February 25 - March 17 • 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM (EST)
About the workshop
The writer who celebrates the legend they once were, is a writer at the height of their powers! While you were drooling in braces, eating friendless lunches, and cutting your own bangs: guess what? Teenage you was a fucking STAR. She just never knew it.
Bring your fumbles and humiliations, your ukulele songs and band camp tears! The best comedy comes from utter vulnerability, so we’re quantum leaping back to YOUR TEENAGE SELF. In this 4-part screenwriting intensive, we’ll revisit who we were in high school, roll around in the cringey nostalgia (turns out it’s delicious!), do an archeological dig in our moms' basements, dust off any old shame, fall in love with our V1 prototypes, and from this tender and hilarious place craft an idiosyncratic, achingly specific high school heroine for the ages. Not “you”—but gorgeous pieces of you, folded into an exquisitely awesome new character. This course is equal parts catharsis and wild creativity. We're smashing our shadow selves wide open (in a cuddly, loving way) to find full freedom on the page—and finding community in the process.
What you will learn
• Students dissect examples of “peak uncool” high school protagonists (“My So-Called Life,” “Never Have I Ever,” etc), as well as teen archetypes. • Zero-in on what’s YET TO BE DONE in film and TV, and zero in on what YOU in particular have to share with the world that’s all-new! • Investigate what’s unique and special about the teen genre—and the absolute GIFT they are to an intrepid screenwriter. • Learn Lauren’s “5 Principals of the Teen Galaxy” and how they can guide you to a uniquely kick-ass new concept. • With an all-new love for the beauty, perfect dorkdom, and authenticity of Teenage You, create an all-new fictional character around which to build a brilliant and fresh script!
• As a group, we'll share our Teen Self vulnerabilities, humiliations, and memories in a safe space. This class is a cathartic, and even joyous, nostalgia-dive in a supportive community. • You'll walk away from our 4 weeks together with an INCREDIBLE all-new teen character AND a starter script concept ready to bring fully to life. • Each week, go home with a fun and feasible new writing assignment. • Get direct feedback from Lauren on your budding character creation, your script concept, and writing.
What you will be reading
We'll look together at a few teen-centric scripts, and watch a few teen film/tv scenes as we study the genre and challenge conventions. But most of our work will center on personal experience reckoning, and the students' own writing as they develop their all-new characters + unique script concepts.
• Appropriate for ALL screenwriting levels and experience: from aspiring to experienced.
• Note: This class does NOT meet on Sunday, November 26th
I had so much fun in “YOUR TEENAGE SELF WAS A F***ING STAR"! Lauren gave the class great prompts before, during, and after the workshop, so that I felt empowered to mine my awkward teenage years in order to create comic gold. I'm also convinced that she was a therapist in a past life, because she so skillfully guided us all as we navigated our adolescent angst, while still keeping the focus on learning the craft and finding laughs. Thankfully, she is a comedy writer and teacher in this life, so that she can continue to lead great writing workshops!
Your class was deeply healing for me. It was fantastic to be uniquely supported by you and equally so to hear your support of others. Thank you for sharing your wisdom. To be able to speak out loud my story after a lifetime of feeling unsafe to express myself was freeing. I am forgiving of myself and others. Hearing others' stories was expansive. I loved being in your class.
Lauren’s style in the classroom is both comforting and challenging. She created a safe space to dig deeper into my younger self and the experiences that made me the creative I am today while confronting and embracing the cringe factor that many of us feel when we think back to those moments. “YOUR TEENAGE SELF WAS A F***ING STAR” brought me back to those big feelings and helped give me the space to appreciate them for the inspiration and perspective they can offer.
I was lucky to be able to take a condensed version of the YTSWAFS workshop with Lauren through GOLD Comedy. The exercises that we did were so helpful in reflecting on myself in middle school and high school. Some of the exercises were very cathartic. When difficult emotions emerged, I felt validation from Lauren and the group. I really enjoyed figuring out what my teen superpower would be and how to use all of the above in different styles of comedic writing. Check this out!!!
You don’t have to be working on a project about your teenage years … or even thinking about one. I took this class to learn techniques for adding more humor to my writing in general. Ths class delivered.
About the instructor
Lauren Veloski is a screenwriter, comedy writer, and brave champion of the flip phone. Her first feature script, the indie comedy “SORRY, THANKS,” was praised by Lena Dunham for writing “as seamless as any studio rom-com—if studio rom-coms had astute, nuanced dialogue.” An “unromantic comedy” about the wreckage wrought by casual douchebaggery, “SORRY, THANKS” world-premiered at the SXSW Film Festival, played 15 fests internationally, and was acquired by IFC/Sundance. After 15 years as the “story brain in the room” on countless television and film projects, Lauren launched her creative coaching company, THAT’S BANANAS, in 2022. Through THAT'S BANANAS, she does what she most loves: working one-on-one with writers at all levels, helping them come fully into their badassery and power on the page
Create a teen protagonist character and a ready to write feature script concept