Soren Bowie ‘00 thrives as LA comedy writer and American dad

by Tim O'Keefe

Carbondale native Soren Bowie ‘00 has been working as an actor, writer, and producer in Los Angeles for over 15 years now. He’s best known for his comedic writing on the animated TBS hit series “American Dad!” The series focuses on the eccentric upper middle-class Smith family in a fictionalized version of Langley, Virginia. We caught up with Soren to ask him about how his experience at CRMS influences his life and his work.

What’s the most rewarding part of your work as a writer?

I think the right answer here is probably something like sharing laughter with the world, but honestly, the most rewarding part of my job is hearing the stupid jokes I wrote in my garage aired on television and the fact that professional actors and celebrities are forced to say them is the true icing on the cake. It’s made me mad with power.

How did CRMS play a role in developing resilience and perseverance?

Learning to juggle school work with all the other obligations CRMS demands of a student felt overwhelming at the time but was invaluable to me. Spending lunch on dish crew, changing the oil in the fat boys in the afternoon for work crew, dressing up for Wednesday night dinner all before writing a paper on the Industrial Revolution or whatever prepared me to hit hard deadlines regardless of everything else going on in my life. CRMS doesn’t offer leniency in classes because dryland training was hard, and in that respect, it was great preparation for building a work-life balance.

How has your experience at CRMS influenced what you are doing now? 

The stories I took from CRMS serve me in the writer’s room every day. Even if we don’t happen to be (and rarely are) writing about burning irrigation ditches or learning physics in a barn, or getting cycled in a hole while kayaking, my limited experiences with each of them mean that I am the default expert on that general aesthetic. In any story-building career, unique perspectives are invaluable, and CRMS provided me with some truly weird ones.

What advice would you give current CRMS students? 

You are going to leave CRMS more prepared for life than nearly every other graduate you meet. Not only will you have a base knowledge of mountaineering and outdoor sports, but you will stand toe to toe academically with people who won’t shut up about all their AP courses. CRMS has some truly outstanding teachers who are also -miraculously- climbers, kayakers, wilderness survivalists, theater directors, and impossibly kind people. They set you on a track for success long after CRMS. So I guess my advice is that you’re going to be fine.  

What’s been a highlight since graduating?

The birth of my two children is certainly up there. But so is making Sir Patrick Stewart say the words “Shred the gnar.” It’s sort of a toss-up, I guess.

For more on Soren Bowie and how CRMS influences his life in television, check out this 2019 Sopris Sun article.

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