Arts & EntertainmentThe Northern Westchester Examiner

Local Businesswoman Turns Memoir into Show on Life’s Twists and Turns

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Local businesswoman and motivational guru Irene Amato’s memoir on her life experiences is the basis for a one-time performance of “The OH Show – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly on Life!” at the Paramount Hudson Valley next month.

When Irene Amato set out to write her memoirs about her successful business career and motivational philosophies, she reached out to her longtime friend Robert Schork, whose ideas and creative energy provided a synergistic and productive collaboration.

Schork unexpectedly died suddenly last May and Amato was left without her muse.

Amato is well-known locally in the real estate and mortgage industry and has owned her outfit, ASAP Mortgage, which is headquartered in Peekskill, since 2001. She has combined her business and personal experiences to become a successful motivational speaker and life coach.

Schork, who was digital editor for The Examiner at the time of his death, was key in helping Amato write her inspirational home-buying guide “Home at Last” and collaborated with Amato on other creative endeavors. Without him, Amato was left with a stalled memoir.

But not for long. Her personal reflections quickly evolved into a new play on life’s twists and turns called “The OH Show – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly on Life!” The one-time performance will be at the Paramount Hudson Valley in Peekskill on Thursday, Nov 9.

Amato said her play about ordinary people overcoming extraordinary challenges is timely.

“Right now, there is so much going on in our world and so many of us feel desperate, we need things to be humanized,” Amato said. “If we’re not experiencing challenges, we’re not evolving and our human side gets desensitized. Then it’s hard to feel for others.”

The play is based on true stories of ordinary people, played by local, non-professional actors.

“I handpicked each person I thought could play a particular part that was real within their own life,” Amato explained.

There are eight characters, including Amato, who appear in different vignettes about confronting adversity and their journey to finding inner strength. There’s a wide range in age amongst the characters, who portray various real-life situations, including older women with adult children finding it difficult to let their guard down or teens dealing with bullying or their sexuality. Others struggle with drug addiction.

Some performances are solo, others have multiple actors.

Amato said she shares her personal story in a solo performance.

“I tell the audience who I am and what I’ve been through and how it is important to focus less on the negatives in your life and more on the good,” she said.

Directing ‘The OH Show’ is Amato’s daughter Alexis Amato, who first became involved by helping her mother get organized.

“Alexis was intrigued by the idea of the show, and with her creative mindset she became so instrumental, using her creative media skills,” Amato said. “She is all about paying it forward, which comes naturally to her and you can see it in how she has directed the play.”

Proceeds for the one-time performance are slated to go to local charities, including the Alliance for Safe Kids, and to fund a children’s scholarship in the Peekskill City School District.

“I hope this play sends a message that at the end we are all human,” Amato said. “It doesn’t matter how much money you have, or cars or houses, we all go back to the same place. The most valuable thing is impacting those around you and changing someone’s life trajectory with positive vibes. Then it’s all worth it.”

The Nov. 9 performance of “The OH Show – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly on Life” at the Paramount Hudson Valley Theater is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tickets are $25.

For tickets and more information, visit








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