I mean, who can?! Especially if the cast is young, hot and super-talented... and, did I mention hot?! LOL... Well, ladies and gentlemen, if you haven't heard the buzz -just yet- please allow me to introduce you to Crystal Boyd, Emebeit Beyene, Chandra Russell and Chivonne Michelle, better known as, The Downtown Girls. Their show (which made its debut last month), pulls some of its inspiration (not material), from the likes of Kristen Wiig and Tina Fey, combining both drama and comedy, to present a fresh take on adulthood and friendship, via a series of 3-5 minute vignettes styled in a 'day in the life of' type of format.
(The Downtown Girls. Emebeit Beyene, Chivonne Michelle, Crystal Boyd and Chandra Russell.
These beautiful women (whom are all NYU alums), were kind enough to grant STYLE 101 an exclusive, first-look into their world of creative genius, and, below, is what we could dig up... ^__^
1) Hi, Ladies! How are you?
We’re good! Thank You, for asking.
2) Can you describe for us, what is it –exactly– that you do, for a living?
Well, we’re all actors and producers, and right now, working on this project is pretty much our entire lives! As far as the production aspect -goes- the process includes overseeing everything, from the casting to securing the locations, to making sure there’s food on the set; we’re currently in the post-production phase, so, we’re primarily approving final edits, releasing episodes and promoting the show.
3) Okay, so, who’s who in the group… Like, is there a ‘mother figure,’ or the ‘baby’ of the bunch, etc. (LOL)?
Hahaha… there definitely isn’t a mother figure in the group (we’re too young for all that). We started as friends, so, the roles that we played in our friendship kind of just translated over; Chivonne is the organizer, Emebeit is the social butterfly, Chandra is the artsy one and Crystal is that big-picture person. As far as the process of making the show -goes- we all had our own individual roles; Emebeit was the head of casting (as well [as] the liaison for the cast and crew), Chandra was in charge of securing props and costumes, Crystal oversaw the editing in post-production and Chivonne was on-top of all of our SAG [Screen Actors Guild] paperwork and contracts (she made sure we were straight, on the legal end)! Also, Kevin Walker [our director], took on production scheduling and location scouting, in addition to directing.
4) In regards to the show that you’re all starring in, was this a grassroots concept, or is it a big, studio production? And, where did the idea come from?
It’s definitely a grassroots concept; we pretty much do everything, with us four girls, a director and a writer. We ran a successful Kickstarter and pooled our personal resources, to fund the project; the idea was born out of frustration (mostly). We all went [to] NYU [New YorkUniversity] to become actors, and [the thought was that] when you graduate, you assume that somebody is going to see you, know [within] their heart that you’re a superstar, and -BAM- there’s your career! Well, we quickly realized that it doesn’t work like that, so we decided to figure out a way to have some control over our careers (while having fun with our friends), and thus, Downtown Girls was born. The actual concept -for the show- is loosely based on our experiences at NYU, basically, it’s a collection of the really ridiculous -and hilarious- things that happened to us while we were trying to find ourselves and figure out a way to survive in the City. And, of course, the stories are seriously embellished (we’re not THAT crazy)!
5) Individually, when did you all decide that you wanted to be successful in your career, and not just be creative as a hobby or for fun?
Acting has been considered a career, for a long time now, but, when we started producing this series, we realized how important it is to have creative control and to be a force in the actual business of entertainment. Only 18% of the executive producers in film [and in] television are women, [and] that’s not ok. We want to show women that [their] power doesn’t begin and end in front of the camera; we can run things (in all aspects of this industry), and, we should.
6) Why do you feel that it is necessary for people to see or take notice of your work?
We represent the true essence of NYC (which is, the hustle), so, ‘if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere,’ [as] the saying goes, right?! It is important for people (especially young people), to watch our show because it sheds light on the true hustles [that] everyday New Yorkers go through (to get by). While the show is intended to be for amusement, it is also the truth (our truth); people really do dance on the trains (for extra money in their pockets), people really do plot elaborate schemes (to get their dream apartment and get into the hottest club), etc. [New York] City is filled with hustlers, and our show is one of the only ones out there, celebrating that.
* Video (The Downtown Girls, Official Trailer, 2012)
*** To view episodes of The Downtown Girls, please visit their YouTube Channel ---> www.YouTube.com/theDTGofficial.
*** For more information about The Downtown Girls, please visit their website, at: www.TheDowntownGirls.com.
*** Facebook.com/TheDowntownGirls, Twitter.com/theDTGofficial, Instagram.com/theDTGofficial.