A native Los Angeleno transplant—I think that’s the correct term: “native transplant,” as in, I left L.A. ‘x’ number of years ago to study acting at R.A.D.A. (luvvy), stayed in the U.K. for more than a decade (the government might say over stayed), managed to whine/beg/lie my way into acting work in television, film and the West End theater, and then somehow ‘just when I thought I was out, they pulled me right back in!’ …and so, here I am, again—a born again Angeleno, still whining/begging/lying my way into jobs. Except somewhere along the line I decided, like the bumper sticker, “I’d rather be writing.” Which actually turns out to be way more work. What was I thinking? But that’s what I mostly do these days. When I’m not running a Loop Group (‘Looping.’ You know you know what it is: background voices you hear in television and films? Voice Over’s little step child? Looping).
I blame Acting. Sick of whining/begging/lying to others, I thought I’d “write my own ticket,” which means I bullied myself into creating a solo show—conclusive proof I’m a die-hard masochist in need of serious help. Help came from ‘one-person-show-guru’ Mark Travis, an unbelievably patient (and talented) man. Mark helped me concoct ‘Cabin Fever!’ which ended up being a very encouraging beginning. It received several Critics Awards, Best Solo Performance by L.A. Weekly, and was performed at the HBO Workspace. The best part, for me however, was writing it. Working in pajamas hooked me fast like crack cocaine. Of course, the first one’s free. I soon realized I’d have to actually write something else if I wanted to stay in pajamas. My first screenplay ‘Shakespeare Unplugged’ didn’t do too badly either though. After winning some nice competitions, the script was optioned and actually went into production—almost/sort of. From there I was hired to write an animated feature: ‘The Spirit Bear,’ for Melwood Pictures in conjunction with environmentalist Simon Jackson—a mind-boggling prodigy. The project was as big an honor as it was a thrill; it too almost/sort went into production and Simon still works tirelessly to make it a reality. Desperate to never wear street clothes again, I churned out a few more specs. These were never made, or even optioned (though they did win some nice competitions), but then somehow I was hired again to work in Shanghai of all places, as Head Writer on a live action children’s series called ‘Zip-a-Gang,’ for Dream Tube Entertainment. An incredible experience, I loved it from soup to nuts and ended up writing over twenty scripts for the series, as well as overseeing the entire first season. This project led to work on another children’s series in June 2010, an animated pilot titled: ‘My Favorite Towels.’ The pilot has been picked up and I am currently writing the first six episodes.
At one point I thought it might be a good idea to do some theater again (again, what was I thinking?); I revamped my one-person show for the Edinburgh Festival last summer, and called it ‘Shopper’s Without Borders.’ The show had a successful run in Scotland, and was amazing fun, but the experience did nothing to dissuade me from a life in PJ’s. So I finished my first novel--titled ‘Nuthouse,’ currently in the editing stages—and wrote another spec script, a dark-comedy thriller titled ‘Ding Dong Ditch. That script also won several competitions, including the Page Award, CineStory as was a Slamdance Finalist…and did get optioned with the divine slave driver Leslie Hope (not to mention actress extraordinaire) at the helm. And finally, I’ve been dragged into development on a project with the incredible (and incredibly persuasive) Spanish Film-maker Carme Puche. The film focuses on the late-great Lynn Margulis, a scientist famous mainly to those in “those” circles, but a woman who nevertheless changed our world. Carme claims we’ll be filming next summer and I have no reason to doubt her—and a million reasons to feel incredibly blessed!
And if you’ve read this far—then bless you too…you’re obviously very ‘other people’ oriented! No doubt a much better person than I.