It’s the Day of the Show Y’all

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We have been holding on to the finished product for almost a year in order to look for the perfect venue to share our satirical love letter to undiscovered artists in NYC. We could not be more excited to be premiering on Broadway World Comedy.

Emily and I have been so blessed with this project and are so incredibly thankful for the opportunity to tell this story. From the donors who enabled us to bring our writing to the screen, to the cast who donated their talents, to the crew who picked up the reins and saw us to the finish line, to Jenna Freed who made contact for us over at Broadway World – there were so many hands bringing this dream to fruition. Thank you one and all for your contributions and for your patience.

Now it’s time to share a story that is near and dear to us. There are so many tales of artists striking it rich in Hollywood and NYC, but not very many about the plight of the artists who never give up despite never being “discovered.” It always seemed strange to us because they make up the majority of our breed. We know oodles of people with limitless talent who haven’t gotten their big break, but are diligently plugging away doing what they love and sharing their artistic gifts in whatever way they can. For once, we wanted to break down the fairy tale of being an artist and expose the reality in an honest and humorous way. These are people that we know, people we’ve met, and in many ways, people we are. We hope that our show makes you laugh and resonates with you the way the concept did with us.

We’ve had our hands on the This Is Art steering wheel since 2011. It’s time to let Cami and D take over. We hope you enjoy the ride. Please share it with your friends!

Celebrating Our Cast

This Is Art is about what it takes to make art happen. Our cast lives that story every single day. We want to celebrate their successes, give you a taste of their current projects, and tell you how you can see their work.

When cast member Christopher Ruth was approached about playing a show at The Duplex in NYC by fellow Boston Conservatory alum, Morgan Pate, he was offered a rare opportunity to bring his guitar out of his bedroom and play in front of a live crowd. Their first show was titled A Jew, A Gentile, and a Guitar. That show cemented a creative relationship between Chris and Morgan and they have continued to cover songs and imbue them with a new personal twist ever since. Wednesday May 18th, they are playing their first official show under their new band name, Shepherd’s Crook. You can join them at Arlene’s Grocery in NYC and cheer them on! The show starts at 7PM and the cover charge is $8. For a taste of what’s in store, check out their cover of “Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?” by Paula Cole.

Chad Miller is about to head off to the premiere of the independent film, An Ordinary Family, at the LA Film Festival.

An Ordinary Family is a surprisingly humorous drama that follows two brothers dealing with their conflict of belief over homosexuality and their own personal baggage in a story that asks the simple question; “At the end of the day, are we still family?” The film begins as the annual family reunion gets rocky when Seth arrives with his new boyfriend. No one bats an eye except his brother Thomas, a married man of the cloth, in this fresh, bittersweet exploration of frayed family ties. ~www.anordinaryfamily.com

Chad plays Seth’s boyfriend, William. He told me that the show had a very unusual process. The whole cast lived together during the shoot, becoming more comfortable with each other both as actors and as their characters. At the outset of the project, they started with the basic story outline and script, but before each day of shooting, the cast met with the Director, Mike Akel, Writer, Matt Patterson, and Assistant Director, Melissa Dalley. They discussed the story and collaboratively offered lines of dialogue that they felt would move them through the events of each scene. Once the cameras started rolling, the cast improvised, experimented, and developed these scenes into what has become a very organic feeling film, from what I can tell based on their trailer. They are premiering the film on June 19th at the LA Film Festival, so if you’re on the west coast, get your passes to the festival or purchase an individual ticket for as little as $12! You can follow the film on Twitter and keep up with them on Facebook as well.

 

AN ORDINARY FAMILY – Official Film Trailer! from Matt Patterson on Vimeo.

Emily Floyd and I have been rehearsing for ALICE AU PAYS DES MERVEILLES, a new Beautiful Soup Theatre Collective production based on Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, written and directed by Steven MacCasland, and playing Off Broadway at The Soho Playhouse June 1-5. Emily first began working with Steven and Beautiful Soup in their production of Hamlet, in which she understudied Ophelia. She was also featured in their production of the new musical, Crossing Brooklyn.

Steven wrote ALICE AU PAYS DES MERVEILLES with Emily in mind for the title role, which is always a great honor as an actor. He was holding a reading and needed more actors, so Emily asked if I would like to participate. I was delighted to join in and support her. We had recently performed together in Alice LIVE at the Rabbit Hole with Box Full of Wasps Theatre Collective and I was very familiar with Lewis Carroll’s world. Unlike that production which focused on deconstructing Wonderland for an adult audience, Steven’s Wonderland is refreshingly close to the book and just begging to be staged. When he cast the show, Steven asked me to be a part of it based on the reading, and I happily accepted. We began the process with a workshop on Viewpoints, a technique for composition using movement and gesture that was developed by Anne Bogart and Tina Landau in the 1970’s. Throughout the rehearsal process, we have used Viewpoints to block the show and it has created a very interesting world that relies on theatrical rules we have imposed on the space, the imaginative performances of the actors, and minimal use of stage props and costumes. Emily is charming and whimsical in the role of Alice, and I will be featured the Gryphon, which I must say is riotous fun to explore.

Buy tickets and $5 of every ticket will be donated to Project Night Night, which provides “Shelter Kids” with tools to enhance their literacy and packages of essentials to help them take the best possible care of themselves. Plus if enough people come to see the show, we may get an extended run!

So get out there and see some great work by the cast of This Is Art!

Anne Richmond
@annerichmond
@followthisisart
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The 10 Best Sites About Webseries

A successful webseries isn’t just about good content. It’s about learning the territory.

As we developed the script for This is Art, and now as we march through preproduction and fundraising, I have been doing my best to keep up with industry news, watch as many other web shows as possible, and engage in meaningful dialogue with other webseries creators. The following is a list of sites that I check almost daily in order to improve my knowledge of new media entertainment.

News

Tubefilter aims to be the leading authority on web television and webseries. They were the creative minds behind The Streamy Awards (think of it as the Oscars of web tv) and the IAWTV (International Academy of Web Television). They post articles daily about developments in the industry, previews for new shows, and they cover major distribution deals as well.

Slebisodes not only provides news and reviews, but also amasses a broad list of webseries for you to browse.

 

 

Gigaom has a lot of great articles not just about webseries but about new media entertainment news in general in their NewTeeVee section.

 

Discovery

Koldcast is an online webseries channel that features several shows and even sponsors some of them. It’s just a great collection of shows with a lot of variety.

 

Blip.tv is a site that webseries creators use to distribute their shows across multiple platforms. They also feature episodes on the front page as well. This is a great tool if you’re creating webisodes, vlogs, or video podcasts. It can be helpful to see how others are using it.

Digital Chick TV was created by writer/director Daryn Strauss, who seeks to amass a reliable database of the finest online video content available for a female audience. The site breaks down its featured shows into a broad spectrum categories, from comedy to experimental, so you can easily find shows that might be similar to yours or explore genres you haven’t looked into yet.

Dialogue

Dialogik Digital is a boutique digital marketing consultancy for entertainment properties. They have several notable clients including Tubefilter (mentioned above), Anyone But Me (an award winning webseries), and the IAWTV. They also publish a blog that shares their PR strategies and news about their clients. I think it’s generous and very much in keeping with the spirit of this industry that they share their “how-to’s” with the rest of the community.

Celebrate the Web was created by Kim Evey and Jenni Powell in 2010 as a way for web content creators and their supporters to start a dialogue about the current state and the potential future of web tv. They mostly hold events on the west coast, but they also ran a pilot contest online that gave creators around the world an opportunity to win money to put towards producing their show. It’s got a serious “by the people, for the people” vibe that I really dig.

BigScreen LittleScreen is a monthly meetup series sponsored by Digitas, Tubefilter, 10ton, Focal Press, AskLocal/Zami.com, and Mo Video Mojo and hosted by Matthew Semel and Paul Kontonis. Every month, they present a group of videos and post viewing, you get a chance to do Q and A with the creators. There’s always great company, good conversation, and many opportunities for networking. I check their meetup page to sign up for the events because there’s limited capacity. If you are in NYC, definitely start attending. They also recently announced that there will be an LA version starting up soon.

“The New York Webseries” Facebook Group is a site I check daily without fail. You have to be a series creator/writer in order to join the group, but people post questions, suggestions, and show links every single day. It’s a very active hub and an extremely welcoming/supportive community. This is, of course, geographically focused, but if you’re a NY series creator, you’d be shooting yourself in the foot if you didn’t join the dialogue.

Those are my best 10 resources for the webseries industry. If you have more suggestions, please feel free to add them in the comments below!

-Anne Richmond

@annerichmond
@followthisisart
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