In the Spotlight: Gregory Pricoli
Art is passion. The best stories and screenplays come from deep within us. It's that inner burning you feel when you "must" sit down and write that script. It is as if you have no choice in the manner. Because if you don't get that story out it feels like it will set you ablaze. That's when you hit those keys and as if by magic the hours melt away as the story forms and takes shape before you. It's an awe-inspiring process to witness something be created from nothing and it is easy to see why so many of us have fallen in love with what we do. Gregory shares this burning passion as a storyteller and is one of the reasons why I am excited to introduce you to him.
This is Gregory Pricoli...
Since the dawn of man, stories have seemingly been told. If I had my chance, I would begin my tale as such. Long ago, three big bangs ago to be precise, a golden Goddess beyond human conception grew bored of her lonely existence. Alone in the darkness long before time became a concept, she decided as any omniscient being would find a way to entertain herself. Thus she created her first universe. Wondrous with colors the average day human being couldn’t even create in a dream. In her opinion, it was lacking and eventually universe one came to an end, imploding upon itself. So again she tried as any true artist would with universe two. With all the mistakes she made on her first attempt, she learned to improve upon with her second. Planets with organisms that would defy our logic and with the beauty we could never grasp, if confronted with or seen. Though she loved this universe like that of the one before it, it was not what she sought and so she tried again with universe three, our universe. This now would be her third chance at perfection and yet, what she loved most about it was how imperfect it really was. Human beings being the stated imperfection in the entire cosmic order in this scenario.
The truth is there will always be a story and there will always be changes to it. This comes down to the conclusion I made long ago, it’s never the story we should trust but the storyteller. Though the story is fiction, there is some semblance of truth, some emotion, we as writers breathe into these characters or into their world. It’s why I started writing. Storytelling has been with me like it has for all of us since childhood. The only difference between my neighbor and I, is he was wise enough to turn to the practice of medicine. So it’s what I continue to do. Television being my writing preference but it really comes down to how long I believe a story needs to be in order to be told. Currently, I am in New York City but will be traveling West to continue my graduate degree at Loyola Marymount for Writing and Producing for Television, in warmer weather, and to find new stories to tell. I must also mention my traveling companions Mao Le Tart, the Bearded Dragon, and Prince the Tuxedo Kitten will also be accompanying me.
Q: How did you stumble upon screenwriting?
I’ve always been telling stories. It was actually in Highschool I wanted to turn those stories into scripts and I traveled through the ancient version of the internet to teach myself. As well as many books.
Q: Who/what inspired you into taking this path?
I can’t say any particular person really inspired me. I think every person I’ve met has inspired me in some way and just furthered my ability to create characters.
Q: Who was the first person who believed in you?
I mean my parents have always believed in me or at least supported my dreams as much as they can as middle-class New York City natives. My extended family was the same way. The first person to really get me into writing would have been my first-grade teacher, Mrs. Wemmer, she had us write our own books for class, “My Bat Brownie” the fictional tale of a fruit bat I had hidden in my attic was actually chosen to be read to the entire school. A lot of pressure for a six-year-old. If I had to think of anyone, definitely her.
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Q: When was the moment you knew you wanted to be a screenwriter?
I think somewhere in High School. I began writing so many scripts and enjoying it, there wasn’t anything else I rather do.
Q: How do you define success for yourself?
Getting your work out there and recognized. If it becomes something more and you can share it with audiences. If they can momentarily escape reality into your story and maybe even resonate with it, that’s a success.
Q: Give us a typical day in your life:
Well, I tend to be a chaotic person. No day is exactly the same. Typically I wake up around five am due to my cat attacking me because he’s bored. From there I make a protein shake mixed with espresso and work out. I’ll meditate after some days. By ten am I’m either writing or thinking of writing. Or depending, on catching up on assignments that are due for school. Covid has really made the ability to write more a lot easier. Lunch is prepped for the week. Typically chicken, vegetables, quinoa, and brown rice. Sweet potatoes sometimes. I love them a lot.
At night I typically have class because I’m on the East Coast and schools on the West Coast, 7pm to 10pm. I aim to sleep not long after but again, it really depends on the cat and my restless thoughts. I’d say most nights I’m knocked out by eleven pm these days. But I have been known to be up way later.
A successful day to me is getting some goals done. I always try to make mental goals. And sometimes you can’t reach them all and that’s okay. So long as you try and you aim to complete them the next day.
Q: What’s been the most important skill you've developed on your path to screenwriting?
Time management. There's a time and place for everything. Sometimes you need to take more time to focus on your writing and other times you need to know when to take a break and do something else. You can’t force anything.
Q: What’s been the greatest challenge in your writing so far?
I would have said finding the time to write. Now I say it’s finding the right time to write. I have so many ideas I want to work on but it’s about focusing on one at a time and really giving it all the time you can but not forgetting you need to still take care of yourself and keep up with how the people you care about are doing.
Q: What’s been the greatest reward in the choices you've made?
I get to tell stories for a living. I don’t know what could be better than that, to be honest.
Q: What do you want to learn from a community of your peers?
Everything. I love talking to fellow writers and artists and seeing how they do things or joking about the similarities with things we do are.