Here’s a lesson for aspiring writers. If you come up with a good idea, jot it down and file it away somewhere. If you write a story or a poem or a screenplay and it doesn’t initially sell, file it away. You never know when you might be able to use it. Case in point is the recent radio drama I wrote, “The Most Beautiful Woman.”
In the spring of 1987, I wrote a “spec script” for the popular TV legal series “LA Law.” My sister-in-law in Seattle knew an attorney in Beverly Hills, who had a connection to Steven Bochco, the legendary TV producer who was the genius behind “LA Law.” My script had four basic storylines, one of which involved an attorney drafted to reunite two long lost lovers, Evelyn Avery and Walter Scarbourgh. He arranges the rendezvous, only to learn that Evelyn has shot Walter without explanation. I ended the script there, hoping that Bochco would hire me to write another script to learn Evelyn’s fate. It was not to be. My writing earned praise from the handful of people who read the script, but the mystery of Evelyn and Walter went nowhere.
Thirty-Three years later. That’s worth repeating. Thirty-Three years later, Brent Keast, an actor-director up in Atascadero emailed me. He was assembling a group of local actors, out of work because of COVID. Brent wanted to put together a radio drama, featuring actors who socially-distanced and recorded their dialogue separately. Everything was emailed to Brent who magically wove everything together in his studio.
All Brent needed was a script. Did I have anything?
Evelyn and Walter popped into mind. Thirty-three years later and I was still wondering about their backstory. What had their relationship been like? What prompted Evelyn to shoot Walter? I agreed to write what I thought would be a two-part script, which quickly became three parts, which finally became four, each running between 10-12 minutes.
I share Episode One, Episode Two, Episode Three and Episode Four of “The Most Beautiful Woman” for your listening pleasure. This was fun to work on and amazing to hear great actors bring to life characters who had been in my head for decades. I think I might have enjoyed writing for radio back in the Golden Age.
Kudos to Brent Keast and thanks to the wonderful cast. In addition to Brent, we have Rosh Wright, Scott Sebby, Michael Siebrass, Dori Duke, Cheryl Keast, Mark Klassen, Craig Culp, and Christine Miller.
The experience, thirty-three years in the making, was…
Well, it was beautiful.