Starring: Jamahl Epsicokhan (critic-turned-pitcher; narrator), Wade Steinberg (best buddy; travel manager), Joe Menosky (pitch inviter; co-executive producer), Ashley Miller (objective pitch adviser), Mike O'Halloran (tour guide), Bryan Fuller (pitchee; executive story editor), Tim Lynch (retired critic), Ted Liu (final test-pitch victim), Brannon Braga (incidental meeting guy; executive producer)
By Jamahl Epsicokhan
April 26, 2000
I don't get away much these days. I currently live in Bloomington-Normal, Illinois, which might best be described as two small combined cities (approximate population 110,000) about halfway between Chicago and St. Louis — closer to Chicago, but you get the picture if you're even vaguely familiar with the region. I work your standard daily 8-to-5 job; I hang out at bars with my friends; I visit my parents on weekends; and in my free time I write these Trek reviews, which over the past few years have made me more widely known on the Internet than anything else I've done.
So when I got a surprise invitation (and believe me, I was very surprised) to head out to L.A. to pitch story ideas to Star Trek: Voyager, it didn't exactly take anyone twisting my arm for me to say yes, I'll give this a try. This article is about my experience spanning a two-month period in preparing for and ultimately making the pitch, and about my 48 hours in Los Angeles — my first visit to the area. By the way, please don't think me a narcissistic bastard for indulging to call this article "Jammer Goes to L.A." (it's better than the long-considered alternative, "Jammer Goes to Hollywood") — I simply couldn't resist the opportunity. I rarely go on trips, let alone to the film industry capital of the world ... to say nothing of actually meeting with Hollywood people and getting a chance to pretend I'm a freelancer. If this article occasionally seems excessive, keep in mind that I'm writing to an audience that includes me as one of its members. It's a personal journal entry as much as anything else. In 10 years, I think I'll be glad I was so detailed, or even so excessive.
So join me on a trip through my little adventure.
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