Imagine a world in which everyone who is lesbian, gay or bi-sexual turns Pink, and it doesn’t go away. That is the story of "PINK"
In the first act, you become acquainted with the characters, all of whom live in The Manchester Arms Condominiums. You get to know them, their history and their relationships to one another.
In the second act, people all over the world are turning PINK. The government and the world’s health organizations are working frantically to establish a cause. Millions, all over the world, end up in quarantine. It is later determined only those who are lesbian, gay or bi-sexual turned Pink. With that announcement from the government, the world seems to be in chaos. The son of the President of an Islamic country is seeking asylum in the U. S. Embassy with the aid of his father. Conservative Congresspersons, who turned PINK and have voted against every gay rights bill to come before them, are frantically scrambling for explanations. A leading NFL quarterback has turned Pink. An African American Minister, with a congregation of over 16,000 has turned Pink. An entirely new ethnic group, encompassing all previous ethnic groups, has come into being. There are Latino Pinks, Caucasian Pinks, Black Pinks, Chinese Pinks….. Pinks in every country of the world. Some countries have authorized the murder of Pinks. Even the United States is once again considering segregation. All of this information is broadcast over WNN (World News Network) during the set changes just as if the characters were watching it, glued to the television sets.
Meanwhile, our friends living in Manchester Arms are wrestling with their own problems as the second act unfolds. Two married women have turned Pink. The newborn baby boy of an African American couple has turned Pink. One of a gay couple turned Pink…the other didn’t. The teenage sons of two single women turned Pink. The struggles of the world are mirrored in the struggles of our characters. PINK, THE LIFE CHANGING NOVEL THAT STARTED IT ALL!
My name is Jerry Wilkes; however, my friends call me “Jay”. In May of 2000, I accepted an early retirement from Delta Air Lines to care for my mom, who subsequently died from liver cancer. Later, I served for three years as a Commissioner on the Jacksonville Human Rights Commission. I also worked for several years as manager of Rainbow and Stars, a retail LGBT store in Jacksonville’s 5 Points area. For the past 9 years, I have been the “face at the door” of The Metro Entertainment Complex on Friday and Saturday nights. In addition, I recently received the Florida Civic Recognition ( http://civicrecognition-12.org/news/11798108710017/Jerry-Wilkes-Jacksonville-Florida-html ) . About 6 years ago, I believe God inspired me with an idea for a novel. Since I never considered myself a writer, I tried for two years to find someone who could write it. Everyone seemed to like the idea, but no one came forward. Finally, I sat down and wrote the novel all by myself. I titled it “PINK”. When friends read it, they loved it. One friend, who was an Executive Producer on “A Night with Janis Joplin”, wanted it in a “play format” in order to present it to his friends in New York.
I knew absolutely nothing about writing a novel, much less a play; however, on that very day a friend introduced me to someone who did. God sent David Dupuis who had devoted his entire life to studying plays, reading and writing plays but had never actually had any success. For two weeks, David brought over his lap top. I would close my eyes and become the characters, and David would record me. David would then go to his house, stay up all night typing, and, the next morning, it would be on my computer in my “in box” formatted as a play. After two weeks, we had a play. I called it “PINK, A PLAY”. My friend shopped it to his friends in New York, and, although they liked the idea, they thought 15 characters were too many for the stage.
Finally, out of despair, I decided to produce it myself in Jacksonville. Again, I knew absolutely less than nothing about producing a play, but my faith was in God. For several weeks in advance, I put out a casting call. I loaded 17 copies of my script into my car and went to meet everyone who showed up. After about an hour, I realized no one was going to show up. I spoke in silence to God and said, “I don’t get this”. God spoke to my heart and said, “Be patient”. I told Him He had left me with very little choice and began to load everything back into my car. At that time, my cell phone rang. It was Jeff Wells, who had come months earlier to be part of the initial reading of the play. I told him not to come since no one else had. He asked me to please wait for him, and I did.
After talking with Jeff for a while, I knew he was the reason God had told me to “be patient”. Jeff had actually produced several plays in the Jacksonville area and knew about costumes, lighting, makeup, staging, actors, etc. He knew everything about bringing a play to reality, and he was definitely sent by God. Within a very short time, Jeff cast the play and rehearsals were started. Since it was summer, and most theaters book their plays months in advance, we could find no place to perform it. My friend, who also owns a large entertainment complex in Jacksonville, offered his largest room, which contained a stage, for our use. Finally, in August of 2014, we brought my play to the public. Jacksonville’s theater magazine, EU, sent two critics to review the play. Their review can be found on this site under …………..
A local Public television station, WJCT, filmed the play for me; however, the lighting and sound are terrible. I know I ought to offer the best I can when presenting my play for others to see, but this is the best I could afford. I paid for everything and, since I live on a fixed income, I had to be cost conscious. I asked God to touch the hearts of anyone watching the DVD to look beyond the bad lighting, the poor sound quality and see the amazing story presented.
Pink isn’t a “remake” of an old story. It is an entirely new idea and is relevant to current times. In many ways, it is my story. I am the high school student who was molested by one of his teachers for two years. I am the gay rap singer to whom God spoke and said, “You don’t have to lie to make Me look good”. I am Robbie when Dave put his arms around me and said, “The line between loving you and being in love with you has gotten very dim”. I am Dave who struggled through two marriages and two divorces. I am Cheryl who uttered these words about her deceased husband, “I would give everything I own, be homeless and eat out of garbage cans for the rest of my life if only I could spend one more day with him”. Those words came from my heart when my mom died of liver cancer. I had spent the last 14 months of her life as her caregiver. In some way, I am all of these characters, and I know them intimately.
My hope and prayer has always been “it will touch hearts and change minds”.
Several years ago, I wrote a little novel titled “PINK”. The idea was to “Imagine A World In Which Everyone Who Is Gay, Lesbian or Bisexual Turns PINK…… And It Doesn’t Go Away”. I was then told it ought to be a play. Never having written a play before, God sent someone (that very day) whose life’s dream was to write a play. With his help, I became a playwright. The play was presented in Jacksonville in 2013. I was then told it ought to be a musical so it could be on Broadway. Wouldn’t you know, at that very time, God was having Brett Boles read the novel, Pink. Brett is a Tony nominated lyricist and composer who recently premiered his latest play, Benjamin Button, in London. According to Brett, he “couldn’t go to sleep that night before he wrote the first song…”I don’t have to be Pink….(to love you)”. This song is on the web site (PinkAplay.com). In the story, there is a gay couple. One of them turns Pink and one doesn’t. This song is from the one who didn’t turn Pink…sung to his partner, who did. When I heard that first song, I wept. I listened several times, and I wept a lot. I wept because PINK is the story of my life. Brett actually flew to Jacksonville and wrote the lyrics and music which would later become a Broadway Musical. We actually had a read through in New York City with amazing and talented actors/actresses. We had a theater, and everything was ready to go…except the tremendous amount of money needed to produce a Broadway Musical. For now, the musical is on hold.
I was recently in discussions about writing a screenplay for a miniseries of the story. So, I became a screenplay writer. After writing the screenplay for the first episode, the Director sat with me for over 7 hours going through it line by line. One of my best lessons was learning the difference in writing a novel vs. a screenplay. In the novel, I used words to create emotions and pictures in the reader’s mind. In the screenplay, many of those words can be replaced with facial expressions and movements.
After reading it, the Producer actually came to my house and told me PINK was one of the best screenplays he had ever read. If that isn’t an ego boost, what is? I just loved it, and I thought I had a little time to breathe. Wrong!! One of the investors talked with the Producer, and it was decided to make a full movie rather than a miniseries. Since I had only written the screenplay for the first episode, I have a lot to do. I have actually rewritten large parts of the original novel. In the new version, everyone who turns PINK ends up in quarantine…in every country in the world. The world governments aren’t sure what this is or if it is contagious. One of my goals is to actually publish the new version of PINK in 2019.
Currently, I am in the process of writing the screenplay for the full length movie version of PINK. With God’s help, and getting the book published, we just might make enough money to premiere the Broadway musical version of PINK in the future. Filming is scheduled to begin in January or February of 2019. That means I have to get off my butt and write. My hope and prayer has always been PINK will “touch hearts and change minds”. I have no idea where this is headed, but God does. That is enough for me.
During the past few years, God has repeatedly told me to “Be Patient”. My response was, “I didn’t know You meant this patient”. I’m going to finish the screenplay, and the movie will be made. I’ll do my best to keep you updated and try to make these messages shorter. Prayers , positive thoughts or whatever you believe in are always welcome and appreciated.
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