Leesa Dean Gives Us “This Week’s Pep Talk”


Adventures in Digital Series Land #104
by Leesa Dean

So yes, things have been intense.  Struggling with this script (but inching forward).  Animating the new series. Working on two new shows with my producing partner. Thinking about the script for the short.  And, being gripped with anxiety (sometimes).

Why? While I love love love the creative process, when you’re smack dab in the middle of things, it’s very hard to see the big picture.  You know, the “where is this leading to” big picture?

Well, the big picture involves a long journey. That happens with baby steps.  Which is hard when you’re broke, trying to get heard (pick me! pick me! pick me!!) and attempting to evolve into creative dopeness. Cause the odds are usually not in your favor.  And yes, usually is also a codeword for “sometimes never.” Sigh.

For me, particularly because I already have a track record, from time to time I just get…frustrated. To paraphrase Mark Duplass, why hasn’t the cavalry come to get me?  Spoiler alert: They’re not coming.

But this interview with Courney Kemp Agboh came in RIGHT on time.  If you don’t know who she is, she’s the showrunner for Power, the hip-hop drama on Starz.  Dante Nero, one of the stars of my digital series Chilltown (and, hilarious stand-up), has been featured in it a few times.  It’s a tight show. Oh, did I mention it was just renewed for a third season!  Impressive.

Her interview was just the shot in the arm I needed this week.  Among the gems: “Greg Berlanti wrote ten pilots before he broke through.”  And this: “It’s like people only see the success part; they don’t see how much work goes into it.” Hello?  Welcome to my life!! Plus: “My job isn’t to make great women; my job is to make a great fucking show so that the next time a woman wants to run her own show, somebody says, ‘Yeah, she can probably do it because that other bitch did it.’”  Preach!!

If you, like me, have been out here churning out stuff and trying to write the best possible shows you can and feel like you’re just tredding water sometimes, it is DEFINITELY worth the read.

Before I go, I wanted to write about this really cool film series I attended this week.

It’s called the Iron Mule, run by comedian Victor Varnado and producer Jay Stern and its focus is comedic shorts. Since I’m working on a short, I thought it would be a good idea to see what’s out there. I went with my friend Janet who just completed a short and is in the process of submitting it to film festivals.

I thought it was cool mix.  I truly loved a few of them and wasn’t crazy about a couple, but, in general, I thought it was really well curated and a fun evening!  I’m hoping to go again soon. And, when my short is completed, submit.

Originally published on Leesa’s ChilltownTV blog

Author: ChilltownTV

I'm primarily a writer. Sold a few series to tv networks and production companies but never had anything get on the air. So I taught myself how to animate and completed 3 digital series, launching two. The first, Chilltown has been named one of "Five Web Series That Should Be on Your Radar" by ABCNews/Univision and a "Show to Watch" by Tubefilter. The second, Lele's Ratchet Advice Show, garnered a fanatic cult following. As a result, I now do Lele's 60 Second Wrap Up, a weekly comedic entertainment report (which I write & perform) that airs on urban radio stations Rhythm 105.9fm and the Just Wake Up Morning Show on WWRNfm.

One thought on “Leesa Dean Gives Us “This Week’s Pep Talk””

Comments are closed.