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Giving Thanks…Dando Gracias

There is no short-cutting to life. It took each and every situation you have encountered to bring you to the now. And now  is right on time.” ― Asha Tyson

Cast & Crew

Well, it’s finally here and we couldn’t be more nervous, excited, thrilled,  scared and anxious to deliver to you the first season of East WillyB.  It’s been an incredible journey and one that we are enjoying and  relishing each and every day.  Running a crowd-funding campaign is no  easy feat, and if you talk to anyone in the crowd-funding or fundraising industry, they’ll tell you that running one for $50,000 in 50 days is  madness. But, with the love and support of our fans, families and  friends, we did it.  We did it because you believed in the power of what we are creating and you saw yourself in our project. You’ve experienced this gentrification in your neighborhood, your best friend reminded you of Ceci, or you just really love anything that Flaco Navaja creates.  Whatever the reason was, you believed in us and we did it.

We are incredibly humbled by the outpouring of support and love that we have received from everyone because there were moments when we thought this wasn’t going to happen, and that we were going to fail. Launching a crowd funding campaign requires daily maintenance, tweeking, and optimism. It requires a calm mind and hopeful spirit that believes that anything is possible. It requires full support from our partners and loved ones in our moment of insanity. It is love.

Now, it’s here. And we couldn’t be more thankful to you for your support. This season is dedicated to you and to the American Latino who never gives up, finds possibilities everywhere and knows where they come from.  We are uniquely connected to each other by our heritage, regardless of where we come from or where we live. This show does take place in Everywhere, USA because we have shared experiences that you can relate to.

Our last request to you is that you please share our show and our story with all your friends, families, networks, co-workers, compadres, comadres, and beyond.  We are still on a journey and we hope you join us as we continue to spread the message of our show and our community.  Help us show the networks that these stories are going to be told with or without your support because they are worth telling. Independent Latino shows can be successful because we’ll make the successful through the help of our communities.

Muchisimas gracias, for all of your support. Enjoy the show.

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Extras! Extras! Read all about it!

We are finally in production and we are looking for extras! Please spread the word and join us if you are available!  Be a part of history and join our cast and crew!

Feel free to share with interested friends.

Please contact sosap14@gmail.com directly with the DATE & TIME you are available.

Thurs 8/30

Upscale Cafe Need 3 extras 8am at El Cio Mid 50 Starr Street

Piragua Stand Need 10 diverse extras 1pm at 24 St Nicholas Avenue

Friday 8/31

 Albert’s bar Need 10 white, asian, hipster extras 10am at 24 St Nicholas Avenue

Reggaeton concert Need as many 8pm at 40 Marcy Avenue

Thank you again for the support and for being a part of this process!

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A Lesson from NALIP: "I Hope You All Fail"

I’m writing this blog post at 4:45am. I have never woken up at this time voluntarily. I’ve also never raised 50K.- Julia Grob

I’m dying to share with you my recent experiences at the 2012 National Association of Latino Independent Producer’s (NALIP) Conference in LA, where I was invited to speak on a panel entitled “How to Create, Produce, and Star in your own Webisodes” as part of NALIP’s Actor’s Summit. First of all, I love speaking to actors about the journey of creating “East WillyB” because it’s so empowering. It shows actors that, despite the odds against your success, you can take matters into your own hands a create an incredibly empowering career for yourself.

I shared the stage with two of my favorite colleagues Mark Gantt (“The Bannen Way” on Sony Crackle), who frequently references being told “You’re not George Clooney,” and Ruth Livier (“Ylse”), who created an awesome series featuring herself as a Latina “Bridget Jones.” We’re all kind of obsessed with each other and are secretly working on a series (think “Big Love” meets “Rob!” HA!). What I love about speaking with these two fabulous actors is, while our experiences creating our shows have all been different, we each share a passion for taking the reins of our careers and molding them to fit our visions. We have created our own entry into an industry that constantly forces actors to be responsive, not proactive. We’ve changed the conversation and entered the room as creators, executives, producers, writers, AND actors, and our careers are stronger for it.

Needless to say, the panel was a huge success! (Read about it in more detail here) Actors came up to me all weekend telling me how inspiring and empowering it was to hear us speak. With the panel complete, I was most excited to hear one of my heroes and thought leaders, Robert Rodriguez, speak the following day at lunch. Here is a man who defied the rules of the entertainment industry, took matters into his own hands, and flipped the script. I was determined to meet him.

“I hope you all fail,” were the opening words Robert spoke, “because from the ashes of your failure, come your success.” (Did I mention this dude shot his first feature for $7000 he made selling his body for medical trials? Yes, he’s that badass.) These words could not have come at a better time.

While “East WillyB” can hardly be viewed as a failure, I’ve sat through meetings upon meetings with industry execs telling me “East WillyB” is not enough. “You need more views, more Mexicans, more friendly White people, more stars!” Robert Rodriguez’s success tells an opposite story. Just do it, keep doing it, and the industry will follow.

I did not get to meet Robert. I met his sweet assistant, who conveniently forgot her cards. But, with the recent major announcement that he is launching his own Comcast channel “El Rey,” and “East WillyB” going into production this summer on a bigger & better season, it’s only a matter of time before “East WillyB’s” failure turns into a smashing success. Robert: our line is open.

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