Sunday, December 14, 2008
Well, to be honest, I got an email out of the blue from someone I didn’t know. (But I sure know Tina Cesa Ward now! After working so closely together to bring a new idea to life.) She was asking if I’d like to be a consulting producer on this Web series she had in mind. I didn’t even know what a Web series was, but I was intrigued.
And I was drawn to writing about young people and how they navigate their relationships and modern life. I live in New York City. And I love it. And I worry for it. And I hope for it. So, it was important to me that we do a show which is true to all of that, and which is true to real human interactions.
I have a son. And he grew up half the time in L.A and half the time in N.Y. We’re both writers and we both aim for the same thing – to create, not some used-up, over-the-top Hollywood version of young people, and adults, for that matter, but real people, who are different from one another, even as they are the same.
I love the characters of Anyone But Me. They reflect our city, our country, our times. And the actors who play them are so talented, so adorable. I feel close to them and know that everyone who watches them will grow to feel the same way.
Writing and producing our series is the most fun and immediate gratification I’ve had in a long time. (And Tina, thanks for sending me that email a year ago!)
Editor's Note: Episode #2 of Anyone But Me premieres on StrikeTV on Tuesday, December 16. For promo videos about the series, click on the images above of Vivian and Aster (top) and Sophie and Jonathan (bottom).
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Living in New York, I've often thought about the times before 9/11, before we had all the security provisions that we have now. But the biggest thing that struck me was the fact that many of the kids in New York, have grown up not knowing the city any other way than it is now. They may think nothing about the See something, Say something ads. Or the frequent bag searches or even the occasional armed military security on the streets. This is the world they've always known.
I felt sad about that for a time, but then I realized they can't mourn what they don't know they've lost. So exploring this theme intrigued me a great deal.
There was also something else on my mind. Everyone tells his or her coming out story. I always found it funny that everyone tells it like that was the only time they've ever had to come out. Like after that first "I'm gay" moment, everything else has been easy ever since. But the truth is we all have to come out over and over again. If we change jobs, move into a different apartment building, go to a party with people we don't know. And for most of us, coming out to people can still be just as hard as it was the first time. That was what I wanted to explore with Vivian.
Of course the gay community isn't the only group facing issues of insecurity. And that's how Archibald came into the picture. He's a young man trying to be true to who he is. But he feels pressured from his friends and society to conform to the role of "young black male." We can only hope that these stereotypes start to fall away with our new President and the image he puts forth. But it's a tall order for one man to take on.
Vivian and Archibald both feel like outsiders and this puts them at ease with one another. We can only hope that with that safety of each other's company, they can come to understand they can't be anyone but who they are. No matter the thoughts, insecurities and fears I can't be Anyone But Me, and that's more than OK.
Tina Cesa Ward
For a sneak peek at Anyone But Me, click on the image above of Vivian and Archibald. And, don't forget to tune in when we launch tomorrow on Strike.TV!
To learn more about the series, go to www.anyonebutmeseries.com