Waiting For The Punchline

Los Angeles, California | Film Short


Christina Marie Leonard

1 Campaigns | California, United States

Green Light

This campaign raised $15,095 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

248 supporters | followers

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Our short film follows Christy, a girl from the midwest who moves to L.A. to surprise her comedian boyfriend only to find him with another girl! Christy is at her wits' end, but with the help of the club staff, she picks herself up by her bootstraps and takes a chance she never would have before.

About The Project

  • The Story
  • Wishlist
  • Updates
  • The Team
  • Community

Mission Statement

From a young age Christina knew she wanted to act and make movies. She began pursuing dramatic roles, but after entering the world of stand-up, she realized comedy affects people even more by giving them a much needed reprieve from the pain of life. Her projects are female-led and female-focused.

The Story

Why Me?

Well...let me just think back to all the times I performed standup comedy in a server apron while I'm supposed to be waitressing, hoping my boss doesn't catch me, and praying that when I get offstage I don't run into one of my five ex boyfriends hanging out at the club trying to get stagetime.

Yep, that's right.

"Waiting for the Punchline" was inspired by my experience performing and working in comedy clubs over the past seven years. I fell into the world of stand-up accidentally, but I discovered that the people I met in the community, and at the club I worked at changed my life.

Why This?

This script began to form six years ago, and has evolved as I navigated the world of comedy clubs, stand up comedy, and...you guessed it...romances with comedians.

Stand-up is a very male-dominated world.  Most of the bookers are men, most of the comedians are men, and when other comics or audience members see a woman at the venue, they don't always expect her to get onstage and start telling jokes.

When I would go to open mics or shows with my boyfriend, most people thought I was just there to support him and not to actually perform. I waitressed at Flappers Comedy Club for a long time, but when I was hosting shows at other clubs like The Comedy Store or The Hollywood Improv, people I had never met before would assume I was there to serve them a drink.  

There are many hilarious women in the stand-up community, but there are still those people out there who think women can't be funny.

That's why I want to tell this story about a girl who ventures into the world of comedy, and I want to tell it from a woman's perspective. Even better, I will be working with many other women- a female director, female editor, female sound designer, and primarily female cast!

Christy's story is one of anger and frustration, but it's also a story of determination; of how sometimes your greatest setback can turn out to be a setup for your biggest comeback.

Like myself, and many women I know, when Christy gets hurt by the love of her life, she wants to lash out. It feels good to lash out sometimes, and it can also be pretty hilarious to watch. However, in order to truly move past the difficult events in our lives and grow as human beings, I've found that, at least for me, I needed to do some inner work and I couldn't do it alone.  

Director Lizze Gordon is an expert at packing the punch in her movies, and with this short film, you'll get to see Christy go through all the ups and downs on her journey to self discovery in a fast-paced style that will have you laughing your head off.

Why Now?

The past year has been a time of uncertainty, fear, and change for all of us. Most of us haven't been able to watch or perform live comedy, and if we have, it's been masked, outside, and socially distanced, or completely over zoom.  

With "Waiting for the Punchline" we will be filming in Flappers Comedy Club, which has not been able to have live shows since last March!  We will once again be able to recreate the comradery and laughter that was abundant in those four walls with our cast and crew, and can't wait to share it with you all.

Let's talk about Covid-19

I was gearing up to shoot last year and then... you guessed it- the pandemic happened. The upside was that during the quarantine months, I was able to get the script to an even better place, but didn't feel comfortable shooting until now.

With vaccines making their way into our lives and the holiday surge in cases behind us (we are shooting in LA where the numbers have been high), combined with teaming up with director Lizze Gordon who has been on a Covid-safe set already during the pandemic, things started to fall into place.  

We will still be following strict Covid-19 guidelines. We will have a covid compliance officer on set, masks worn at all times when not on camera, abundant hand sanitizer for all, and individual meals as well. 

Wanna Hear More?

The tale of the displaced midwesterner Christy and her misadventures in an L.A. comedy club not only has the humor that exists backstage and in the green room, but captures the relationships that develop in the close knit world of stand up comedy between the staff, performers, and regulars.

Why You?

If you're like me, you probably miss going out and seeing live theater, live comedy, live music.... live people! You might be getting your laughs from sitcoms on Netflix and Amazon Prime and sketches on YouTube, but with this film you can get those laughs from the safety of your own home, while also feeling like you are in a live comedy club environment! Once we are done with the filming and editing process, we will release it to various streaming services and you will be the first to know.

We can't wait for you to follow Christy into her new world with her, laugh your butt off, and feel like you found your second family too!


Use the WishList to Pledge cash and Loan items - or - Make a pledge by selecting an Incentive directly.

Cash Pledge

Costs $0


Costs $2,000

We have stellar actors we will be working with and are following SAG rates and guidelines!


Costs $5,700

We need talented people to run a safe and reliable set!


Costs $600

It is still the time of Covid-19 and we need to keep our set safe!


Costs $2,400

We need lighting and lenses to make this look beautiful and professional!

Location and Production Design

Costs $800

We will be turning a comedy club into our very own world and dressing it will cost money too!


Costs $400

Feeding our cast and crew is important!


Costs $600

We will be dressing up our actors with costumes, makeup and props and need to account for that!

Editing and Color Correction

Costs $1,500

Once our project is finished we need someone to edit and color correct our final product.

Sound Design

Costs $1,000

We will need sound design on our finished product as well to make sure it sounds professional.

About This Team

Christina Marie Leonard: Writer/Producer

Christina Marie Leonard is an actress best known for the hit web series "Riley Rewind". Originally from Omaha, Nebraska, she began performing in plays at age nine at The Rose Theatre and The Omaha Community Playhouse. She moved to Los Angeles after graduating with a BA Degree in Theatre Performance from The Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film. She has studied improv at UCB, Second City, and Groundlings, and has performed stand up comedy at The World Famous Comedy Store, The Hollywood Improv, and many other venues in Los Angeles and around the country. Her previous writing and producing credits include "The Ex", "Finding China", "Food Junkie", "L.A. Juice Cleanse" and "Loch Ness: The Web Series".

Lizze Gordon: Director

As a child, Lizze Gordon spent time on movie sets with her godmother, an opportunity that inspired her decision to become an actress.

After receiving a bachelor's degree in Political Science from California State University, Chico, Lizze began studying with respected director and acting coach Gordon Hunt. She made her professional debut on House of Lies and continues to act in a variety of film, theater and television projects.

John Albrecht: Cinematographer

John studied Film and New Media at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln which is where he and Christina first crossed paths, and has been working in Los Angeles in the film industry since 2008.

The Cast of Characters:

Christina Marie Leonard as "Christy"

We already talked about her but here she is again in a more quirky photo with bangs!

Eddie Blackwell as "Randy"

Eddie Blackwell is an African American actor from Philadelphia, PA. Upon moving to LA, Eddie worked primarily in television post production, working for daytime talk shows and HGTV programming. After realizing that wasn’t fulfilling, he started to pursue acting full time. In his short time as an actor, he can be spotted in a handful of commercials including Jimmy John’s, The General, Best Buy, Hummer, eBay, Toyota, Honda & Capital One. He has recently co-starred in Lucifer, two shorts films; Elsewhere and ImagiGary, as well as three miniseries; Just Living, A.M.F.A.A. and Baker’s Dozen, which are currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Eddie studied film and television production at Point Park University and studies at Margie
Haber Studio in Hollywood.

Evan Sloan as "J.J."

Evan Sloan is an actor, writer, director and digital creative. Since relocating to Los Angeles from New Jersey in 2010, Evan has run the gauntlet of acting jobs. Beginning his career in the commercial world, Evan booked big spots for Kohl’s, The GRAMMYS’s, Playstation Network, Just Dance, Hulu, Purina and Cricket Wireless. Although, commercials are his bread and butter, Evan knew he had more to offer. Within the last few years, Evan’s career shot upwards after booking his first big supporting role in a feature film called Lights. After Lights, Evan booked supporting and lead roles in SYFY’s Earthtastrophe, Hellstorm, #Captured, Escape Room. You can also see Evan in a co-starring role for the Emmy winning series DARK/WEB. Evan is also the co-writer and star of the new streaming show Superficial Intelligence and is also co-writing, co-directing and co-starring in the YouTube hit show, Killer Bae. 

Rachel Scanlon as "Colleen"

Rachel Scanlon is an LA based stand-up comedian, host, writer and actor from Minnesota who has performed all over the country. She is the cohost of the weekly podcast and monthly live show called "Two Dykes and A Mic".

Eve Marlowe as "Stephanie"

Eve Marlowe is a 29 year old actress, living in West Hollywood California. She grew up in Las Vegas and moved to Los Angeles at age 18 to pursue her dreams. She has starred in #Captured, a webseries called Roomshare, and Bic Dick Lady, a short film. 

Drew Dorsey as "Ally"

Sashaying from the Bay Area, Drew is a Youtube personality, host, actress and model who gladly lets Beyonce abuse her emotions one album at a time. Since moving to Los Angeles to collect what she refers to as her favorite receipt, also known as a bachelors degree in Communication Studies and Journalism from Loyola Marymount University, Drew has developed a diverse and dedicated fan base  stemming from her comedic Youtube presence on Hearst Magazine’s, Clevver Style as well as her appearances on Smosh, and A Little Late with Lilly Singh. Drew is fully dedicated to not only making her followers happy ugly cry, but to also inspire them to be unapologetically authentic by normalizing confidence. In addition to lending her comedic presence to Clevver Style, Drew also has her own YouTube channel where she does everything from natural hair tutorials, to faking her engagement to try on wedding dresses like a psycho. Drew has also hosted for IMDb including covering the Emmys and reporting live from the Governor’s Ball, KJLH radio, and E! International. Naturally she has also done live performances starring as her queen Yonce at West Hollywood’s peak nightlife destination, formerly Flaming Saddles  and is excited to delve into several new projects including recently being signed to Bicoastal Management as a Model. In her downtime she likes to do solo performances of the entire Hercules soundtrack in her mirror, continue to promote and develop the recent launch of her new merch line, as well as working with some of her favorite brands and companies through collaborations on  social media including Palmers, Universal Pictures, Ulta, Sony, The Pill Club and more! Drew shares her life through fashion photography on instagram, endless shenanigans on YouTube, and is showing no signs of shutting up any time soon.

Current Team