Tea with a Titan, Episode 60: Terri Tatchell, Oscar-nominated screenwriter

Portrait of Terri Tatchell, Oscar-nominated screenwriter
Tea with a Titan podcast — Conversations Steeped in Greatness | MaryJoDionne.com

Guest TitanEpisode 60

Terri Tatchell

Oscar-nominated screenwriter

What we cover: Reinvention.

I have been calling myself a writer since I was 5 years old. I’ve had a fun and memorable career as an ad copywriter in agencies in Vancouver, as an editor, as a features writer for various magazines. I’ve written my one-woman show and am currently working on the sequel. I wrote my own comedy material in the days I did standup. But for me, the dream is to one day get that screenplay written – that’s the dream. I’ll be honest, though, for some reason, it’s scary to me. It’s a new format, and a new thing, and despite the fact that I’ve read countless books on screenwriting, and have taken half a dozen screenwriting courses, I continue to fall into the category – in this one area of my life – where I talk the talk, but I don’t yet walk the walk. That is my thing – my block. What’s yours? What’s that one thing you want to rock on, but instead you continue to stand in your own way? Because that’s what it is – it’s just ourselves — getting in the way.

Terri Tatchell, of course is the Oscar-nominated writer of the 2009 blockbuster film District 9, which was directed by Neil Blomkamp, who also happens to be her main dude in life – her husband, in fact. So this is a woman knows a thing or two about filmmaking. I re-watched District 9 to prepare for our chat, and if you haven’t watched it lately – do so. I’m not sure how it’s possible, but its themes are somehow more relevant today. I actually felt sick to my stomach watching – themes of oppression, poverty, segregation. It’s all just a little too close to travel bans and walls and terror.

However, this isn’t just a talk about writing, and it’s not just a talk about filmmaking, it’s a talk about reinventing — because she wasn’t always a screenwriter. She wasn’t one of those 18 year olds, fresh out of high school who makes a bee-line to LA. She was on another track altogether. She was a corporate gal, when she made what was arguably a 180, even going to so far as to both metaphorically and literally purge her closet of 33 of her office suits… knowing that in her new life as a writer, she would no longer be needing them. She made a fresh start. She hit the reset button, which is actually something we can all do. It just takes guts. And commitment. It takes what she calls: Hand-cuffing herself to the process.

The reason I started this series, is so that my two daughters, Majella and Burgess will have an inventory of inspiring conversations with paradigm-busters to draw upon for those times in their lives when they feel stuck. Each conversations give me the gift of at least one perspective shift – a new way of looking at the situation. And I want to thank Terri for reminding me that committing to a do-ever, throwing our proverbial hats in a whole new ring, is entirely our own choice. That we can get rid of our own version of our 33 suits – when we take the steps to make the decision to get to the heart of the answer to the question: “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

Completely unrelated but always exciting for me: Many of you know I’ve been plant-based for 18 years. Chad, who’s an endurance athlete, has been for about a decade, and I’ve talked about Vega a lot in the past on this show, because I often have a Vega One Smoothie in my hand while I’m recording. Vega is a certified vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO, nutrient-dense line of clean, plant-based nutrition products. Our kitchen shelves are perpetually stocked with Vega. And Season 2 is brought to you in part by Vega – which brings me no end of happiness. I legitimately am a Vega freak.

Until November 11th, 2017, Listeners of Tea with a Titan can save 25% (which is kind of a big deal) on your Vega orders, when you head to MyVega.com and enter the promo code MARYJO25. It’s a way for you to have amazing plant-based nutrition delivered right to your door for free (because they offer free shipping on orders of $100 or more). But it’s also a way to support “Tea with a Titan” because Vega offers me a percentage of the sales generated from my site. (You can order in this way to support the show after November 11th, too of course. But the 25% promo wraps on the 11th.) Or, you can order it, like always, right from here, by clicking the big pink Vega banner. Just be sure to enter the promocode MARYJO25. That’s full disclosure – and I thank you in advance.

How you can learn more:

What book do we recommend you download for free? Right here, right now?

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