Attendees gathered at Filipino Workers Center to engage with a panel of some of the biggest writers in television for a fundraiser for FilAm Creative to talk diversity, how to get into the writing business and what to do when you’re the only non-white person in the room.
Writers Michael Golamco (Grimm), Rene Gube (who also plays “Father Brah” on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend) and Ray Utarnachitt (DC’s Legends of Tomorrow) joined editor Dexter Adriano (Marvel’s Agents of S. H. I. E. L. D.) who served as Moderator for an illuminating panel discussion. After the discussion, the writers took questions from the crowd and the evening ended with a 50/50 fundraising raffle in which the lucky audience member won a gift bag with comics and the panel all were given the same gift for attending. Theirs included Red Horse, a Filipino beer. There was an after party at Kapistahan Grill not too far away from the Pilipino Workers Center.
In addition to the FilAm Creative TV Writers Panel, I was able to get a sit down interview with Crazy Ex-Girlfriend writer and actor Rene Gube. You can hear the audio below.
This is Elle Latham for SciFi4Me.com. So Rene. Tell me a little bit how you got into the industry.
I…was a…very bad History teacher in Downtown LA and then…I found out that I was a pretty good improviser by studying at the Upright Citizens Brigade. And…my initial intention was to be an actor… and then as…I went along in the program at Upright Citizens Brigade, I learned that there were, for every acting job there were eight writing jobs…so like learn to write if you want to work. (laughter) So I learned how to write. I bought a book. (laughter) I bought one of those formula books and…learned how to write with my…writing partner and then that’s how I got my first manager and my first job.
That’s great. So a little bit about the writing process on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, how it works and the collaborative nature…
Um…very collaborative. …We break stories as a group, we then turn those stories into outlines as a group. …And then that outline will be taken off…by a single writer for like a week and that writer will turn that outline into a draft and then once that draft is finished, it returns to the room and it…and then it becomes again a collective writing process where the original writer of the first draft is sort of like captain of like the Soul Team. Like ‘remember like the spirit of the story is this. (laughter) Remember we promised ourselves we were gonna try to do this,’ you know? So like that’s like their, their job is to…because they’ve been closest to the story from the beginning, is to remind the group who, who’d by that point been discussing eight other stories that like there was something interesting at the core of the break that we need to try to execute because it was special at some point.
Are there…any specific musical performances that you enjoyed the most?
Um..(laughter) Well, I would say…yeah. I think recently like I think it was last week…Vincent Rodriguez (“Josh Chan”) had a song that was like a sendup of like a Jason Mraz type of song.
The song was called, I believe it’s called “Thought Bubbles.“ Um.
I love “Thought Bubbles.”
(Here’s a link)
I…man…it was written. It was spearheaded by one of our writers Jack Dolgen and then…again, that writing process is very collective with Adam Schlesinger and Rachel Bloom and…he just-he just nailed it. It-It’s one of those perfect numbers on the show where it-it fits in perfectly with the-the emotion…emotional point of the story but you can also lift that bit and it can live on the internet and it makes…it’s funny on its own and…it’s a perfect sendup of the genre…and I just think he killed it. And then Vinny just like destroyed that number like there’s-I can just…he’s literally sitting at a desk and the camera’s panning left and right and he’s like filling that frame with like really specific stuff. He did a great job.
Since I’m working for SciFi4Me, is there anything coming up that’s sci-fi oriented?
Um…I mean…you know…if you watch the show, you know that like a good portion of the show exists in-
…Rachel’s brain. So uh…yeah. I mean like-anything is possible. You know. Like…yeah. So yes. The answer is ‘yes.’ Yeah.
Make sure to support the work of Filipino writers in TV by watching DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Marvel’s Agents of S. H. I. E. L. D., Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and Grimm. If you want to help FilAm Creative in their efforts to advance Filipino talent in entertainment and media, please visit their website and become a volunteer.