Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Writing My Next Chapter

Diversification.  It seems to me to be the wave of the future, and the way, in the present, for artists to seek new avenues of creativity and income.  It's not enough to just do one thing anymore--we actors are finding ways to express ourselves through music, visual art, education, and other disciplines.  For me, writing has become a powerful mode of expression.

In 2003, when New York's Museum of Sex was just opening, a good friend who was setting up the retail area of the museum offered me a job managing the place on the weekends. The inaugural exhibit was a multi-media instillation called "Sex in New York" which told the history of sex and sexuality in the city from the early 19th century through the beginning of the 21st.  

The very first piece of history represented in the show was the lurid story of the murder of beautiful prostitute Helen Jewett by her 19 year-old lover, Richard P. Robinson, in 1836.  Due to the scandalous nature of the crime, a nascent tabloid press jumped on the story, and the murder-- and Robinson's sensational trial-- became national news.  The tale of these two tragic young people evolved into American lore, and over the course of a century and a half, would crop up in novels by such eminent writers as Gore Vidal, and would be the subject of in depth historical studies.

Helen and Robinson took hold of my imagination and I began studying everything I could find on the murder, the trial, and the cultural sensation it engendered and I knew it would make a great movie.  I am an ardent cinephile and love films and had long wanted to write one.  So I began, learning over the course of several years the complex craft of the screenwriter.  The first draft of "The Girl in Green" was completed in 2012 and over the past five years I have tussled with the process of rewriting.  With the mentorship of script readers, other writers and industry professionals, as well as the feedback from four major screenwriting contests, I forged ahead through four more drafts to arrive at what is now a lean, taut and I feel, well-crafted script.

Two of my most supportive friends, Linnea Larsdotter and Johan Matton--themselves multi-talented artists: actors, writers, producers, and founders of the Nordic International Film Festival--have, after mentoring me through my revisions over the past couple years, come on as producers of the film!  Changing Film Productions recently announced they are developing "The Girl in Green" and I couldn't be more excited or more blessed to have these amazing people guiding my vision into what we hope will be the reality of a thrilling and epic motion picture.

The next steps are in motion: finding producing partners, name stars, a director, and of course the many, many dollars it takes to produce a feature film set in another time.  I feel that there is something magic happening with this piece and I am so excited to watch it come to life.  Stay tuned!

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