1. What inspired you to write Listen?
Chatham High School
The thing that most inspired me to write Listen was the setting. It may sound a bit out of the ordinary, but as a kid, I have very vivid memories of the nursing home my grandmother resided in Michigan. Every time I visited , everything was always the same; same wall paper, same smell, same furniture and most of all the same people. This enabled me to secure the plot and focus more so on the characters. The hardest part about writing it was putting myself into the characters, but once I figured out the character's voices and all around persona, it was quite simple for me to write the rest. I do not necessarily have any real connection toward the characters but after writing Listen I felt much more of an attachment to the type of personality that both of the characters held. It was important to me to show how a relationship can develop and deepen even between two very unlikely people. In addition, I hope it shows how we have something to learn from everyone.
2. In your bio you mention that you write in other forms including screenwriting and short fiction. In what genre do you most frequently write and what do you like about it?
I really enjoy screenwriting because it allows a lot of freedoms, including the development of characters and the setting. I have always been a very big enthusiast of the movies and many television shows so as ideas come to me about a certain plot or character, I immediately think about what it would be like in a movie and/or television show. The thing that mostly lures me to screenwriting is the creative independence that I have when creating a story.
3. You also mention that you are an avid snowboarder, skateboarder, and wakeboarder. How did you start and which of these do you prefer most?
Yes, I guess you could call me somewhat of a “board sport” enthusiast. Snowboarding was the first thing I ever tried when I was four years old and I just loved it so much that I wanted/needed something to take its place in the seasons where there wasn’t any snow. That’s where skateboarding came in. I saw that many of the pro snowboarders were also skateboarding as well. I just figured why not give it a shot. And, ever since I have been skateboarding too. When I was seven years old my family got our first boat and my older brother was the first one who introduced me to wakeboarding. Due to my experiences snowboarding and skating, wakeboarding came quite easy to me and I immediately fell in love with it. I definitely cannot pin-point which one I prefer most considering that it kind of works out that I get to snowboard in the winter, wakeboard in the spring and summer and skateboard all year round. All of these activities have allowed me to experience new things, meet new people and go to some really cool places.
4. What is your most memorable theatre experience to date?
This winter I attended the show The Invisible Hand in New York and one of my favorite actors Justin Kirk had the lead role. Basically the plot of the play, was about a New York investment banker who gets kidnapped by what looks to be Middle Eastern terrorists. The investment banker (Justin Kirk) develops a relationship with the guard who is tending to him and you get to see an insight to the struggles that the guard has, as their relationship turns from captor/guard to unlikely friends. The Guard struggles trusting his newly found friend and still remaining loyal to his commander. The thing that I mostly liked about going to this play was the theatre and location. I hadn’t ever been to an off-Broadway show before and it was very interesting to be in such a small yet comfortable theatre and seeing such an amazing show. It really showed me all the opportunities and insights in which are possible in the playwriting world.
5. If you could have three wishes granted, what would they be?
- To go back in time and see the Grateful Dead play in Europe 72’.
- Play guitar with Jerry Garcia, Jimi Hendrix and Mike Rempel all in the same room.
- Discover the truth about the disappearance of Amerlia Earhart.
The 2015 New Jersey Young Playwrights Festival will take place on June 1st (Junior HS & Elementary plays) and June 2nd (High School plays) on the Florham campus of Fairleigh Dickinson University. You can use these links to make reservations for the June 1 or June 2 performances, or call the PTNJ Education office at 973-514-1787, ext. 21. The Festival is free; however, seating is extremely limited.