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Michael Normandy, LISP Film Festival 2023 Official Selection, Stage Play, Seven Letters for Jeannie and Germain

LISP Film Festival 2023 Official Selection, Stage Play, Seven Letters for Jeannie and Germain by Michael Normandy

-Can you please tell us about you and your daily life?

I am an active playwright, living in New York City, with multiple completed stage works. Several have been published or produced in the United States and Australia. I recently completed a full-length play, Helena Loeshaus, PhD.

-When and how did you get into writing?

For as long as I recall, I have pursued a writer’s vocation. I wrote poetry when I was eight and drafted my first play at ten. I developed my skills as a professional wordsmith when I became a corporate communications writer. In my career, I’ve written hundreds of financial services materials, including video scripts and speeches.

With a Master of Fine Arts degree in Theatre from Ohio University, I also have completed playwrighting workshops at Juilliard Extension School, The Dramatists Guild and Chicago Dramatists.. Those experiences have enabled my work as a full-time playwright.

My one-act, Seven Letters for Jeannie and Germain, won the best stageplay award at the 2023 Swedish International Film Festival and was a performing arts award-winner at the Ganges International Film Festival; it also was a bronze stage play award-winner at the Screenplay Competition. Nijinsky’s Admission, a ten-minute play, was performed at the Take Ten Festival in Victoria, Australia. Recently I had two short plays produced at a theatre festival in Houston, Texas.

-How often do you write? Do you have a working routine? And what inspires you to create?

I work nearly every day in some fashion, and I’m often inspired by random encounters. While driving after a rehearsal the other evening, I saw three men in the dark, sitting on the tailgate of a pickup truck. That sparked an idea for a monologue. Although it was late when I arrived home, I knew I had to open my laptop and write as much as possible. Several years ago, I had the pleasure of working with playwright Edward Albee. Over the course of three days, he talked about his writing habits and I remember him describing the fire you feel inside when you have an idea. It’s a burning sensation, and you must work it out to honor the creative urge. If you don’t, you feel the idea evaporate.

-How does it feel to have your work recognised?

It’s always a thrill to have my work recognised. I’m deeply grateful when that happens, and I hope it continues. I’ve also learned not to live solely for those moments. I remind myself that the thrill of writing must be the practice itself. One cannot subsist while waiting for recognition. The work is, in most ways, a special reward of its own kind.

-What's the best and most challenging thing about writing a StagePlay?

There is great loneliness in the writing profession. Playwrights live for months, sometimes years, with the voices of characters mumbling in one’s head, and if the work is unproduced, those voices never come to life. I have great respect for actors and directors; without them, my efforts are nothing but pixels on a screen.

-Can you please give us a few tips about writing a Screenplay?

There is no better advice than to see films, attend stage performances and watch videos of great actors. To that I add my belief in the value of curiosity. Be open to all ideas, all topics. Ask questions. Probe, when you can. Each experience becomes a new flavor in your writing process.

-Lastly, do you recommend that writers submit to LISP?

Yes; I highly recommend LISP to all serious writers.



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