I grew up in Akron, Ohio, where I played second mom to my two rowdy younger brothers, an experience that provided fodder for a number of tall tales. My Mom worked her way up from housekeeper at St. Thomas Hospital to Respiratory Therapist, and later quit her job to pursue a calling in the ministry. She was pastor of her own church with an outreach to gays for over 10 years. From her I learned that with a lot of faith and a little courage, I could achieve any dream. And I learned that kindness to others must come above everything, or those dreams wouldn't mean much.
My infatuation with storytelling started at five when I sent a love letter to Donny Osmond, and since then I've worked an odd mix of jobs to support my writing and filmmaking. Did 4 years in the Navy tracking submarines. Studied music at Akron University and had my first paid gig - $50 bucks and all the buffet food I could eat – singing in a chorus for the Akron leg of Andy Williams’ Christmas tour. But my love of film beckoned.
So I transferred to NYU. I was terrified to be alone in NYC, that big strange city I’d only seen in movies or episodes of “Taxi,” but I fell in love with it. During my studies at Tisch I interned as assistant to the editor for Ken Burns’ production of “The West.” I wrote, directed, and produced a few shorts, including my award-winning film, “Older."
After graduating NYU I joined Rigas Entertainment as assistant to the Director of Development. I covered many, many screenplays and assisted in the development of feature films with directors Peter Cattaneo and Maggie Greenwald (“SongCatcher”). But more importantly, I discovered that what I really wanted to do was write.
Since leaving Rigas I’ve worked as an assistant at ABC-TV, as a Web Producer at Standard & Poor’s, and as a writer/editor at McGraw-Hill. I left New York in 2005 and moved to Austin, Texas, where I lived for 3 months, writing and exploring the city. I wrote radio scripts for Wynton Marsalis and a teen comedy for Applause Films. In 2011 my screenplay Loved Ones came oh so close to winning Best Screenplay of the Year at Amazon Studios, where it was also in development.
In 2013 I fulfilled a childhood dream when I sailed to England and spent the summer exploring the UK - climbed to the peak of Emily Bronte's Penistone Crag in Haworth and cheered the Highland Games in Scotland.
Now I'm in New Jersey where I live and work as a writer, web producer, movie fanatic, and ice cream addict. My current gig is helping Carnegie Hall launch and maintain their beautiful new website. My first children's book, What Do Trees Think? is available on Amazon. And I recently completed a documentary about my mother's struggle with faith in the wake of Alzheimer's, called In the Night I Remember Your Name. It features Academy Award winner Marcia Gay Harden as the voice of Pastor Joyce Speegle. We're currently submitting to film festivals, but it will be available to the public soon.
Oh, and I am STILL waiting for Donny's response!
Honors & Blessings
IN THE NIGHT I REMEMBER YOUR NAME - Official Selection, Reading Film Festival - Nov '18
THE WAKES OF WILSON POE - 2nd Rounder out of 9,707 scripts, Austin Film Festival - Sept '18
IN THE NIGHT I REMEMBER YOUR NAME - Finalist, Screencraft Film Fund (top 25 out of over 2000 entries) - Feb '18
LOVED ONES - Finalist, Sundance Screenwriters Lab - Aug '16
LOVE'S BABY SOFT - 2nd Rounder, Austin Film Festival (top 15% out of over 9,000 entries) - Sept '16
LOVED ONES - top 5, Stowe Story Lab Tangerine Fellowship - Aug '15
THE WAKES OF WILBUR POE - top 4% out of over 1200 scripts, Table Read My Screenplay (Sundance) - Jan '12
LOVED ONES - Finalist for Best Screenplay of the Year, Amazon Studios - Dec '11
THE WAKES OF WILBUR POE - Semi-Finalist, NexTV - Aug '11
DEAREST - Finalist, Sundance Screenwriters Lab - Aug '10
THE WAKES OF WILBUR POE - Finalist, Slamdance - Sept '10
PROM QUEEN - Outline & Screenplay for Applause Films - 2009
LOVED ONES - Winner, BlueCat "Screenplay Live" (Rochester Film Festival) - May '08
DOLORES - Finalist, BlueCat Screenplay Lab - March '08
DOLORES - Winner, WildSound Screenplay Reading Series - Nov '07
LOVED ONES - Finalist, BlueCat Screenplay Competition (top 5 scripts out of over 2400 entries) - July '07
LOVED ONES - Finalist, WildSound Screenplay Reading Series (top 9) - April '07
LOVED ONES - Quarter-Finalist, Francis Ford Coppola's American Zoetrope - Feb '07
DOLORES - Semi-Finalist, American Gem Short Script Contest (top 15 scripts out of 1023 entries) - Aug '05
DEAREST - Semi-Finalist, Women In Film Las Vegas Project c2c Competition (top 55 scripts) - July '05
DEAREST - Finalist, Media Darlings Guerilla Filmmaking Grant (top 10 scripts) - May '05
Commercial script - Car & Driver Magazine - Sept '04
DEAREST - Semi-Finalist, Blueprint (Maverick Films) - March '04
WYNTON MARSALIS RADIO SCRIPTS - Jazz At Lincoln Center for Delta Airlines radio - Jan '04
OLDER - Tribeca Underground Film Festival - 2004
OLDER - 2nd Place, Pioneer Theatre Short Film Slam, New York City - Dec '03
DOLORES - Finalist, CfiFN Short Script Competition (top 5 scripts) - Nov '03
OLDER - Cape Fear Independent Film Network Festival, Wilmington, North Carolina - Oct '03
DEAREST & BAKER HILL BEAUTIES - Semi-Finalists, Writers Network - Oct '03
WHEELS WANTED - Semi-Finalist, Flicks on 66 Short Script Competition - May '03
DOLORES - 2nd Place, short script category, Francis Ford Coppola’s Zoetrope - Feb '02
Commercial script - MF2 Productions (BMW) - 2002
BAKER HILL BEAUTIES & KISS & TELL - Semi-Finalists, Chesterfield Writer’s Film Project - Jan '00
Helena Rubinstein Scholarship - New York
University - 1992