by: Stephanie Serna
With each new generation it seems the “No Rules – No Fear” and “Do-It-Yourself” culture is gaining increasing strength. But it has always been the risk takers – especially the artists – who have forged the way for that next generation. It’s the Masters who have played the game, done the time and broken the rules that are now advising others to give up the traditional path and take the more direct route – filmmakers especially.
“…Make a lot of little movies and somehow those films will get seen by people hopefully that will hire you…”
~ Steven Spielberg
The idea here is to just get started. Begin the journey. If you have talent, lots of dedication – and a fun and gifted supporting cast – maybe you can produce your dream – maybe even 25 episodes of your dream.
That’s what Laura Linda Bradley did October of last year. She took her career into her own creative hands and started production on her own web TV series, which she describes as, “A female driven comedy – it’s SNL with more relatable characters – it’s comedy with, Gossip Girl good looks!”
She initially came up with the idea of “The Laura Show” in August 2015 and immediately shifted into high gear writing and casting her first episode that was to later premiere November 24. Laura hand picked her team from current collaborators, having worked 8 years in LA acting in TV & film as well as choreographing for shows like DWTS and theatre productions in San Pedro and Los Angeles; She cast actors with whom she had creative rapport.
Two of her new found cast members, Aidan & Dotan Ryder, are identical twin brothers who have been working together in entertainment since childhood. Dotan says he’s learned a lot from Laura’s “can do” attitude, “I’ve learned …why not create your own work and put out there what you want to see yourself in? Every episode, I’m like: Why not? I haven’t seen that done — let’s do that!”
Laura describes, “I grew up with a the wild idea that you can do anything you set your mind to do!!”
Ambition and belief has surely been the rocket fuel for this creative vehicle. I witnessed it first hand when I saw them filming Episode 19 in Culver City. During the hour and half I was there they recorded 6 scenes with multiple camera angles and set ups; with guest star Austin Falk of 2 Broke Girls. Laura was setting up the shots … and the lighting… and script supervising… and wardrobe consulting… and directing… and writing and starring in the show! While other cast members were PA-ing as needed.
Laura admits to not having any prior television production experience and having learned from trial and error. But she states there has been a noticeable progression to the show, “People will say, ‘I’ve watched the first 5 episodes and I will say – no pick up around 15 – the more current…’” she jokes.
The progress and growth of this show is part of its intrigue.
“I personally believe that if you put people together that have like minds, beliefs and work ethics, you can get amazing things accomplished – I think this show is a really strong example of that.” Laura describes Season 1 as a presentation – for the cast members to grow as artists and actors and to build their resumes and experience– and also to show a really strong example of their abilities.
For some of the cast members, it’s the first time they’ve ever done “serious” comedy but they attribute the comfortable atmosphere of the set and the intimate familiarity between cast members to the encouraging training ground that produces the result.
Cast members described the process: “We can just riff off each other and have that comfortable energy that the community gives,” Sam Fleming said. “We take this very seriously – but we don’t take ourselves seriously. We’ve all gotten so much better. We realized we can be that relaxed as soon as the camera is on,” explained Christopher Dietrick.
One would wonder how the male cast members feel in this female driven comedy, Dietrick describes, “Once you know who you are as the character and go with it– it becomes really funny. I’ve got brothers and buddies back in Indiana that say, ‘Dude that was hysterical!’ It’s relatable comedy. People say, ‘I’ve been there – I know that person’.”
The YouTube episodes are approximately 15 – 20 minutes in length and are composed of a series of sketches that hilariously cover such female themes such as:
Episode 2 – “New Boy” – which opens with Laura in an investigative boardroom reporting to a table of girlfriends the stats on a new boy she met at a club the night before (she somehow has, not only his name but date and place of birth, SS#, etc. ) She instructs the group that before she consents to dating him, she wants to know EVERYTHING — “Bring the skeletons up – make them dance!” The dutiful girlfriends immediately respond with laptop internet searches reporting their outrageous findings;
Episode 12 – “Real Advice from a Disney Princess” with costumed Disney Princesses challenging unquestioned fairytale “loose” standards;
Episode 13 – “Girl Logic” (It’s a contradiction wrapped in a bow) includes a sketch of drunken girl roommates flirting with shirtless firemen who arrive at their door answering a bogus fire call.
There is plenty for the general audience – yes, you male viewers – to relate to in these episodes as well. Especially for all of us who have been through crazy break-ups, there are:
Episode 15 – “Post Beak-up Social Media WAR” – where a post beak-up couple is trying to one-up each other by tweeting and posting on Facebook how fantastically wonderful his/her life is, of course implying: “now that YOU’RE gone!”
Currently, the cast is filming “Living Situation” which is about a couple who, although having recently broken up, are still sharing a lease and living together while trying to date other people. Certainly lots of comedy to be explored there!
The Laura Show’s YouTube views have been impressive thus far ranging an initial 5k views to 35k on Episode 20. This caught the eye of on-line streaming Networks and the show was recommended to discuss it’s future with big hitters such as, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and ABC Digital.
Laura speaks boldly about the show’s success and promising future, “I think our show is a testament of why Netflix or any network should talk to us. Look at what we’ve done on zero budget! Look what we’ve done with hard working talented people who want to work on a fun set and want to tell fun stories and make people laugh…”
Even in the anticipation of a favorable 2nd Season, the remaining 1st Season still has more to give. “We have some really exciting guest stars and surprises coming up to finish out the season! We have Matt Rosell from Broadway’s Les Miserables, Robert Palmer Watkins from General Hospital and a number of other handsome guest stars lined up!”
And, of course, included in that line-up will be her dedicated cast. As they put it, they’re loyal for a reason:
“There are the talkers and the doers and Laura is a doer – and she thankfully brings us along with her!” ~Melissa Ortiz
“Laura’s dedication is definitely infectious she’s an example of how being one dedicated person can go a long way.” ~ Aidan Ryder
You can find more info on Laura and #theLAURAshow at: