Shalisha Francis

Shalisha Francis

Dear Gotham,

It's hard to believe that just a few years ago I was a bored attorney working 80 hours a week in a windowless office. Back then, I wrote mainly memos and briefs-those tedious legal documents that require you to eradicate all aspects of creativity or humor from the page.

As a person who loved creative writing, being a lawyer wasn't fulfilling for me. I knew I needed a change. The idea of combining my love for creative writing with my love of television had always been a dream of mine, but I never knew where to start.

Lucky for me, I saw posters advertising Gotham Writers' Workshop while walking in the Village one day. I signed up, and was even more fortunate to get Jim Mendrinos as my teacher. Jim was funny and engaging and he taught me about television writing from the ground up-how to write a spec, the painful but sometimes necessary task of "killing your darlings", how to structure a scene in order to make a joke "pop"... he was great. Moreover, the class was invaluable in launching my career as a television writer. I used the lessons learned from Gotham to write my first spec-the spec that got me into the Warner Bros. Writers Workshop and also got me my first interview for a television show.

Now, I've graduated from writing legal briefs to writing scripts. And as a writer on ABC's Castle, I get to use all the flowery adjectives and colorful humor I want.

Thanks Gotham, for helping make my dreams a reality.

Shalisha Francis