The Story & Screenplay that launched a brand.
I’ve been writing (screenwriter) for over 25 years and yet I was one of thousands of L.A. County school children who were not taught sentence structure in grade school; it was glitch in the curriculum! With perseverance, I started out as a columnist for an Orange County women’s magazine and then I wrote Mafia Hairdresser, a screenplay.
Why did I write a screenplay? Because I had a story to tell: I worked for a cocaine trafficking couple in the early 80s and I had angst. I was angry at my parents for threatening to give me shock treatments for being who I was and, even though I was the one who was around drugs and ostentatious Hollywood parties, my partner was the one going through addiction problems.
My finished Mafia Hairdresser script made it’s way around Tinsel Town. Professional readers laughed out loud in front of me because they loved the humor. Agents said, “I think you’ve got something here…” “Well written.” “Suspenseful!” But this film was never optioned because no one seemed to know what genre Mafia Hairdresser fit into. Think: Postcards from the Edge, Juno, Pulp Fiction, or the writings of David Sedaris. Yeah, I know… Try and lump all those together and come up with a genre…
In the years that the script was still making it’s rounds, I opened my own salon with some of the money I had earned from being a “Mafia Hairdresser.” I also took the advice of many Hollywood-heads and I wrote the book version and it’s sequel: “The Glow Stick Gods,” as if being a legitimate author was going to get a film made. The best thing that came out of this writing is that I can’t stop writing books. I’m currently writing the last book in this “fiction” series: “Murder, There’s an App for That,” about the dark side of social media and my best friend who was murdered. (I guess it’s time to get a book agent too?)
I did sell one screenplay that I wrote on spec. It was called, “Success In Numbers.” It was about a photographer who decided it was time to fall in love; so she systematically set out to serial-date till she found a “Mr. Right.” If someone is not grasping happiness, the relationship is doomed to fail. Of course, I wrote this one from experience. Let’s just say that I’ve dated some “fixables.”
The director who optioned the “SIN” screenplay was having a hard time getting funding and mentioned to me that he wished that the film was a play or a book first. I said, “I can do that!” So I re-wrote my screenplay and produced it as a play in Chicago. Success in Number sold out for a six week run. Unfortunately, the directer who optioned the screenplay died of complications of AIDS before the film started production.
God Bless you, Bill O’Shaughnessy, for going for your dreams and picking my screenplay!
I’m still a writer and I know Mafia Hairdresser is a great screenplay so I’m plucking this project from the bottom of the drawer and I’m going to give it the best chance to greet a “green light.” I’m not going to listen to any more advice. I’m not going to listen to my heart or my gut; because that never works, other than giving me more shite to write about. If you like the screenplay or play, call or I’ll cut you!