At the age of 44, I've apparently passed into gay death as well as suffered normal mid-life crisis time. Neither one is promising at all. What is there to look forward to? Which one of my nieces or nephews is going to help make sure my old gay shell of am man is taken care of when I get older? Did I plan right so I don't need someone else's assistance. Yep, they always said plan for later. Well, later is coming up pretty soon.
Someone must have heard my thoughts and concerns for a new web series is looking to address these issues? Will they give me some pointers? Make me realize I am not alone? Do it all with a chuckle and maybe a cry? I think all of the above.
Based on actual events, THE DISAPPOINTMENTS is a darkly comedic web series that looks at pivotal issues men face as they navigate their 50’s: What do you do when you realize that time is running short, the road behind you is longer than the road ahead, and your job, your relationship, or lack thereof, and your life has not turned out the way you had hoped and planned when you were young?
Rocked by the suicide of one of their own, a successful television producer, these men are forced to face the failures and disappointments found in their own lives; the fallout from faltering careers, empty bank accounts, the scrambling to figure out how to reinvent themselves, and setting themselves up to survive in the decades yet to come.
What makes this series important and why it needs to be made is that is shines a light on a vital segment of the LGBTQ community -- a rapidly increasing population of LGBTQ aging boomers-- that currently isn’t reflected in mainstream media or even in gay culture.
The project launches this week with an Indiogogo campaign to raise funds for the production of entire first season. As of publication time, fundraising was of to a good healthy start.
Screenwriter Rich Burns, whose credits include Disney animated movies, a Netflix TV series, and a soon-to-be produced gay-themed WWII feature based on his Outfest Award-winning screenplay “The Dunes of Overveen, is the series creator. He states:
The idea came from a dark place, actually. A few of us were at dinner, talking about a good friend -- a gay Hollywood producer -- who, depressed and struggling with money and career problems, had taken his own life. And he wasn’t the first. We knew others who had done the same thing, all within the last couple of years. These were gay men in their 40’s and 50’s, all of them hitting that age and suddenly feeling hopeless.
The story is told through the author’s unique and darkly comedic voice. “The series is painfully funny. These characters identify where they’ve fallen short and then take desperate action to turn their disappointing lives around. Most of their choices are ill-advised and the results are often straight-up disastrous.”
The characters on this journey include;
- a hot, silver fox-type screenwriter, who, aging and struggling in his career, hopes to keep himself afloat until that next script sells by moving in with a rich, gorgeous and much younger boyfriend,
- a former sitcom star from the early 80’s who lately has been performing in truncated Broadway shows on cruise ships,
- an unemployed actor with an estranged daughter who finds himself to be an unemployed department store fragrance salesman after an ugly meltdown in the makeup aisle,
and a host of other colorful characters both gay and straight.
The cast of actors include:
- James Campbell, (Broadway’s Forever Plaid)
- Michael Corbett (Two time Emmy winner, one of the hosts of the TV show Extra, Broadway veteran and former Young and the Restless star)
- Tom Berklund (Broadway’s A Chorus Line, The Addams Family, The Normal Heart).
Campbell says all the actors were all drawn to this project for different reasons.
"For me it’s an opportunity to bring to light, some of the struggles, hopes, dreams and fears which we all shared, but had not necessarily shared so openly.” Corbett agrees and adds: “I know so many friends and colleagues in the community that just aren’t ready or prepared for this next life chapter, and the scripts really take you on their journey as you cry and laugh at the same time.”
The series in currently in the fundraising stages and looking for even more support from the LQTBQ community to hit their goals and begin production. The Indiegogo campaign launched this week to a very successful start.
Why did the team decide to go the crowd fund raising route? According to Burns:
The landscape of television and movies is constantly shifting, with streaming services leading the charge. Content is king and more and more people are bypassing the traditional routes, taking matters into their own hands. And the results can be astonishingly good. Our team has been inspired by filmmakers who have broken with the traditional paths to financing in order to protect their creative integrity. Coming directly to the audience to crowdfund our budget allows us to do the same.
To learn more about the show and watch a teaser video that gives a hint of what’s to come, click this link -- and donate! livepage.apple.com . We'll also include the video below.
(Photos and information courtesy of 'The Disappointments')