This year is definitely turning into an extremely busy one. I'm not complaining though... I thrive on it, although I'm looking forward to eventually recharging my batteries.
It blows my mind when I think of all the diverse paths my career has led me to. I now have a paid writer's job.
If you had told me 13 years ago when I came to New York this time around, that one of Frank Sinatra's inner circle and dearest friends would be at one of my shows, I would've probably been flabbergasted.
If you told me that this person would like my show so much, that he'd want me to open for his Rat Pack tribute show all over the country, I would've been honored.
And if you told me that he would want me to write a screenplay adaptation of his incredibly powerful story that starts with him as a persecuted victim in Nazi occupied Greece fighting Greek communist rebels until he came to America and opened Jimmy Weston's Supper Club and mingled with Kirk Douglas, Mohamed Ali, Johnny Carson, Richard Nixon, I would've been flattered and beyond blown away.
Well, I guess I'm flabbergasted, honored, flattered and beyond blown away!
His story is extraordinarily powerful... along the same lines as Schindler's List, Goodfellas and The Godfather Part Two. The atrocities that the Greek communist rebels inflicted on their own countrymen (which included my grandparents) will tear away at your heart.
When he told me about his tumultuous life, I hung on to every word. It's absolutely fascinating. So much so, that before he died, his good friend actor Anthony Quinn, suggested he write a book about it. Now, the powers that be would like him to turn it into a screenplay. That's where I come in. He read some of my work most of which consists of romantic comedies and asked me if I would be interested in writing the dramatic and prevailing screenplay.
I was a little hesitant at first but I'm always inspired by a challenge... especially something of this nature.
When I read his book, I was riveted. We made a deal and in the last month, I've been writing the screenplay to his remarkable story.
It's called, "Set "Em Up, Joe". I’m amazed by the heavy hitters that are speaking with him.
It feels fantastic to be paid to write something, especially of this caliber. I like the challenge of writing something overwhelmingly dramatic as well.
Most comedians, me included, have a dark and dramatic side and we sometimes secretly want to flex that part of our creative muscle. My little dark and dramatic posing trunks are on right now. ;)
I'll keep you posted on the outcome.