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How to Work with a Friend… who drives you CRAZY, With Jenn Liu & Susan-Kate Heaney

SK: When Jenn and I get into yet another fight about if we should use the word “burly” or “robust”, I try to remember that we fight…


SK: When Jenn and I get into yet another fight about if we should use the word “burly” or “robust”, I try to remember that we fight because we are both super passionate about the work, and want the script to be the best it can be. (Also robust is definitely the better word, right?)

Jenn: When SK drives me crazy because she doesn’t realize that I’m right, I take a deep breath and remember that ultimately whatever we are arguing about isn’t going to ruin our script. It’s just going to make it slightly less good.


Jenn Liu & Susan-Kate Heaney first met in an NYU acting class where they played a mother (Jenn) and daughter (Susan-Kate). Jenn delivered Susan-Kate’s baby on the floor of a Wendy’s and their dialogue was entirely in Spanish, not either lady’s native tongue… This is why they now write their own material. They reconnected years later in Los Angeles, at a barbecue that was heavy on the vegan proteins. LA. Who would have thought?!? Jenn and SK are very different. Jenn’s type A, Sue-Kate doesn’t believe in labels. Jenn’s practical, Sue-Kate lives in a dream world. Together, they have written a feature film, a tv pilot, a spec script, two webseries… and lived to tell the tale.

SK & J is an autobiographical comedy about two hilarious, ambitious women- their triumphs, struggles, hits & misses- of writing together and trying to break into Hollywood without driving each other absolutely crazy. This flat out funny, original series focuses on how two diametrically opposed talented women break the glass ceiling in a business with endless obstacles while coping with the challenges one experiences in daily life while juggling career, home, family and friendships, which come up when one least expects it detouring their chances of selling their script. “SK&J” premieres at the prestigious DTLA (Downtown LA Film Festival) headquartered at the Regal Theaters at L.A. Live on Saturday, October 20. Here’s their best advice for working with someone who drives you absolutely nuts.

  1. MAKE IT ABOUT THE WORK

SK: When Jenn and I get into yet another fight about if we should use the word “burly” or “robust”, I try to remember that we fight because we are both super passionate about the work, and want the script to be the best it can be. (Also robust is definitely the better word, right?)

Jenn: When SK drives me crazy because she doesn’t realize that I’m right, I take a deep breath and remember that ultimately whatever we are arguing about isn’t going to ruin our script. It’s just going to make it slightly less good.


2. TAKE BREAKS

SK: Jenn is an amazing cook- and she actually likes doing it. When things get tense, my stomach always starts grumbling. I don’t know how to tell you to do this, it’s a superhuman trick I have, but it always causes Jenn to give me a look and a “Are you really hungry again?!” Then I nod with wide eyes, she makes me pasta and we can relax, recharge and feel robust (see what I did there?). The world always looks better after a little Cacio y Pepe.

Jenn: I hate taking breaks. But what’s worse is SK pretending she’s about to wilt from starvation. I try to feed her as quickly as possible so we can get back to it. Plus her stomach is surprisingly loud.

3. REMEMBER WHAT BONDS YOU

SK: Easy. Hilarious, badass female characters, writing hysterical comedy scripts and singing along at the top of our lungs to Broadway musicals, especially LES MIS and RENT. We do a mean version of “Take Me or Leave Me”.

Jenn: Her writing actually does makes me laugh out loud. Plus we are both passionate about our characters and stories.

4. GO TO YOUR HAPPY PLACE

Jenn: I step away and cuddle one of my dogs. I focus on them instead of whatever SK is yammering on about.

SK: This one is so easy for me. My imagination loves to go to my happy place. When I have trouble, I feel for a little crystal I keep in my wallet. Who knows what Jenn thinks I’m doing, but that crystal rubbing keeps me sane.

5. WHEN IN DOUBT, REMEMBER WHAT YOU LOVE ABOUT THE PERSON

SK: Jenn is strong, wise, generous, a serious dog lover, a great friend and my very fave karaoke buddy. Sometimes I list these things in my mind when she is droning on about how I am technically inept with folders (FOLDERS ARE CONFUSING).

Jenn: SK is a very good human being with the biggest heart in the world. No matter how ridiculous I think she can be, I know it’s coming from a good place and her patience for me is seemingly endless. But seriously though, can she please enroll in a basic computer class? Cut and Paste, anyone? It’s 2018!!!!

Originally published at medium.com

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