Born and raised in New York City, J.P. graduated from
Georgetown's School of Foreign Service and spent a year living in Paris
before moving back to New York City in order to pursue a career as an
actor. While working in Off Broadway theater and in television, J.P.
decided to begin writing his own material, material of a personal
nature that "meant" something to him. The result was the one man show
entitled "Dreamer Awakens" that he performed Off-Off Broadway and in
Sag Harbor on Long Island. The show's reception gave J.P. the
confidence to write the screenplay of "Fighting Tommy Riley".
Then unrepresented as a writer, J.P. began sending "Fighting Tommy
Riley" blindly out to agents and studios and basically anybody whose
address he could get his hands on. In the letters J.P. spoke of the
script and his intention to remain attached as the lead actor, no
matter what. The vast majority of the scripts came back unread and with
curt rejection letters. The one positive was that William Goldman
happened to read the script and called J.P. to invite him to meet with
him. Goldman said the six words that have since been posted above
J.P.'s desk, "you can really do this shit". Goldman's validation was
the fuel that sent J.P. to Los Angeles with a script and a dream. J.P.
met with companies who loved the script and he received some lucrative
offers to sell the script outright. The one caveat was that he give up
the part of Tommy Riley. Despite maxed out credit cards and a paltry
bank balance, J.P. remained steadfast about playing the co-lead role.
There were at least a half dozen concrete start dates that fell
through, one literally days before shooting was to begin.
It wasn't until J.P. met Eddie O'Flaherty that things really began to
happen and a true partnership was formed. Over the two years J.P. and
Eddie literally put everything they had into getting this film made.
The two of them combed through J.P.'s script, moment by moment, word by
word, shot by shot, until they shared a common vision of the film they
wanted to make. As complete "unknowns", they knew they would have to
make this film on a micro-budget and that nobody would back them. It
wasn't until Producer Bettina O'Mara came along and took a big chance
on the two unknowns that the cameras would roll.
J.P. has since written other screenplays and is currently
preparing the production of a second film with directory Eddie
O'Flaherty. He has also done script-doctoring and wrote on staff for
Dick Wolf's "Arrest and Trial"