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  • SaraRose Freedman

Welcome to "Hope In A Playbook"

There's a lot that goes into the name of a blog; words, concepts and deeper meanings. But the most important element to me is story. The story of how everything came to be. For me, it was three events in my life that all came together as a realization I had when I was fifteen.

Growing up, I internally struggled. Just feeling like I didn't fit in, whether it was with my friends or my family. In my childhood, (ages three through eight) I was surrounded by a lot of male energy (uncles and cousins) so I became accustomed to having American Football either being discussed or airing on the TV in my house and whoever my family was visiting. The more I was around football the more I understood terminology and how the game worked. Same goes for my passion for television and film.

During that time, I definitely wanted to live and be a part of the worlds I was seeing on screen, more specifically when it came to Disney and The Disney Channel. At the part of my life when I had moved states and was learning to fit in (8 to 14), I had so many people telling me what their personal experiences were like and it was hard to figure out who I should listen to, so I did the only thing that seemed logical to me at that time, which was to try to be like the characters I saw on television ( e. g. Lizzie McGuire, Miley Stewart, Alex Russo etc.) because to me, they were the definition of what I thought "normal" was. Reality hit me hard, and I got bullied for what I eventually learned were acting techniques. In my head at the time, I thought they were ways kids supposedly interacted in society. Even when it was time to face the mistakes I had made, I realized that loving those kinds of programs got me through the pain and that there was nothing wrong with me. They gave me hope that I would learn to evolve like the characters and that things would get better. Hope became a very important word to me and it still is today, hence why I use it almost everywhere. I got an ID bracelet for my fifteenth birthday that says it.

At fifteen things just clicked for me. The way I watched television evolved. I started noticing plot holes in episode storylines that would either go beyond the main suspension of disbelief point or would ruin the continuity of the entire goal of the series. I also was observing how arcs with characters would change through show seasons by adding personality traits that would totally go against how the character was originally written, specifically their ultimate motivations. I had always had a love for writing. At this point in my life it was starting to grow and I was learning how to write thesis essays. I had created a strong bond with my freshman history teacher and one day he casually mentioned he was going to be doing this class the following semester called "American Pop Culture" he allowed me into the class and I was the first lowerclassman to be in it. For our final, we could do whatever we want. One day, I was watching an episode of a show that will remain nameless, it was a three episode arc and it had the most ridiculous ending in which messed up the continuity of the show and ruined its potential to take it to new heights. I was so infuriated and that's when it hit me, I wanted to write family friendly content that not only has a special message but that's written well and stays that way.

I remember not being able to sleep that night. So many thoughts were running through my head about the content I watched on TV. Disney Channel was what I watched the most at the time and I was starting to point out all things like one of those Vegas machines where you pull the lever and the pictures are rolling. It dawned on me that the shows had patterns that formulated recipes for success. So I created a power point and presented it for my final project and got an A. A year went by, and I realized they just weren't going to change if it was making them successful, so I created a blog called "Disney's Playbook" in which I reviewed their shows and movies. Just like football, Disney Channel had their own playbook for success. Same with the D.C.O.M.s (Disney Channel Original Movies) and the theatrical Disney movies as well.

As I've gotten older I started to notice that even directors, producers, networks, and studios have playbooks for the kind of entertainment they make and release. My ultimate dream is to write, direct, and/or produce projects for young audiences that I wish I could've related to on screen when I was that age. I want to create stories that spread hope and say that there's more to come in life than anyone expects. In order for me to do this, I research which consists of analyzing and reviewing content that's no longer just Disney even though I will continue to do that also. So that is why I'm creating "Hope In A Playbook." I'm shedding light on content that I'm interested in. Learning what makes them successful and what I would do if I had the chance to create my dream stories.

I hope you all stay tuned to my journey because I'm hopeful that this is just the beginning.

~ SaraRose

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