Here is a selection of stories that I have conceived and have yet to complete, as imagined for the theatrical, cinematic, operatic, and novel forms. I have very little time, additional ripening fruit into which I am invested, and these ripening grapes are yours to share, harvest, nurture, and propagate. I am super open to collaborations! Extended brainstorms, some of which are much longer than others, are available upon request, often including original music.
In the Kitchen, Where They Belong
The curtains open and the audience suddenly finds themselves within a high volume kitchen. The staff are busy at work and the servers, runners, managers, and even a guest approach the counter from the other side of the stage.
The piece features interruptions during which a member of the back of the house delivers a monologue captured from candid interviews with members of the industry while they are having particularly bad days, revealing their true, passionate feelings. The play also explores the sense of camaraderie and belonging found amidst the people of the back of the house, rough and tumble as they are, and always in conflict with the front. An original song included within is titled “Corner!”
A man suddenly begins to encounter ever increasing hardships that begin to feel as if they are maliciously coordinated against him. The trials coincide with increased suggestion about sex change operations and people suggesting that he has a feminine spirit. In truth, a group of wealthy psychopaths have selected him as the target in their private game in which they seek to convince him to become a woman through the provision of negative and positive reinforcements, going so far as to destroy all of his relationships and to threaten his loved ones in addition to offering to make his dreams come true in his professional and personal lives. The piece contains a monologue, my penis and what it means to me.
People create myths. A lonely billionaire has always been fascinated by this reality. Thus he selects a child and a small American town within which to study the dynamics of extraordinary myth formation. It begins while the child is in the womb. People, a few locals and occasional travellers, all of whom have accepted payment from the unknown figure, begin to have seizures whenever the child is near them. The story explores the development of the child under these extraordinary circumstances and the beliefs that the community develops, the actions they take.
Youth in Asia
A British child is being raised in Singapore. One day, around the age of fourteen, everyone suddenly becomes very busy. All her friends suddenly have better things to do. Everyone in the world feels hostile, like a switch has been flipped, a grim trigger. The story explores her struggles to survive in a suddenly harsh and cold world where the light of love feels as if it has disappeared and she must learn to survive without it.
A mysterious new employee starts training at a big box Italian restaurant in London. The team is tight knit, the core of them at least, those who stay beyond the seasonal hiring booms. There’s something about this guy though, something suspect, and the pack targets him for removal. Yet, he survives, demonstrating an eerie ability to overcome myriad challenges that no employee should actually have to face. They can’t get rid of him, and on the surface, he remains very friendly. Thus begins an investigation. Mafia? MI6? Lone Wolf psychopath? There’s something about the new guy. They just haven’t figured it out yet.
A story of international revenge in the wake of a divorce. A humble restaurant server, new to New York City after finalizing his divorce from his Brazilian wife (starring Tara Werneck), finds himself the target of an informal group of international vigilantes who seek to ensure that he never falls in love again and has a miserable life. “Quando você ta fora (do amor), você fique fora!”
The story of how a young Portuguese American girl becomes a surrealist artist, combating the darker forces of the fantastic, especially Der Sandmann as she does so; additionally, she finds herself situated within historical events that will shape the future. It’s a libretto!
Quando Una Notte Un Viaggiatore
An enigmatic author’s memoir within which he struggles to complete his magnum opus, a novel that develops a proposal for a new form of global governance, one that begins to leak beyond his journals to become the world. He’s so focused on writing the damn book though, that he doesn’t realize it until suddenly…
A collection of short stories about artists and writers who continue to write on paper and to use analog methods. It all begins in a photographic darkroom. While the book is presented as a collection of shorts, they actually coalesce to tell a single story.
An inside examination of the lives of sugar babies and daddies, a few cougars too, as one seeks to understand their culture, desires, and conflicts. Trouble is brewing amidst their communities as a rebellious sugar baby seeks to organize the others, only to be castaway into the shadows where she plots her revenge. I imagine the piece being developed and executed by the people behind Best in Show. It features sugar baby conventions, their private strategic gatherings, and classes for prospective sugar babies.
It’s Borat, but with Poetry.
One man’s quest to become the world’s greatest living poet (starring Sasha Baron Cohen.) An unlikely contender, having developed the desire later in life, suddenly and in the wake of a powerful dream, he sustains himself through the sheer force of his will, against myriad rejection, and attracts the attention and ire of the poets of the world. As Machiavelli might contend, make them fear you before they love you. Meanwhile, he also describes himself as a reincarnation of Don Quixote and assures his followers that the journals and establishment who are rejecting him are just “windmills”.
Seth Rogan and James Franco operate a shady dating agency, Intimate Dating, which is actually a front for an extortion agency specialized in intimidating their targets. Then a special warfare reconnaissance veteran from the Air Force joins their organization in search of adventure and profit.
Conceived for Armando Ianucci and imagined as starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus, the piece explores the international intelligence community, the conflicts amongst them, especially in response to the Trump administration. Many feel that an international, covert, and unified response is required while some within are very loyal. Thus, intense comedy and tragedy ensue!
People in Convenience Store
The counter is a stage upon which I stand, and it is also the pit from which I observe, cunningly, those who so often disappear from memory. We only sell so many items here; we’re a small store in the desert where no one travels, where anyone who comes in is of the unwise variety, didn’t get enough gas from either of the cities on the two ends of the highway that’s all I’ve ever known.
Beyond the customers, there’s one guy who comes with the merchandise. I order it, he leaves it outside, and that’s about it. I pay after inspection, we trust one another, and I have a satellite connection. I have driven to the edge of the cities multiple times though. I like the way she looks from a distance, the metropolis, though they’re not even big cities, just average, but they look like they could swallow me whole. It’s like the lights are lures extending from something dark that lives below the sands they’re built upon.
People talk about the city when they come in—big city, small talk—the waterfront is rumored to be fun in the summer sun and apparently there is a delicious drive-in burger restaurant. I like my shower though and I know how to cook a burger—frozen patty to microwave to bun. That said, apparently their festivals are spectacular. A parade almost sounded like it might have been worth witnessing, but there was a shooting at one of them a few years ago, and I am beyond certain that congregated humans is only ever a recipe for disaster.
I like the counter between us and rigid understandings about our interactions. If someone asks me about Pepsi, all I have to say is, “we only carry Coke products”, and if they inquire further, I can frown silently until they take a hint. I have an unloaded rifle that I can look toward, guiding their eyes, if necessary. I have never actually had to reach for it, but I definitely look like the kind of guy who keeps a loaded rifle at his side.
One time a busty lady buying Hostess cakes wouldn’t shut up about how I had to visit the city, meet her friends, make a love connection, and I felt flustered, so I spoke back. “I live here alone”, I said coldly, seeking to be clear, and adding pointedly, “Everyone else is dead, and I like it that way.” She didn’t understand me though, and her face flashed white before she bolted out the door without paying, her tires screeching as her interpretation finally dawned upon me.
Let me be clear though; my parents were old, and I am an only child that grew up here alone. They died of old age while sleeping and I miss them, but I don’t want other people here anymore. People are merely a necessary burden for survival in this world, my diet, my home, my reality, all that I have ever known. Yet, that said, I have learned to appreciate the exceptional ones whose impressions are forever, though I am glad that the people who produce them do usually go away.
One day my favorite person appeared and wandered almost silently through the store, as if searching for something. He was mumbling to himself, his eyes scrunching, mind digging into memory, chasing something out of grasp, and he paused repeatedly. At first, he stood before the chips and crackers for five minutes, analyzing them, looking for something. Then, he transitioned to spend another five minutes staring into an open soda refrigerator, dancing the same dance, his body displaying constant subtle activity, but his actions remaining unintelligible. Perplexed, I said nothing. Yet, eventually, he came to rest before the toiletries where he remained for what felt like an hour, examining the shelves dutifully, as if they contained military secrets or the answers to the meaning of life on Earth.
Then, suddenly, he convulsed for a split second, as if he had been struck by an invisible bolt of energy. He began to swivel his head and body then too, not like an owl, but exaggeratedly. He was examining his surroundings in awe, and it was as if he had just teleported into my store, having arrived from thin air. He kept doing it too, until his gaze settled upon me, looking as if he had been struck again.
He approached me then, apprehensively, as if I were a miraculous font of information, and upon arriving at the counter, a smile breaking, a wave of relief on his end, certain that I would offer a resolution of his doubts, he questioned, “why are we here?”
I pondered the question deeply, inwardly, and yet, without thinking, after a moment’s reflection, I searchingly uttered the words, “I don’t know.” The response caught me by surprise, I was still thinking, and it was as if the words had escaped like an animal under pressure, one of multiple such formations that were contained within me, and my startled eyes returned to his.
“Oh”, he responded with a confident nod and a shadow in his eyes, as if he understood something, and I felt embarrassed about having nothing moving to say. I had never felt that way before, caring, and I wanted so badly to rise to the occasion. Yet, seconds later, his eyes glazed over, and he was looking downward at the mints and candy bars below the counter, his performance having returned to that which came before. I could hear him mumbling indiscernibly too, nonsense, and I returned to ponder the question silently.
However, he eventually left without a word or even making eye contact again, as if I were merely another object in a store where he had found nothing. Then the door closed, I heard the roar of an engine—was he the driver?—and I never saw him again. Yet, the questions echo endlessly. Why was he here? What was he doing? “Why are we here?”, and what should I have said? The longer I dwell on it all, I realize that there are questions for which there are no answers. Thus, I remain here, remembering, existing, and always waiting for something more interesting to happen.