Experience: Creator, co-executive producer and writer, Wilfred (FX)

Advice: "If you're a plumber and you have an idea for a TV show, well, it isn't easy to go from nowhere to somewhere. An idea isn't enough. You have to understand how stories are told in that medium, how to cater to a network and studio. To get anywhere, you have to have the kind of drive that separates you from the people who dream about it and the people who do it.

"You also need to diversify and learn everything you can about the whole business. I was an actor for years, and then I realized that writing and producing would get me further. People say it's not who you know but what you know, but it's what you know that will get you introduced to the right people."