Greg Cope White is a produced television writer. He also steps in front of the camera and hosts. The Pink Marine, his first book, just came out in November, 2015.
His writing credits include HBO’s Dream On, Norman Lear’s The Powers That Be and 704 Hauser, Fox’s Life With Louie, Sony’s animated series Jumanji, and Disney’s Social Studies. He currently has a sitcom in development with Norman Lear’s Act III.
He moved from New York to LA to pursue his dream of acting. As fate would have it, shortly after he moved to LA there was a writer’s strike. As an unemployed actor, with nothing but time on his hands he decided to take up the craft of writing screenplays. Shortly thereafter, he was given a job in development by Norman Lear’s production company. From that point on Greg moved up Hollywood’s letter of success.
Seven months after being hired by Norman Lear Greg begin writing for television shows.
Greg wrote his book The Pink Marine for two reasons. When he began the book he wanted to show people that if he could become a sergeant in the Marines, then anyone could do anything they set their mind to. As he wrote the book he expanded it to include stories of what it was like to be gay in the military when the military considered a crime.
Our conversation was fascinating. We talked about life in Hollywood, writing for TV, they were networking, and the power of persistence among other things.
Here are just a few of the takeaways:
- The importance of networking and being nice.
- Every job in Hollywood ends.
- The importance of being a good worker.
- The importance of writing everyday.
- The importance of helping other people succeed.
- Find a group of writers and help each other get better by reading each other’s work.
- How writing staffs work in Hollywood.
- The typical writing schedule for a TV show in Hollywood.
- Your reputation always precedes you.
- The importance of tenacity.
- Writing a book is a marathon, not a sprint.
- The importance of staying focused and on track.
- The importance of believing in yourself.
- How to handle rejection.
- The famous story of Sylvester Stallone and Rocky.
- If you believe in something, keep going.
- The difficulty of being objective about our own work
- The importance of having people who cheer you on.
- It’s all brainpower. You use your brain one step beyond where you think you can go.
- How blogging can help you find your voice and teach you about your audience.
- Surround yourself with people whose opinions you respect.
- To get the respect of others, you have to respect yourself.
- Everything is a mission.
- The importance of being honest.
- The difference between writing a book and writing for TV.
- The importance of limiting their time on social media.
- How the landscape for professional writers has changed.
- The advantages of the blogging format.
- What is Greg’s blogging process.
- The advantages of working with a copy editor.
- Believe in yourself and find your voice.
- Focus on authenticity and you will find success.
- Write like no one’s going to read your book.
The Secret to Success in Hollywood.
Keep in touch with as many people as you can. And always be growing your circle.
Links and Resources Mentioned in the Interview
The Pink Marine — Greg’s autobiography. He talks about his life in the Marine Corps and his journey toward self acceptance.
Eat.Greg.Eat — Greg’s primary blog.
Go.Greg.Go — Greg’s travel and hotel review blog.
thepinkmarine.com — The website for Greg’s book.