Primarily writing for journalism and copywriting during career as a news reporter/news director, TV host/presenter, commercial copywriter, and radio DJ. Introduction to screenplay writing was through sports journalist Bert Sugar when assisting with character development on one of his screenplay projects. Recent work includes poetry, song lyrics, and two of my own as yet unfinished novels/screenplays. Studied acting at Neighborhood Playhouse Theatre School and HB Studio in NYC, and through a variety of workshops with Lon Bumgardner, Royal Shakespeare Company, GregAlan Williams, Carl McIntyre, and Linda Kouhry. Have been cast in a variety of stage and small film roles more notable for the directors and actors than the size of my parts - David O. Russell, Adrian Lyne, Jessica Beil, James Marsden, Bill Hader ... but a girl can hope!
Youth included writing poetry and song lyrics, dancing, and culminated with studies in English, Journalism, and International Affairs at the University of South Carolina; Then, off for the creative hotbed that is NYC with a little cash, a suitcase, and a dream.
Happily, landed in advertising account management (at BBDO and, later, SSC&B/Lintas). Madison Avenue brought a much treasured personal witness to the creative talents of Ridley Scott (post Blade Runner, pre Alien), Phil Dusenberry, Jack Welch, and many more.
The experience motivated me to get creative with my own bad self. On to acting classes at H.B. Studio, and then Neighborhood Playhouse Theatre School, which included a hello with Sanford Meisner. I am grateful to NPTS acting instructor William Alderson for curing me of my fear of speaking out loud on stage. (More recently, I've attended a Royal Shakespeare Company ‘Masterclass for Actors’ and on-camera studies with Director and acting coach Lon Bumgardner, and actors GregAlan Williams and Carl McIntyre.)
While still in NYC, a timely introduction to sports writer/historian Bert Sugar brought his invitation to help with research, character development, and plotting for a screenplay he was developing. Ended up also helping a little on one of his baseball trivia books. Bert introduced me to Vicki LaMotte, boxing great Jake LaMotte’s ex-wife, who wanted a woman’s help mapping a screenplay of her own. Neither of these projects were developed. I wish they had been. Very interesting stories.
Returned to South Carolina and the years since have taken me across the Carolinas working in corporate communications, as a news reporter/director, TV host, radio producer, DJ, even doing a little communications strategy and copywriting for clients coming to a newly forming entity called ‘the internet’ (it was the 1990’s…). Specifically, that meant researching and writing news, advertising scripts and copy, radio character sketches, press releases and marketing collateral. Currently, I am focused on communications work for a non-profit and on writing/presenting workshops and materials on creativity.
I have also found time to work as an actor on local stage and a bit in film/TV. That included industrials, infomercials, bits & pieces in TV/ movies. For example, was once cast for three day's work on Adrian Lyne's production of Lolita. Scene was ultimately scrapped, but being paid to watch Jeremy Irons work was invaluable. Was also cast for a day on David O. Russell's movie Nailed. The whole movie was scrapped, but spending the day on set working a small-scale scene with DOR and cast was amazing. Yes, I did make it on to projects that ran, but that was long, long ago in a galaxy far far away where there were answering services instead of answering machines ... oops, I mean voicemail.
I have privately coached a few actors and executives in on-camera technique and presentation skills and 'went off-skills' once to design wardrobe for an indi-film shooting up in the Appalachian Mountains, 'A Tale About Bootleggin'.
And, to feed my soul, I write poetry, lyrics and editorial bits about creating on a blog (cjfoofoo.wordpress.com), and continue to stretch for this animal that is writing stories for page and film …
Name: Christine James
Lives in: Columbia, South Carolina
Occupation: Screenwriter, Actor, Voice Artist, Host/presenter, Researcher and Costume Designer
A Tale About Bootleggin
Film by Independent Costume Design
University of South Carolina-Columbia (Columbia, SC)
Neighborhood Playhouse Theatre School