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Low Strung is a new Web comedy series based in Chicago about an audacious pair of friends, Victoria Lee and Shervin Bain, as they navigate their way through adulthood in the Big City, with hilarious results. The show was recently nominated in four categories at the 2017 Brooklyn Web Fest, with Lee winnning in the category Best Actress. A classically trained cellist who performs with the Chicago Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra and recorded with several other Chicago artists like Chance the Rapper, Lee and her co-star Bain (actor, Second City student, world traveller, and staple of Chicago's vibrant LGBTQ community) also write the scripts for the show.
Low Strung | Official Trailer from Low Strung Series on Vimeo.
CHIRP Radio volunteer Clarence Ewing was able to ask Lee, Bain, and music supervisor and Chicago musician Lili K. a few questions about themselves and the series:
First, the basics. Where did you get the idea for this series?
We had a stroke of genius on a cold January night when we thought it'd be a good idea to do acid. Well, we had the idea a few weeks after doing the acid, but it was a defining moment for the development of the series. Together, we made the decision that we're funny and decided to put our ideas on paper.
How did you two meet? And how, with your other projects, do you possibly have time to produce a Web comedy series?
We met at our corporate 9-5, which we're legally not allowed to mention. We're the only two black people in the office, so we clicked early on and the rest is history.
Time... clearly time is an illusion. Again, we work a 9-5 and on top of that 9-5 we have a crew that works hours that are sometime unconventional. Somehow we've managed to work in weekends, weeknights and holidays for writing, shooting, editing and all the other pieces that go into producing this award winning serious. Did we mention that Victoria won for best actress at this year's Brooklyn Web Fest? If not, Victoria won best actress at the Brooklyn Web Fest.
How would you describe the experience of putting the show together?
A real challenge, but a good one. We learned how to successfully film a one-shot sequence, we learned how to work with animals, and most importantly we learned how to create fake poop.
What’s been the most exciting part of producing this series? What’s been the most challenging?
The most exciting part has been sharing our art with the world (or at least Chicago according to our viewership statistics). Hearing people laugh at our jokes is reassuring af. The most challenging has been creating an entire series with a budget that basically doesn't even exist.
Is there a particular TV show or channel or genre that inspired you to create Low Strung?
We're mainly inspired by real life events, but shows like Broad City, Insecure, Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Man Seeking Woman have a special place in our hearts, channels like Adult Swim and FX have us tuned in continuously, and comedy, sci-fi and even horror have played a part in the show so far.
Tell us something about Victoria and Shervin that we don’t know from the series so far.
Vic: I'm a classically trained cellist and also I make bomb chicken wings.
Shervin: I want to officially come out the closet. WHAT? WHO KNOWS? But seriously, that's a tough question. I've become open about so much of my life. Although, I don't think people know that I have an obsession with those strawberry candy's from your grandma's house.
Is there any kind of social or generational message viewers should be taking away from your characters' stories?
One of the things we wanted to do with this series is give the world life from our POVs. Some of what we're putting out there deals with being queer. Some of it is from a female perspective and some of it is race relations. At minimum, it would be great if anyone that aligns with some of the more salacious characters of the show will see themselves in our work and think more about how they interact with women, or members of the LGBTQ+ community or minorities in general.
Years ago, someone who wanted to “make it” with a TV show had to go to New York or Los Angeles. Thanks to technology, filming and distribution can now be done anywhere. But are you ever tempted to try your thing on one of the coasts anyway?
Vic's afraid of the ocean and Shervin's already lived in New York, but that doesn't mean a change in location isn't in the cards. We were actually just talking about doing a road trip episode in California for season 2, so we'll see.
The series features a lot of choice music from local Chicago musicians (ShowYouSuck, Lex Allen, Klassik, Air Credits, Celine Neon, Rahn Harper, Chason, The Rapper Chicks and Lili K). What were you looking for in the music for it to be “Low Strung-worthy?”
Lili: It was important for us to feature music from amazing local artists, as we wanted the show to feel very Chicago. Victoria and I are both Milwaukee natives, so we also wanted to include some Milwaukee music. In general, I wanted to use fun, weird, bold, eccentric music to reflect the vibe of the show.
The first four episodes are up on the Web and available for viewing. What next?
We're filming the rest of season 1 AS WE SPEAK and the rest is to be released early 2018! Then we're going to take over the world and hopefully date famous basketball players.
You can view all available episodes of Low Strung on the show's Vimeo channel.
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