At Jonas Salk Middle School, EJ wrote an absurdist play called Gagnet, a parody of Dragnet, with the emphasis on the Valley Girl expression to, “gag me with a spoon.” He later wrote a screen play, Fearbound, to be filmed for the school’s Career Day. It had many of his class mates, who were able to skip class to rehearse with him, the teachers not knowing it was an psychological slasher film taking place in the school. Although largely unfinished, the several scenes were shot on Betamax became un-recognizable when it was time to present, because of poor quality video tapes.
At Madison Central High School, Old Bridge, NJ, first with the GDFTC (God Damn Foreigners Theatrical Crew, a name their teacher, Bogden Vito Deminiak used to call them) and then on to playing Editor Webb, in Our Town for Exeter High School, Reading, PA, EJ has had been involved with theater. After High School, he broke into to Community Theater, playing a small role in Our Town for Shoestring Productions, in Reading, PA. One of the actors was amazed that EJ could remember everyone’s lines and blocking so easily, she asked him to stage manage Stepping Out for her, she was directing, at the Jewish Community Center.
His friend Jeff collaborated on some lyrics for a new musical EJ called No One Gives a Damn. EJ wrote the book and music, and dedicated it to his sixth grade teacher, Mr. Smith. The absurdist play farce, takes place in England during the rule of the Roman Empire. EJ shopped it around at a number of colleges, got a bunch of rejections, as most colleges were looking for something August Willson-ish. His happiest rejection intimated that it looked fun to do, but would be hell to produce.
In 1989, he wrote, directed and starred in the 20 minute film, Reading Marzden, Private Investigator, a parody of Mickey Spillane, Mike Hammer. Reading was built out of a character strip he created to cheer up his friend Jeff, off in college. The character of Reading Marzden, goes through his pointless work, not getting anywhere and always being on the wrong trail of something. It is filled with sight gags, funny voice overs, and amusing characters. It became critically acclaimed by friends, family, co-workers, and some of Jeff’s college friends.
He continued stage managing a number of productions for Shoestring and other theaters, including some shows in Allentown and Ephrata. He returned to Reading to play the role of the Photographer in Reading Civic Opera Society’s production of Anything Goes. The director of Anything Goes asked EJ to play at butler (that gets blown up in the first act) in Something’s Afoot in summer theater at Penn State, Berks Campus. He spent time learning sound and lighting in his off time behind the scenes. In the winter he was asked to stage manage a production of Tchaikovsky’s ballet Peter and the Wolf. He took on running lighting and sound for a bilingual group that was playing at Reading Community Players. He was asked back to play a bit role at Penn State, Berks Campus summer theater production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.
In the 2000’s, he performed with an experimental theater company, Reading Theater Project. The first production, EJ stage managed a collection of short, one act plays. Their next production, a new musical called Fag, The Musical, EJ had a starring role. From there he got the role of Scanlon in Genesius Theater’s production of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.
In 2005, EJ started a band, first as rhythm guitar, keyboards, and lead singer, and then took up bass when he needed to. Neverwuz, played some parties (including one for the IMS department of the Reading Hospital), but spent most of their time practicing in his garage. Neverwuz broke up in 2007.
In 2007, EJ started, what would be the first draft of Malaise, it followed the character Adam, and his slow decent into divorce. At the same time he started a play called, Dogs on a Porch, about middle aged co-workers at a bar gawking at the young and beautiful waitresses, and their jealousy of another co-worker for divorcing his wife and dating a hot woman half his age. The last ten chapters of Malaise and the completed one act play, Dogs on a Porch, were lost when the USB drive EJ was using suddenly failed. EJ was able to rewrite the last ten chapters of Malaise, but the play, except for seven pages, while plotted out, remains incomplete.
In 2010, EJ took a class on creative writing at Reading Area Community College. He wrote the first draft of Mariline (which started out as Mainline) in November as part of the National Novel Writing Month. The first draft of the novel was 50,000 words.
In 2012, EJ began in January, and finished the novel Spoon Girl in June. The story, the final book of the Jonathan “Jack” McVoy trilogy, follows the famous writer having trouble writing his next book, and his decent into alcoholism. After a car accident, he is counting his days in the hospital, working with a nurse, he finishes his book. In July, AuthorHouse published Spoon Girl, to many four-plus star reviews, and continues to sell briskly on Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com. In this time EJ became attending the Pagoda Writers Group, Mifflin Writers, and started going to the Writer’s Coffee House sponsored by the Liar’s Club of Philadelphia.
In July of 2013, EJ founded Online Community Writers, a blog and a Facebook page dedicated to encouragement, support and growth of writers.
In September of 2013, AuthorHouse published Malaise, a prequel to Spoon Girl and the first book of the Jonathan “Jack” McVoy trilogy, following Jonathan in his early years before becoming a writer, his affairs, his love of coffee houses, and the downfall of his marriage.
Currently, EJ is working on Mariline, now into its fifth draft, his blogs, his podcast, and is starting a class on sitcom writing.
Currently a member of:
- Pagoda Writers Group, Reading, PA
- Mifflin Writers Group, Shillington, PA