Everything You Should Know About Being a Mainstream Media Writer from FOX's "Star" show writer Ester Weithers

As you’ve probably heard many times before, breaking the glass ceiling as a writer can be tough, even harder to make it in Hollywood. However, recently, Essence Magazine caught up with Ester Weithers, Fox’s hit series Star’s screen writer, to get a better picture of her life as an African American writer in Hollywood.

So, here’s what they learned…

A true interest:

As a Houston native and Florida A&M grad, Weithers, said, she always knew her desire was to work in the entertainment business. In fact, she decided to head west after realizing L.A. was the flourishing hub of screenwriters.

“At the time I was working as an assistant at Nickelodeon. And it just got to the point where I was a horrible assistant. These people were asking me about conference rooms and travel, and I was trying to find Shonda Rime’s scripts online,” said Weithers.

She was finally able to have a seat in the writer’s room after arriving to the west coast and landing a gig as a production assistant for the Showtime series, House of Lies.

Need for money:

Furthermore, Weithers said, unlike in New York where she expended much of her time in careers far from her passion, in L.A. she became lazor-focused on working in the entertainment industry. However, Weithers believed it may be a risk. Sometime the jobs that will open doors for you may not always be the ones that are financially comfortable.

It’s not always easy

While chronicling her quest to make a career as a screenwriter, Weithers revealed making a living wasn’t always easy. Often, she resorted to living in rented rooms or friend’s couches keeping much of her belongings in her car.

“I ate at Trader Joe’s. I think all I could afford was…peanut butter, and jelly, eggs and salad,” said Weithers.

However, for her, it was more important to have the right job than a nice place to stay.

But it may be worth it

While on the set of FOX’s hit show “Star,” Weither’s revealed she was star struck upon being approached by none other than actor Queen Latifah about her script. In addition, Weither said the opportunity was worthwhile because it enabled her to work with a diverse group of people including many other African American women in the business. Furthermore, Weithers felt those willing to sacrifice the finer things in life are more likely take advantage of meaningful opportunities in the business.

Any advice?

For all the burgeoning writers out there, Weither’s says that being yourself as a writer brings more diversity and representation on the big screen.

“Barriers are still being broken, doors are still being knocked down, trails are still being blazed,” said Weithers.

Lastly, Weithers said, being on top of your game makes your journey to success a bit smoother, causing others to take notice.

Good luck to all you future screenwriters!!