I had my first painting exhibit in high school. I dropped out of art school after a year and half and moved to Greenwich Village to live the life of an artist and went crazy.

Psychoanalysis changed my life and I got a job in ad agency cutting mattes and emptying the water of the art directors in art department. After a few months, I was promoted to compiling the daily movie listings for the newspapers, which led to becoming Account Executive on a few small theatrical chains. After a year, I was recruited by 20th Century-Fox to be their Assistant Advertising Manager. After a few years, another ad agency asked me to become the Account  Executive on the MCA/Universal account. A big deal.

After a year, the agency lost the account and MCA hired me and my whole department of twenty to continue the work we were doing. We expanded into doing album covers and I was nominated for a Grammy for album cover design.

I moved back to New York as a Partner in a small motion picture boutique…and failed miserably prompting another cross- country journey to start up a small film company with my brother Paul for Psychology Today making educational films. Four years and multiple film festival awards later for the films I wrote and directed, I left that company to try and make it writing for film and television.

Over the course of the next years, I had nine feature movies and six movies of the week produced from my screenplay and teleplays. I also worked on nine series as Writer/Producer.

To become a director, I pitched a script to Playboy for me to direct. They had me do a short to see if I could do it and that was the beginning of nine-year relationship where I wrote and directed four feature movies and developed my own series which I exec produced, wrote and directed. It was a hit for five years.

During this time, I was teaching Screenwriting at UCLA Extension and ended up happily teaching for over twenty years. Over that time, I wrote three books on screenwriting.

Next, I began writing and directing theatre, which I continue to this day and wrote and directed a number of full length plays and lots of short plays. I wrote and directed two original evenings of music with Stevie Stern. The highlight of this period was the production of my original play THE PRINCES OF KINGS ROAD, which garnered terrific reviews and sold-out performances.

As I continue in the theater, I’m also focusing on making quirky little videos and over the last few years and more than forty videos later, my odd little videos have won five film festival awards.

Tom Lazarus

March 1, 2023

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