A New Leaf, A New Life
In 2008, I moved across country, partly on a whim, partly overdue. I had been living in New York City for 10 years and for the last three of those years, I didn’t really want to be there. But, I didn’t know where else to go. I had moved there to pursue the dream of being an actor. After 20 years, the dream which I thought would never die slowly dissolved and I was left standing in place I didn’t want to be anymore. During those last three years, I began to write more seriously, or with more interest. I had written one play before that, which I had the joy of seeing produced. But my acting and directing took center stage and the writing got shelved. So, I let go of the acting and in 2005, I began writing a blog, finished my first screenplay and submitted it to a couple of screenwriting competitions to see if I had any talent, which according to them, I do.
In late 2007, the law firm I was working for, in a really good job, was going down after 150 years due to the collapse of Bear Stearns and Merrill Lynch, their two biggest clients. The rats where jumping ship and I saw the writing on the wall. How’s that for two clichés in one sentence? And I was about to become a cliché myself. An unemployed writer living in NYC.
I told my cousin Heather that I wanted to leave NY but didn’t know where else to go. She said, move back to LA and if you don’t like it, you can always move back to NY. Without thinking, I responded, “Oh, I’d never move back.” And that cinched it. I knew LA was the right move. It was time for me to start my new life as a screenwriter.
From that point on, everything seemed to flow so easily. I found a car, sold everything and drove across country. I found a cute little bungalow in Hollywood and started to work on my second screenplay. I lucked out in a time of great unemployement and fell into a job working for the Mouse. An actor friend invited me to join a great group of filmmakers (We Make Movies) and before I knew it, I had a completed short film, Empty, thanks to Jonathan Montepare and Dylan Mulick and all the cast and crew who came together for one day of shooting in a down town warehouse on a sweltering day in July.
The most amazing thing for me as a writer, is witnessing the magic that happens when all these people come together, with all their talents and skills and passion to create a work of art which is greater than what I put down in words. I am so moved and so honored that this all happens because I had an idea and put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard.
I have reinvented myself as a writer, something I never imagined for myself and yet, for the first time in my life, I feel like I’m living MY life, the life I was meant to live. I sometimes think, “what a shame it took me so long”, and then I realize I never would have found this if I hadn’t gone through all the lives I’d lived before. They all brought me to this point. I am so grateful and happy to be where I am today. What a gift.
So here I am, on the eve of my first film festival in which my first short film will premiere at Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood on Monday, June 4 at 5pm. I can’t think of a better time to unveil my new web page, thanks to the help and design skills of Kendall Hawley at superfreako designs.
Let the games begin!