We had the good fortune of connecting with Thomas Misuraca and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Thomas, what is the most important factor behind your success?
The most important aspect of my success is not getting discouraged. In the world of writing, there is a great deal of rejection. I used to take it personally, but have grown to realize it’s all part of the business. I will continue to submit to festivals and literary magazines and focus only on the acceptances, not on the rejections.
The other part of this is having faith in my own work. To be proud of what I created and work hard to make it the best it can possibly be. And to know that someday it will find the right home. Even if it takes decades (and it has).
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’m a writer. I mostly dabble in theater and prose, but have written screenplays (hey, it’s Hollywood!). Over 135 of my one-act plays have been produced or stage read in theaters all over the world, many winning audience favorite awards. Eleven of my full-lengths have been produced across the U.S., including Geeks! The Musical which went on to be produced Off Broadway in April 2019.
Though I found my voice as a writer shortly after graduating Emerson College, it took me a little longer to discover that playwriting was where my talents shine best. Even then, it took me many years to establish the great theater relationships I have today. As well as accumulate a talented collection of actors, directors and other theater professionals who I know will rise to the call and make things happen.
The act of writing can remain a solo endeavor, but I’ve learned that when I involve more people, my vision expands. In theater, things may not go exactly as planned. I’ve learned to better “roll with the punches.” Often times, these obstacles are a catalyst to create better art.
All artists have had setbacks with the pandemic. Writers are fortunate that we can continue to create, even if theater isn’t happening. To my surprise, I created new relationships with theaters all over the world.
It was exciting to see my work performed virtually in Los Angeles, New York City, Houston, Miami and in my hometown of Boston. My play, Ice Cream Run, was produced by KrisP Productions in Hong Kong. And my play, The Rest of the Story, won first place in the Carlow Little Theatre Society’s One Act Playwriting Festival in Ireland. The after party turned into a drink fest with Irish folk songs. It was an experience I’ll never forget.
My monologue, Mousing, was produced by KickItDown Productions in London. For all the rejection letters I get per week, it was nice to get an acceptance letter from the UK that said my story was so funny “it made me snort hot tea.” It garnished some of the best reviews I’ve ever received. Mobile Theatre Blog said: “Tom Misuraca’s writing is sharp and incisive and completely unlike anything I’ve read (or heard) before.”
I am currently a Writer in Residence for Roaring Epiphany Company in New York City, along with fellow playwright Steven Hayet. Rep C is a company that features artists of all abilities. Their mission is to embrace those often excluded due to their disabilities. In January, they hosted A Night with Steve and Tom, for which we wrote two plays apiece specifically for their members. “We just wrote another round of scripts customized for the actors with roles they’ve always wished to play. A Night of Steve and Tom 2 will be produced virtually on Friday May 28 at 7pm EST. It’s been a wonderfully rewarding experience.
I hope, once live theaters returns, these new relationships turn into amazing live events. Now, more than ever, I want to entertain people and make them laugh.
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?
My visitors are quite familiar with Tom’s Tours. Here are some highlights:
Barnsdale Art Park – A great view of the Hollywood sign and the Observatory. As well as a chance to see the Hollyhock House by Frank Lloyd Wright.
(And if they’re really into Frank Lloyd Right, we’ll stop by the Ennis House.)
A few stops on Vermont:
The Dresden – Either for a hearty meal or a drink. Can’t miss Marty & Elaine.
Y Que Trading Post – To pick up some one of a kind t-shirts (and now masks). Oh… and to see the Happy Foot/Sad Foot sign.
Il Capriccio – for some authentic Italian food and friendly service
House of Pies – Though more of a night cap stop, people seem to love this greasy spoon. Especially the pie!
The Laurel & Hardy Stairs – About as old school Hollywood as you can get. And if they like to walk, a trip through the other Silverlake staircases is always fun.
Bonavista Revolving Lounge – Just sit and let the city move around you. Fun sights and fun cocktails.
The Magic Castle – If I can pull some strings, it’ll be a magical night they’ll never forget.
Lake Hollywood – The no longer so well-kept secret of where to see the Hollywood sign.
On the other side of the hill:
Dark Delicacies – For those who want to make some dark purchases.
Mystic Museum – To take the creepy up a notch. Especially if they’re doing a fun event like Slashback Video.
The Brady Bunch House in Sherman Oaks – Always a crowd pleaser, especially now that it looks more like the television house. 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?
Ervin Fang for his endless support and patience.
Also to groups like First Stage LA, The Alliance of Los Angeles Playwrights, The Decameron Project and Force of Nature Productions who are a few of many groups doing their best to keep the creative spirit of theater alive during these times.
All photos taken by Ervin Fang, except for the Slashback Video image (Tom Misuraca 7) by Heidi Appe.