As a boy I loved to play in the woods behind our house, using my imagination to create all kinds of exciting adventures. When my friends would rather be playing kickball and whiffle ball, I preferred running from dinosaurs or exploring magical lands. We worked it out, though, they talked me into playing their games and I talked them into playing mine.
In high school I discovered that dozens of us could all get together and pretend in the theatre. We had costumes, lights, and scenery. Sometimes we even got to sing. I had found my home!
My writing had begun, too, as I experimented with story ideas and wrote a few pages here and a few pages there, whenever an idea struck. At St. Olaf College I double-majored in theatre and English to feed my creative appetite, and even combined them by writing stories for the characters I was playing.
Graduate school auditions led me to Los Angeles where I earned my MFA in drama at The University of Southern California. Then I joined the actor’s union with roles in TV series including “Dynasty” and “The Judge.” Acting classes developed my emotional palate under the tutelage of the late Gene Bua and Toni Bua in North Hollywood at the Acting For Life Theatre. I became one of the alternate teachers and wrote several acting scenes that were used for many years at the school.
My wife and I left Los Angeles so that I could start an academic career where I taught and directed theatre in higher education for 24 years. Talk about a creative workout, I’ve directed over 40 plays and musicals in four colleges and universities, including my ten years as a Dean of Social Science and Performing Arts, before I left academia to tend to the needs of my parents.
I’m walking my dog, these days, through the same woods I played in as a boy, and have begun a new creative venture writing The Most Amazing Museum of Los Angeles and developing several new projects including private acting classes, short stories and short videos. Each new day is an adventure.
UPDATE: My short story “Plot Holes” is in the September 2019 issue of Galaxy’s Edge Magazine (galaxysedge.com) It gives a supporting character from the later chapters of MAMLA his very own story. You can read it on line for free until the November issue is released.