Television || Film || Literature
I received my BA in English from the University of South Carolina and an MFA in Fiction Writing from the University of Pittsburgh. I taught vocabulary and narrative to children ages 0 - 5 years through song. I educated college students in composition and creative writing. I am perpetually chuckling.
I am from coastal South Carolina. From the greater Charleston area. I am ethnically Gullah/Geechee. My family is extremely large. My father is the oldest of 9 children. My mother is the youngest of 12.
I was raised in a deeply religious household: my mother is a preacher. My father is a deacon. I was a boy soprano -- first at church then with secular choral music. In college I became a boxing champion for Navy while singing in the United States Naval Academy (USNA) Men's Glee Club. During my sophomore year I was "separated" (kicked out) from Annapolis for violating "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." I officially came out of the closet in graduate school at University of Pittsburgh.
My work exists at the intersection of my heritage, race, religion, music, athletics and sexuality.
The contradiction, cognitive dissonance, and hypocrisy it took to survive adolescence and young adulthood nearly broke me... until I started laughing at it. First an irreverent thought. Then, a joke. Soon after blasphemy became a pastime and satire a weapon.
Now, I'm uncorked and slightly unhinged.
And committed to do one thing --
Half Hour Comedy
In the heart of the Liberian jungle The Kingdom of Zwerdu is protected by an invisibility spell and ruled by the wealthiest woman in the world.
Celebrating her 200th year of peaceful tyrannical rule, Queen Clytemnestra is trying to become a better person. She's cut back on drinking -- only 37 splashes of champagne per day. She's on a two-week fast from shooting her subjects. Today, on her daughter Princess Netta's 21st birthday, she's preparing the palace for a royal betrothal. All is right in her world.
UNTIL, Princess Netta comes out as queer and runs away. THEN, Cassandra, the sorceress in charge of maintaining the invisibility spell, breaks it. SO, the palace is overrun by the largest terrorist organization in the world: white evangelical Christians!
Queen Clytemnestra must SOBER UP; retrieve "Royal Person" Netta (as she demands to be called); bargain with Cassandra to reinstate the invisibility spell; and do what Africans before her have failed to do: CAST OUT crazy colonial caucasians trying to introduce a white god to Black people.
Half Hour Comedy
Asian-American, Old Millenial, and Republican President Joseph Phun is 2 years into a Ronald Raegan-esquely stoic first-term and days away from midterm elections when he begins behaving erratically.
He accidentally-on-purpose starts a nuclear war with Lichtenstein; hires a Black transwoman from Miami with a sketchy past, Molly Brown, to be his political advisor; and impersonates Tina Turner -- TERRIBLY -- at a White House Costume Ball.
His therapist, Dr. Shara Runningwolf, is about to start him on a Shrooms and Peyote Treatment Plan; until the White House Physician, Dr. Bhavna Sharma, issues her diagnosis.
Mr. President has a meningioma on his brain affecting his behavior. It's benign, but removing it will unleash his real personality...whatever that is.
President Phun elects to have the meningioma removed.
After the surgery he's a terror unleashed on the Republican party: a liberal, legislative-minded, big-ass gay genie loose from a bedazzled bottle.
In North Philadelphia boy soprano and basketball protege Kono DeLaForce believes in all his talents. Although his hooping prowess makes his father proud, Kono wants to become the world’s greatest singer.
Kono’s boyfriend Duquan, self-professed astrologer, purchases Kono a piece of heaven. Star A457ZERD2022.
In a magical moment where past and present converge, Kono discovers he’s made of the same stardust as vainglorious, 18th century Italian castrato Angelo Cesare.
Since it only takes 45 minutes and two glasses of wine, Angelo offers to castrate Kono. Terrified, Kono refuses. Angelo issues an ultimatum: to keep your soprano voice and become the galaxy's preeminent performer, time is ticking.
Duquan's mother sends him to military school when she discovers he's gay. Devastated and with no connection to the stars, Kono is haunted by Angelo's warning: "Find an alternative before Mother Nature comes to collect."
Enter Gina Scangarello -- Black girl with Italian-American dads --accompanist extraordinaire, and sole proprietor of GWOAT (Greatest Woman of All Time) Records. Together, the teens devise a plan to defeat Mother Nature once and for all.
THE EXQUISITE PAIN
BWC is a writer leaving Pittsburgh to live, work, and love in Europe – he’s on the James Baldwin plan, darling.
[ Insert drag from super-long cigarette holder here ].
Wait. What’s that? It’s been two years since he’s heard from his Beverly Hills literary agent who has the only copy of his manuscript?
Yikes! Scratch that: BWC is trapped in Pittsburgh and unemployed. He used to be a writer….
“The Exquisite Pain” is the humor-driven, thinly veiled, coming-out-and-of-age story of BillyWayne Coakley.
After dominating graduate school and receiving his MFA in Fiction, BWC is set for success: 1.) a literary agent for his debut novel; 2.) a London job opportunity with the United States Air Force and 3.) two back-up job offers teaching at American universities. What should be a smooth transition into the literary world via academia becomes a series of calamitous events leaving BWC with bupkis! Now he has a choice to make: either stay in Pittsburgh to cobble together his shattered literary life; or, bail.
The alternative? Going home to South Carolina? Absolutely not.
“All art is a kind of confession, more or less oblique. All artists, if they are to survive, are forced, at last, to tell the whole story; to vomit the anguish up.”