As an author, writer, and teacher, Steve Cuden has probably been asked a variation of this question thousands of times: So, exactly how do you break into the TV and film industries? Or even Broadway for that matter? The entertainment industry is notoriously closed off (at least the mainstream one is—we know that the DIY world is much different), and while their influence may be shifting and waning a bit, it’s where even the most die-hard independent operators want to wind up. Because no matter what, you still want to see your work end up in front of the biggest audience possible.
Cuden has writing credits for TV (mostly in animated series) dating back some 25 years, as well as directing the cult classic “Lucky,” which won him Best Director at the Nodance Film Festival in 2004. He’s probably best known as the co-creator behind “Jekyll & Hyde,” the Broadway musical which ran for four years before enjoy success as a touring show. Cuden wrote the original book and lyrics with composer Frank Wildhorn. He and Wildhorn also created “Rudolf, Affaire Mayerling,” which has been a hit in Europe and Asia.
In addition to his credits in film, TV and theater, Cuden is the successful author of the books “ Beating Broadway: How to Create Stories for Musicals that Get Standing Ovations” and “Beating Hollywood: tips for Creating Unforgettable Screenplays.”
Cuden generously shares his own story and tips for becoming a successful writer. He earned his MFA in Screenwriting from UCLA and currently teaches a multitude of screenwriting classes to Cinema Arts students attending the Conservatory of Performing Arts at Point Park University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
You can also read a transcript of this episode.
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