May 21, 2018
Alumni Profile: Romi Barta
By Neima Patterson
Romi Barta is a television writer and graduate of USC Comedy that has written for shows such as Santa Clarita Diet and Foursome. Drawn to sitcoms from a young age and a former improv performer, she discovered that she enjoyed making people laugh and wanted to find a way to create a career doing that.
At USC, she helped plan USC Comedy Festival Vol. 1 where she was exposed to the access to the industry and alumni that USC Comedy offered to comedy students. While helping USC Comedy, she finally felt that she was doing something meaningful and in line with her career goals during her time at USC.
Her most impactful moments at USC were through USC Comedy. Most memorably, during an event with Dan O’Shannon, she first witnessed someone breaking down the comedic event and examining what makes a scene funny. Barta expressed, “It was the first time I had seen someone teach you how to write a joke.” After that event, she realized it took hard work and time to hone the craft of comedy writing. She knew USC Comedy was a great place to put in her 10,000 hours.
She mentioned her original comedy pilot class and her showrunning class as pivotal experiences. Through a comedy class, she was able to attend the taping of The Big Bang Theory where she got a preview of what the job entailed before pursuing it. As a showrunner, she was able to run a simulated writers room with other comedy students. Barta expressed, “Those kinds of experiences were unique to USC.”
Above the experiences, Barta insisted that the people she met at USC remain her strongest network. She is still in a writers group with five of her classmates and many USC peers have helped her along the way since graduating.
Since being a USC Comedy student, she graduated with a manager from a romantic comedy feature she wrote for Jack Epps’ class. She wrote for the CBS Diversity Sketch Showcase, worked her way up as a writer’s PA for Blacklist on NBC, a writer’s assistant for Santa Clarita Diet and eventually a script coordinator for Season Two. You can watch her episode, “Suspicious Objects,” from Santa Clarita Diet on Netflix. She is currently staffed on Foursome which will air in the fall.