We had the good fortune of connecting with Pilar Alessandra and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Pilar, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
I’ve learned that it’s helpful to stop thinking of “work” and “life” as being in opposition to each other. It’s OK to love your work and involve your family. My husband helps me with podcasts and promotion. My kids help me stay current with shows and pop culture. In this way my kids have a better understanding of what I do and stop seeing my work as the enemy. Of course, if you asked them, they’d probably say I’m a workaholic … and they wouldn’t be wrong. But, I think they’ve also seen a parent who has a passion for what she does and understands that they should have that same passion for their work as they move forward with figuring out what they want to do in life.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
After working for years as a story analyst for major production companies such as DreamWorks and Radar Pictures, I started On the Page in 2001 to teach screenwriting classes and consult with writers. Over the years I’ve had the pleasure of working with thousands of writers – many of whom have sold movie scripts and launched tv careers. To truly help writers it’s important to respect their ideas and encourage them to take risks. I also believe in providing writers with practical suggestions and writing tools. They’re busy. They’re stressed. They don’t need fancy terms or war stories. They have a story to tell and my job is to help them tell it.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If I wanted to show that friend the best time ever? In the morning, I’d take her for a drive on Topanga Canyon and stop at the cool boho stores along the way. We’d grab coffee at Inn of the 7th Ray and then continue down to the beach for some fried fish at The Reel Inn. Then, after getting our fortune told at Venice Beach we’d head to Hollywood, get all dressed up and wrangle an invitation to The Magic Castle to have grownup drinks and watch not-so-grownup magic shows. The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There are some amazing women who help me behind the scenes of my business and they all happen to be fantastic aspiring screenwriters, TV writers and producers: Hannah Townsend helps me with podcasts and online classes. Elena Zaretsky helps with client organization and Louisa Makaron helps with video creation and social media. They’re all brilliant and deserve script deals!