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Meet the Cast: D-stroy aka Ceasar

We are going to bring you stories and interviews from the cast and crew so you can get to know who we are as the season progresses. This week, we bring to you the one and only D-Stroy. D-stroy plays Ceasar on East Willyb this season.

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25 Days in, 25 Days Left= No Sleep

It’s no easy feat to run a Kickstarter campaign and it takes a great deal of courage, conviction, planning and love.

When the team sat down to discuss the type of campaign we would run, we knew we wanted to convey our story with passion and authenticity and show the challenges as well as our victories. I like to think that this is exactly what we have done so far.

We’ve spent a few anxious nights, waking up and checking our emails to see how many people have donated for the day. Some nights we can go back to sleep, other nights we continue to toss and turn with the thought of how far we have yet to go. But each morning we rise with a sense of purpose knowing that we can reach our goal.  We promote and respond to our fans and friends via our Facebook and Twitter accounts so that every backer knows how much we appreciate them and their support.  We can’t do this without the support from our networks and that is exactly why we decided to create our own Kickstarter campaign for $50,000.

We truly believe that our fans, family and friends can help fund this project because you believe in our vision to create a new powerful voice for the modern day young American Latino. We’ve seen our childhood neighborhoods gentrified and turned into boutiques and brasseries that cater to a different crowd.  No longer are our neighborhoods called the North Side or Sunnyside; instead our they  have names like LoHi, Highlands, SoCo, or BillyBurg.

There’s nothing wrong with change, but we are setting out to document the changes and the challenges that occur in these communities when our cultures clash. This is why we are hell bent on creating our first season of East WillyB.  It’s been a challenging 25 days and we have another 25 days to go. We’ve stayed up late at night with our writers, our producers have been busy creating new video updates, and our editing team has been busy finishing our episode in Spain. We’re working hard on our end to ensure that you stay updated on our campaign and feel involved in the entire process. This is as much your campaign as it is ours and we want you to feel a sense of ownership.

As we look to the next 25 days, we feel anxious, we feel nervous, slightly scared but excited. We took a giant leap knowing that our community will be there to help us reach our goal. If starting a Kickstarter campaign was easy then we’d all be doing it, but it’s scary and nerve wracking. Still, it’s worth it. It’s worth all the anxiety and the sleepless nights because we trust you.

Help make the next 25 days incredible by sharing our campaign with everyone you know. Email, tweet and post our video to all of your contacts and say:

“Support my favorite Latino webseries by helping them produce a full season via Kickstarter!”

Tell everyone you know about our journey, show them our videos, and share the love. We are challenging the roles for Latinos on mainstream media by taking on the industry and creating our own programming.  We only have 25 days left to make a difference and we want you to be a part of our journey and a part of our success story. 25 days, here we come!

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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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