We had the good fortune of connecting with Vanessa Every-Burns and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Vanessa, let’s start by talking about what inspires you?
As a comedy writer, I’m inspired by smart and funny women, like Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Phoebe Waller, the list goes on, but I must say that my peers inspire me the most. The talented friends in my writers’ group, who encourage, support, and share their work with me. These are the people who will eventually hire me if I don’t hire them first. I think it’s so important that we help build each other up in an industry that can be really cut-throat.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I made to move to Los Angeles to chase my dreams during a pandemic, which makes it that much more difficult. I’ve written several feature comedies, pilots, and specs. I’ve placed in contests such as Big Break, Austin Film Festival, and Screencraft Comedy Contest. I’ve also secured an Agent, Michael Lewis of Michael Lewis and Associates. I’ve taken some generals, had some scripts in circulation and development, but still waiting for that big break. I like to mix up my writing time with some sketch comedy too. During lockdown, I created a channel onTikTok, starring me, myself, and I. It’s a skit-com about naughty teen girls and their mothers, inspired by my adolescence – sorry Mum (Mom). Some of these have gone viral which was really fun to watch!
I’d love to go down the independent route too. Particularly with my script DEBBIE’S DRY SPELL, a female-driven sex curse, feature comedy that I’m getting into circulation. I think it’s a very fitting time, post-pandemic, and many people can relate to “being alone.” The plan is to make it myself if no one else will. Sometimes, if you want something done, you’ve got to do it yourself!
It’s tough competition out here in Los Angeles, and you really need to be resilient. I have an Agent who believes in me, but it really comes down to the universe being ready for you. The right time, the right script, the right Producer, and a little (lot) bit of luck. In the meantime, you just have to keep creating art because you love it, and basically don’t know how to do anything else.
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, to go out again! It’s all happening soon. Before the pandemic hit, I actually had a regular tour for my visitors here in Hollywood. First, we would hit up Pink Taco on Sunset, for tacos of course and a Margarita (or two), then the Laugh Factory or Comedy Store for a show. Afterward, we’d go to the loud and rowdy Dan Tana’s Italian restaurant/bar in West Hollywood, and that gets pretty crazy at times. You always meet interesting people up at the bar!
Oh, and during the day the Runyon Canyon hike is right near me. I love seeing the Hollywood sign when I hit the top. It reminds me why I put myself through all the pain.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
If I was to shout out to anybody, it would be my writers’ group. An amazing and talented bunch of individuals who support and encourage each other.
Other: TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@nessaeb83?lang=en
Characters from my TikTok comedy sketch about naughty teen girls and their mothers, labeled. Moms are June (brunette) and Barbara (blonde) Daughters are Kelly (blonde) and Amanda (brunette)