I’m excited to share that my CAAM mentor is Kourtney Kang, Writer and Executive Producer of How I Met Your Mother! She was on the show for all 9 seasons, and wrote one of my favorite episodes, Slap Bet, which introduces the slap bet, and it’s where we first meet Robin Sparkles. Amazing!
The CAAM Fellowship isn’t strictly a TV writing fellowship, so they take people in different disciplines in entertainment. This year, there’s me in TV writing, someone in feature writing, directing, producing, and experimental filmmaking. Each fellow gets assigned their own mentor, which means I get to work with Kourtney one on one!
In the application to CAAM, one of the essay questions asked what we were looking to get out of the mentor relationship. I wrote that one of the main things I was looking for was a mentor to help me with a pilot. I recently finished a pilot about a family of small time crooks that was more cable in tone, similar to Always Sunny, and was trying to figure out what to write next.
I had an idea for a sci-fi pilot, but before my first meeting with Kourtney, I wanted to pitch something more grounded as well. I had brainstormed a lot of ideas, but wasn’t really excited about any of them. Then, the day before our meeting, I came up with an idea based on me and my family. It was very personal, very grounded, and would let me write something more emotional.
Kourtney and I met up for brunch in Studio City, and my immediate impression of her was that she was so friendly! We chatted about a whole bunch of stuff. She asked about my writing, what I’ve done, what the different writing programs were like, and I asked about her time on How I Met Your Mother.
Kourtney said she’d help me with a pilot, and after I was done, would send it to her agency! I couldn’t have asked for more. I pitched both my pilot ideas, the sci-fi one and the autobiographical one, and she liked the autobiographical one a lot. Just seeing her enthusiasm gave me a lot of confidence about the idea and made me excited to write. I’m so grateful to have such an awesome mentor!