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Write every day: How to know where to begin a huge story

For a few months, I’ve been wrestling with an idea for a TV pilot I want to write. The trouble is that it’s a period piece (which are notoriously expensive because you often have to recreate a world that no longer exists) and the story is mammoth. I’ve been making lists of ideas, notes, and sources, but I wasn’t getting anywhere. And then last night, a break through.

I was reading a book about the heroine I want to showcase, and there is a key moment, a turning point where a choice she makes sets in motion a set of tumultuous events. So I’m going to start right at that key moment. I can see it so clearly now—how everything unfolds from there and changes the course of her life forever. The moment is small but the implications are huge.

With mammoth stories, it’s often those tiny moments, that one decision that tunnels into an entirely new world, that should be the beginning.

Write every day: Prohibition and organized crime

Screen Shot 2020-02-02 at 7.05.39 PMTake a ride through the underworld with me! I wrote a piece about Prohibition & organized crime in New York City for Inside History magazine’s latest issue called Crime and the Underworld. The piece is titled If Organized Crime Could Make It In New York…It Could Make It Anywhere! If you’d like to read just my article, click here.

The entire magazine is filled with juicy true crime stories throughout history so if you’d like to get a copy, here are the order links:

UK delivery (print)
Worldwide delivery (print)
Digital PDF download

Joy today: I finished my third National Novel Writing Month

The day before Thanksgiving, I wrapped up my third run at NaNoWriMo and hit my 50,000 word goal for my third novel. I’m giving the novel a good long rest on my desktop until I pick it up again to begin editing in early 2020.

Here’s the draft synopsis:
“After a succession of personal tragedies, Libby Farina runs her family’s Italian bakery on Mulberry Street in the year 1910 in New York City’s Little Italy. As the city around her swirls with innovation and its often dire consequences, a stranger arrives on her doorstep near death. Who is he and how will his presence in her life, however brief, forever change her world?”

Joy today: I’m writing a theater piece about Prohibition in NYC

Today I’m putting in a funding application for a piece of writing that combines my love for secret New York City history and immersive theater. Would you go to a show based on historical events and figures set in one of New York City’s only remaining original speakeasies during prohibition?

Joy Today: NYC’s Secrets and Lies returns on Tuesday, April 9th

I’m so incredibly excited to share that my storytelling show about secret New York City history returns on Tuesday, April 9th. We have an incredible lineup of storytellers, a stellar special guest, and a fun, timely theme of MONEY!

“Money makes the world go ’round” is a widely used saying invented right here in New York City so this month New York City’s Secrets and Lies is getting into the wheelin’ and dealin’ that’s been flying around this city since it began. Corruption! Extortion! Bribery! Organized crime! Greed! But there’s a catch: one of us has completely fabricated the story we’re going to tell you. Can you spot the lie that’s just too scandalous to be true? If so, we’ve got a big, fat prize with your name on it from Untapped Cities. Join us and test your knowledge of NYC secret history!

Tickets on sale now at https://www.caveat.nyc/event/new-york-citys-secrets-and-lies-4-9-2019.

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Joy Today: NYC’s Secrets & Lies celebrates 1 year at Caveat

A year ago I was flyin’; I had just finished the 1st show of NYC’s Secrets & Lies at Caveat with a sold-out crowd. I had no idea what I was starting but I’m so dang grateful to everyone who’s been a part of this journey, on-stage and in the audience. So many of you have been beyond supportive of this crazy idea and there’s no way I’ll ever be able to say thank you enough. This is a collection of our casts to-date and I just adore them all. How lucky I am that this show brought them all into my life! Their stories have inspired me, moved me, and made me fall in love with our city even more. Join us for our 1-year anniversary show on Thursday Feb 7th with another set of storytelling rockstars. Doors at 6:30pm. Show at 7pm. Click here to purchase tickets on Eventbrite.

Cast members:
January – Sarah Laskow, Michelle Young, Allison Chase, Carla Katz, Alex Neuhausen, Bridget Randolph
April – Adam Wade, Vicki Eastus, Suzanne Reisman, Carla Katz
June – Hannah Frishberg, Sabrina McMillin, Cindy Mullock, Emerie Snyder, Tija Mittal
August – Ashley Semrick, John Bucher, Erin Hunkemoeller, Tom Rowley, Leslie Goshko
October – Erin Leafe, Zak Martellucci, Alex Taylor, Michele Carlo, Julie Gaines
December – Justin Mugits (street artist Blanco), Jackie Peters, Vicki Eastus, Dustin Growick

 

Joy Today: Jewelry exhibit at The Metropolitan Museum of Art

I love to learn about objects of beauty that have personal and / or historical significance. Yesterday I walked around the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s jewelry exhibit with my mouth agape because every piece is just so beautiful. I was awestruck and joy-filled by beauty and it’s exactly what I needed. If you can get there, go. And if you can’t, you can see some of the exhibit online. I snapped these pictures of some of the items with their perfectly cast shadows.

Joy Today: New York City’s Secrets & Lies returns on February 7th at 7pm

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My storytelling show, New York City’s Secrets and Lies, is back at Caveat on Thursday, February 7th. Can you tell the difference between a secret and a lie when it involves New York City history? This month, we’re spinning tales about “what lies beneath”: covert operations, secret lives, and the hidden goings on literally happening right now under the daily hustle and bustle of these streets.

These 4 expert storytellers will dazzle you with secrets of our shining city’s past, but one of them is telling a fake story. Separate fact from fiction and you’ll be in the running to win a fantastic prize from Untapped Cities. Sandi Marx, Marie Carter, Daniel Abse, and Jeff Baker are digging through dusty archives and the deep, dark depths of the interwebs to unearth out-of-this-world secrets just for you.

Our show also features a special guest who is a true New York City Secret. This month, we’re so lucky to have Ben Mirin, a beatboxing ecologist who’s going to tell you all about his amazing wildlife music work.

Come join us at Caveat. We can’t wait to share our love of our city with all of you! Tickets on sale now: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/new-york-citys-secrets-and-lies-what-lies-beneath-tickets-54268488510

A Year of Yes: NYC’s Secrets and Lies returns to Caveat

It’s still a month away and I’m already bonkers excited about this A+ lineup of expert storytellers spinning wild stories about secret NYC history for NYC’s Secrets & Lies show at Caveat on December 6th, 7pm. Four are telling the truth and one is a liar. Guess the liar correctly, and you’ll be in the running for great prizes from Untapped Cities and a few secret surprises that I’m cooking up! Look, it’s the holidays and I love giving presents.

This show’s stars include Dustin Growick, Vicki Eastus, Sandi Marx, Jackie Peters, and Nate Charles. Tickets are on sale now at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/new-york-citys-secrets-and-lies-tickets-52038003068. See you there!

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A Year of Yes: NYC’s Secrets & Lies, October 9th at 7pm w/ special guest Julie Gaines of Fishs Eddy

Sea monsters, grandma gangsters, punk music, and high society fashion. Plus a secret society obsessed with hidden history for you to join and tales of activism, art, and entrepreneurship with Julie Gaines, Founder of Fishs Eddy. It’s all waiting for you at Caveat on Tuesday, October 9th at 7pm when my storytelling show New York City’s Secrets & Lies returns. Oh, and if you can separate fact from fiction when it comes to secret NYC history, there could be a big prize from UntappedCities.com with your name on it! Grab your tickets here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/new-york-citys-secrets-and-lies-tickets-49367374145

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