We had the good fortune of connecting with Haley Bartels and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Haley, what makes you happy? Why?
The thing that makes me happiest is the Eagle Rock Dog Park. It is, unquestionably, my favorite place in Los Angeles, possibly in California, possibly the world. It’s a spectacular park (Shade! Turf! Always at least 20 dogs!), and a great place to go to get away from your keyboard and/or a story that just won’t break. Everything feels so high-stakes and stressful in this industry sometimes, so it’s nice to have a place to go and watch dogs play and remember not to take things so seriously. Try to stay in a grumpy mood as you watch a Great Dane put a Dalmatian’s whole head in its mouth, or a chunky Frenchie haul ass to fetch a stick on his teeny tiny legs, or a Pitty mix stare motionlessly into a gopher hole for a full hour. It cannot be done – your heart will lighten, I guarantee it.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’m a screenwriter and write primarily female-led genre pieces – period, sci fi, fantasy. I’m currently writing an indie horror, which is set to shoot later this summer and will be my first produced credit – I’m wildly excited about the twisted, eerie, fun little story we’re telling, as well as the team we’ve put together to tell it. It’s been a really fun collaboration – there’s something really empowering about working on an indie, like you’re guerilla fighters in the trenches together – you’ve got each other’s backs, you trust each other, and you scrappy band of misfits are working towards a rad common goal – to make something really f***ing cool.

On the TV side, I currently have a period one-hour in development – I can’t say a ton about it yet, but it’s a very exciting project and I feel really lucky to be working on it.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Oh, gosh, I have to delve way back into my memories of The Before for this! Hm. Well, presuming that we’re out of the pandemic, any weeklong schedule in LA with me is going to involve primarily eating. It’s apocalyptically shamefully that Mh Zh closed, because that was my surefire “here’s-a-restaurant-to-knock-your-socks-off” joint, the spot that would impress even the snobbiest of my foodie friends. We’d definitely hit up Villa’s Tacos (if you know, you know), Best Fish Tacos of Ensenada, Osen Izakaya, Kismet, and Bowery Bungalow. Kumquat Café for coffee. I hope the ArcLight Hollywood survives, because no trip to LA is complete without seeing a movie in the Dome. And, of course, we’d wrap everything up with a sunset trip to the Eagle Rock Dog Park. Best dog park in LA, y’all. I’m telling you. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
It’s the least original answer in history, but I owe everything to my parents. I’ve been so lucky to have their unfaltering support along this journey so far. So shout out Hil and Rog, the MVPs of my life! 5 star Yelp review of that parenting, highly recommend.

Website: haleybartels.com

Image Credits
Ken Chen (hand drawn portrait). Seth Pierson. Emmanuele Daga.

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