Living Life: A Screenwriter’s Journey

By Nick Thomas

Tom Burkhard has lived an adventurous life, a life he shares with the world through screenwriting.

Born in Chicago, Illinois, Tom came to Oklahoma Christian from Trenton, Michigan, in 1980. He graduated with a marketing degree in 1984.

“If you have a really great story to tell, then you should tell it.” Tom Burkhard

Tom is most recognized for his work on the television programs “Full House” and “Even Stevens.”

“I remember working with Shia LaBeouf before he became a big, hot-shot Hollywood actor,” Tom said. “That show was a lot of fun.”

Tom has had a hand in several different projects, and recently got done shooting a pilot. Screenwriting is a difficult career to get into, but not for the reasons you might think. Tom said your level of confidence plays a big role.

“My counselor during my freshman year, Brad Robison, really helped me gain my confidence,” Tom said. “He really helped me with the whole ‘you can do it’ attitude. He would always tell me, ‘Life is short, so you really have to do what you like.’”

Tom was a member of the social service club Delta Gamma Sigma at OC.

“I really enjoyed being in Delta,” Tom said. “I gained a lot of life experience from it. I did a lot of stuff that was fun, and a lot of stuff that was stupid, but it really helped influence some of my writings.”

Tom Hird was Tom’s roommate every year at Oklahoma Christian.

“Tom is, without a doubt, one of the most ambitious people I’ve ever met,” Hird said. “He never stopped going. He was always on the move, always writing, always working.”

Tom finds inspiration in “living life to its fullest.” He used his storytelling skills to his advantage by making a career out of them, and he encourages aspiring screenwriters to do the same by writing as much as possible.

“You really have to write about what you know; regardless of what genre you’re in. Whether it be your dating life, family life, things you did at school; all of your life can be put on paper, and can potentially be put on the screen as well,” he said. “If you have a really great story to tell, then you should tell it.”