My three brothers swear I was bossy from the moment I was born, so what better profession to pursue than a producer and a writer?
As a producer, I get to encourage, motivate and guide a show's staff and crew, and as a writer I get to create my own world and all the characters have to do exactly what I tell them. Until, that is, the characters take on a life of their own like they're supposed to, and then I just go along for the ride.
My ride started in Los Angeles. Yes, I'm a native Californian. I grew up in Hancock park, in the middle of the sprawling city, and am a proud alumna of John Burroughs Junior High, Fairfax High School, and the University of California at Berkeley.
It was at Berkeley that I first became a writer. I majored in journalism, and worked on the Daily Californian, the school newspaper, for four years. I reveled in the excitement of the story, the thrill of the deadline, and solving the mystery of all kinds of people by doing research.
The research came in handy when I started my career in television, on the show Adam-12. My tenure there was brief, as after a few months Jack Webb personally fired me. I didn't know why then, and I don't know why now. What I do know is that Bob Cinader, who had also been fired by Jack Webb after Bob created Adam-12, turned around and hired me. I started doing research on a show Bob was doing called Sierra. This time I wasn't fired. but the show was.
That was just fine with me -- I moved over to Emergency!, then in its second year, as a Production Associate. I did research at the hospital with the emergency room doctors, and nurses, and went on runs with County firefighters and paramedics. It was an incredible, exhilarating learning experience, one that will, for the rest of my life, remain the best of times.
Over the next few years I moved to associate producer, then to producer. The show was unique in its structure, its attitude, in its impact for good, and in its impact on those who were lucky enough to work on it. We were a family, and in my mind, we will always be a family, with all its eccentricities, squabbles, and deep, unbroken bonds.
Bob Cinader taught me how to really do research, how to become an accomplished, professional writer and producer, and how to be part of something that had integrity and meaning. I will be forever grateful to him, and the other fine people with whom I worked on the show.
When Emergency! suddenly finished its run, I moved on with Bob to produce other shows: Knight Rider, The Immigrants, The Rebels, The Seekers, Quincy, and several pilots.
After Bob Cinader died, I spent much more time writing scripts, both television and features. That led to many jobs, including Walker, Texas Ranger, Cagney and Lacey, MacGyver, Pacific Blue, Tales of the South Seas and multiple Star Trek: The Next Generation Scripts. I was also fortunate to write and produce a Movie of the Week/pilot with Kent McCord, called Nashville Beat.
Currently I'm working on several episodic shows, as well as finish my first novel. And, just for fun, I'm the chair of the Advisory Board for the Writers' Guild magazine, Written By, which recently won three Maggie Awards. I'm very proud of the work we do there, and I run, and occasionally write, a column in the magazine entitled Muse-ings, an ongoing colloquy on the creative process.
The creative process is an endless journey, and no matter where I end up in this business, I will never forget Emergency!, which set the standard to which I constantly aspire.
Note: Hannah Shearer has very kindly allowed us to post an article she wrote for Muse-ings about Emergency!
copyright 1997 by Rozane
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