While many are born with the proverbial silver spoon in the mouth, I was born with a pen, a child growing up influenced by everything Jamaica, everything Los Angeles. Exotic. My chosen style captures the yin and yang of danger amidst beauty.
The great Ian Fleming , Noel Coward, Rex Nettleford and many others wrote from the Island where Bob Marley shared the Muse that still and forever reverberates through world consciousness.
I wrote my first series at age seven from a British boarding school, and gained an agent, unbeknownst to me, who distributed my serialized stories to her friends word of mouth. That agent? My sister! (What would you expect at 7 yrs old?)
I later attended the Art Center College of Design, Pasadena. While there, I become a joyful painter, a fashion model, while working part-time in music videos as an art director and costume-designer. I left art for fashion, receiving a degree from The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. While there, a famous costume designer encouraged me: “You must do costumes for film!” She looked like an exclamation mark in 3-D, so I listened.
After a stint at Paramount Pictures, I became a part of the Ali-Parker Film family (formerly Renge Films) with Karolyn Ali. There I learned what being a “hyphenate” was. I was a costumer / Art Director / and writer, and helping develop chosen projects. The best part? I learned the kind of things you can’t pick up in school.
I studied film at UCLA going the extension route, and befriended my mentor, Linda Palmer, who once ran Columbia Studios; Linda and I remained friends until her recent passing. The loss was a blow, but along came another mentor in writing, Mr. John Truby.
While at UCLA, a film I wrote premiered at Universal’s Hitchcock Theater to an overcrowded audience which included my classmates and professors. The Write-ups landed me my first agent, Buchwald and Associates.
I am now a published writer in various mediums: Film, print, blogs and philosophical magazine op-eds, to name a few. I also edit books and help develop the work of others.
In this matrix where we writers constantly navigate adventurous projects, I rush for the moments, put in the hours of hard work (like going to jail in a mind palace) and enjoy the adrenaline rush, reminding me of my daredevil days of racing exotic cars and motorcycles, registering on my third-eye clock as a colorful blur. (What was I thinking?)
I recently completed a screenplay based on Iris Chang’s “Shanghai Massacre,” (working title, “The Rabbi of Shanghai,”) with the help of Mike Medavoy at Phoenix Studios. Mr. Medavoy was more than helpful. He kindly offered me a series of interviews with his mother, who is now in her eighties with whom he credits his having survived internment . Mike was in Shanghai until age seven and was wonderfully forthcoming in describing his memories. “The Rabbi of Shanghai” is now in Development.
Mr. Medavoy also facilitated a connection with the famous J.G Ballard’s work. His best-known books are Crash (1973), adapted into a film by David Cronenberg, and the semi-autobiographical Empire of the Sun (1984), made into a film by Steven Spielberg, based on Ballard’s boyhood in the International Settlement and internment by the Japanese Imperial Army during the Second World War.
The literary distinctiveness of his work has given rise to the adjective “Ballardian“, defined as “dystopian modernity, bleak man-made landscapes and the psychological effects of technological, social or environmental developments.” Noire by Nature.
Ballard was diagnosed with prostate cancer in June 2006, from which he died in London in April 2009. I respectfully include him with sentiment.
In addition to screenplays , my philosophical articles have been published worldwide. Some include interviews with Dr. Cornel West, a regular on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” and Vinessa Shaw, “3:10 to Yuma”, and “Eyes Wide Shut.”
I like Joseph Campbell’s work, including ‘The Hero With a Thousand Faces’, as a guide for mythological and historical dramas, but am exceedingly more amazed with the Female Myth and the parallel journey that authors take in the process of creating a story world and populating it with characters. Is this by unspoken design?
~The Man in the Cool Suit
~A Damned Smart Move
~The Rabbi of Shanghai
~A Fire You Can’t Put Out
~Dharma in A box