Paul O. Beale, a highly prolific Jamaican writer and filmmaker with an international appeal

About the International Beale Appeal

Somewhere in Paul O. Beale’s memorabilia are six or seven pages of an unnamed story; this never-to-be-named story that Paul O. Beale shared was one of many from his teen years. Just how did this acclaimed author, playwright, filmmaker, screenwriter, and radio drama producer begin his professional storytelling?

Beale credits his love of reading, which has made him an observant layman-social-scientist and built his analytical intelligence, to his love of storytelling.  Whether it’s analytical intelligence or natural wit, Beale’s books are known for their catchy titles. Beale advises young and  upcoming authors and playwrights to, “consider what is the story that you want to and can tell, and remember everyone can tell their story.”  Beale takes his own advice and produced three time-based autobiographies; I Once Was A Virgin, A Tray of Eggs, and The Seasonal Rainforest.

Paul O. Beale, a highly prolific Jamaican writer and filmmaker with an international appeal

In addition to the autobiography, Paul’s books are composed of a splendid mix of fact and fantasy. A little known fact though is that Beale’s first book was actually a book written while he lectured in finance at The University of the West Indies, Mona Jamaica. The book was entitled Costing and Budgeting for Small Businesses. Apparently, that book was a bit too much cold hard facts for his soon-to-be audience. Nonetheless, Beale insists that current sociopolitical economic realities be interwoven in his productions. One such production was the book, My Boss’s Husband Changed my Job Description.

Paul O. Beale, a highly prolific Jamaican writer and filmmaker with an international appeal

If you read the book, the idea of an ‘extreme romance series’ becomes clear, however, hardly would the issues raised be viewed as a laughing matter. Beale, a prolific writer, is known to provoke thought as well as laughter from his audience. It is the laughter that really sets off his career as an author of books and a writer of plays.

Two plays, in particular, rewarded Beale with immense popularity: Unda Mi Nose and Granny Rule.

Unda Mi Nose was where the international Beale appeal began as it was video recorded and moved beyond the local Jamaican audience. It was a time best described as excitement and ‘jovial creativity’ with Granny Rule being performed in excess of two hundred times in Jamaica, and the UK.

Paul O. Beale, a highly prolific Jamaican writer and filmmaker with an international appeal

Paul O. Beale -

Beale Character Appeal

What is that tool that Paul Beale holds as he writes his books, plays, movies, and radio dramas? It’s Beale’s character appeal. As Beale puts it, “it’s being able to create characters that people can relate to and position them within a logical plot. One of the most well-known of these characters is “Delcita Coldwater”. While using his analytical intelligence and social observation skills, when Beale was building a character for the girlfriend of one of his male characters, he remembered Delcita.

Delcita, as Beale explained, was a generous girl from his then hometown in South Manchester, Jamaica, growing up on her own. Delcita, he recalled, “was educated, vocal, and popular.”

In creating the character ‘Delcita Coldwater’, Beale took the first name and the generosity of his real-life-study and embellished her with street smarts and an engaging comedic personality. It was unbeknownst to Beale that ‘Delcita Coldwater’ would “land him in some hot water” or some trouble.

Prior to actress Andrea Wright, two other persons brought Delcita to life on the stage. However, when Wright came along, possibly to boost her performance, she introduced a ‘blackface’ as part of the Delcita Coldwater character. Delcita enjoyed riveting success and Beale, supportive of the success of his staff, supported Wright in her theatre endeavours. As such, Beale would write a story for Andrea to tell her story through Delcita. In time though, actress and character became so merged that Andrea Wright wanted to claim all rights to “Delcita Coldwater”, causing some conflicts. Even so, Beale remains appreciative of Andrea’s support and participation in his journey.

Paul O. Beale, a highly prolific Jamaican writer and filmmaker with an international appeal

Developing Drama

To date, Paul O. Beale has written over forty stage plays with most being produced commercially. Beale’s plays have a great appeal within Jamaica and the Caribbean region, with the Caribbean Diaspora in the UK, Canada, and the USA. Initially, Beale admits to an appeal to a global middle-aged audience, but with time and the introduction of characters such as “Melcita” (originally Delcita’s daughter), his plays hold something for the entire family. Now his plays span a wide demographic “thirsty” for Beale’s brand of entertainment.

As Beale appreciated the many mediums of storytelling, he naturally entered the arena of screenplays. He notes that each medium holds its own pros and cons, with books holding the least restrictions for the storyteller and stage play the most. It was Beale’s destiny to launch into screenplays with Destiny. He did not stop there. Paul O. Beale then turned to directing and producing over 200 episodes of drama including True Love and The EnTRAPreneur.

In addition to broadening his own offerings, Paul develops drama by training students in screen acting. He continues to produce work relevant to our society, such as Surrogacy and The Breast Factor which he is currently filming.

The Breast Factor deals with the fear-inducing diagnosis of cancer and the way it affects not just the stricken but those who love and care for them. It is not a dark story; rather, it deals with the triumph of the human spirit over adversity.

“Ability to make that physical and psychological transformation, openness to experience, courage and good memory recall”, said Beale, are some of the qualities of the good actor/actress.

Asked what his favourite dramas were, he readily noted, the Jamaican stage play Obeah Wedding, for its outstanding comedy. Also, the screenplay Pretty Woman with the natural development of the relationship; Malcolm X, the autobiographical screenplay with Denzel Washington bringing the character to life. Lastly, but not least, both the book and movie, To Sir with Love, as it resonated with Beale being an educator for many years himself.

Paul O. Beale, a highly prolific Jamaican writer and filmmaker with an international appeal

Paul O. Beale –

What’s next for this storyteller? The answer to this question is another part of the Beale appeal.

By Kerriann Toby

Kerriann Toby

Kerriann Toby is a dynamic therapist currently pursuing her Doctorate of Psychology (PsyD). She is a member of the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA) and has trained as a cyber counselor. Her areas of experience, expertise, and interest include child development, sexual and reproductive health, gender-related matters, marriage and family life and promoting the idea of positive psychology, using strengths to support mental health and wellbeing.

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