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May 06, 2014

A Swift Lift: Tracey Wigfield

Mindy Project supervising producer and one-time Letterman page Tracey Wigfield recalls how a spec script led to a dream job working alongside Tina Fey—and led to an Emmy.

Valerie J. Nelson

Tracey Wigfield jokingly worries that it’s all downhill from here.

“It probably doesn’t get better than this?” she half-asks as she recounts her swift ascent from serving as a page on The Late Show with David Letterman to sharing an Emmy with Tina Fey for writing the second part of the 30 Rock finale.

“I got incredibly lucky,” she says, “and owe so much to Tina, who is great to all young writers.”

A New Jersey native, Wigfield was raised by an attorney father and paralegal mother who “loved TV and comedy.” She grew up making “funny little videos” and recognized a flair for poking fun at things during a humor-writing class at Boston College.

After graduation, she headed to New York City and began her two-year rise from page to writers’ production assistant on a short-lived sitcom to her “luckiest break” — writers’ assistant on NBC’s 30 Rock.

“I got to sit in a room with Tina and the writers and absorb what they do. It was invaluable,” recalls Wigfield, who became a 30 Rock writer in 2009 on the strength of a spec script for The Office.

Collaborating with Fey on the 2013 finale was “very special and cool for me,” says Wigfield, who considers the Emmy win “the most thrilling moment of my life.”

During their acceptance speech the pair verbally winked at their relationship — after Wigfield’s earnest thank-you, Fey snapped: “No one said you could talk, Tracey.”

Ten days after wrapping 30 Rock, Wigfield moved to Los Angeles, where she is a supervising producer on Fox’s The Mindy Project.

She relates to the humor of series creator–executive producer Mindy Kaling and her “specific take on being a young woman in New York in your 30s.”

Except Wigfield now lives near L.A.’s Hancock Park district with her actress sister, Ashley, in a home without a certain statue. Her mother keeps Wigfield’s Emmy on her mantel in New Jersey.

“But she’s been taking it around to relatives’ houses and local businesses,” Wigfield reports, “so everyone can take a picture with it. It’s sort of like the Stanley Cup.”

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