Christina Wollerman was an actor in New York City for nearly a decade, appearing in Manhattan theaters as well as national productions that toured up and down the East Coast and throughout the Midwest.
Determined to expand beyond the stage, she returned to her native Chicago and pursued her inspiration to become a screenwriter. In 2012, she was appointed Vice President of Chicago Screenwriters Network. The following year, she accepted the organization’s offer to assume the Presidency, and remained in that position until 2014.
She has reached the quarterfinal round for two scripts submitted to the Script Pipeline competition, a second round in the Austin Film Fest, a quarterfinalist in BlueCat, and top 50 in the ISA screenwriting fellowship contest.
Recently, she created and executive produced a short comedic web series called Ad-Minion, co-written with Noelle Hardy.
She continues to write features and more episodes of Ad-Minion.
How did you get into the business? I was an actor in NY for many years, noticing how crappy the scripts were. I knew I could write better than that. Then, when my friends started making their own shorts, I thought, “I could do that, too!” So, I did.
What obstacles have you faced specifically because of your gender? When I was acting, I noticed that every single role was described as: “girlfriend: pretty, but doesn’t know it.” Like the writers out there don’t know there’s any other kind of woman. Also, I saw that the film industry was a dudes’ club. The women did makeup and costumes; while the men directed, edited; comprised the rest of the crew.
Best thing to ever happen to you to remind you that you are a woman? It’s a great time to be a woman right now! when I first started writing, I considered putting “Chris” on my scripts because I felt that stories written by women wouldn’t be taken seriously or they’d be expected to all be boring romances. But lately, there’s so much support. I’m proud to be a woman — I think for the first time.
Work you are most proud of? My feature screenplays. They take years to write. And it’s not a group effort; it’s something that is solely mine on the page. Also, Ad-Minion. I’m so proud of my team on the project, especially my producer, Johnny Lange. I knew nothing about filmmaking, so the whole project came to fruition because of them. I’m also not very funny, so I’m proud my friend, Noelle Hardy chose to co-write this with me. She puts the FU in Funny.
How do you describe the most significant #metoo moment of your life? I’ve only been harassed socially; never at the workplace. But now, I feel that it’s ok to leave a party if there’s porn in the background or leaving a bar where the waitresses are forced to dress skimpily. I don’t feel judged for making those kind of calls anymore.
How have professional attitudes towards women evolved during your career? Just recently, women’s voices are louder than ever. I think, as a writer, having “Christina” rather than “Chris” might now get me read instead of passed over. It’s become a plus rather than a minus.
Trapped on an island what essentials must you have? I’d have my Sweet Pea, my cat, and my most prized possession: Bethina, my MacBook Pro. I’d keep her safe and dry on that island and protect her with my life.
If you had a time machine, what would you say to your past self? Easy. I’d go back to my college self and say “QUIT F—IN’ AROUND. GO TO CLASS.”
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