Pittsburgh born and Orlando, Florida based writer Mary Kay LaBrie is blazing her own path throughout the modern entertainment world. She’s taken her twenty-two years of experience in leadership and staff development and channeled its lessons into screenwriting, food blogging, and television scripts.
LaBrie, in some ways, seems like she’s trying to make up for lost time. The recent years have seen her writing at a furious pace. She has optioned two previous scripts and has a production deal secured with Jessica Russell, a proven producer of works such as Boys Klub and WiseGirls. 2019 began an intensely creative period for her. She wrote a series entitled The Monongahela Mysteries that incorporates her disparate loves for the mystery genre along with sketch and broad comedy.
2019 had unexpected turns. LaBrie collared a job writing for Menu Innovator, an online publication for chefs, expanding on her previous success publishing recipes in cookbooks and magazines. The unexpected part of this is that few are bold enough to chase such diverse dreams. Mary Kay LaBrie decided, at some point, she couldn’t be content with screenwriting alone.
Cooking and other culinary concerns are an important part of LaBrie’s life. She’s participated in numerous cooking competitions and it’s safe to say she views cooking, at its finest, as artistic self-expression. It’s also an effective way of connecting with a wider audience than even her film and television work can reach.
This potent one-two punch distinguishes her from many contemporaries and peers. Another crucial quality setting her apart from the pack is how her personality shines through yet, in the case of her screenwriting, she’s able to create three-dimensional characters that strike a chord in audiences. The self-professed “psychology geek” worked for over two decades in staff development and leadership and those experiences helped her understand what drives people, makes them laugh, or perhaps uncomfortable. Creators who have such knowledge are rare these days.
Being raised in an environment fostering her creativity and affirming her best impulses undoubtedly shaped her creativity. Food blogger, screenwriter, it doesn’t matter, there’s a life-affirming quality to everything she does that will capture an audience’s attention. The pandemic has provided her with ample opportunities. Her writing picked up the pace and she drafted three romantic comedies and two scripts for holiday-themed movies.
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Her blossoming resumé makes it clear she means business. LaBrie has agents paying attention, media are siting up and taking notice, but it’s not going to her head. They say it isn’t work if you love what you do and LaBrie loves writing. It doesn’t matter much if it’s a food blog or a screenplay. She’s a storyteller who wants to entertain while still saying something about how we live today. The best comedies, romantic or otherwise, always reflect this. Voices such as Mary Kay LaBrie are a welcome addition to the emerging post-pandemic landscape. She approaches everything with intelligence, but she’s just as bent on showing her audiences a good time. She’ll be accomplishing that for many more years to come.