Adventures in Digital Series Land #112
by Leesa Dean
Victor Cruz–no not the athlete–is a great actor/comedian I was lucky enough to meet about seven years ago. Gil T, another great comedian who originally was part of the legendary comedy duo, The Most Brothers (HBO, Fox, opened internationally for some of the biggest names in the business) had worked on some shorts with him and when I was thinking about doing Chilltown, Gil recommended him. Highly.
I’d known Gil from a project we worked on together that Comedy Central *almost* bought. I was the writer/producer and it was so much fun and Gil was so incredible in it I knew we’d work together again. Plus, his word meant a lot to me. I already had cast him in Chilltown.
I hired Victor, essentially, without an audition and never looked back. He crushed it when we recorded voiceovers. Subsequently, I’ve hired Victor for nearly every project I’ve done. He’s THAT good. And so professional. And and all-around nice guy. Ok, I’ll stop gushing.
A few years ago, Victor was at my house recording voiceovers for a new project and when we were done, he mentioned he was thinking about doing a movie. At the time, he was working on The Other Woman and Nick Cassavetes, the director had given him some pointers. We spent a long time talking about it (mostly cause I’m a HUGE John Cassevetes fan and love Nick’s work too).
So imagine how thrilled I was to hear Victor’s film, The Stockroom, not only came to fruition but was featured in the prestigious Urbanworld Film Festival. Victor not only stars in it, but wrote and directed it.
The screening was off the chain. It was packed. Gil who had a role in it, flew in from Florida (where he now lives). The movie’s a fictionalized retelling of some of Victor’s experiences working as a stockroom manager at the Gap back in the day. It was a no budget movie and Victor did the most with what he had. They had an indiegogo campaign, raised about $7,000 and ended up making it work. Which is really impressive.
What was most compelling to me (aside from the film) was the Q&A after where all the actors told the audience to pursue their dreams, no matter how tough, no matter what they were. It truly was inspiring.
I think it’s safe to say, everyone floated out of the theater. I know I did.
It’s going to be screening at some more places. Catch it if you can…
Leesa Dean is the creator of CHILLTOWN TV, a digital series to reckon with. Learn more about Leesa and the series HERE