Recording artist/actor Lovari interviews Sean Anthony, the creator of “No Shade,” the Web series that has generated thousands of viewers in just a few months and has gained a huge following, particularly in the urban youth and young adult LGBT community. The cast and creator will be headlining and co-hosting several activities for Dallas Pride on October 4, and films the series entirely on location in NYC. You can catch the entire first season of “No Shade” right now at youtube.com/bluntedmuse
“No Shade” made an amazing impression on me (and thousands of others) in just a very short period of time. I was hooked and ended up watching all nine episodes in the course of two days – and I don’t even watch TV/Web series in general! Are the characters based on people you know personally?
Thank you for that Lovari! The characters are based on aspects of myself growing up in the LGBT community in NYC. Personality wise, I have been each of those characters at one point in my life, but Tamara, Terry, David and Donnie really brought them to life in ways I couldn’t ever imagine; they are so magical. A lot of the situations in the show are true stories based on my peers and my experiences, but I made sure I to make it more dramatic and comedic.
I am very impressed with your visual elements in character development. You use them just as much as the dialogue itself. Did you study film at school? What directors influenced you, both past and present?
I always had a passion for film and TV. I knew since I was eight years old I wanted be in the the entertainment industry, whether it was acting or behind the camera. I attended Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn and majored in film/TV production. For some odd reason I ended up with a corporate job for about seven years until I got Interview laid off in 2010. I then decided to go back to what I love and pursue my dreams of starting my own production company, BluntedMuse Productions. The directors that influence me the most are Victor Nelli Jr., who directed a lot of the “Ugly Betty” episodes, and Guy Richie. I absolutely love their work.
You have managed to achieve a great balance of comedy, drama and social messages in each episode, which is very important for the younger 18-24 demographic audience watching. Was the social messages always an intention or did they naturally evolve as the series progressed?
Having social messages within “No Shade” was definitely an intention. I live to film things in a esoteric nature. A lot of times I want the viewers to pay close attention – if not, they miss the message. Some are really obvious, and some are not. This series is somewhat of a reflection of certain aspects in the LGBT community, but I chose to display my vision through a comedic filter.
What are some of your other present and upcoming projects, and what is in store for the next season of “No Shade”?
I directed hip hop artists Bry’Nt and Cake Da Killa’s first music video and plan on directing a whole lot more music videos in 2014. I also plan on doing a spin-off Web series for one of the supporting characters from “No Shade.” There are two other shows that I plan on producing on my YouTube channel, BluntedMuse, but for now it’s a surprise. There is a lot of greatness to come in 2014. Stay tuned, literally.
Cast Members Q&A
David Brandyn, can you identify with Noel’s social awkwardness? Do you have artistic skills like your character Noel and his paintings?
Yes, I can identify with him. I happen to be pretty socially awkward, and surprisingly more of an introvert than people expect me to be. I’ve always been a little weird around others and have learned to just own it. As far as artistic skills – I write, sing and play a few instruments. I also have a strong passion for music.
Donnie Duright, your character Kori is the ultimate bestie/kiki friend. Are you the life of the party in person as well? Tell me about your new song release!
Kori is the fun part of my personality! He is most certainly an extension of my personality with my friends. I’m the one they call with good news or some juicy tea! I’m so excited about my second single “Good At It,” produced by Lucky of ProFreshional Ent. I’m so happy to be able to live out a second part of my dream. All my music is available on all major digital sites.
Terry Toro, your outfits are everything! Do you work directly with the fashion stylist (please provide me with his name) of the show? Tell me about your photography.
Thank you, I do work directly with my friend, the stylist Niton. You can find him on Instagram @darkknightny. He has certainly helped Eric come into existence with the fashion, and I love it. I think photography in my life has become more of a hobby; my focus now is to become a well-rounded actor. I want to be better than the episode before.
Tamara M. Williams, to say you are beautiful is an understatement. With the progression of yourself and other transgender actors/ actresses, such as Laverne Cox and Candis Cayne, how do you feel being a role model? Did you know going into this show that you would have such a positive impact?
Thank you! I feel it is extremely important to be a role model. It is imperative to have healthy realistic depictions of transgender women in mainstream media. Getting into the process of “No Shade,” I couldn’t even imagine it would have been so greatly received. I just knew there was a story there, that needed to be experienced. I’m glad the girls love it!