Actor (30 Rock, Parks and Recreation), writer (SNL)
Who are you, and what do you do?
My name is Paula Pell, and I have been a writer for Saturday Night Live for sixteen years as well as a screenwriter and an actor on “30 Rock” and “Parks and Recreation”.
What hardware do you use?
I am an Apple lover/user. My laptop is a MacBook Air, my home computer is an iMac with a large monitor and my phone is an iPhone 4s (I am a very recent Blackberry Curve convert - very happy with it so far). I haven’t yet delved into the iPad world.
Things I use to write comedy include nicely sharpened No.2 pencils for the early “scribbly” stages, yellow legal pads - and my favorite pen is the Le Pen. It is so skinny and comes in fun colors and writes in a precise, sweet line. Three-hole recycled paper. Sharpie highlighters in yellow and blue. Wipe off boards that are also magnetic. Hershey Bars with almonds (all sizes). Black Sharpie markers of all widths so I may doodle when I’m at a “creative plateau”. Fresh air coming from the window.
COFFEE. If I’m at home it is “Rev” in the Keurig and if it’s out and about it has to be Starbucks Venti Iced Coffee with soy. I have two Splendas and an extra cup of ice to keep feeding my glass with ice. I can’t do anything without ice.
Quiet. I love to read and write in the quiet. I’m sure it’s because inside my head there are always three radio stations playing simultaneously and one of them is talk radio. Procrastination - I use the latest model that is impervious to guilt and panic.
And what software?
The main software I use is Final Draft for screenplays and Word with an adapted template for SNL scripts. I enjoy Twitter and Words With Friends, not to mention that Google searches play an important role in the writing process! (for research, not plagiarism!)
What would be your dream setup?
My dream set up would be a reclining cozy lounge chair with a tray that pulls out from each side. One for my many array of beverages that I drink (at work it is referred to as my Wall of Beverages) and the other tray for my cat to sit and stare blankly at me, judging my comedy.
Oh, did you mean technology? My apologies. For that I am actually a very simple gal. An Apple screen that is big enough so I can read clearly and possibly have two pages of script up at one time with an Apple processor that is super fast and has enough room for all my scripts, music and my wife’s photography.
We are fairly simple folk when it comes to our computers but my laptop is an extremely vital tool for my job as a writer. I carry it with me everywhere and love how light it is. This newest model is more sturdy too.
I’m a little rough on my laptops but I’m getting better at not throwing it around. Maybe by age fifty I’ll carry it in a nice padded bag instead of under my arm like a biology textbook.