In light of the closure of so many performance venues, a group of NYC's brightest comedians and Broadway performers came together to find community and create during this time of reckoning for the industry. A mockumentary about why we make theatre and what the hell we do moving forward.
Mission StatementThe film was written collaboratively by a passionate group of actors who live at the intersection of comedy and theater. We wanted to give artists a chance to create something fun, during a time when the industry was indefinitely shut down.
About The Project
Shot in Mockumentary-style and partially improvised with a cast of New York’s brightest improv and Broadway performers, The Sound Guy is a biting commentary on why we create theatre and what the hell we’re supposed to do going forward.
The Paberbill Playhouse, a beloved community theater in a small town in New Jersey, is set to close. Enter a charming director and con artist claiming to be a descendent of Meredith Wilson, the creator of The Music Man, with lofty promises to save both this theater and the institution of theatre itself.
After his identity is revealed he skips town, leaving the actors to pick up the pieces. Not only do they no longer have a director, they realize they don’t even have the rights to the musical and must rewrite it to protect themselves from being sued by Sam French, himself. Thus is born The Sound Guy. A student documentarian agrees to capture the entire process: revealing the perseverance of the motley crew of theatermakers and bringing to light the underlying problems within an industry that doesn’t want to change.
Partially based on the viral news article about “the Jessie James of Community Theater,” a man who made his grift stealing the rights money from local theaters throughout New England.
We wrapped phase one of production in 2021, wherein we filmed all of our in-person scenes including a full show-within-a-show at Asylum NYC (one of Manhattan's top comedy venues). We shot all of our talking head interviews in multiple locations throughout the five boroughs (and even New Jersey!). We also filmed a very fun backyard cast party in Brooklyn, and exterior shots at Park Slope Performing Arts. We worked closely with our actors throughout the process to create characters that they wanted to perform, so that each role was an opportunity for them to showcase their talents and their range. The script was written collaboratively and designed to be improvised around, so that everyone involved felt some ownership over the story.
We are now in full post-production mode, with an aim to release the film and hit the festival circuit in early 2022.
We believe in this project so much that we fronted all of the production costs thus far, but as artists ourselves we're hoping to be able to cover these costs with YOUR support. This group of young up-and-coming Broadway performers and comedians are so freakin' talented, and the work they've done on this film will blow you away. We believe this group is a part of the next generation of theatre-makers and storytellers, and we're looking for people who care about supporting the future of the arts. We hope you'll join us in telling this heartfelt story and bringing some levity from such a terrible time.
When the pandemic started, and Broadway shut down, many of our cast and creative team were left without any work. This film was an opportunity for the immensely talented group of young actors, comedians, and filmmakers to continue to create work for themselves when there was no work to be had. We wanted to find a way to safely tell stories, while the industry was on an indefinite pause.
Our team believes artists should be compensated for their art and that this story will bring humor and joy out of this, we'll say it, shitty time.
We are looking to raise $15,000.00 for this film. This budget will help reimburse:
- Rental costs for cinematic filmmaking gear
- Food for our crew and cast during our production week
- Payment for crew and cast members for their time and talents
- General location fees and production costs involved
- Post-production costs including editing, sound mixing, and color correction
Make sure to follow our campaign on Instagram to keep up-to-date on all things The Sound Guy.
SPREAD THE WORD
The only way we will reach our crowdfunding goal is if we reach beyond our networks. We cannot do this without your help. If you cannot afford to make a contribution at this time, please consider sharing with your family and friends to spread the word. Thank you so much for your support! Please share our campaign via your social media, email, word-of-mouth, however you want! We can't do this without you!
Here are some examples. Feel free to copy and paste!
Help by supporting THE SOUND GUY, a new mockumentary from New York’s brightest improv and Broadway performers and a biting commentary on why we create theatre and what the hell we’re supposed to do going forward. Join them on @seedandspark: https://bit.ly/3zKK3V5
I'm so excited to see the mockumentary THE SOUND GUY! Support them on @seedandspark: https://bit.ly/3zKK3V5
Use the WishList to pledge cash and loan items - or - Make a pledge by selecting an incentive directly.
About This Team
WHAT MAKES OUR TEAM AWESOME:
Every single member boasts impressive credits from Broadway to TV to Film and are wildly talented individuals who create and perform at the intersection of theater and comedy. We also wanted our team to reflect what we think the theater and entertainment industry has been missing for decades. Our producing team is predominantly female-led and our cast is majority BIPOC. Our team is a starting point and a small reflection of what we hope the future of the entertainment industry looks like.
CREATORS & PRODUCERS:
Jenny Gorelick creates and hosts some of New York’s best comedy variety events and has been called “crushworthy” by Time Out New York. Her dating podcast with evidence, Receipts, has been featured on Vulture. She has appeared in sketches for Late Night with Seth Meyers, the JCC, and in a surprise sweet sixteen on the subway with Improv Everywhere that received 44 million views. In her TV debut, you can catch her as a rowdy teen on New York City staple, Blue Bloods. She has been featured in the New York Times, Time Out New York, Gothamist, MTV News, Paste Magazine, Ground Floor Comedy, and the skint. And her disaster relief show Her-icane was a selection of the iconique New York Comedy Festival. Her half-hour comedy pilot, After D!sney, was a Finalist in the Script Summit, WeScreenplay and Screencraft competitions.
Jessie Cannizzaro is an actor, writer, and comedian. Select theater credits include The Gods of Comedy (The Old Globe), Puffs (New World Stages), Romeo and Juliet (Lincoln Center Education), The Mysteries (The Flea), and the title role in Hamlet (American Theatre of Actors). Select TV credits include “Nella the Princess Knight” (Nickelodeon), “Urban Teach Now” (iTVFest), and “Losing It with John Stamos” (Yahoo! Screen). Select film credits include Selah and The Spades (Amazon) and Puffs: Live Off-Broadway (Amazon). As a writer, Jessie’s work has been seen in comedy festivals nationwide, and she was a member of Ars Nova’s inaugural comedy residency. She trained at UCB, and writes and performs sketch comedy with her team at The PIT. Her half hour comedy pilot Class Presidents (co-written with comedian Marisa Brau-Reyes) was an official selection at Catalyst Content Festival.
Iliana Inocencio is an actor, writer, director, and acting coach. She writes and performs with musical sketch comedy group, AzN PoP! They've been featured in PBSNewshour, named one of NBC Asian America’s Voices to Watch, and had one of the longest running shows at Upright Citizens Brigade before going on to perform at Joe's Pub at The Public Theater. Iliana was an actor on Maude Night at Upright Citizens Brigade NY, performed original characters in two different NBC Diversity Showcases at The PIT and UCB, and wrote for MTV's Decoded with Francesca Ramsey. As an actor, Iliana's credits range from theater to TV. Favorite credits include: Netflix’s Orange is the New Black and The Iliza Shlesinger Sketch Show, HBOMax’s The Other Two, Beauty and the Beast (Belle), West Side Story (Maria), and A Christmas Carol at The Ford's Theatre. For more visit: www.ilianainocencio.com
Matt Gehring is a performer/writer/director. He graduated NYU Tisch's Experimental Theater Wing, where he was a writer/performer with Hammerkatz. In 2017, he was chosen to be a “New Face” for Just For Laughs: Montreal Character showcase. He was a teacher at UCB where he was on Maude Night, Characters Welcome and numerous running shows. He is also a member of the downtown cabaret Political Subversities, which has performed their musical sketch on the Joe's Pub and Ars Nova stages. He was a lead writer on The Prom: Tonight Belongs To You, a Netflix live event hosted by Queer Eye’s Jonathan Van Ness and co-wrote/starred in Comedy Central Digital Series: At The Office Microwave. He is creator of Ars Nova’s comedy residency program: CAMP and can be seen in Amazon's The Tick, Netflix’s The Characters and Set It Up.
Joel Perez (he/him) is an award-winning actor and writer living in NYC. His theater work includes Fun Home (Broadway), Kiss My Aztec! (La Jolla Playhouse) and Sweet Charity (New Group; Lortel Award). Film work includes tick, tick… Boom! (Netflix). TV work includes Jesus Christ Superstar Live! (NBC), Person of Interest (CBS) and Odd Mom Out (Bravo). He performed with the UCB Maude sketch team Peach and for the musical theater sketch show SHIZ. His writing includes The Black Beans Project (The Huntington Theatre), Playing With Myself (Ars Nova), The Church of the Holy Glory (Ars Nova ANTFest). He is a 2021 WarnerMedia 150 Artist Grant recipient for his original comedy pilot You’re Tired, You’re Poor. He is the winner of the 2021 Voces Latinx National Playwriting Competition for his play From the Fountain. He is a 2019 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellow in Playwriting from NYFA. Follow him at @misterjoelperez and visit www.joelperez.com
Bonnie Milligan was nominated by both the Drama League and the Outer Critics Circle for her Broadway debut in “Head Over Heels,” for which she also won the Theatre World Award. She will soon be appearing at the Atlantic Theater Company in “Kimberly Akimbo.” 1st National Tour: original Pat in Kinky Boots. Off-Broadway: "Promenade” & “God Bless You Mr. Rosewater” (Encores!), Gigantic (Vineyard Theatre); Jasper in Deadland (Prospect Theater) Television: recurring as Katherine Witherbottom on "Search Party" (HBOMax) & Bitsy on “Escape at Dannemora” (Showtime), “Chicago Fire” (NBC), “Happy” (SyFy). instagram- @beltingbons Twitter- @beltingbonnie
Z Infante is an actor, writer, and producer based in New Jersey. They began their career as an actor working on Rick Linklater’s film, School of Rock starring Jack Black and Joan Cusack. They currently serve as the Director of Youth Outreach for The Future Perfect Project. A graduate of New York University's Tisch School of the Arts they’ve worked with artists like Julie Taymor and John Leguizamo. Their background in acting began in film at a young age, and has extended from the classics to developing new plays and musicals Off-Broadway and internationally.
Kuhoo Verma is an NYC-based artist who has been seen in shows at Joe’s Pub, 54 Below, and Rockwood Music Hall. Some favorite roles include Velma in Dave Malloy’s “OCTET” (Lucille Lortel Win for Outstanding Actor, Drama Desk Win), and Academy Award-nominated “The Big Sick.” You may have also seen her at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Lincoln Center, the Public Theatre, Carnegie Hall, and others. She has a degree in Voice from NYU and coaches regularly, focusing on finding health and stability within your vocal identity, rather than reconstructing your artistry to fit the very narrow understanding of vocal health.
Tai Leclaire is a Native American Actor, Comedian, and Writer. "Tai" is short for Taietsarón:see, his Mohawk name. He's an actor and staff writer on "Rutherford Falls" - the Peacock comedy by Mike Schur, Ed Helms, and Sierra Ornelas. He's a former house performer at Upright Citizen's Brigade Theatre. He has performed at festivals around the country including Austin Sketch fest. He has studied at Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, Second City Theatre Chicago, The People's Improv Theatre, and The Barrow Group Theatre.
Jon Wan (aka Kiko) is a drag artist, host, comedian and songwriter performing all over Manhattan and Brooklyn at venues like Club Cumming, Joe's Pub, The Bell House, Ars Nova, Caroline's, Union Hall, MoCA, and Caveat. They've been named by Time Out Magazine and Paper Magazine as a rising queer performer and features in Gregory Kramer's DOWNTOWN, a portrait documentation of downtown life in New York City. They also serve on the team at The Future Perfect Project, a non-profit dedicated to LGBTQ+ Youth & Allies, whose mission is to create safe spaces to foster, express and amplify the voices of young people through the arts.
Maya Deshmukh is an actor and comedian in NYC. Maya won first place in the NBC/UCB diversity showcase doing characters. She can be seen performing as "Brown Rice" with her satirical fake K-pop girl group: AzN POP, as well as co-hosting a monthly "fashion-comedy" show called 'Fashion Puhleeze', where comedians break down trends very far from a red carpet. She also appeared in the pilot for Tru-TV's Paid Off, and performed as an actor on UCB's Maude night. Maya has been featured on Betches, Nick Mom, Funny or Die, and can be seen on season 2 of HBO's High Maintenance. She also works part-time as a general dentist (not a joke).
Lorena Russi's entertainment background ranges from Directer-Writer-Host for PBS to Head Writer for Spotify’s Game Plan to Writer-Producer for “The Late Show w/ Stephen Colbert” Digital team. Lorena’s decade in Improv and Sketch Comedy has influenced her quirky hosting style which she infuses into live events like comedy shows, sports games, and fundraisers as well as hosting branded content for Amazon’s Today’s Deals Live, Thinx, Bustle, and Chipotle’s Snapchat channel.
Cristina Pitter is a queer afro-latinx fat babe. nomad artist. sex educator. hedonist. bruja.
Alec Cohen (Director) is a comedy director and writer. His work has been featured by Comedy Central, Adult Swim, SeriesFest, UCBNY, NYTVF, MTV.com, The New Yorker, Funny or Die, Mashable, Food.com, Comedy Hack Day, LA Comedy Fest, Chicago Sketchfest, Encounters UK, Portland Comedy Film Festival and The American Association of Immunologists. He’s created ads, directed video, directed photography, strategized, theorized, innovated and shared adventures with brands like Nike, 20th Century Fox, BlackBerry, The Foo Fighters, Skullcandy, Bonneville Environmental Foundation, Prabal Gurung, Flipboard and adidas.
Christiana Lopez (Director of Photography) is a director, cinematographer, and creative living in New York City. She’s written, directed, and DP’d viral award-winning sketches for Comedy Central and her self-produced PSA parody series "Not Your Average PSAs" has been featured by Vulture (twice!) While she mostly lives in the comedy world, her production background varies from branded content to indie films. As a Director of Photography, she’s worked with brands such as Bon Appetit, DoorDash, and Geico, to name a few. Christiana finds writing bios to be as intimidating as signing group birthday cards.
Grace Palmer (Production Coordinator) is an actor, comedian, improviser, video editor and comedy writer/producer/director from Baltimore. She received her BFA in Acting from The Theatre School at DePaul University and completed the Acting Apprenticeship at Actors Theatre of Louisville. She studied at both The Second City and iO and toured all over the country with her all female improv team, DAAANG Judi Dench. Her work has been screened in many festivals including The New York Indie Film Festival, The Baltimore Comedy Festival, New Ohio Indie Film Festival.
David Dabbon (Composer) is a composer/arranger based in New York City. He earned an Emmy nomination for composing the music to the song “Eat Shit, Bob!” which aired on HBO’s award-winning Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. On Broadway, he worked as the dance arranger for the Tony-nominated musical adaptation of Beetlejuice and the celebrated musical comedy Disaster! He also provided additional orchestrations for the Broadway bio-musical Sondheim on Sondheim (Grammy nomination).