20 May 2013 AmandaMorad

Get Tough

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Let’s be real here. This is probably some of the hardest creative work most of us have ever done. The photos, tweets and Facebook posts make it look so sunny and fun, and don’t get me wrong, it certainly has. But it has also been incredibly challenging.

Regent University - Hair

This pretty much sums it up.

The schedule is packed; we’re working collaboratively, being taught by some of the best, and toughest, writers in the business, consuming coffee by the pound, keeping late hours, walking everywhere we go, and soaking in all we can.

Sound exhausting? It is.

But something keeps us going. What centers us in Christ as we give 110% to every single moment? Our spiritual community.

Regent University - Bel Air Prayer

Students prayed with intercessors at Bel Air Presbyterian Church last weekend

We’ve laughed and cried and prayed together. We’ve helped encourage each other in our work and wrestle with the tough questions of living the Christian life in this industry. We’ve had two students face really difficult situations back home while they’ve been here. We’ve argued over the use of capitalization in action lines and learned not to take criticism personally. And through it all, we’ve grown together in Christ.

Each day before the classes and the writer’s room begin, a student on the team leads a chapter from the devotion book “Getting Through the First Draft of Your Life” by scriptwriter Kris Young. In it, Kris unpacks the writer’s life: the discipline, the rejection, the isolation, the success, all of it. Over 40 chapters, he draws out a spiritual philosophy for writers: One that we’ve all gained from tremendously.

Regent University - Klein Devotion

Student Jacob Klein leads the team in a daily devotion.

Kris came and spoke to us this week about the hunger In ‘n Out Burgers can’t fill. “Movies and religion feed the same hunger of the heart,” he said. “The hungry heart drives most of what humans do in their waking hours.”

As storytellers, that puts great responsibility in our hands to feed hungry hearts with the work that we produce. Kris encouraged us to consider the weight of that carefully and to allow that knowledge to make our stories better.

Regent University - Kris Young

Kris Young speaks to students.

I could write a small book unpacking his two-hour lecture alone, but suffice it to say, we were all challenged to connect our writing life and our spiritual life so tightly that the two cannot be identified separately. And that’s what we’ve been practicing every day in L.A.

“Being” a writer is different than “doing” the act of writing. Over this trip, as our creative and spiritual worlds have found more overlap than ever, each member of our team is closer to finding the intersection of their talent and their calling. That’s not an easy journey to take, as we’re discovering. But it’s made easier when you fight it out with others facing the same thing.

Home and the “next step” are only a few days away, but while we’re here, come what may, we’re in it together.


Amanda Morad is blogging from Los Angeles as she participates in the Regent Hollywood Experience, a  two-week total immersion experience in the professional world of Hollywood television.

17 May 2013 AmandaMorad

Breaking Bread with Television Greatness

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In the 1995 rom-com While You Were Sleeping, Michael Rispoli plays a creep of a neighbor to Sandra Bullock’s character Lucy. One night on the stairs of their walkup, he invites her to the Ice Capades, curling his lip as he says, “I know a guy.”

Here in Hollywood, everybody knows a guy. If they’re smart, they know a lot of guys…and gals. A theme that keeps emerging from this trip is the power of relationships in this business. Nobody gets anywhere without them. I lost count of the instances where one of our speakers credited a piece of their story to someone else saying, “this guy I go to church with,” or “this other mom at my kid’s preschool,” or “a neighbor of mine…” It’s all about good relationships.

Regent has fostered some pretty amazing ones out here, like our lunch host yesterday at CBS Studio Center, Michael Klausman, president of CBS Studio Center & Senior VP of Operations, CBS Television City.

We toured the grounds with Joe Soukup, Vice President and General Manager of Studio Center, and stood in on a hot set of Entertainment Tonight between visiting the currently dormant set of Parks and Recreation and strolling down New York Street where the city scenes of Seinfeld were shot. It was absolutely surreal.

During lunch, Klausman encouraged us, as all good leaders do, to “be bold.” Former Regent video blogger Hope Ammen did just that and is now interning at CBS Studio Center this summer. “You gotta take the initiative to get started in this business,” he said. “You also have to be willing to start in the mail room.”

That, we can do.

Here’s just a snapshot of our trip to CBS Studio Center:


Amanda Morad is blogging from Los Angeles as she participates in the Regent Hollywood Experience, a  two-week total immersion experience in the professional world of Hollywood television.

16 May 2013 EileenPark

A Glimpse of Kansas City

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Summer is here and I am headed back home to Kansas City! Check out my travels from Spring Break to get a taste of my hometown. In this video, I visited the International House of Prayer and a local market. Best of all, I was able to spend lots of quality time with my family!

15 May 2013 AmandaMorad

The Webseries

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Regent University - Writers' RoomSo we’re in Los Angeles to write a webseries, right? But what’s it about? Writers simultaneously love and hate that question. They love that someone’s interested in their work, but they hate that the question forces them to summarize—almost trivialize—what they devote their time and passion to for hours, days, weeks, months at a time. Nonetheless, here’s the TV Guide version of the series we are writing throughout the trip:

“The mystery of the hotel night manager unravels as the bellhop and the desk clerk engage with the guests he draws there who come to stay and leave a little of their brokenness behind.” Read more

14 May 2013 AmandaMorad

Dinner on the Pacific

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Regent University - PacificPicture this. Rustic wood and linen umbrellas. Waves crashing on a rocky shore. Palm trees and string lights under a blue and orange sunset. Dreamy, right? This was the setting of our alumni dinner Sunday night in the Pacific Palisades, just north of Santa Monica. Several alums gathered with students and friends of Regent for a night of networking under the stars.

We connected with alums who now work for DreamWorks, ABC Family and Disney. Some are starving artists making it work out here while others have hit their stride and are on their way. They gave us advice on moving out here: “Rent in North Hollywood.” And on keeping your faith strong in a hostile environment: “You have to have people. The loneliness is more damaging than anything.” We asked them questions and they shared their stories…and their business cards. Read more

10 May 2013 AmandaMorad

When Hollywood Takes You By Surprise

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Regent University - LA viewLos Angeles. Land of possibilities—a world unto itself where anything is possible. We’ve been here less than 12 hours and already, the Regent Hollywood Experience is going off-book. Once all 13 of us made it to our apartments (pictures and videos forthcoming), we had a welcome meeting. You know the type: introductions, information overload, lots of questions about what to expect.

But this particular meeting also included just the kind of surprise all of us have been anticipating for months. Award-winning filmmaker Christine Swanson, who isn’t on our speaker roster but is a film school friend of Regent professor Booker Mattison, just stopped in to meet and share with our group. Completely impromptu. She shared her story, her triumphs, her failures, and her advice to budding writers aspiring to make our mark on this crazy business one day. Read more

09 May 2013 HopeAmmen

Swinging into Spring

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April is typically known as the month of pranks. I may not be most ambitious when it comes to playing pranks, but I am certainly keeping busy as the semester comes to a close. In this video, learn about what it’s like to be a senior with one month left till graduation. From job plans to road trips to random acting gigs, the month of April was certainly full of adventure!

07 May 2013 WendyHarris

Have a Safe Trip!

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Regent University - Summer bikingHow many times have you heard or declared this phrase? Yet, how many times have we seriously thought about what that means? As an occupational safety professional, I can say that I frequently think about the specifics of having a safe trip, as we want all of our employees to travel safely. Naturally, I want the same for you. Now that summer has arrived, Regent students will drive home to families, take cross-country road trips and study across the country and globe.  In this post, I want to share some tips from a National Safety Council Safety and Health Fact Sheet, on preparing for your next getaway. Read more

04 May 2013 MadelineWenner

Smile Mile

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Regent University - Neptune 5K11:00 am. Race day. I tighten the laces of my running shoes and try to keep my nerves under control. Breathe. I ran track in high school and am no stranger to road races, so this should be easy. A single mile. No need to set a personal record. I have one goal: keep track of a single seven-year-old…in a crowd of thousands. Piece of cake, right? Read more

02 May 2013 LeilaMills

On a Mission

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Regent University - Leila mission trip

Wow! I’m glad I threw out my preconceived notions of what a short-term mission trip is supposed to look like, because God completely blew my mind! I had such a great experience that I don’t even know where to begin.

I guess the beginning is the best. We arrived tired, yet excited in New York City knowing that we would unpack, have dinner and then head to the streets of New York for homeless ministry. Our group of about 50 was broken up into several different teams. My team, number three, we named “Benny and the Jets,” first went to a homeless shelter to give out supplies and pray with people.

There, I met a man who told me his story. Read more