After giving up a promising career to become a mom, a former actress discovers an undercover FBI operation within the school PTA and must use her acting skills to become part of the operation.

  • Laurel Hatfield
  • Project Type:
    Television Script
  • Number of Pages:
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Language:
  • First-time Screenwriter:
  • Student Project:
  • Treasure Coast International Film Festival
    Treasure Coast International Film Festival
    October 17, 2022
    Best Actress in a Short Film
  • New York Script Awards
    New York, NY
    May 4, 2023
    Honorable Mention - TV Pilot
Writer Biography - Laurel Hatfield

Hi! I'm Laurel. I am originally from California and grew up like most Californian children: eating avocados and writing screenplays on the beach. I'm currently based in Orlando, and even after ten years am still getting used to the ocean being on the right.

I am a professional singer and actor, on stage, screen, and in the studio. Singing credits include shows with Idina Menzel, Joey Fatone, Boyz II Men, Ryan Cabrera, and Dee Snider, among others. Acting credits include roles for Warner Brothers, NBC, Fox Searchlab, and independent filmmakers. Regional theater credits include La Mirada, Musical Theatre West, Orlando Shakespeare Theater, Performance Riverside, and Disney. Recording credits include Bandai Entertainment, Gaylord Hotels, Disney, NBC, and more.

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Writer Statement

I have been working on Smiles for two and a half years, finding time to write between mothering three children (ages 11, 9, and 6) and juggling two full-time jobs (one as a performer at Disney World, and the other filing tax returns for nonprofits … super similar fields, I know.)

I also work consistently as an actor in the Southeast, mainly in commercials, but I’ve also done some short films and theater here and there. I’m actually from California and started working as a teen in Hollywood. My first co-star was on Gilmore Girls, AndILearnedToTalkSuperFastOnTheWarnerBrothersLotDoISoundLikeAGilmoreGirlYetIThoughtItWasMyBigBreakBecauseMyAgentSaidIdBeRecurringButThatDidntHappenOhWellThatsShowBusinessKidButItWasStillAnAmazingExperienceForLittleLaurelOkayINeedToBreatheNowHowDoTheyNeverBreatheOnThatShow?

After that I did a few other shows, commercials, ya know, the normal LA stuff, and had some great callbacks (my agent joked that I was the “almost-girl”… I almost booked so many things. Ha.) before I started performing on a cruise ship. Then I got married and had kids. Tale as old as time.

Having three kids in five years put me in kind of a fog. I was in survival-mode for so long. When I was finally able to see through the haze, after having done nothing for myself in years and taking care of everyone else, I starting acting again.

Being on set is my fire. It feeds my soul. It’s what I know I’m meant to do. The moment I received my first call sheet after so much time away, I felt alive again.

The interesting thing for me was that I was suddenly this new type. I was playing MOMS. (“ME? Play a MOM? Well I never! I couldn’t possibly! I look so young!”) It was a tough pill to swallow when I thought I still looked twenty-two, but then I actually started meeting other actress-moms.

In meeting more mothers who do what I do, I realized that our story needed to be told. I wasn’t the only woman who gave up a career to raise a family. I wanted to shed light on the things we go through, in a funny, relatable way.

I mean, plus the PTA-spy stuff.

Smiles is for everyone. Anyone who has ever given up on a dream, anyone who is pursuing their dreams, for women, moms, dads, people of color, queer people, artists … anyone whose life didn’t turn out the way they thought it would.

We all deserve a genuine smile. We don’t need to give up WHO WE ARE to exist in this world.

So that’s why Smiles happened. I needed to laugh. And more so, I needed the world to see the things women go through. What we give up. What makes us truly happy. What goes on in our brains. Because usually, no one bothers to ask.