Make something of your life: entertainment. I made this up as a travel game for Natacha & I, but it’s too fun a creative exercise not to share.
Here’s the challenge: Take as many elements of your life as possible and construct a sitcom pitch out of them. You don’t have to tell a true story…just take your life and morph it into something you think people might want to watch.
SERIES PITCH: “Half Lotus”
He’s trying to start his life over. But which one?
“A 40-year-old former advertising creative has just finished five years in an Indian ashram to recovering from a work-related nervous breakdown. He returns to San Francisco a yogi, only to discover that in order to support himself and his 14-year-old runaway godson, he has to return to the very job that put him there.
Yes, 40-year-old Ben Roebling has found himself in a seriously twisted position. His last job, at a bigtime ad agency, ended in a nervous breakdown and a 5-year retreat to India to become a yogi. He returns to San Francisco with his head on straight and his priorities in order, only to find out his wife has filed for divorce and his 14-year-old godson has run away. Realizing he can’t support the two of them on a yoga instructor’s salary, Ben goes back to his old advertising job, where he has to deal with the egos, the pressure, and general craziness that put him in the ashram in the first place.
Hilarity–and pathos–ensue as Ben tries to use his spiritual teachings to deal with his past, win back his wife, and raise a rambunctious teen at the same time. All without going crazy. Again.
I stress that while many aspects of my series pitch reflect my life (that’s the whole point of the exercise!), I did NOT go crazy, did NOT spend five years in an ashram, and I do NOT have a 14-year-old runaway godson. And I’m still married.
I have plenty more material for the show, including character descriptions and episode ideas. Maybe I’ll put that up later.
By the way, the most fun you’ll have with this: Choosing your cast. Calling Paul Rudd!