New Jersey Stage 2015 - Issue 10 - Page 126

medical benefits, I had to go to group therapy, and I remember gazing around the room as if I’d encountered a feast for writings to come. I didn’t write about any of their lives, I felt as though it would be a betrayal of the worst kind. However, they did inspire me to bring mental health awareness to the forefront when bringing these monologues together. My goal with the play, as with my books, is to show that life isn’t out to get you. It just doesn’t know boundaries, much like what I did with my book series, “Life Knows No Bounds.” I turned up the mental health issues and suicide when my nephew died, then Robin Williams (aka Mork from Ork) died and then two weeks before the workshop of this play, my sister died as a result, many years later however, but as a result of complications from a suicide attempt. I HAD HAD IT! I needed to do something. I was so mentally beaten and brutalized by this issue of mental health and suicide, and I kept referring back to the feeling I had when I was in group therapy and it really started to feel as if this was a calling— a must write. You’ve written novels, poems, film, and plays.  What points you in the direction of the stage for a story? Well, my grandmother was the director for the Right to Read program in Newark’s school system. So she started me writing as early as 7 years old and since we were reading plays at the time, it was actually plays I began writing first and I never strayed. It was only later in high school when I read a short story by Charles W. Chestnut that I began writing fiction. I wrote my first film in 10th grade when I tried my hand at writing a script, a sequel to the gang movie, Warriors. I 2015 - ISSUE 10 126