I’m pretty sure my parents were disappointed I didn’t end up gay. No kidding. I was born to hippy, artsy-fartsy bohemians (a writer and a filmmaker) who raised me behind enemy lines in mass suburbia. As I grew up, my folks noticed I wasn’t into sports, loved musicals, was shy around girls, enjoyed writing & painting & performing, and had a best friend who, it turned out, was gay. I think they were looking forward to proving how accepting they’d be when that inevitable day arrived that I finally “came out” to them. It didn’t. Sorry, mom and dad.
Run, Stoney, Run!
I’ve led a kinda random “Forrest Gump-y” life since those childhood years. Back in the roaring eighties, I lived in a dollhouse-sized apartment in the lovely crack-ridden East Village of Manhattan, right near CBGBs. Did I spend my days punk-rocking out? Sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll? Nah, I was way too nerdy and introverted for all that. Instead I worked as the managing editor of a buncha international magazines (including Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone Magazine, Night Cry, and Gallery Magazine).
Stoney Emshwiller, Man About Town
I also spent those New York years performing every chance I got in off-off-off Broadway plays and weird indie films and making some extra money painting illustrations for magazines and collectors (I actually had a private show of my art in a Greenwich Village gallery once, believe it or not). And – I probably shouldn’t admit this – but I even wrote porn briefly (get me drunk enough and I’ll tell you all about it). Anyway, somewhere in there I managed to have two well-received science fiction Bantam Books novels published (The Host and its sequel, Short Blade).
In 1991 I got married to the best human being ever (I swear no roofies were involved in getting her to the altar!) and soon we skipped happily off to Los Angeles to become rich and famous. This plan worked out perfectly… except for the riches and fame part.
Stoney Emshwiller, Hollywood Mogul
Here in LaLa land, I worked for a while as a film & TV set dresser for folks like Robert Altman and Quentin Tarantino. I know, right?! I also managed to have an original TV sitcom pilot produced and numerous movie options taken out on my work by the likes of (insert explosion sound here) Jerry Bruckheimer.
And, hey – I was one of five finalists to be TV’s new “Maytag Repairman.” I didn’t get the gig in the end, though. So, um, I’m not sure why the hell I told you that, actually.
Anywhoooo, nowadays when I’m not performing with my improv comedy team or writing spec scripts and novels, I’m acting as a voiceover artist. Yeah, that’s me you hear resonating mellifluously in radio ads, making goofy voices in cartoons, and dying a thousand horrible deaths in video games. (Hey, it beats working for a living!)
I’m really looking forward to finishing this dream project of mine. My parents would be so proud. Almost as proud as if I’d turned out gay.