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Episode 2 – Kate Powers – TV Writer for “Rectify” – Part 1 of 2

Kate Powers is The Greatest of All Time.

Kate was worked on four seasons of “Rectify,” on Sundance TV as a writer and writer’s assistant. She’s worked as a researcher, writer’s assistant on script coordinator and some of the most seminal TV shows in the past ten years: Mad Men, Breaking Bad, and The Good Wife.

Kate Powers with my co-host, Fergie.
Kate Powers with my co-host, Fergie.

Kate and I met when we were in a sketch show at The Second City Training Center in the mid-2000s. She’s provided advice via email and over coffee over the years as she’s grinded it out in Hollywood climbing up the ranks. Through her advice and war stories Kate shows why she’s worthy to be on the GOATcast.

In part one of her interview, she tells how getting laid off from a company in Chicago kickstarted her TV writing career and winds her way to getting staffed on “Rectify” which made quite a few Top 10 Lists the past few years.

The Daily Beast called it “The Best Damn Show on TV” in October. The New Yorker‘s Emily Nussbaum called it a “Quiet Marvel,” and wrote “The show’s dreamy pace makes it a satisfying high, like a bourbon-soaked bob down a river on a humid day.”

Transcript Notes:

0:00 – Intro

1:30 Kate gets hired by Jellyvision.

2:15 – Weekly reference to Arnie Niekamp and “Hello for the Magic Tavern.” (Kate and Arnie worked together at Jellyvision.)

3:00 – Kate’s obsession with Buffy: The Vampire Slayer starts her interest in writing for TV

4:00 – Robert Altman rented my family’s house in Kansas City when I was 19.

6:30 – Kate reaches out to the 19-year-olds of the world

8:30 – Kate losing her job at Jellyvision led to her obsession with Buffy: The Vampire Slayer

10:30 – Kate obsession leads to her writing spec scripts for Buffy.

12:00 – Kate’s luckily gets feedback and encouragement from Buffy writer Jane Espenson.

13:30 – Kate got into improv via Jellyvision.

15:30 – Talks about how she ended up by at USC for grad school.

18:00 – Kate talks about trying to get internships in LA.

20:00 – Kate talks about working on the best shows in TV for the past 10 years.

20:30 – Mad Men

29:00 – Other internships. Beacon TV & HBO & Smallville.

32:00 – Breaking Bad & Gennifer Hutchison

44:30 – Melissa Bernstein & Rectify

47:00 – Ray McKinnon

48:45 – How to look at famous people in L.A.

52:00 – Kate’s interview with Ray & interviewing for writing jobs. She mentions reading this scene of Daniel describing getting raped in jail and being shaken by it.

54:00 – Kate talks about interviewing for a procedural I’ve never heard of.

59:30 – Ray McKinnon hires Kate.

1:01:00 – Writer’s rooms for Rectify

1:02:15 – The Good Wife & Red Widow jobs as Rectify Season 1 is in limbo. Script coordinator for hire.

1:04:30 – Why you throw wine & cheese parties in Hollywood.

1:06:30 – Good Wife is shot at Culver Studios where “Gone With The Wind” was shot.

1:08:15 – Emily Nussbaum reference. (New Yorker TV Critic.)

1:09:00 – Kate talks about all the famous, talented people that have given her notes on her pilot.

1:10:00 – Kate & I agree that spec scripts should be used to get jobs rather than pilots.

1:13:00 – Kate doesn’t think Rectify will be picked up on Season 2.

1:14:10 – Melissa Bernstein tries to help Kate released from The Good Wife to write for Rectify.

End of Part 1.

1 comment on “Episode 2 – Kate Powers – TV Writer for “Rectify” – Part 1 of 2

  1. Pingback: My Latest Podcast with Katy Colloton of TV Land’s “Teachers.” | Ryan Patrick Dolan

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