This 'Good Place' Writer Is Begging for a Shortform Emmy: "Put Me Out Of My Misery" (Guest Column)
Megan Amram is hell-bent on winning a trophy for ‘An Emmy for Megan,’ and she’s OK if that means inspiring the TV Academy to change rules and flirting with her own financial ruin.
I try not to beg, but please. I am on my knees (honor system, just believe me). Consider voting for me to win an Emmy. Set me free.
My name is Megan Amram. I'm a comedy writer, and there are two things I care about in terms of my career. One is making television that inspires people, makes them laugh, feel less alone, realize there are good people and good actions left in the world. The other is winning awards.
My primary job is writing for the NBC show The Good Place, which was nominated for best comedy series this year. That's awesome! But one nomination is not nearly enough for me. See, the thing is, I would really like to win an Emmy. That is why I made a web series called An Emmy for Megan. So that I can win an Emmy. For me. (I'm Megan.)
My show is all about my quest to win an Emmy. I wrote, directed, starred, executive produced and set-designed it. Technically, I also catered, since the set was my house and I let the PAs eat some saltines I have in my cupboard for when I get the stomach flu. In my totally unbiased opinion, my performance in my web series is literally the best acting of anyone in the past two centuries — including Matthew McConaughey in Serenity, an insane movie I highly recommend you see. I laugh, I cry, I do my own stunts. In my web series, I was murdered at the end of season one. My death scene was — again, unbiased — extraordinary. One person said it was "better than Matthew McConaughey in the movie Serenity." The person was me.
And it worked! I was nominated for two Emmys last year: best short form series and best actress in a short form series. But then, tragedy struck. I lost not one but both. I was humiliated at the Creative Arts Emmys in front of my closest friends, family and entertainment lawyers. I have spent the past year asking myself why. Why did I get so close, only to fail at the most important thing a human and a woman can pursue? The only answer I could think of was: I wasn't good enough.
That's why, for my second season, I made the show better. I made it bigger. I acted harder. I shared the spotlight with Patton Oswalt. And it paid off, sort of. My show was yet again nominated for best short form series, and Patton Oswalt was nominated for best actor. But I was metaphorically — and frankly, literally — slapped in the face when I wasn't nominated for best actress.
I have made myself indelible to the Academy. There have been rule changes for the web series category that I can't for certain say were because of me, but I can certainly say they weren't not because of me. For example, I made an episode last year that pointed out that there was no minimum time requirement for web series episodes. Lo and behold, this year there is a new rule that each episode has to be at least two minutes long. Literally millions of people win Emmys every year, but how many people can say they inspired an Emmy rule change? I should win an Emmy for best Emmy rule change (female)!
I need this award. If I don't win, I'm going to have to keep making the series until I do. And, frankly, that will destroy me. It's not like it's easy. In addition to shooting and creating the series, I have paid for all the marketing myself, which includes but is not limited to five billboards in the L.A. area, a sky banner pulled by a plane, lawn signs, an ArcLight screening and some future surprises. If I have to do this for any longer, I guarantee that I will go bankrupt. I'm probably going to come live with you if I do. I am begging. Put me out of my misery.
One question I get a lot is, "Do you actually want to win an Emmy?" To which my answer is always, "Yes, of course." I've already picked out where it will go. It will go in my home office. You probably haven't been to my house, but trust me, it will look great there. There's natural lighting, and you'll have to pass it to get to the bathroom. It's a perfect spot.
Thank you so much for your time and consideration. I've been on my knees this whole time, and now I'll get up and keep my fingers crossed that this reaches the people it needs to. Hopefully, I'll see you soon from the awards stage! And if not, please don't feel sorry for me. Actually, no, scratch that — feel very sorry for me. I'm not strong. I need this.
This story first appeared in the Aug. 12 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.