In walks life-long Mineola resident George Papadimatos on April 29 into the Anton Media Group office in Mineola with a big smile on his face and a Yankee cap on.
He introduces himself as the “biggest Yankee fan in Mineola.”
“Look me up,” he says.
Papadimatos, an actor, had much to be excited about. He stopped by to share the news with the Nassau Illustrated that he had finished writing a television pilot with his friend, an actress, Maytal Angel. They are both going to co-star in a sitcom called Jimmy’s and Jenny’s. They’re currently in the process of crowd-funding and filming.
The plot of the show is as follows:
“Dealing with failure in both career and love life, irresponsible man-child George, buys and tries to run his late dad’s old diner while managing his eccentric cousins as his staff, getting inspiration from his late parents through flashbacks, and constantly getting yelled at by his best friend Maya… who is reluctantly running the diner for him.”
The show will also star Vanessa (Lee) Bontea, Angelo Mercado, Jr., Carie Karavis and Kelly Karavites.
It’s a show based on Papadimatos’ own life growing up in the 1980’s with late parents George and Jennie Papadimatos.
“My dad is my hero, my dad and my mom,” Papadimatos said. “Especially my dad. ‘Jimmy the Greek’ used to be the Mineola Diner when I was a kid, then he went to the Sparta Diner.”
Everyone knew Jimmy, Papadimatos said, as a nice and funny guy.
“He took care of everybody,” Papadimatos said. “Whatever it was. He was just the guy to go see. Everybody loved him and he never got upset. He was my hero and everybody loved him and he was always happy. If you met him for one minute, it was real, it was genuine, he made you laugh and he made you feel better about yourself. He just would. Even if he just met you.”
He took care of his parents for five years before they passed away. Then, he went on to work different jobs like bartending until he decided to get back into making his dream come true.
“I started acting getting gigs here and there,” said Papadimatos, who learned from actor Chazz Palminteri. “I was on Daredevil on Netflix. I was on The Deuce on HBO, which is James Franco’s show. Yankee commercial. A lot of little indie projects. I’ve always been trying to write my own sitcom with one of my actress friends, one of my best friends, Maytal Angel. And she’s a wonderful, talented, brilliant, funny girl.”
The two worked together on writing the show during the pandemic, after the off-Broadway show Papadimatos was going to star in was canceled as everything else deemed “not essential” was. They worked well together because they have a similar sense of humor, he said. The pandemic was a time of no excuses, Papadimatos said, as practically everything was on pause.
“We did it over the phone,” Papadimatos said. “We FaceTimed. She was living in Astoria at the time and we were just back and forth and helping each other out.”
The goal was to create a multi-cultural show, blending Papadimatos’ Greek roots and Angel’s Israeli roots, that would give people of all ages 30-minutes when they can just laugh and have fun, while also putting Mineola on the map.
“I want to do a Mineola pool episode,” Papadimatos said. “I always call the Mineola Pool my summer office. You need me, catch me on the sun deck at the Mineola Pool. That’s my office in the summertime.”
The show is being produced by Donna Drake, the host of the Donna Drake Show and there will be a fundraiser that will last through June. The goal is to raise $35,000 to fund cast, crew, post production, set design and props, equipment rentals, food, locations, insurance and marketing costs.
Papadimatos said he’s received much support from members of his class from Mineola High School, with some even offering to be in the show.
“I want to do a show that focuses on Mineola, shows how great Mineola is,” Papadimatos said. “Like I said, I’m going to do the Mineola Pool. It’s going to be based off the Mineola diner… There’s going to be flashback to when I was in little league. There’s going to be flashbacks to the Mineola Pool… There’s just so much Mineola history. Cross Street School I went to and I went to Willis Avenue before it closed down… We’ll get Mineola High School in there.”
And most of all, Papadimatos sees this project as doing what his dad did: turning a negative event like the pandemic and using that time to create a show that will honor his hometown and family.
To contribute to Jimmy’s and Jenny’s and learn more about the show, visit georgepapadimatos.com/jimmysandjennys.