The Hillman Grad Mentorship Lab provides opportunities for marginalized storytellers to connect, grow, and accelerate their career in television.
Committed to infusing new narratives and perspectives in front of and behind the camera, the Hillman Grad Mentorship Lab provides a robust slate of workshops, educational resources, and professional development and networking opportunities for a cohort of diverse writers, actors, and aspiring creative executives.
The tuition-free, 8-month program grants fellows the unique opportunity to enhance their creative skillset through personalized instruction from industry professionals, creating additional pathways to bring more people from diverse backgrounds into the entertainment industry.
The Program is subject to the following requirements:
For Television Writing applicants: a writing sample, written solely by the applicant (no writing teams), which must be either an original feature screenplay or television pilot (preferable);
For Screen Acting applicants: two (2) 60-second monologues with contrasting tones. Monologues should be sourced from a film, television program, or play.
You must also agree to (1) these Submission Requirements, (2) all terms relating to the Program posted on Hillman Grad’s website, which you should review and read in full, and (3) the Submission Agreement, which governs the submission of your materials to Hillman Grad. The Submission Agreement includes important, legally binding terms and conditions, including arbitration of any disputes, which you must read in full before accepting.
You must be at least 18 years of age and not a minor in the state or country of your residence at time of submission.
You must be the sole owner of all rights in and to the materials submitted to Hillman Grad (“Submission Materials”). The Submission Materials must not in any way infringe upon the copyright of any person or entity or, to the best of your knowledge in the exercise of reasonable prudence, constitute libel, defamation or invasion of privacy or any other rights of any third party.
HILLMAN GRAD RESERVES THE RIGHT TO CHOOSE NO CANDIDATE FOR INCLUSION IN THE PROGRAM IF, IN THE OPINION OF HILLMAN GRAD, NO ENTRY IS OF SUFFICIENT MERIT.
This program requires an expected commitment of 10 hours/week. All mentees agree to commit to: virtual attendance at all classes via Zoom; meet all program deadlines; in-person attendance at kick-off weekend (March 2023), retreat weekend (July 2023), and capstone week (October 2023); participate in the program in a professional manner. Failure to deliver on any of the above may result in termination from the program. Applicants currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program are discouraged from applying.
By committing to the Hillman Grad Mentorship Lab, mentees must attend:
The Hillman Grad Mentorship Lab consists of three separate tracks: television writing, screen acting, and executive development.
The writing track will help prepare mentees to be ready for their first staff position in a writer’s room. Writing mentees will engage in a comprehensive writing experience, developing an original pilot from concept ideation to a fully polished and packaged script. Mentees will learn how to plan and write a pilot, participate in a simulated writers room–undergoing a series of rewrites from notes by the instructor, peers, and creative executives–capped off by a table read featuring professional actors. Mentees will be instructed and mentored by Michael Svoboda.
The acting track will prepare mentees for jump starting their careers as recurring actors and guest stars. Acting mentees will focus on mastering craft, a full and complete understanding of the business side of the industry, and be exposed to guests who are leaders in their field from all parts of the industry both in front of and behind the camera. Mentees will critically explore a wide array of genres, expanding their creative capacity to successfully deliver powerful performances, slay their audition, and stay booked. Mentees will be co-instructed and mentored by Behzad Dabu and Carolyn Michelle Smith.
The executive development track will prepare mentees for transitioning from working as an assistant to becoming a creative executive. Mentees will network and learn from a variety of industry executives by exploring how to track IP and analyze material, practice pitching, and work closely with writing mentees to develop their in-program pilot script.