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Behind the glitz and glamor, Hollywood can be brutal. For every success, there are many more rejections and failures. Screaming into the Hollywood Abyss explores that world and each week a new guest will talk about dealing with rejection, failure and adversity in the entertainment industry. Writer Noah Evslin and podcaster Dan Rutstein ask the questions.
 
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show series
 
We talk to doctor-turned-writer and showrunner Neal Baer. He talks us though his journey on ER, the public service he performs and the lives he has saved through television. We cover the anti-science movement, the joy of working with execs who give you freedom to be creative and the challenge of transitioning to non-medical shows. Neal tells us how…
 
On a special episode, we push Noah Evslin into the guest hot seat and the creator of the world's most successful scripted podcast Paul Bae joins as co-host. Noah talks about his experience of rejection, failure and adversity. He talks about the risks of leaving the relatively safe world of producing in Shondaland to push forward with writing elsewh…
 
We talk to Canadian-British actor and producer Jonathan Lloyd Walker. He talks about his career, moving between disciplines and the different types of rejection he has met in each one. He explains how he had a fast start in writing, thinking it was easy and then quickly finding out it wasn’t. Jonathan talks about his worst rejections, being flown a…
 
It is a cultural phenomenon that beautifully treads the line between disaster film and farce. We talk to the writer of the first four Sharknado movies Thunder Levin. He talks about the success of the franchise, his 'rock star' moment on the stage at Comic Con and his attempts to be a 'serious science fiction writer'. Thunder explains the journey of…
 
Fired, banned from set, thrown off projects, fired again, briefly blackballed. An extraordinary interview with writer and show creator David Steinberg about his journey from an arrogant youngster, to rebuilding his career and achieving success - with a few more firings and one more set ban along the way. David talks about being embarrassed by his e…
 
We talk to producer and screenwriter Steven S. DeKnight. He talks about his career highlight working on Spartacus, the opportunities he missed that led to him taking that meeting and the challenges (and excitement) working on Marvel's Daredevil. He talks honestly about when to push back on execs, how to compromise and when to admit you have it wron…
 
We talk to actor-turned-director Keegan Connor Tracy, She tells us why she chose to try her hand at directing, the struggles of starting from the bottom again but why now is the right time for her. She talks about the lack of role models behind the camera when she was acting, how she wants to change that and some of the things she had to put up wit…
 
We talk to Michael Fuller who talks us through the pain and heartbreak of his show Quarry being cut, how he used cigarettes and bourbon to get through it and the balance between being a showrunner and being part of other people's shows. He talks about the dilemma of writing your soul and writing to make a living with a family, what he's learned abo…
 
We talk to lawyer-turned-writer Melissa London Hilfers. She talks about her transition from attorney to entertainment, what her old colleagues think of her new role (and how they are easily impressed by celebrity namedropping) and the sense of achievement she gets from her creative work. In painful detail, she walks us through the time another writ…
 
This week's guest is the extraordinary writer, creator and double Emmy winner Javier Grillo-Marxuach. He works out how many of his 23 shows have been cancelled (a few), how many he has quit (some) and which were the ones he cared most about and were most proud of (The Middleman). We talk about how winning Emmys 'doesn't suck' (and giving them to hi…
 
We talk to the extraordinary writer and producer Akela Cooper. She talks about combatting the loneliness of writing, particularly during a pandemic, the sage advice of her mother and the discipline of constantly working on her own projects even when in a room. Akela talks honestly and openly about an abusive experience she faced, how she had the st…
 
We talk to legendary writer, show creator and exec producer Glen Mazzara. He talks about crisis training in the entertainment industry, how he still suffers from imposter syndrome and the time a knife fight broke out on the Shield when prostitutes mixed with actresses playing prostitutes. Glen told us about facing such a serious rejection that he c…
 
We talk to the extraordinary Ryan Knighton, a blind writer of books and TV. He explains how blindness helps him with the art of describing scenes, using the time he doesn't spend on driving and video games to perfect his craft and the risks of being typecast and only being asked to work on visual impairment projects. Ryan also talks about the advan…
 
We talk to Kira Snyder, computer game designer-turned-writer and now showrunner. She talks about the 'new' Hollywood and its concern for mental health and wellbeing, how working in corporate America has helped her prepare to be a showrunner and why working on Eureka was so fulfilling. Kira talks about diversity, how failed computer games prepared h…
 
We talk to writer and graphic novelist Bryan Hill. He tells us about an extraordinarily cruel early rejection, how he channeled that, and other setbacks, into success and why he feels without failure he wouldn’t have done what he’s done. Bryan talks passionately about dealing with setbacks, staying true to the writer you want to be and helping your…
 
We talk to showrunner Joe Henderson about his Hollywood journey. He talks about his formative years as an assistant and how he is grateful for the extended period he spent at this position - but then also about his triple promotion. Joe talks about the complications of Lucifer: the odd premise, the early cancellation the stop-go issues around later…
 
We hear the fascinating take of Jeffrey Lieber, the creator of the first version of the Lost pilot. We talk about how he dealt with his relationship with the show as it went in a different direction, the years it took him to process it and his views on the show and how the ending was received. He talks about why he writes, the role therapy has play…
 
We talk to veteran writer Jose Molina. He talks through the balance between finding a long-running show, finding a show you like and making bold and reckless decision early in your career. He explains why young writers should actually take advice from their mentors, even if they think none of the rules apply to them, why he quit SVU and he tries to…
 
We talk to Marc Bernardin about his different careers and the different types of failure he suffered. He talks about journalism, being fired while on vacation and knowing when to break the rules and reach out to interview subjects for opportunities in writing. He explains the pros and cons of diversity hires in Hollywood, getting fired from TV writ…
 
We talk to David Goodman, veteran writer and WGA West President. He talks about the pain of a comedy writer pitching jokes that don’t land, the thin line to tread between comedy and causing offense and knowing you’ll get fired if you can’t make people laugh. He describes some iconic comedy rooms, talks about his animated show that got made but neve…
 
We talk to show creator Mickey Fisher. He tells us about how his 'overnight success' wasn't actually overnight, being fired in hotel rooms and having his gate pass for the studio revoked as the first sign his show was getting cancelled. He explains his version of imposter syndrome, getting fired from a role as a three-wheel motorbike ambassador and…
 
We talk to the amazing John Rogers. The veteran writer and showrunner gives his views from 30 years in the industry. He tells the amazing story of the awful Catwoman, how he owned his role in the movie, what went wrong and buying rounds with 'Catwoman money'. John tells us about the transition from stand-up comedian and sitcom actor to Cosby, devel…
 
We talk to the extraordinary Shawn Simmons about his cult hit Wayne. He tells us about the rare occurrence of having his network cancelled under his show, the joy of a show being reborn on Amazon and the 'heat' of having a hit show. But he also explains about the expectation of failure amid the success, the incredible learning of coming up through …
 
We talk to horror writer Jeff Howard. He tells us about being rejected - with various levels of misfortune - by Nicolas Cage, John Stamos and Sabrina the Teenage Witch. He talks about the kiss of death 'well told', the desire for a quick 'no' and self-sabotaging a meeting by failing to read the room. And Noah tells the story of pitching to a sleepi…
 
Prodigious writer Robert Hewitt Wolfe joins the podcast. He talks honestly about missing out on his dream Lord of the Rings project, the amount of time spent continuously looking for his next role and his ratio of 8 failures for every success - meaning hundreds of rejections in his long career. He tells us about the relief of working on long-runnin…
 
We talk to actor and writer Geoffrey Thorne. The actor turned writer tells his extraordinary story of riches to rags and back to riches again. He talks about why he walked away from a successful acting career in In the Heat of Night, the people that doubted him, the desperate times of pretending to be his own manager and being turned for a job draw…
 
We talk to writer-turned-manager John Zaozirny, President of Bellevue Productions. He talks about his move from writing to management, stories of firing and being fired and why he loves the industry. John talks about being fired even when he has created success for his clients, the slow death of projects and the need to be careful with overnight su…
 
We talk to the amazing Ann Cusack. She speaks honestly about the process of dealing with rejection, what she learned from the roles she didn’t get and the obsession with social media and the illusion of success. She talks about the under-rated importance of just being a nice person, working on harmonious sets and remembering to say thank you. Ann t…
 
We talk to writer and showrunner Matthew Federman. He talks about how he runs a writing room and pro-actively solves problems, the mistakes he made pitching and what he's learned from brilliant bosses. He explains the slightly broken Hollywood hiring process, why he cares about his writers who work for him so much and how he didn't make the most of…
 
We talk to Maze Runner writer Grant Pierce Myers. He tells us about getting a movie green lit and being fired in a single phone call, the challenge of backing up a hit with a second success and the importance of courtesy among writers when you're brought on for a rewrite. He tells us about reading he has been kicked off a movie in the trades, the i…
 
We talk to the extraordinary Sheryl J. Anderson, veteran writer and showrunner. She tells us how 'famous, toxic' writers' rooms taught her how to lead her own show the right way, her regrets about not speaking up to protect women writers in her youth and the tremendous influence of her military father. She explains how the best work can be done by …
 
We talk to screenwriter Dan Hernandez. He tells us about how he handled the pressure of writing fan favorite Detective Pikachu, the big opportunities that got away in his career and going to high school with Josh Gad. He explains the benefits of being part of a writing duo, the importance of finding people around you with good 'taste' and how he ha…
 
Actor Erik Palladino talks us through his rollercoaster career after 30 years in Hollywood. He tells us how his pilots never get picked up, the time he was told he had a job by his agent on a Friday and on the Monday they admitted they’d called the wrong person and how, as an older actor, he worries more about his next paycheck than becoming a star…
 
Screenwriter Zack Stentz gives an honest account of the tough world of Hollywood and what a writer has to go through to make it. He talks about the red carpet highs of Thor and X-Men First Class but then the long periods of struggling to get anything made. In a powerful and candid discussion he talks about dealing with toxic fandom, the emotions of…
 
We talk to Adele Lim, writer on Crazy Rich Asians and the new Disney movie Raya and the Last Dragon. She talks about her journey from TV to film and her struggles along the way. Adele tells us she wrote some of her best work while coping with the anger of pregnancy-related discrimination, the monsters in TV writing rooms and why, as an Asian female…
 
Your hosts Noah Evslin and Dan Rutstein explain what their new podcast is all about. Screaming into the Hollywood Abyss, is a podcast about failure, rejection and adversity in the entertainment industry. Seasoned Hollywood writer Noah and former diplomat and podcaster Dan take you on a journey through the lows of Hollywood life and are joined each …
 
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