Thursday, May 27, 2021

A central perk of being a Brandeis graduate

September 1993: as a college senior interested in screenwriting, I mailed letters to Brandeis University alumni in Hollywood. A TV producer who wrote back said if I was ever in Los Angeles, he would be happy to meet with me.

Spring break 1994: my first trip to the West Coast. I called this producer. He said he’d love to get together but was now swamped working on a sitcom pilot. He apologized and, though disappointed, I understood.

Before we hung up, I asked what he could tell me about the show. All he could reveal was that it was about six twentysomethings who hang out in a New York City coffee shop.

I didn’t say this to David Crane, but I didn’t think it sounded like a hit.

His second and final letter to me:

Note two things about letter #2:

  • It is dated six days after the debut of Friends.
  • David’s signature looks different when he’s busy building a legend.

Friends premiered the year I entered the workforce and aired its series finale a few weeks before my first child was born. For the duration of the show’s run, I was in the exact same phase of life as its characters. 

Thank you again, David. Could you be any more kind?

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