declaring her feelings about salad. Topics include:
contract negotiations; ways TV writers break into the biz; trusting your
community; pros/cons of internships; the importance of solid script
samples; advice for honing/delivering a pitch; motherhood; self-care and therapeutic writing;
dealing with loquaciousness;
identifying your audience; and (not) letting go of characters you love. Also,
Sheila performs an impromptu song about her knees.
Ep 5 - Backyard, ThumbholesBackyard, Thumbholes
...in which Sheila experiences
technical difficulties in the great outdoors. Topics include:
writing what scares you; establishing community;
writing for a TV show vs. showrunning; the benefits of living
in LA; fanfiction and intellectual property; tips for writing
productively; duties of an executive producer; identifing
topics that inspire; and how new writers are discovered. Also, Sheila
struggles to find a comfortable reclining position.
Ep 4 - Purple Wall, iPad DropPurple Wall, iPad Drop
(aired 10/4/16, 22 min.)
...in which Sheila
explains her public speaking neurosis. Topics include: coping
with writer's block; getting feedback from people you trust;
relationships between writers and actors; the importance of surprising
yourself; balancing writing and family time; when/why a writers' room
gets heated; advice for aspiring writers; and what goes down during
table reads. Also, she butchers the name of a dude from One Direction
and dramatically drops her iPad.
Ep 3 - Dark Restaurant, Not DrunkDark Restaurant, Not Drunk
(aired 9/28/16, 3 min.)
...in which Sheila
muses briefly on heartbreak and the reasons we fall for TV characters.
Ep 2 - Blue Shirt, Living Room ArtBlue Shirt, Living Room Art (aired 9/27/16, 24 min.)
Sheila discusses her love of social media and throws paper hearts at the
screen. Topics include: writing pilots and spec scripts; what
showrunners look for in writing samples; playwrights being recruited for TV;
breaking a season; differences between producing theatre and TV; and who
takes the heat from critics across writing platforms. Also discussed:
some awkward NYC-inspired hipster art.
Ep 1 - Striped Shirt, Hand TapeStriped Shirt, Hand Tape
(aired 9/20/16, 45 min.)
...in which Sheila figures out what the hell a
periscope is, sorta. Topics include: writing subtext in action lines;
how a TV writers room works; the importance of finding one's writing
voice; differences between TV and theatre writing; thoughts on spoilers;
benefits of grad school; difficulties with table-reads; and the meanest
criticism she's ever received. Also, tips for procrastination and the
benefits of blue athletic tape.