I was introduced to @JamesLaRosa by our mutual friend @jrjeffrey in LA. They had gone to college together and now ventured West, like we told them too, go West… When I really ‘fell’ for James was during a night out dancing at Cherry, the 80’s night at a gay club (now Hip-Hop on Robertson- quite a scene to see on a Saturday night.) James can dance like no other. He also is ridiculously funny, punny and knows has all the best drink specials on lockdown in Weho.
James is able to translate his wit to writing. Last year I was watching a Syfy Scary Saturday Shark movie marathon and got so excited to see “Written By James LaRosa” at the beginning of ‘Springbreak Shark Attack’ causing me to squeel for a good thirty seconds.
Location: Los Angeles
Vocation: Screenwriter, sports writer
From scratch, I’m usually working toward a single scene. A moment that got lodged in my head that I somehow have to get out. Oftentimes it’s the ending, so I’m working backwards a lot. Creating a world that will give that scene as big an impact as possible. Needless to say, when I finally write that scene, I’m mainlining it like crack. Don’t interrupt because you’re gonna get bit. Rewriting is another animal. Whether it’s performing surgery on my own script or someone else’s, I’m usually spending most of my time trying not to f*** something up. Whether it’s someone else’s moment, or an amazing character, or a huge set piece the studio can sell in a trailer, the project is still alive because of it and it’s your job not to kill it. It’s like playing Jenga. Do it right and you’re a star. But pull at the wrong thing and it all falls to shit.
2) You wrote the amazing ‘Spring Break Shark Attack’ – are you a big fan of shark movies? How much research was involved?
What I did was, I took Jaws, renamed the characters, and voila. Actually, I was approached to write a disaster movie for CBS. While I’m not a huge shark movie fan, I love disaster movies, like “Towering Inferno” and “Earthquake.” Put a bunch of actors together, kill them off one by one in some grisly way…heaven. When I learned they wanted to do a shark movie, I thought, huh. Not exactly a disaster. But I could kill a bunch of people so I was in. Most of my research was documentary stuff. Shark behavior, survivor stories. Let me tell you, if I was freaked to go in the water before, I for sure ain’t goin’ in there now. We actually filmed in open water off the coast of South Africa and all I could think was, you poor actors. I may have had in my contract that Kathy Baker couldn’t go in there. She’s a three-time Emmy winner. Let the kid from Young & Restless get eaten.
3) As a tennis aficionado you landed a coveted spot blogging for Tennis Channel. What is your favorite grand slam to cover?
The first one I ever covered was the French Open, so it has a special place in my heart. I’m most at home at the U.S. Open. I see all my NYC peeps there, I know all the secret passageways to get from court to court and avoid the crowds. Plus Tennis Channel has an amazing hospitality suite inside Arthur Ashe Stadium. But while Wimbledon is almost too impressive to enjoy – I’m intimidated just using the bathroom there – you can’t beat the history and the overall sense of holy crap I’m at Wimbledon. Plus you can buy a can of match-used balls for 5 pounds a can. That’s three Christmas presents right there.
4) Congrats on your recent marriage. Due to CA not recognizing a same sex union, you were married in MA. How has this affected your view of California and why do you think Prop 8 hasn’t been successful yet?
It’s popular to be down on CA after the whole marriage debacle, but I’m much more down on politics. The whole campaign was a deliberate mindf***. Starting with the fact that “Yes on 8” meant “Yes say no to gay marriage.” So you see, Prop 8 was successful – successfully confusing. I’m lucky in that my family is from Boston, so they could see me legally wed. My husband is not so lucky, as his family is from L.A. and aren’t Rockefellers, so they couldn’t afford to fly out and have that for themselves. Collateral damage. Massachusetts treated us great, and I’m so proud to be from there. That said, I won’t be happy until gay marriage it’s recognized nationally. That’s really the one I care about. If you knew the Federal taxes we have to pay above and beyond heterosexual couples just to put our spouses on our insurance, it would piss you off. It pisses me off. It’s thousands of dollars a year. Screw the emotional trauma, Uncle Sam is raping my wallet. We’ll get there, but not soon enough.
And thanks for the congrats. He’s pretty awesome.
5) As a new dad of a puppy, what has been the most surprising part so far?
He looks like a puppy but he’s actually a 1 or 2. He’s a rescue, so he’s a man of mystery. Where did he come from? How was he treated? The biggest surprise is how quickly he’s integrated into our little unit. We’ve had him less than a week and he’s already part of the family. Okay that’s cliche. How about this: it’s hard to kill a dog. I thought taking on a pup would require all these extra responsibilities, and if I failed at one he’d die. But really, just keep the bowls filled and he’s a-okay. I was worried about kids for the same reason, now this gives me hope. Though I imagine I’d have to do more than keep its bowls filled. Maybe some crate training with that one.