Filmmaker, Memoirist



To view my professional copywriting portfolio, click below:


The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze (Photography SET)
Almost Real Things – Austin, TX
Q1 2017

The character in the story is a writer, but I used Mr. Beforedawn, a street performing circus musician, in order to externalize more the struggle of the proletarian avant-garde artist. Basically, in the story, the artist, unable to sustain himself in a capitalist society that doesn't value art, drifts into a dreamy death. Being half Armenian, I love celebrating Saroyan, a prominent Armenian American figure from the 1930s, and bringing him back into modern consciousness."


"ContinueD" COLUMN
December 2016

     "The Perfect Answer" (July 2016), Donna Tobin Smith's story about her father, who had Alzheimer's, really hit home.
     My dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer's 10 years ago, when I was 15. Last year I got married, so grateful that Dad was able to walk me down the aisle. That Christmas was the first that I was apart from my immediate family and the first that my dad was no longer living at home.
     I called Dad at his memory-care facility to let him know I was thinking about him. But would he understand? We talked for a bit. Saying goodbye, I said, "I love you, Dad," He replied, "I love you too. You know that, don't you?"
     It was the greatest gift I received last year.

–Zoë Smurr Byers (Los Angeles, CA)


Punk or Poetess?
The Folio – UC Berkeley's English Undergraduate Journal
May 2013

This essay examines female rhetorical power in Restoration England via the female author’s reappropriation of her “public body.” I analyze Aphra Behn’s The Rover and Eliza Haywood’s The Female Spectator in terms of “the King’s two bodies” and the “body politic” metaphors. Close attention is paid to how each author subverts the patriarchal appropriation of the female body, using it to their rhetorical advantage, and to the advantage of all female authors to come.



Photo by Juan Tallo

Photo by Juan Tallo

Hollywood Master: Jane Fonda

Two-time Academy Award winning actress, writer and political activist Jane Fonda stopped by SFTV for what turned out to be one of The Hollywood Masters’ best-ever guest appearances. Fonda sat down with Stephen Galloway, executive features editor at The Hollywood Reporter, to talk about her exceptional life and career, and what keeps her going as she approaches her 78th birthday.

You have to try to see the world through other people’s eyes. And the moment you start doing that, your heart opens.
— Jane Fonda

Hollywood Master: NORMAN LEAR

“Well, you’re the man of the house now,” Lear recalled a grown man patting him on the shoulder and saying, as he watched his family’s possessions being liquidated after his father was arrested and taken to prison for selling fake bonds.
“‘You’re the man of the house,’ to a 9-year-old in that situation struck me as the foolishness of the human condition times 10,” said Lear, 93-year-old creator of All in the Family and The Jeffersons. “And I never forgot it and I never lived through a situation that didn’t have some humor somewhere.”

Photo by Juan Tallo

Photo by Juan Tallo

I just say, ‘Whatever you are already making, you’re leaving out half of the population. Even in the crowd scenes.’ And people are absolutely shocked.
— Geena Davis
Photo by Juan Tallo

Photo by Juan Tallo


Academy Award-winning actor, Olympic-level archer, social activist and founder of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, Geena Davis herself, stopped by SFTV for the fifth season of The Hollywood Masters.
The tour-de-force sat down with Stephen Galloway, executive features editor at The Hollywood Reporter, to talk about her many versatile roles from modern classics such as Thelma & LouiseThe Accidental Tourist and Beetlejuice, to her groundbreaking role as POTUS on Commander in Chief, and how women are portrayed (or not) in Hollywood.