Adventures in Children’s Television
I never intended to write for Children’s Television. In fact, I never intended to become a writer at all, my desire was to be on the stage or in front of the camera. But due to circumstances beyond my control, curiosity, restlessness and a willingness to “go with the flow” I found myself writing, creating and producing shows for children’s television most of my career. I can’t honestly say I’v enjoyed every minute of it, indeed only a village idiot enjoys every minute of every encounter? Still, I do say that I am filled with gratitude when it comes to the opportunities I’ve been afforded and most of all the talented people I’ve been fortunate enough to work with. I look back with lost of love.
My first television job came along as a fluke. A television executive, Miranda Barry, saw a one act play I had written (and acted in) at The 52nd Street Project in Hell’s Kitchen, NYC. She thought I had a good ear for kid’s dialogue. A meeting was arranged with the executive producer of Ghostwriter, Liz Nealon and the rest is history.
For the first season, I was the writer’s assistant for headwriters and my mentors, Kermit Frazier and Carin Greenberg-Baker. I suppose it was because of my enthusiasm at being a part of a real TV show, I was assigned to write a four episode mystery arc, “Who’s Who?” It was about an aging film star being stalked by a rabid fan. Can you say, “right up my alley!”? As a star struck movie buff, I couldn’t have asked for a better assignment. This was a great experience and led to many more Ghostwriter scripts and by the third year Kermit and Carin had set off for greener pastures and I was named headwriter. I owe so much to all of the wonderfully creative and dedicated people at Sesame Workshop (then called Children’s Television Workshop) who guided me with patience and love. I’m filled with gratitude when I look back on those years of learning my craft and the skills that launched my career.
GULLAH GULLAH ISLAND
THE FAMOUS JETT JACKSON