We had the good fortune of connecting with Gary Goldstein and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Gary, do you have a favorite quote or affirmation?
Yes, it’s a lyric from the REO Speedwagon song “Roll with the Changes”: “So if you’re tired of the same old story… Oh, turn some pages.” I actually use it as a preface in my new novel “The Last Birthday Party” (Thank you, Kevin Cronin, for the rights!). I think we can get very caught up in complaining about what’s not working in our lives as opposed to trying to do something about that. There’s a certain perverse comfort in staying unhappy or unsatisfied–at least you know where you are. It’s daunting to make big changes in our life but if you don’t try, you never move forward. So if something in your life’s not working for you anymore–and you have the resources, freedom or ability to do so–make a change, move forward, try to get what you want. Turn some pages. It’s worked for me and it’s usually turned out well.
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.
Though I am primarily a screenwriter I also work as a playwright, a journalist, and now a novelist. Learning these different, though often allied writing disciplines, has greatly expanded my abilities and the writing worlds I’ve been able to travel in, grow from and, hopefully, succeed in. I’ve encountered a wider range of people and experiences as a result and have, I think, become a stronger overall writer because of it. Writing is not an easy profession: it’s filled with constant rejection and uncertainty. But even in the lowest moments, I’ve always kept going, tried to believe in myself and what I could accomplish given the chance. But I also knew I had to help make those chances happen; that I couldn’t just rely on my reps–or the universe–to make opportunities known. As a writer of any kind, if you want to succeed and endure, you can’t give up. Especially if you love the work and it’s the number one thing you want to do.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
When you’ve lived in L.A. as long as I have it’s easy to forget what an amazing city and area we live in. So whenever I have out-of-town guests I try to remember what first moved and excited me about L.A. and show them those things–but also go to special places that you may only know by living in the city yourself. An ideal several-day visit would include lots of scenic hikes (Griffith Park, Franklin Canyon, Bronson Canyon, Hollywood Reservoir); beach time in Santa Monica (including a meal at Back on the Beach) and Redondo Beach; a visit to the Getty Museum (and definitely the Academy Museum when it opens); lunch at the Farmers Market and a tour of the Grove; and time downtown touring the old movie theatres on Broadway, visiting the arts district, Japantown (dinner!), and seeing a play at the Music Center or a concert at Disney Hall. I also like to cook so would definitely want to make some great meals and eat outside in our canyon-view backyard. That guest will be back! 🙂
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Writers Guild of America West, Writers Boot Camp, and all my friends, fellow writers and family members who’ve been my support system and cheerleading squad along the way.
(First photo) Author photo – David A. Lee