A sensitive soul lurking inside a six-foot-two-inch he-man, Gavin O'Connor wrote and produced fellow Long Islander Ted Demme's directorial debut, the short film "The Bet" (1992). The following year, he portrayed Drill Man in Demme's feature directing debut, "Who's the Man?." After writing and helming the short "American Standoff" (1994), which aired on PBS, the Independent Film Channel and multiple foreign TV stations, O'Connor made his own feature co-writing and directing debut with "Comfortably Numb" (1995), a smartly mounted flick with no star power and a storyline about the moral dilemmas facing a Connecticut preppie-turned-NYC prosecutor. Unfortunately, the script's descent into a telepic-style chronicling of heroin addiction undercut the quality look of the film. After screenings at Cannes and the Boston Film Festival, "Comfortably Numb" was relegated to the shelf. To counteract this disappointment, O'Connor opted for the stage, producing, writing and starring in the Off-Off-Broadway play "Rumblings of a Romance Renaissance" (1997), learning a little bit more about actors and acting from the inside while experiencing the immediate gratification of an audience's response.