I am an in-between in many ways across different generations and cultures. I kinda fit in, and I kind of do not. Maybe that was one of the reasons that Judy Garland always appealed to me. Mind you, this was before I understood who she was and what made Francis Gum, Judy Garland. I did not associate her with gay culture growing up, not till my late twenties. To give you an example of how oblivious I can be, a friend in my second year in college gave me a number 1 Judy Garland fan shirt. I thought this is pretty cool. I did not associate this with him being gay or the possibility that I might be. My very late sexual awakening was not to happen until I was 24, and it was not with a female. I am bright, with a keen awareness, a curiosity to explore and learn. Yet, in some ways, I am pretty dumb. The older you get, the less you realize you actually know. You have two choices—one to go forward and keep learning, or two to cave in. Caving in, or ignorance was never an option for someone with my level of curiosity and growing awareness. Being a gay, Jewish, white male with mixed blood growing up during the 1970s/early 1980s is the basis for a very multifaceted type of person.

The turbulent 1970s and 1980s, with its rapidly changing social, political, technological society, had many tides and attitudes. My sister was from a generation where parents believed that there should be a child in every house to play the piano. My mom learned when she was a kid, and my sister learned then stopped. I learned just enough for my melody hand. I could never and still cannot play with both hands. Something about being physically precise with tiny motions was/is hard for me. However, when I used to swing a baseball bat, oh man, could I really hit that ball far. When I was young, I was amazing at sports. Almost any sport I played in grade school, I was well above the average physical capabilities

of my childhood friends. As I got into High School, I had lost my love for sports. I did not know that while in Jr. High School, my friends, were discovering girls, I was feeling empty, and closed up, without any comprehensive understanding or knowledge of what was going on. In the early to mid-1980s, people did not talk about a child being gay, and back then, there were no role models. That came later. While this was going on in school, I did grow up in a home full of everything. My mother celebrated living and had a zest for being alive, that embraced the best of Judaism.  Despite her husband, my father, who (as his own worst enemy), at times would be very destructive, and did not, or pretended not to care one way or another about Jewish culture and life. Dad went along for the ride that mom created for our family went on.

Having a mild to moderate hearing loss made playing piano with both hands nearly impossible, and my handwriting still looks like chicken scratch. This also made singing harmony a struggle. Having this hearing loss gifted/enabled me with a keen sensitivity, coupled with a wildly vivid and creative imagination, that astounds, amazes, and commercially applicable. I discovered in college was that I learned differently then public school teachers taught. In my third year of college, something clicked, and I began to understand how my mind works. I began to learn on a more efficient and capable level. I find myself rising to learn things from taking a few topics and learning as much as you can about them, as opposed to taking many issues and only understanding a few things about each item.

However, during my public school years, there were many overwhelming and confusing struggles to learn and homework to do. I coped and persevered thru music, sports, and (my go deep into my mental cave away from the world) comic books. By the time I left for college, I had three steamer trunks worth of comics. Plug time, If anybody reads this who works (or hires the writers who work), on comic book TV shows, or movies, and would like to sit down, have coffee, to interview, and possibly hire me to write for them, I am excitedly game.
 

As a child, I hated reading. I found myself, other than a few books like “The Land of OZ” or mythology. I procrastinated to read the books heaped upon us back then. I later found out that I do love to read. I have a great fascination with history and all things that are real or had some reality mixed in with the fantasy. When I was a kid, we called that non-fiction, but most of what we were required to read was fiction, and I do not mean textbook-style reading either.  People like Graham Hancock bring out the magic in humanity. A curious bewildering wonderment, of searching for the truth, and alternate possibilities that enlarge and expand our horizons.
 

I always believed in the power of reading. Even if I did not read much growing up, willingly. I am a RIF child, Reading Is Fundamental was a fantastic movement. Instead of making America great again, make it read again. We live in a day and age where logic is almost nonexistent. Reading creates, engages, socializes, reworks many neural, electronic, emotional, and intellectual pathways in the brain. God Bless books! An authentic example of how empowering a book can be was something called "The Horseback Librarians". This was a real historical depression-era program started by FDR, to help illiterate backwoods Americans read. This would give them a leg to stand on while they began to have a chance to work again, and put food on their table. This all happened while FDR was implementing his new deal to help create jobs for Americans.  God Bless everyone who believes in the power and imagination of their mind.
 

 

Again I go on a tangent, but this helps you to discover different sides of my coins, so to speak. I am many things, but "I am what I am, I am my own special creation". Never could a truer anthem be felt/sung to or by me.  I saw "La Cage Aux Follies" in its original run on Broadway, and something in me subconsciously clicked. It took another decade before my mind, body, and soul processed and understood what I had seen. I will always be humbly grateful for Jerry Herman for planting a magnificent seed that sprung up from my subconscious and has risen like an oak tree stretching to the sky in many directions.

You will get the sense that I create many different types of screenplays and projects when you read my loglines and synopsis. My journey continues by seeking employment as a writer. Whether it be for Film, Theatre, or Television

Thank you very much for taking the time to read a little about who I am, where I came from, and who I want to become.

Looking Forward to Hearing/Connecting with You,

Craig Slivka

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