MILWAUKEE -- Academy Award-winning screenplay writer John Ridley dropped in on a group of students at Rufus King International High School on Thursday, March 21. He expected to talk about the importance of writing and reading. But instead, he was met with a proposition from a student.
"The conversations today really inspired me," said Nia Mooney, a senior.
"He was really down to earth, and it was really inviting," said John Venable, a sophomore.
Venable said listening to John Ridley talks about seizing the moment -- and it really inspired him.
"I wanted to take this as an opportunity to see where I can go in life," Venable said.
So during a question and answer portion of the speech, Venable did just that.
"I asked if I could pitch a screenplay to him," Venable said. "That was my mission coming in -- was just to get this man's credentials."
A young writer, trying his luck with a seasoned pro. So what was Ridley's response?
"Ha, ha. He said no," Venable said.
"Well, you know, initially I told him no," Ridley said.
But that did not mean Ridley was not willing to help. Instead, Ridley put Venable in contact with people at his art incubator in town -- No Studios.
"If you've got the drive and you've got the desire, we'll figure out a way to try and get to that next level," Ridley said.
On Thursday, that one student got a first-hand lesson at making it in the entertainment business.
"So I'm going to be in contact with them," Venable said.
His goal -- to be humble, be persistent.