How long have you been writing and what made you want to write in the first place?
Writing for me started as a hobby in middle school. I wrote a play entitled “You Ate My Hat,” which was an allegory for drug addiction (I was twelve - no idea why my mind decided to write that). For my twelfth birthday party I asked all of my friends to act out the play. Yes, there were costumes. And yes, there was a theme song.
After that, I just kept writing for fun. I ventured into the wonderful, dorky world of fan fiction, which in hindsight is the greatest training for writing spec scripts. Eventually in high school I started participating in National Novel Writing Month every November. I grew up an only child, and I think that’s a big reason why I started writing - as a means to entertain myself and explore my imagination.
In addition to writing, I also work as an actress. I started acting when I was five and was a total theater nerd growing up. For a long time I viewed acting as my main profession and writing as a hobby. It was only when I started taking screenwriting classes in college that I realized I could pursue both professionally.
What genre do you prefer to write in? What draws you to that genre?
Right now I feel most comfortable in the comedy space. I’m someone who likes to reflect on events and periods of my life before trying to write about it. Because of this, my most recent scripts take place in the high school and college worlds. Most of the characters I create are going through some self-identity transition. From my personal experience, a lot of self-discovery happens between the late teens and early twenties which is one of the reasons I enjoy working in the young adult space. I also absolutely love working with dark comedy. I have a somewhat morbid sense of humor, which is always fun to play around with when writing.
You're a “graduate” of Ron Howard's Imagine Impact. Can you tell us a little about your time in that program?
Imagine Impact is an absolutely wonderful program dedicated to opening doors for writers. I cannot recommend it enough for any screenwriter. The application alone is a great device to help develop a script and asks the right questions when tackling any creative project. The program itself involves an eight-week workshop where each writer is paired with a mentor. In those eight weeks, the goal is for each writer to complete either a pilot or a feature script, which their mentor gives extensive notes on. The program culminates in a pitch day event where each writer shares a pitch presentation of their script to an auditorium of producers, managers, development executives, etc. Imagine Impact gave me the necessary resources and a valuable platform for my creative voice, which has created wonderful opportunities as I navigate working as a professional screenwriter.
Who are the writers that inspire you?
Phoebe Waller-Bridge,Sarah Treem, Nora Ephron, Richard Linklater, Lena Dunham, Charlie Kaufman, Taika Waititi
Tell us three things you're currently digging.
Currently in the middle of watching season three of Big Mouth, which is absolutely hilarious. Recent podcast I listened to was Blackout starring Rami Malek - which excited me to listen to an intriguing narrative podcast.
What interested you about Roadmap's Diversity Initiative?
I think community is really important for any type of artist. Writing can be isolating in the first stages of creation, and perspective is so vital for me. This initiative encourages new, diverse voices to be included in their community that helps writers, which was really inspirational to me. The pitch process specifically is one that takes a lot of detailed work and perspective to hone as a skill, which is also what compelled me to become a part of this community.
Where can we find you?
My website is www.monishadadlani.com where you can see a lot of my work. My Instagram is @ohno.its.momo. My twitter is @owlseeyouaround (although I am embarrassingly one of those writers who does not take full advantage of twitter).