My father had an independent production company in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Being raised in the motion picture business, I learned how to run sound, do basic cinematography, film editing, and to be an all-around gopher on the set. Sometimes, I even did some in front of the camera work as a bit player and background extra. Because of his work in movies, many creative people in the French Quarter gravitated toward my father’s Creole cottage on Dumaine Street. I grew up associating with Jazz musicians, actors, writers, and talented artists. But probably the person who influenced me most during that time was my father’s good friend, Tennessee Williams. He was a kind and patient man who would sit with me for hours discussing the intricacies of his writing. From him, I learned about character development and the value of good dialogue. He taught me how to build personalities into characters that would resonate with readers. He showed me the importance of searching for the right words to best reflect the idiosyncrisies of each and every character. Funny, how you can forget so much from so many, but I remember every bit of advice Tennessee Williams taught me.
Looking back, I can see the synchronicity of circumstance having set my course in this creative direction from a very early age. If I had not been born in the city of New Orleans to a motion picture making father, or raised amid the bohemian people of that uniquely eccentric society, I might not have evolved into the writer I am today. However, I did not always embrace my creative side, and for years pursued a career based in medicine and practical knowledge. But like pressurized lava simmering beneath the surface of some volcano, the innate creativity I was born with eventually came erupting to the surface. I finally let go of my apprehensions about turning away from my medical training and started to embrace my stifled urges. It was then I re-discovered my writing.
I came to realize that happiness is not found in living some monetary-based lifestyle, but in following a path that yields to the yearnings of your heart. We are all born to do something fortuitous on this planet; we just have to stop trying to wonder what that is, and just do what makes us happy. After all, happiness is always the outcome when you finally learn to follow your dreams.