STAMFORD – A team of young professionals from Stamford and Norwalk and produced and released the web series “Love & Comics” earlier this month. They will be at the New York Comic Con this week to drum up support for their project.
Writer and lead actor Micheal Andrew talked to The Young Demographic about how he decided to create his own web series after being told he was uncastable because of his skin color.
TYD: How did you come up with the premise for “Love & Comics”?
MA: The story is loosely based on me. Before, I was an aspiring comic book writer, but I was stalling. Then I met an acting coach in New York and that put me in that direction. But I couldn’t find much work. So I asked my production partner, my cousin, if I wrote something, if he would direct it. The web series is loosely based on what we’re going through, what everyone is going through: trying to make something you love your job. It’s crazy that in this world, thatcan be considered a crazy thing to try to do.
TYD: What is your day job?
MA: Right now I’m a baker in supermarket in Ansonia. It’s just paying the bills at the moment.
TYD: Web series have kind of democratized television entertainment in a way. Now anyone can produce a show and put it out there. Can you talk about that?
MA: I feel like there’s this resurgence of creative film making in the web series world. That’s kind of the empowering thing. It’s all on you. We really did this on a shoestring budget (less than $2,000). It was tough and a lot of our cast did this for free, out of their beloved passion to do it. A lot of people do a web series as a TV pitch, but more and more people are not doing it to get a spot on television. This is the space. You can just do it. I literally did this because I had no other choice.
I asked one of my managers to get me casting calls and he told me he didn’t know what to do with me. He told me I’m too black to play white and too white to play black. (Andrew is multiracial. He is Haitian American.) It didn’t irritate me because I understand. I don’t mean that in a good way, but it is how the industry is. That’s not what offended me. When I told him I would just write my own show, he chuckled. He scoffed.
TYD: Who are the other actors in the project?
MA: We found all of our actors through auditions. The main cast is about five people. They’ve been so patient. It’s been two years since I first wrote the script and we got our first episode online. But they stuck with it because they’re loyal and hung with me.
TYD: What are your future plans for L&C?
MA: I’d like to at least finish two successful seasons and make enough money – I do believe money in web series – where everyone in the show can be paid. That’s pretty much it. I don’t have any worldwide plans for it. Season one halfway done.
TYD: If the project becomes successful, will you pick up and go to New York?
MA: We pretty much want to stay in Connecticut. We like Connecticut. I love New York, but New York is done all the time. Why not use what you know? The majority of the show is filmed in Norwalk, Stamford and Bridgeport. There are a lot of beautiful parts of Stamford that don’t get shown. There’s a nice scene in the fourth episode of a spot in downtown Stamford, this beautiful waterfall area right next to the fire station. The opening scene of the series is shot in Timeless Journey, a comic shop in Stamford. I’m a frequent goer there.