Week four on Kickstarter introduces us to the creator and subsequently formed creative team behind an in-the-works series, THE MADAM. Let’s hear more from the ladies!
What and/or who was the inspiration for THE MADAM?
RACHEL AXELROD (show creator, writer, and star): As an actor, I often improvise scenes in my living room. Just something I have done all my life. Four or five years ago, I came up with C.C. and her world and have been playing around with it ever since, of course in hopes of it becoming a television show. Fast forward to a year ago, and I am in a sitcom class led by the director of The Madam, Jodi Collins. I looked around and there was my cast.
NANA MENSAH (producer and co-star): Yes, it was immediate. All of us clicked and it was awesome.
ANYA MIGDAL (producer): Epic.
When did you decide to make this a reality – what was the defining moment?
RA: Our last day of class, one of the girls said we should move forward with some sort of project together and I had just the project.
NM: The defining moment for me came in about April 2010 when Anya approached me with the idea of starting a production company, and suddenly the lid flew off the entertainment industry for me.
AM: Not to say there aren’t limitations.
NM: Oh, for sure, but as actors, we felt very limited. Crying into my Jameson at night because I was getting soul-sucking auditions to play a preteen gangbanger’s knocked-up girlfriend– it’s like, I did pretty well in college… how is this my life? So, by the time Anya and I got together, I was itching to create and pursue material that I found funny, smart and relatable.
Has this project impacted you personally? In what way? How has it impacted you creatively?
AM: It’s no secret that there’s a dearth of solid roles for female actors in this industry. Nana and I founded Adelos Media to be a part of changing this trend– that’s not to say that we only produce projects about women: we are currently developing an adventure docu-series about travel and photography as well as an a biographical feature film about the liberation of Ghana that Nana and [her writing partner] Ayanna Maia wrote… so are interests are varied and non-exclusive. In the creation of this project particularly, we had to embrace the bawdiness, intelligence and sexuality of the fairer sex in a way that would perhaps be uncouth in every day life.
RA: This project has certainly impacted me personally. The Madam is my baby. This went from my living room to a set with an amazing crew and a bunch of great actresses who have become my dear friends. Also, most actors struggle, you know, until they’re Brad Pitt, so here I am struggling like the rest, so, obviously my heart and soul is in this project. I have also never done anything like this before, so it’s been a journey and a great one at that.
How many total people are involved with THE MADAM and what are their roles? i.e. Tell me about The Cat Pack!
NM: Ah, the Cat Pack.
RA: The Cat Pack consists of all the ladies in the cast. It’s our little endearing way of referring to one another. Hopefully, it’s somewhat apparent why we refer to each other as cats. Heh!
How has the project changed or grown along the way?
RA: It was very important to me to have everyone’s voice heard. These girls helped deepen and develop their character as well as adding points to the script that were hilarious. While where we started with The Madam was great and solid, the cast has made it even better.
What are your long-term goals for THE MADAM?
AM: The long-term goal is to have the show picked up on a cable network for example a Showtime or HBO. To better illustrate our concept we decided to shoot a few teasers and that is what brought us to Kickstarter.
RA: How many syllables are in the word “Emmy”?
What has been the most challenging element of this endeavor?
NM: Word. Scheduling is a nightmare. Also, as a creative person, especially in New York which is a town of many industries, we face a hard battle against apathy. Everyone needs money for something and when eople hear “fund-raising” and they get nervous. When we say “every little bit counts”–it’s true. We’ve had people give $3.
NM: $11.72! And we hit our goal with 8 days to spare…
RA: Keeping the laughter down. Oh. Was I supposed to say something more serious?
How did you get involved with Kickstarter?
AM: Word spreads fast about new ways to fund creativity. We heard about it through friends and other artists and have found it to be an efficient and great resource for raising funds.
Is Kickstarter something you’d recommend for other creative ladies? Any advice to them?
AM: Definitely. I think the best advice is to make your pitch fun and innovative and be willing to pimp yourself out to all your friends and family for money. I’m not joking.
NM: She has scars.
Where can people get more information on your project?
AM: We’re currently building a website around the footage that we shot this weekend after raising the funds via Kickstarter. We hope to have it up in a few weeks on www.ccthemadam.com, but in the meantime, you can check us out on Kickstarter, just search for Adelos Media.
Would you like to add anything else?
RA: Yes. Please watch.
Photo courtesy of Amy Postle.
You can view The Madam’s Kickstarter page here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1489509666/adelos-media-presents-the-madam-by-rachel-axelrod?ref=search
Do you have a Kickstarter campaign you’d like featured? We’d love to feature you. contactgloc[at]gmail.com