Member Spotlight: Lisa Hollander-Parente

I would like to warmly welcome Lisa Hollander-Parente to the member spotlight chair.   Lisa has extensive experience in the children’s media industry, having been a writer, editor, and producer at various times throughout her career.  She shares how she got her start in the industry and offers some tips for those thinking about freelancing.  




Can you tell us a little about your professional background and what drew you to children’s media?

I just fell into it. I set out wanting to work in soap operas! I was taking a winter break seminar called the Director’s series in my junior year at LIU. Since we were so close to New York my professor was able to get several different directors to come talk to us each week. At the end of each class, I would speak to each guest thank them for coming to talk to us and hand them a resume saying that I was looking for an internship. A writer/director named Ronnie Krauss was the head writer for a show that was just beginning its 2nd season called Out of the Box. She passed my resume along and I got an internship. It wasn’t long into that internship that I realized that I loved everything about working there and this was the kind of television I wanted to create. I wanted to help entertain and educate kids. Occasionally I wander away from it but I always come back. It truly is my passion.

You have worn a few different hats throughout your career, including writer, editor, and producer. Ideally, what do you see as the next step on your professional journey?

I would like to actually take the time to gather my writing samples and take a shot at being a writer full time.

Do you have any tips or advice for people looking to transition into the freelance market? 

Know what your limitations are because as rewarding as freelancing can be, it can, and will, take over your life. Figure out what your boundaries are and move forward from there. I have worked with so many amazing people who at one point just left the industry because they couldn’t deal with the hours or constantly looking for a job. You need to love this and your family needs to understand it.

What emerging trend in children’s media are you most excited about now? 

I absolutely love the way that content is being used in a plethora of ways. One episode of a show can generate not only a TV show but a game, a book, and an app that will help kids really learn a specific lesson. It really is an amazing time to be in the children’s media game.

If you could live in any TV program, game, or book, what would it be?

That’s easy. Oz. Although I wouldn’t mind visiting Hogwarts…

Complete this sentence: My media guilty pleasure is…

Currently I’m obsessed with Orphan Black. It is a tightly written story and brilliantly executed on every level. However I will pretty much watch anything written, produced or directed by Joss Whedon.