A Comedy About Depression
In the midst of a spiraling quarter-life crisis, Shelby decides to reinvent herself as a standup comedian. The only problem; no one thinks she's funny. After attending an open mic night to impress a fellow comedian she likes, Shelby finds herself in the "Starting 16" of a local stand up competition. Thrust into the "cut throat" world of the local Richmond stand up scene, Shelby must face exboyfriends, a estranged yoga-teaching sister, and, the greatest challenge of them all, giving something a sincere try. You can watch the entire 5-episode series here.
Based on a partially-true story, myself and a 3-man crew of film students started shooting the Pilot of "StandUp/BreakDown" in November 2015 with one camera, no budget, and very little idea of how much work we had ahead of us. In the Spring of 2016 we received the year's largest VCU Undergraduate Interdisciplinary Arts Grant to produce 4-more episodes to create our first season. Armed with a profound sense of encouragement, an extra cup of coffee, and 500 excel sheets, I teamed up with friends, classmates, and community members to eventually employ (and pay) over 100 students in 6 months as we created this monolith together.
This show and I grew together. Writing this script alone in my room last summer, I was inspired by how comedy helped me reach out and relate to people in the midst of anxiety and depression. Producing it a few months later, with a considerable amount of people added to the process, the task became daunting, and a whole lot scarier. This show was about finding my voice and being unafraid to share it, and it wasn't until realizing the show that I was able to do that. I'm very proud of "StandUp/BreakDown" and the work that was done to make it come to life. It is my love letter to an industry that is challenging people to not be afraid of being who they are and I look forward to career centered around the heartfelt comedy of making mistakes and figuring it out.