Desiree Argentina is a school social worker, screenwriter, travel blogger at According to Des, podcaster AND she runs a cat rescue – phew! – in Denver, CO. Read on to learn how she taught herself screenwriting (and has credits on her IMDb page!) and the destination that has had the most impact on her life.
- Name: Desiree Argentina
- Location: Denver, CO
- Role: School Social Worker, Screenwriter, Content Creator & Cat Rescuer
- Reason for Waking Up Every Day: Being in a new place
- Next Thing She’s Going to Learn: Photography
- Go-To Learning Resource: Screenwriting books & podcasts
- Favorite Place in Denver: Snooze AM Eatery
- Find Out More: AccordingToDes.com
Tell us about your background and how you got to where you are now.
Growing up as a multi-passionate person, I was always interested in a lot of different things. I loved movies, I loved animals, I loved volunteering; I was passionate about human and animal rights. I didn’t really know how to get where I wanted to go. I didn’t know how to implement the things that I loved until I went to college and was exposed to different classes and clubs. I didn’t know what I wanted to do at first, so I got my associates degree in general studies but just going to college opened my eyes to a lot of different opportunities and options I didn’t know existed.
What made you want to pursue your profession/area of focus?
I always knew I wanted to go into a helping profession but I guess I didn’t know a helping profession could be a career. I was interested in volunteering and at a young age I was aware of domestic violence, child abuse, issues the LGBTQ community faces, homelessness… I was very interested in human rights and psychology.
As for screenwriting, I always loved to write short stories and I was very into movies. In high school I wrote a movie review column for the school newspaper and after I graduated I continued the reviews on YouTube. Not knowing anything about structure or formatting, or anything at all about screenwriting, I wrote my first feature-length script when I was 19 years old but didn’t pursue screenwriting again until my mid 20’s.
I didn’t know how to implement the things that I loved until I went to college and was exposed to different classes and clubs.
Growing up, I was always a big animal lover and had a passion for animal rights. I became aware of issues with the food industry as well as puppy mills and how animal abuse is completely legal in this country as long as it is for a profit. I was signing petitions and writing letters but wanted to do more. It was my dream to open my own animal shelter or live on a farm with rescued animals.
Ironically, I never had an interest in traveling. I moved around a lot when I was younger so I think that put me off to traveling – I was shy and quiet and not adventurous. I didn’t even like rides. It wasn’t until my 20’s that I found a passion for traveling. I became friends with someone that loved to explore and see new places and she took me along on her adventures. She really opened me up to new experiences and introduced me to a part of myself I didn’t know existed.
What gets you excited to wake up every day?
The only thing that can get me out of bed in the morning and excited to start the day is if I am in a new place. I love getting up early and exploring or hiking. I am not a morning person and waking up is the worst feeling – I have a very hard time in the mornings. I am most excited about my day the night before because I love making lists of things I will accomplish the next day. I have multiple planners, lists and lists of my lists; I get excited to be productive.
What’s the best/most important thing you’ve learned or taught yourself? Why?
I am a self-taught screenwriter. I would love to go to school to get a degree in screenwriting or film, but that isn’t in the cards for me at this point. I take a lot of online classes, network, listen to podcasts on screenwriting, read articles, and read tons of scripts. It’s important to me because you can only get so far with a passion if you don’t have the education to get you further. I want to feel confident in what I am doing and feel like I know what I am talking about!
What’s the next thing you’re going to learn or teach yourself? Why?
Photography! For as long as I can remember I have been taking pictures. I love documenting my life but I don’t have any technical skills. I take pictures for my travel blog and Instagram and though I have so much fun, I just feel like something is missing. A point and shoot and it isn’t good enough for me. I have been taking some online classes on photography and I have really been wanting to buy a professional camera – I am not grasping it as well as I want to but I am going to keep at it. I learn better by doing so I know I have to buy a camera and mess around with it. Just waiting to take the plunge!
Do you have advice for finding a strong mentor/ building a relationship with one?
Finding a mentor has been difficult for me. I thought I’d found one a few years back, but it didn’t work out. A lot of people will pay for mentors, but I am not willing to do that at this point. My best advice would be to network and provide value to others. People don’t like it when someone just takes, takes, takes. You need to be willing to be of value to others and to be giving as well. Show a genuine interest in others and you will be able to build positive relationships.
Favorite resources for ongoing learning?
I have a bunch for screenwriting!
- Books: Save the Cat, Screenplay by Syd Field, Story by Robert McKee
- Websites: collab.sundance.org stage32.com screenplayed.com blcklst.com screencraft.org
- Podcasts: Selling Your Screenplay with Ashley Scott Meyers, Scriptnotes with John August
What’s your favorite spot where you currently live & why?
Definitely Snooze AM Eatery in Denver! Just thinking about their menu makes my mouth water. Every single item on their menu looks incredible – I just sit and stare at the menu forever every time I go there. How can I choose when everything sounds like a piece of heaven?
You need to make sure to go at least an hour before you want to eat – they have multiple locations and usually you’ll wait at least an hour to be seated. They don’t take reservations and there’s always a line down the block but it’s 100% worth the wait.
Out of all the places you’ve been, which has been your favorite and why?
My answer changes all the time but I think I would have to say China because that was my first major trip abroad. I studied abroad there with friends for 3 weeks. Because it was my first major trip abroad, I was absolutely culture shocked. I was homesick and nervous and excited and scared.
I couldn’t speak the language and there were times we had to leave a restaurant because we couldn’t order if there weren’t pictures on the menu to point to. It was thrilling. I had so many feelings I had never felt and I saw so many things I had never seen or tasted before. My mind was blown. It is definitely the trip that has made the most impact on me.
Bonus: What’s the one thing you wish people would ask you?
I love it when people ask me about my job or my travels, I could talk about both forever. I am so passionate about traveling but it is really only interesting to the person that went on the trip.
Learn More About Desiree Argentina Here:
- Website: www.AccordingToDes.com
- IMDb: Desiree Argentina’s Page
- Podcast: https://anchor.fm/accordingtodes
- YouTube: www.youtube.com/moviesaccordingtodes
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/accordingtodes
- Facebook Group: www.facebook.com/groups/accordingtodes
- Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/accordingtodes
Cat Rescue Crew