robert gately screenwriter
robert gately’s bio
robert gately is an adjunct professor, published author and screenwriter.
I was born in 1946 in Lynn, Massachusetts and my father moved our family to Levittown, Long Island, New York in 1951 to get a fresh start. That was where I began my training on a hybrid New England and NY accent. Although I love New York, and all the friends I made during the early years, I was a Red Sox fan who had to compete and live with New York Giants, Dodgers and Yankee fans during Boston’s most dry years. It was a character-building experience.
I went to Catholic grammar school, graduated from Chaminade High School in 1964. And in ’65 I entered the United States Navy. I received an education in electronics, graduated from Cleveland Institute of Electronics, got my First Class FCC license, successfully completed a Famous Writer’s School home course, married and fathered a beautiful daughter, all before leaving the service.
Once out of the Navy, I worked as an engineer at a radio station for a couple of years. Then I found a home with AT&T where I spent the next 27 years, most of which as a white-collar staff worker. Somewhere between 1971 and 1973, I became a father of two more wonderful daughters and spent the next ten years going to Suffolk Community College, Stony Brook University, New York Institute of Technology and, finally, Fairleigh Dickinson University where I graduated in 1982. It took 176 credits to accomplish this task mainly because I loved academia and had little focus on getting a degree. I completed four semesters of Calculus, took physics, computers and electronics, and I loved my earth science and philosophy classes. I finally settled in with an English degree. Go figure.
Writing has always been my greatest occupational passion, and in the late ‘70’s I published a novel based on the telephone company exploits of two employees gone mad. I published this work through a vanity press,and Bertha Klausner became my agent. During this time I wrote feature articles for a local newspaper in New Jersey, and a plethora of short stories. I finished my first screenplay in the early ‘80’s, but put my pen down and spent the next ten years seeking balance in my life.
During the nineties, I regained my writing momentum, but it wasn’t until I was offered an early retirement from AT&T in 1998 that I became the serious writer I always wanted to be. I took a Michael Hauge seminar, and also enrolled in a dozen acting courses to help me better understand stage and screenwriting structures, formats, and the general particulars required for story and character development.
Since 1998, my more recent non-fiction efforts, I have written two more novels, ten screenplays and three stage plays. One screen, and stage play, I co-wrote with Drew Keil, a Long Island friend, a dramaturg of exceptional talent, who graduated with me at Chaminade. For that matter, one of my screenplays, a two-part mini-series, was the life-story of Ed Dennehy – brother of actor Brian – who also graduated with Drew and I at Chaminade. One of my novels was published in the August of 2005 by Sun Rising Press, which went bankrupt shortly after signing me – hopefully I didn’t have anything to do with their demise. The book was republished with Entrada Publishing in October of 2016 to a slew of really nice reviews.
My more recent endeavors have been 2 non-fiction books, one about an overseas freedom fighter of sorts, and the other “Fillossofee: Messages from a Grandfather”, whose title reveals its content. Since retiring these works have been recognized in 300 writing competitions, and as finalist or better in over 170 theatre, book, screenplay and stage play competitions around the world. My screenplays and stage plays combined have won a total alone 27 contests, and came in 2nd place in 19 others in (e.g., Breckenridge, Telluride, Fade In Magazine, Garden State Film Festival, Faulkner/Wisdom Creative Writing contest, Norumbego Fiction Award, Chesterfield, Writer’s Network, Dana Awards, Frontiers in Writing, SFWP (Santa Fe), etc.). My short play was produced at a One Act Festival on Long Island, and my longer stage plays won a reading series at Abingdon Theatre in NYC and Ohio State University. The play I co-wrote with Drew Keil won writing awards in Hollywood, Chicago and London, where he directed it at the Hudson Guild Theatre in NYC. Somewhere in there I taught adult education at Northampton County Community College in screen writing, and was Temple University screenplay judge for their Senior Project class (Freese Award).
All this is very humbling because of the subjective nature of judging, and because my work has been given the ‘thumbs down’ by many more ‘readers’ than those giving their ‘thumbs up’, which adds a new interpretation to an old adage that “… one can fool some of the people some of the time …”.