046 – John Vorhaus (Comic Toolbox, Married… with Children)

John Vorhaus is best known as the author of The Comic Toolbox: How to be Funny Even if You’re Not. This seminal book on writing comedy for television and film is now available in four languages, and continues to be a definitive source of information and inspiration for writers from Santa Monica to Scandinavia.

An international consultant in television and film script development, Vorhaus has worked for television networks, film schools, and production companies in 30 countries on four continents.

Vorhaus’ own screenwriting credits include Married… with Children, Head of the Class, The Sentinel, The Flash and many overseas television shows and films, including the sitcoms House Arrest and Pretty, Sick and Twisted, and the movie Save Angel Hope.

John is also the author of the six-volume Killer Poker series, plus miscellaneous other books on the subject, including the novel Under the Gun, a “how-to whodunit” set in the world of high stakes tournament poker. His other novels include The California Roll and its upcoming sequel, The Albuquerque Turkey.

Vorhaus is a graduate of Carnegie-Mellon University and a member of the Writers Guild of America. He has taught writing at Northwestern University and the American Film Institute, and lectured for such disparate groups as Mensa and the New Jersey Romance Writers Association.

Discover more about John at his website: http://johnvorhaus.com

Follow John on Twitter: @TrueFactBarFact

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Didn’t get your questions asked? Make sure you follow Gray on Twitter (@GrayJones) so you can get the scoop on who is being interviewed and how to get your questions in. Also check out our TV Writer Twitter Database to find Twitter addresses for over 1,000 TV writers. Find our previous episodes and other resources at www.tvwriterpodcast.com or on Gray’s YouTube channel.

026 – Jen Grisanti (author & story career consultant)

Jen Grisanti is a story career consultant, independent producer, writing instructor for Writers on the Verge at NBC, blogger for The Huffington Post and author of the new books, Story Line: Finding Gold in Your Life Story and TV Writing Tool Kit: How To Write a Script That Sells.


Jen spent 12 years under the mentorship of Aaron Spelling, eventually running Current Programs at Spelling Television Inc., covering all of Spelling’s shows including Beverly Hills, 90210, Melrose Place, and Charmed. In 2004, Jen was promoted to VP of Current Programs at CBS/Paramount, where she covered such shows as Medium, Numbers, NCIS, 4400, and Girlfriends. While at CBS/Paramount, she served as a mentor in the CBS Diversity Program, which seeks out and nurtures young writers and directors.

In January 2008, Jen launched Jen Grisanti Consultancy Inc., a consulting firm dedicated to helping talented writers break into the industry. By drawing on her 12-year experience as a studio executive where she gave daily notes to executive producers & showrunners, Jen personally guides writers to shape their material, hone their pitches, and focus their careers. Since launching, Jen has worked with over 300 writers working in television, features, and novels. In the first three years, already 20 of her clients have staffed as writers on television shows and two have sold pilots that went to series. In 2008, Jen was hired to be the Writing Instructor for NBC’s Writers on the Verge.

Her brand is Developing From Within. Her company hosts Storywise Seminars and Teleseminars as a way to get this message out. In addition to her books, she has CDs and workbooks, and also has an excellent Storywise Podcast Series available on iTunes and her website.

Visit her website at jengrisanticonsultancy.com.

Follow Jen on Twitter: @JenGrisanti

Buy Gray’s book for only $4.99! Look for it on Amazon – How To Break In To TV Writing: Insider Interviews.

Didn’t get your questions asked? Make sure you follow Gray on Twitter (@GrayJones) so you can get the scoop on who is being interviewed and how to get your questions in. Also check out our TV Writer Twitter Database to find Twitter addresses for over 1,000 TV writers. Find our previous episodes and other resources at www.tvwriterpodcast.com or on Gray’s YouTube channel.