(instead of waiting to get picked)

As an actor it can feel like you have no say in your own career. Especially when you rarely, if ever, get the opportunities to truly showcase what you’re capable of.

It can feel like most of your career is out of your hands and you end up…

waiting for your reps to pitch you or the phone to ring
trying to get reps in the first place
….waiting for the perfect audition to come along
hoping you get called in for it
crossing your fingers that you book it
…and praying that this is FINALLY the big break that will put you on the map

That’s a lot of waiting, hoping and praying. And that can leave you feeling frustrated, powerless and lose confidence in yourself.

The good news is:


You can create your own opportunities by learning how to write, produce and star in your own projects. That way you never have to wait for permission to do what you love.

And my job is to help you make that happen.

Hi! I'm Emily :)

In addition to helping actors finally write their damn script already (and know what to do with it) I’m also a Sundance award-winning actress (Special Jury Prize for Emotional Truth).

I'm a screenwriting coach, a writer, producer and actor.

I had an idea for a script I wanted to write forever. I thought writing would be easy. After all I had extensive acting training, I’d read hundreds of scripts and broken down a bazillion auditions. I knew how to break down a scene and craft a performance. Not to mention my time behind the camera, when I worked with an independent film producer in the $5M -$50M range.

I learned the hard way that writing can feel impossible when you create in a vacuum and try to figure it out all by yourself. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

When I stopped trying to figure it out all by myself, I got help. I studied with a working TV writer who showed me professional-level tools to finally turn my idea into a script I was proud of. Instead of creating in a vacuum, I learned a step-by-step process I could follow to get my script to the finish line. And I got there so much faster (and it was way more fun) than the painful process of going it alone.

For the past 15 years I've helped actors create success on their own terms. Once I learned how to write, I found myself sharing these tools over and over again with my clients. It was clear to me how many actors want to create their own project, but they don't know how to get started.

That's why I created the Short Film Lab.

Learning how to write is an act of empowerment. Once you learn these tools, you never have to wait for the industry to pick you in order to do what you love. You can create the kind of roles that only you can play, the stories you most want to see, and use the films you create to put yourself on the map.

My Wish for You...

As an actor you have so much more power than you realize.

Learning how to write a professional-level short film is an act of empowerment.

YOU get to take control of your own success.

It means you can…

Write the kind of role only you can play, so you can show the industry exactly what you’re capable of.

Write the stories that matter to you, so the time and energy you spend on your career feels meaningful.

Put yourself in control of your success, so you never have to wait to get picked by the industry.

Open the doors to bigger opportunities that are in alignment with the kind of work you care about.

Leave a lasting impact on your audience, who will be inspired, moved, and affected by the stories you choose to tell.

Unlike a feature film, or a tv pilot, learning how to write a short takes less time. Self-production is absolutely within reach. And you get a tangible project that you can share with the world a lot faster.

This builds your confidence as a writer, and inspires you to create more and more projects that excite and fulfill you.

My wish for you is the power of your own
creative fulfillment.

If that speaks to you, then what are you waiting for? Say yes to yourself and let’s get started!

About Pickford West Society

I’ve always been drawn to the Golden Age of Hollywood. I’m fascinated by the early days of this industry and the biographies of the major players...many of whom were women.

Before the Hays code brought censorship to “the pictures,” and before Hollywood was the boys club it later became, roles for women were incredible! They were unapologetic career women, writers, directors and producers. They embraced their sexuality, they were bawdy, and ballsy and the 1920’s!

Women from this era were the original multi-hyphenates. 

Mary Pickford was a silent film star who went on to become one of the most powerful women in Hollywood. She was a producer, a studio head and a major star onscreen.

Mae West was an actress, singer, playwright, screenwriter, comedian, and sex symbol whose career spanned seven decades.

She was way ahead of her time. Her work promoted a message of the sexually empowered woman, and she was a lifelong advocate for gay rights (we’re talking the 1930’s here). This made her extremely controversial during her lifetime.

Pickford West is a combination of these names, and represents the spirit and get sh*t done-ness of these pioneers who carved their own path.

I want that for you too. My mission is to help you become a successful creator in who is in charge of your own career.

Storytelling Matters

Every since I saw Drew Barrymore play Gertie in E.T. I knew storytelling was in my future. I loved th film so much, my 5-year-old-self sobbed uncontrollably in the movie theatre when it appeared E.T. had died. My mom and aunt (who had already seen the film to make sure it was appropriate for kids) had to whisper in my ear, "Don't worry, he's really alive" to calm me down.

It was the one and only time that I was happy for a spoiler.

Storytelling is one of the most powerful tools we have to connect, to disrupt the status quo, and to effect change.

Think about the film or tv show that moved you to tears or inspired you to become an actor.Or the character who inspired you to finally make that call, or do that thing, or change your life.

Something magical happens when you sit in that dark theatre, wide-eyed and open-hearted, allowing yourself to go on an adventure, and most importantly, allowing yourself to feel. Storytelling can be an act of healing.

Your project is that moment for someone else. That aha moment, that shock of recognition, that impetus to do things differently. Your project is about more than just’s about the people who need to hear your message. You can make an impact with your work.

All you need to do is take the first step.