When I was five years old, I felt terror for the first time. As my sister turned on the film, she tossed little me a blanket and told me not to move or else. Being only five, and a good girl, I sat quietly, as little Georgie Denbrough followed his paper boat down the stream, into the gutter, and into the jaws of IT.
Later that night, I lay awake, shaking, because out of the corner of my eye I just knew the Clown stood in my doorway, ready to lead me out of the safety of my bed and down into the blackness of the sewers he called home.
Despite the overwhelming horror of that moment, I looked.
Thus began a lifetime of morbid curiosity, of insisting on turning over rocks no matter the creepy crawlers beneath, and staring down dark hallways, no matter the glowing eyes that surely there reside.
I first explored my own inner darkness in the 4th grade when, for an assignment at my Christian school, I wrote the chilling story of a maniac at an amusement park who methodically slaughters the unfortunate family who visits there. The school principle gave me a good spanking for that one, but I barely felt it. I only realized the ability my written word had to elicit a strong reaction from people who otherwise ignored me. My little imagination grew.
At 18, I took a solo road trip intended to focus on writing my first screenplay, as my obsession with film had grown right along with my dance with the macabre. Armed with American Spirits, my typewriter, and a wanderlust deep, I explored the twists of my mind and completed one whopper of a bad screenplay. But the important thing was that I finished, and was in love.
Since then, I have broken up and gotten back together with screenwriting, and we are now happily married, with three beautiful features completed and many more in the gestation period.
And always those dark places within my mind are kept happy and full, as I have made a special point to consistently and cruelly kill my darlings, over and over again.
Name: Jerry Jenae Sampson
Lives in: Portland, Oregon
Occupation: Screenwriter, Singer and Actor