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Celebrating Elaine May: The 2016 WGA West Screenwriting Award

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Celebrating Elaine May: The 2016 WGA West Screenwriting Award

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Elaine May returns to the spotlight on February 13, in Los Angeles, to accept the WGA West Screenwriting Award, for her original and prolific, credited and un-credited, screenwriting brilliance over many decades.

Why are some people hyper-famous for having no talent while others are original, brilliant, and relatively unknown?

In the case of writer/director/comic pioneer/actress Elaine May, resident planetary genius, she has chosen a largely shadowed career in exchange for the infinite horizon of creative autonomy.

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In other words, no TMZ sound bites, while boarding a plane and munching a rice cake, for her!

Elaine May was a pioneer of comedy improv, with her partner, Mike Nichols, who came together as comedy soul mates in Chicago's 1950's Second City, the progenitor of SNL.

As the "May" in "Nichols and May", her career path appeared to be stratospheric, with no hint of an end in sight.

Their genius together was one of those lifetime moments of perfect fate. They were individually unlike anyone else, each insanely gifted with unique comic voices, and together----whamo!

The live-wired intellect and emotional skin they shared made them appear seemlessly attached, organically yet also, as they played it, thoughtlessly.

Everyone was in on the joke, including Elaine and Mike.

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Elaine May and Mike Nichols invited the audience to simultaneously laugh, cry, feel themselves as funny, change the way they told the truth about the world and themselves, and have a hell of a fabulous time.

It was mind-blowing and freshly hatched and everyone loved them.

They played literate, coolly zany, and self-deprecating characters; characters with no psychological self-understanding, and leaking with the adamant lack of it.

In a nutshell, only one among the many, the essence of the work of Mike Nichols and Elaine May was about how unconscious we are, how it's a tragedy that is extremely funny. Their characters were familiar, hysterical and iconic.(INSERT MOTHER PIECE)

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I am a writer, media analyst, and psychotherapist. I'm interested in comedy, satire, politics, entertainment, pop culture, and business; exposing how the media powerfully spins the news we hear, and how this spin creates our feeling states and (more...)
 

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