We had the good fortune of connecting with Aron Cagan and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Aron, where are your from? We’d love to hear about how your background has played a role in who you are today?
Originally I’m from New York, I was born in Brooklyn, but my family moved out to LA when I was five. My mom grew up in Irvine, the whole white picket fence thing, and my dad is about as Brooklyn as it gets. It was a pretty good balance between super relaxed and go, go, go. As the oldest child (of four) I had really young parents, it was like growing up with two older best-friends. I have to credit most of my creativity and outgoing personality to my dad. Anywhere we went he was the center of attention, able to make anyone laugh or sit on the edge of their seat listening to his stories. That’s probably what made me fall in love with the whole entertainment world, I wanted to be like him. I grew up in a very loving and supportive home, which I’ve learned is a huge privilege. Whether it was acting, writing, directing, or anything for that matter, they always cheered me on. It makes sense that most of the stories I write are rooted around family or the inner-child.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
What makes my stories unique is that they probably aren’t unique. They speak to the everyday person and are relatable. The family I come from is as functional as it gets and so I guess from this I’ve been able to convey the light that can be found in the darker aspects of life. The entertainment world was always my passion. It was my Plan A, B, and C, although I wasn’t settled on acting or writing or directing. I just wanted to tell stories that could impact people. In my early twenties I got an internship working for a successful screenwriter and that’s where I fell in love with writing. Up until then I wanted to go into acting, I figured writing and directing my own material would be the best way to do that. Eventually I decided I wanted my work to be really good so I stuck with writing and Directing. It’s true what they say, the hardest part about writing isn’t writing, it’s sitting down to write. All of a sudden everything unimportant is a priority. I’ve been able to finish a few projects I’m actually proud of, a short film that won a festival and qualified in the finals for a few others, and a feature film my writing partner, Zachary Ashman, and I wrote. That’s the biggest news I have at the moment. G-d has definitely provided me with an abundance of opportunities, including getting this feature film financed. We’re in pre-production at the moment. I’m excited to direct my first full length film. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned so far is to just to do it. Find whatever inspires you, stop making the excuses and just do it. It doesn’t matter if you think anyone will like it or not. If you like it, others will too. More specifically for writers starting off like myself, it’s easy to fall out of love with a project so make sure you write something you really love.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Mornings would begin with a Keurig coffee and homemade breakfast. Eggs are pretty much the only thing I can cook so it’s a good place for me to shine. Assuming you like what I like, we’re headed straight to the golf course for a round of eighteen where we’re walking in feeling a lot more confident than we will be walking out. Lunch is at Robata Jinya, my favorite sushi spot, followed by drinks at The Roger Room. To finish off, we’re going to jazz night at the Sofitel Hotel. Realistically, I’m such a home-body that all this will happen over the span of one week.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I have to give credit to my wife, Gabrielle, my parents, and grandparents for all their love, support, and encouragement. A huge credit belongs to the incredibly talented screenwriter, David N. Weiss, who has taught me so much on and off the page. To my mentor, director, Michael Greenspan, for all your support and lessons. Finally, to my writing partner, Zachary Ashman, who continues to shape my craft. This shoutout is dedicated to you.