chris pinto

Christopher Pinto, AKA Mack, Zoot, etc. etc.

Anyone who knows me knows I'm not your ordinary sort of cat. I don't walk to the beat of a different drummer, I play tenor sax along side him. I've driven only vintage cars since I was old enough to drive, including a '56 Buick wagon and a '74 Caddy Eldorado convertible. Now that I live in sunny South Florida, where the highways rip old cars to shreds, I had to settle for something new that's as close as I could get to old...a custom PT Cruiser Convertible. I play sax and clarinet for myself, not for anyone else. Sometimes people listen. I drink Scotch but i;m not a snob about it. I collect vintage toy cars and memorabilia from the 30's, 40's and 50's. I have a '53 Chevy sitting in my garage that I've owned since 1990, and customized the hell out of it, myself. I'm a musician, an artist, a writer and occasionally a comedian. I have a Tiki bar on the lanai and palm trees in the front yard, and love it. I wear suits that look like they were sewn in 1938 and hats to go with them. If life had taken a different turn, I'd have become a detective with .45 under my arm and brown fedora on my head. But life didn't take that turn, so I write about that guy I didn't become.

I guess you can say I started writing when I was in first grade. I put together a little book entitled "The Cat That Lived Forever." I followed it up with the sequel, "The Dog That Lived Forever." I guess you can say I had a rough time with death when I was a kid.

When I was in eighth grade, a school project led me to write my first "real" story, a comedy about a 40 foot tall talking banana. Yes, it was a comedy. I won an award from the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin for the that story, and after a few people read it and commented on it, I realized my "writing style" was very conversational, very informal and full of dialog. I stuck to that style, and applied it to several stories I wrote in high school for English and Creative Writing classes. (I once got a B on a story because the English teacher said it was "too creative". Idiot.) Eventually I would learn that my style was perfectly suited to scripting plays.

Maria O'Callahan and Chris Pinto
 Maria O'Callahan and Chris Pinto before a performance,1986 


Pinto as Austin Powers with Marilyn Monroe

The Naked City Theme by Nelson Riddle

Then in the summer of 1985 I got the itch to put a long story idea onto paper. Over two weeks in August, I hand wrote my first play, a musical I called "Swingtime" (I didn't find out that was the name of an Astaire & Rodgers movie until a year later.) I had been playing sax and clarinet for a couple of years by then, and based the story on a clarinet player from the present who suddenly and mysteriously found himself transported back to 1940. I included music of the era in the show, including three songs I wrote myself (with a little help from one of my classmates, Ron Wines). The Music Director was so impressed, she decided to produce the show as the high school's spring musical, with me in the leading role. It was a lot of fun, and actually came off pretty well!

Pictures from Swingtime, 1986

In the following years, I began writing more plays and short stories, mainly for my own amusement. Then in 1990, I joined a dinner theater troupe in Cape May, New Jersey. I performed there a couple years, mainly in the role of a gangster named Mugsy, until I had a falling out with the management. It was then that I and a few other actors got together and formed our own Murder Mystery troupe. At first it was going to be a group effort, but soon I realized that in order for it to really work, I had to take charge. So I wrote the shows, hired the cast, rehearsed them, directed them, and with some help got our first gig. I didn't really expect to do it very long. It wasn't until almost ten years later that we closed the curtain on our final show.

Christopher Pinto as been writing plays, short stories and novels for over 25 years. He has also been a copywriter for The Atlantic City Press, The Atlantic City Tourism and Visitors Bureau, and several advertising agencies over the years. His works include 12 produced plays, several short stories, countless ariticles and copy for the advertising and tourism industries, plus his latest work - the novel 'Murder Behind the Closet Door.'