Today we’d like to introduce you to Del Potter.
Del, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
My inspiration for TV writing comes from growing up in Paterson, NJ, and from my experience working in the NBA for ten years. Because we lived in a rough neighborhood when I was a kid, my mother tried to shelter me from the violence outside by keeping me indoors. As a result, I spent a good portion of my pre-teen/teenage years in front of the TV. All those hours spent watching TV shows must have subconsciously taught me something about storytelling. I showed promise as a writer early on.
I remember writing a poem in 7th grade that made my teacher cry because she enjoyed it so much, but it also got me in trouble with the assistant principal because she thought something troubling was happening at home. I didn’t understand at the time the power of metaphors. Who knew writing could inspire such deep yet conflicting emotional responses from readers?
However, my television watching was not limited to TV shows. I also watched basketball. A lot. And I fell in love. By the time I went to college, I was convinced that basketball, not writing, was the safer bet for a stable career, so I majored in Sports Management. After graduating, I got a job with the NBA and spent the next decade there. But those early successes with writing were always in the back of my mind. In my last year working in the NBA, I told myself that I didn’t want to be twice my age and regret not following the advice of past teachers and friends who saw the writing potential in me. I wanted it for myself too, but leaving my career behind was a huge risk.
Luckily, some of the skills I learned while working in the sports industry seemed to transfer over to the entertainment industry quite well. Working with NBA players and coaches sharpened my ability to work under intense conditions and with strict deadlines. And the experiences I’ve had have given me a seemingly bottomless well to draw on for inspiration. With the things I’ve seen and the interesting people I’ve met in my life, drama has become my specialty in the writing space.
Completing the UCLA TV Writer’s Program groomed me to create several original pilots, place in contests and have meetings with television execs. Creating something for public consumption is exciting and challenging. I strive to make story plots and characters that we haven’t seen yet on TV. My goal is to create a show that people clear their calendar to watch each week. I’m currently working on a short film that is based on some of my experiences in the corporate world.
Has it been a smooth road?
The journey hasn’t been smooth and will never be for me. Nepotism and tribalism are two things I’m dealing with currently. Unfortunately, I’ve been in situations all too often of late where “who you know” seems to be more important than what you can do. It is hard enough moving across the country to a city where you don’t know anyone. Encountering cliques only exacerbates that feeling of being an outsider. But we all have that “antagonist” in our path with whom we battle daily. I just write and keep going.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
I currently write for a web series called A Slice of Life, an anthology series about everyday situations that the average person encounters. I also write scenes for Brian Cutler’s acting studio that are performed by the students. My ultimate goal is to become a staff writer on a TV drama series.
Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Los Angeles is the best place for anyone who wants to be a TV writer. The major studios and networks are here. There’s so much opportunity, and I’ve been lucky enough to meet several genuine people who are willing to help. But the Hollywood scene and the supportive people I’ve encountered here aren’t the only great things about this city. Los Angeles also offers a diverse landscape that inspires creativity. Beaches, mountains, and deserts are all just a short drive away, so inspiration is never lacking.
- Address: Brian Cutler’s Acting Studio
1007 N. Cordova St. Burbank, CA 91505
- Contact no.: (818) 424-5470
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org