A Mentor, A Muse

What if you could tell your younger self all the stuff you didn’t know in your twenties? What if you could ask the grown up version of you if everything will be okay?

amentoramuse, written by Nikki Schiefelbein and Alex Offerdahl, is a lifestyle blog following two writers in Hollywood. One who has “made it” and one who aspires to break in. Sometimes you find it isn’t always the mentor who teaches and the muse who inspires…

Nikki Schiefelbein is a TV Writer in Los Angeles who has written for hit shows including One Tree Hill, The Client List and Mozart in the Jungle. She’s repped by ICM. Alex Offerdahl is looking for an agent. And a job. A life. And maybe a boyfriend.


Email from Alex to Nik:

I am contacting you because I recently graduated from UW-Madison and I’m moving to LA soon. I couldn’t be more excited to drive across the country and start my new adventure. However, I’m a little scared. I’m not exactly sure what it is I want to do. I haven’t found my path yet and LA is too big of a city to play with uncertainty. I used to study business and accounting until I realized my calling is writing. Or singing. Or filmmaking. I don’t know, but what I do know is that it is not crunching numbers it’s something creative. I’m hoping that when I get out there I can meet the right people, find the right project, or at least start paving my path. I know that you are an established writer and have worked on One Tree Hill and other popular shows.  Do you have any suggestions for someone who aspires to be a TV writer? Is there anything you would do differently when you first moved to LA or started out?
Ps- I’m excited to meet other Packer fans. I hope to surround myself with good ‘Midwestern people’ to avoid feeling homesick!

Email response from Nik to Alex:
Glad you reached out, anything to help a fellow Badger/Cheesehead. I’m slammed writing an episode for the show I’m on, but here are some suggestions to get you headed in the right direction:
-Check out the Writers Guild website.
-Visit The Writers Store online for tons of books and great web seminars. Oh and Stephen King’s On Writing is a must read.
-Apply for entry-level industry jobs (i.e. mail room at a talent/lit agency or as a PA in a writers’ room).
-The Studios offer fellowships to aspiring writers.  The programs are highly competitive, but if you get in, they’ll likely place you on a show in some capacity. You’ll need a writing sample to submit. Which takes me to…
-WRITE!  WRITE!  WRITE!  I can’t tell you how many writers ask me for advice/help and they don’t have samples.  You need a writing sample to show people.  Either an original or spec of a current show that you love.  Better yet, write both! Oh and don’t be afraid to get notes on your script.  It will NEVER be as good as you think and notes from trusted, smart friends/writers will usually make a great piece better.
Hopefully this helps some. If you’re hungry enough and this is your passion, the work will be enjoyable and the reward is AMAZING.
Good luck!  Let me know when you’re in LA and I can show you the ropes!
xo, Nik

Facebook Friend Request sent from Alex to Nik.

Facebook Friend Request accepted.

Text from Alex to Nik:  Hey Nikki!  Alex here.  My stepmom said you live in SM!  That’s where I ended up moving :) I would love to grab a drink and catch up with you sometime!  Hope all is well!
Nik:  Hey!  Welcome to LA!  We can definitely grab a drink.  Where are you in SM?
Alex:  **th street!!
Nik:  Holy shit.  And what?  I’m at *th and Blank.
Alex:  **th between Blank and Blank.
Nik:  North of Wilshire?
Alex:  I’m not sure.  So bad with getting the streets down.  I’m right by Blank.
Nik:  Gotcha.  You’re south of Wilshire.  How’s it going so far?  Do you love LA?
Alex:  I do!!  I love it, but I’m a little homesick.
Nik:  Aww, well, you’re welcome to come hang out whenever you feel that way.  I know it’s hard when you first move out here.
Alex:  Tomorrow?

Drinks at Hotel Erwin.
 Are you wearing white nail polish to accentuate your tan?
Nik:  No.  Okay, yes.
Alex:  I hope you know you don’t have to hang out with me or feel like you’re babysitting me.
Nik:  No, this is fun.  You remind me of myself when I first moved to LA and I get it.  I get how hard it is.  Besides, you can teach me what all the cool kids are doing.  Wait, do you have two different nail polish colors on?
Alex:  Yeah.  A different, but complementary color on each hand.  That way when you pose in pictures it looks like you have one color on. Sometimes when you have just the ring finger a different color, it clashes.
Nik:  Yeah, I hate the different color ring finger.  It bugs.
Alex:  Right?  This is much cooler.  Let’s make it a thing.
Nik:  Okay.  When the white starts to chip, we’ll make it a thing.

Blog amentoramuse created.