Ollie and Molly Can’t Get Arrested
Ollie and Molly represent the underdog in all of us. Trying to get acting work in NYC is anything but SMASH, as they experience humiliating auditions, ennui-inducing day jobs and text-message boyfriends. This is a web series that laughs (and drinks) through the tears as they pursue their dreams.
About The Project
“Ollie and Molly Can’t Get Arrested” is a comedic web series about two out-of-work actors struggling to keep their dreams alive as they endure the not-so-glamorous realities of hitting the streets in NYC. Ollie slaves away at a string of menial day jobs while juggling humiliating auditions. Molly sits at a desk all day, hungover and wondering what the hell happened. And why are her childhood toy ponies talking to her? These two best friends commiserate at a local bar, night after night, to find some happiness in a bottle as they slowly get entangled in the technology of “modern love”, entailing awkward dates, cat fishing, and married men, until reality spirals out of control. At the heart of our comedy is the urge to kick-start “hope” in the pursuit of fading dreams, and the friendship that is earned along the way.
Marshall and I became friends at the Professional Actor Training Program at UNC-Chapel Hill/PlayMakers Repertory Company, where we starred in Jordan Harrison’s Kid Simple. In this play, our characters were named Moll and Ollie, which soon became our terms of endearment for each other offstage (and also a reminder to ourselves that we are actors). After graduating, we moved to NYC, became roommates on the Lower East Side, and began hitting the streets to audition. We discovered just how hard it is to “make it” as an actor on any level, but our friendship persevered and we began to develop stories about our (sometimes absurd) experiences in the acting world, dating, and the untasty challenges of trying to make a life here in the Big Apple.
Using humor was a way to help cope with the pain of disappointment as well as keep our spirits alive (even if spirits were oftentimes involved). Last year, I took our ideas to Adam Szymkowicz’s class at ESPA (Primary Stages) in NYC and wrote 8 short episodes detailing the lives of our fictitious selves, Ollie and Molly, who are like two Beckettian clowns stuck in a world turned grey. We hope that by sharing their adventures, we will find resonance in those who have had similar struggles, who dare to live a life less ordinary, or who just wish to follow their own hearts. Our web series is anything but SMASH (although we would love to audition for Theresa Rebeck!). It is a “chin up” for anyone who has ever struggled to maintain hope in pursuit of their dreams.
Partnering with 15-501, a new production company composed of other UNC graduate students, we are using our resources to breathe life into “Ollie and Molly”. With their support, we now have director Matt Clevy to helm our project. Matt co-founded MPire Comedy, whose work has recently been featured on “Funny or Die”, so we’re in great hands to bring you the funny!
As in all things, there will be bumps along the way, martinis to be had, and great discoveries to be made in acting, writing, comedy, and producing. We believe that learning from ourselves is the greatest education in finding what works and what doesn’t, and that there is no learning without slipping on a few banana peels. With the help of 15-501, we are producing our own work to establish our voices, and we can’t wait to share our stories with an audience of like-minded peers and friends. Above all else, we want to delight our viewers with our unique spin on being actors in NYC.
$6,000 is the bare minimum we need to film our eight 7-minute webisodes this October, and we can’t do it without your support. We have 45 days to reach this goal, so please check out our fun incentives for contributing to our project. This funding will cover the cost of cameras, equipment, insurance, location rentals and meals for the crew.
If we reach our goal ahead of time, we will proceed into our stretch goal of $3,000, which will make our project that much better. The stretch goal will cover funding for use of a legitimate theater space (which is key to one episode), editing, PR and festival submission costs. We will keep you updated on our progress!
About This Team
Marla Yost (Molly, co-writer)
Marla has been seen on stage in The Love Talker (NY Fringe), Flat Tire Moon (Wings Theater, with Ken Jennings), We Declare You A Terrorist (Here Arts Café), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (REV), Othello (The Kraine Theatre), two national educational tours with Dandelion Productions, as well as readings at New York Theatre Workshop, Abingdon Theatre Company, Jimmy’s No. 43 and The Brick. At PlayMakers in Chapel Hill, NC, she performed in The Front Page, Richard II, Cyrano de Bergerac and graduate productions of Twelfth Night, Kid Simple, The Real Thing, Red Noses and Holy Ghosts. She wrote her first full-length play last year, Dash Until Dawn. MFA: PlayMakers Repertory Company/UNC-Chapel Hill, BA: Vassar College. www.marlayostnyc.com
Marshall Spann (Ollie, co-writer)
Marshall has appeared in Hard Sparks Innovative Award winning play R&J&Z (New Ohio NYC), The World’s Fair Plays (Queens Theatre d. Brant Russell, NY Times Critic’s Pick), The Church of Why Not and The Jackson Heights Trilogy (d. Ari Laura Kreith, Theatre 167). At PlayMakers Rep in Chapel Hill, NC, he performed in Crimes of the Heart (d. John Feltch), Romeo and Juliet (d. Davis McCallum), The Front Page (d. Gene Saks), Cyrano De Bergerac (d. Joseph Haj), One Slight Hitch, as part of the North Carolina Comedy Festival with Lewis Black and graduate productions of Loose Ends, Kid Simple, Twelfth Night and Red Noses. He has also appeared at Trustus Theatre in Columbia, SC, in Jeffery, A Streetcar Named Desire and The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told. Co-creating Ollie and Molly Can’t Get Arrested is his first venture into the world of writing and he is loving every minute of it. MFA: PlayMakers Repertory Company/UNC Chapel Hill, BA: University of South Carolina.
The Production Company
We are excited to be collaborating with 15-501 Productions, a multi-media company originating from UNC-Chapel Hill and fellow PlayMakers alums.
Derrick Ledbetter, Assistant Director, Co-Founder 15-501
As a Born Southerner, Derrick’s passions brought him to NYC. Derrick founded 15-501 Productions with the idea to create his own work and showcase the work of other professionals. In the past, he has worked as an actor in Atlanta, Cincinnati, North Carolina, and Off-Broadway in New York. Derrick holds and MFA in Acting from The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
KG Garcia, Social Media, Co-Founder 15-501 Productions
Matt is co-founder of MPire Comedy, a production company whose work has recently been featured on “Funny or Die”. Frequently seen working at the venerated Upright Citizens Brigade, Matt earned his MFA in acting from Brown University/Trinity Repertory Company.