Workaholics co-creator and 5th Year co-founder Connor Pritchard, 30, claims some of his best projects resulted from playing around with ideas to inexpensively impress girls. The 2004 Loyola Marymount history grad considers it a blessing he was initially denied from film school, as it made him work harder and learn to research and write technically. Here, CL chats with the creative writer about everything from career advice, to unplugging from electronics and diet tips.
College Lifestyles: When did you decide entertainment writing and producing is what you wanted to do?
Connor Pritchard: At six years old I was already submitting stories to local newspapers and directing videos. I always knew I wanted to be involved with film, publishing and writing.
CL: Why did you pick your career?
CP: I believe that, for the most part, writers are born. My father and uncle were comedians, so I grew up feeding off that creative energy which also influenced my career choice.
CL: Did you decide to attend Loyola Marymount based on your career aspirations?
CP: Yes, I knew I wanted to be in Los Angeles and had those family connections in the area.
CL: How did you get started?
CP: I had an internship every summer and plenty of part-time jobs. I worked on reality show proposals right out of college and had at least 15 or 20 bad jobs in L.A. before I made it. I think these kinds of jobs are more important because you find out exactly what you don’t want to do and can formulate the right way to do things.
CL: What is your typical day like?
CP: I wake up at 8:00 a.m. to take my little sister to school, have some coffee, and read some news and emails. Then I turn off the phone and email and write from around 10:00-2:00. You’d be amazed at how much work you can get done in a small amount of time that way. After, I get lunch, I review what I have written-which is currently the second book of my series, do some promotion for the first book, take care of emails and phone calls and end the day with a five mile run with my dog. For dinner I cook following the 4-hour body diet, which I have been doing for about two years. I’ve found that you’re forced to get more creative when challenged by cooking with limited ingredients.
CP: I love getting lost in researching new things and disappearing for months, obsessed with piecing my research together into a spectacular story. I also love to write for the people I love and care about. I wrote season one of Workaholics using many real-life people and stories. My least favorite part of the job is dealing with agents, managers, production companies, etc. whose job is to make art sellable. It is a very political process and it is hard as an artist to see your unique work altered to appeal to the masses.
CL: What would you say to someone wanting to break into the entertainment industry?
CP: Be aware that everything is changing; jobs that existed five years ago are disappearing. Invent your own dream job and figure out how to create value out of yourself. You have to figure out how you can make a living creatively and turn your passion into a career. Try, fail, regroup and keep going. There are so many fields in entertainment, but when you’re doing six things at once you can’t do any of them well. Find one thing to excel at and be confident you can do it best.
CL: If you weren’t in the entertainment industry, what would you be doing?
CP: If I ever got out of this business and into a more stable industry, I’d be a creative director at a big agency.
CL: So, what’s next for you?
CP: I’ve been working on my book trilogy for about three years. I’m on the second part now. Maybe another T.V. show is in the works, or perhaps I’ll teach philosophy or history at a small town college at some point. My end goal is to have a huge ranch where I can read and write books.
CL: Any final advice for students interested in entertainment writing or producing?
CP: We are a generation who has to make a living creatively. You have to work hard to get ahead. Narrow down your skill set and find out what makes you happy, as well at what makes you valuable. Position yourself differently from people and build a network. Create your own dream job, and formulate where you want to be in five or 10 years. Oh, and read War of Art. It created a fire inside of me that helped formulate everything I wanted to do.
Want to hear more from Connor Pritchard? Check out his debut novel and keep an eye out for the second book of the series.