Next Gen 2012: Hollywood's Fastest-Rising Stars
The former Obama speechwriter, 30 (originally from Woodbury, N.Y.) turned a high-profile, high-stress gig into an improbable entree into the TV business as the co-creator of NBC midseason comedy 1600 Penn, a clever single-camera spin on life inside the White House starring The Book of Mormon's Josh Gad.
BIG BREAK: My first one was when then-Sen. Hillary Clinton hired me to be her speechwriter, even though I'd never really written a speech before. That was nuts.
TURNING POINT: Politics can be very frustrating. Because it's awful. But every year as a presidential speechwriter, I had the chance to work on the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner speeches with President Obama, Jon Favreau and David Axelrod. Hard to imagine an assignment that's more fun.
BEST ADVICE: "Take Fountain." -- Bette Davis.
10 YEARS AGO: I was at Williams College and pretty sure I'd never have sex. Boy, was I right.
10 YEARS FROM NOW: No good has ever come to anyone from having an answer to this question.
ONLINE OBSESSION: Twitter. Because no amount of tiny, incremental praise from strangers is enough, apparently.