By day we are your servers. We are your customer service reps. We are your baristas and your babysitters and your dog walkers. But we also are collaborators, writers, actors, and photographers, and most of all we are dreamers. Welcome to what it means to be a working artist in the city of Chicago.
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A personal shout-out just for you on Facebook and Twitter for your donation. Who doesn't love some public love?
Claimed: 12 of 'Unlimited'
Thank you oh so much! Not only will we give you a shout-out, but get ready for an invite to our exclusive DREAMERS Reunion Party in August at Black Rock Bar. OPEN BAR, FREE FOOD. Need we say more?
Claimed: 12 of 'Unlimited'
You are simply divine. Are you an actor or filmmaker or a business owner? Then look forward to a one-on-one self-marketing session to help grow and sustain your business with Ruth Kaufman. Ruth is an attorney with a master’s in TV/Radio, she spent years in high-level sales and marketing, earned multiple national top performer awards at two companies and negotiated seven figure contracts while pursuing acting on the side. She's now a full-time on-camera and voiceover talent, writer and editor. Wowza!
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You are simply awesome. To show you how awesome you are we will not only give you a personal shout out on Facebook and Twitter, but also mail you a free DREAMER T-shirt in your size to sport on your days in the sun. Also look forward to a $25 gift card to Hard Rock Cafe! Who doesn't love a good burger and some tunes?
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Jiminey crickets! You are a rockstar. Get ready for us to send you not only a free DREAMER T-shirt in your size, but also two tickets to shows of your choice through Porchlight Music Theatre, Lifeline Theatre, and ShPIel Performing Identity Theatre. Plus you also will enjoy VIP access to the Unseen Bloopers Reel for every single one of THE DREAMERS episodes. We're taking about 10 minutes of straight silliness on set.
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Egads you're excellent! Not only will we give you a shout-out of Facebook and Twitter, but look forward to a professional portrait (family, baby, children, engagement) or head shot session with the creator herself, Kelsey Jorissen. The session includes a 1 hour shoot, 200 shots with complete rights to use (no watermark), 20-25 retouched of your choice. Kelsey has been working as a professional photographer in Chicago and the Twin Cities since 2009, from taking head shots of actors to directors to business professionals- she's your gal!
Claimed: 10 of 'Unlimited'
Goodness gracious how generous! Get ready for a DREAMER Tshirt in your size and an autographed character poster of the DREAMER of your choosing- Kara, Cavin, Clarissa, Jackson, Eliza, or Jackson- it's your pick! Also enjoy an official "Assitant Producer" credit on IMDB. Plus you also will enjoy VIP access to the Unseen Bloopers Reel for every single one of THE DREAMERS episodes. We're taking about 10 minutes of straight silliness on set.
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Holy smokes you are an angel! Receive autographed character posters from ALL SIX DREAMERS. That's right, every single one. Also you will have the honor of a "Producer" credit on IMDB. You will get a special personalized Thank You Card from the creator herself, Kelsey Jorissen. Plus you also will enjoy VIP access to the Unseen Bloopers Reel for every single one of THE DREAMERS episodes. We're taking about 10 minutes of straight silliness on set.
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You are a true hero. Not only do you get a DREAMER Tshirt in your size and exclusive access to the Unseen Bloopers Reel, but get ready for a sit-down dinner with the entire cast and crew of THE DREAMERS, free of charge. Also be prepared for the top "Executive Producer" status on IMDB. You definitely deserve it.
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About The Project
THE DREAMERS is a series for those of us who have been through that scary time post-graduation, where you are trying to find your footing, you are trying to find where you belong, who is willing to listen to you, and what you even have to say. It’s about a group of six artists- a writer, a singer, a graphic designer, an actress, an actor, and a photographer. They’ve all recently graduated from college, from a conservatory, from art school, and are now making their way in the big wide world.
I am about two years outside of school myself and it’s been a wild ride. My stories and the stories of my talented and amazing friends are worth telling. We all work three to four jobs- as servers, nannies, baristas, tour guides, and telemarketers. Then at the end of what can easily become a 12 hour work day we all go and do the one thing we love the most- creating, and usually we do it completely for free.
A great aspect of writing and producing this series has been the incredible variety of artists I have met along the way- local musicians, painters, artistic directors of small theatre companies, make up artists, and much more. I had this moment in the process of getting the show off of the ground where I realized- oh, this is a way to bring exposure and much deserved attention to other artists in Chicago. Not only did we create 12 full-lenth episodes, but we incorporated actual parties and events into our show. We threw a concert with three local Chicago headlining bands, we had an epic dance party with a live DJ in the basement of an old storefront theatre, and we organized a gallery opening featuring four Chicago female artists. It was a total blast. In creating these events we allowed for THE DREAMERS fans to become their fans.
Another goal of mine with THE DREAMERS was to create a legitmate full-length independent series, not the usual 7-9 minute clips that most people think of as a "web series". I wanted to show people that if they have an idea they can go the whole nine yards and make something tangible and worthy of an audience. 62 guest stars and 95 film shoots later we did it. We have defied the laws of web series making and have created a complete first season of what most people know as "television." This is a call to arms for independent filmmakers to jump on board the independent series train and make that idea come to life- because it is possible. Thanks to our first round of crowdfunding we were able to have the money to pay our actors and our crew, pay for great locations to film at, have gas in our cars as we drive all of the city of Chicago on those 12 hour shoot days, and have coffee for those early morning days on set.
So our next step is to make this project a sustainable one. How do we do that? First of all we want to send THE DREAMERS to more festivals. There are a number of amazing ways to bring more exposure to this show and submitting to festivals is a great outlet. We had the pleasure of attending the 5th Annual Indie Series Awards and got to meet a bunch of other filmmakers just like us- passionate, a little crazy for taking on a project of this depth, and most importantly they all were creating stories they cared about. Other awards shows we want to submit to are HollyWeb, ITVFest, The New Media Festical, and ISA6. Another goal is to incorporate. By incorporating and making DANE/COMPANY an official LLC we have the opportunity to take on investors, join the Screen Actors Guild to then allow our cast and crew to unionize, and have those much needed tax write offs. By achieving these things we have the ability to bring you a second season of THE DREAMERS. You can be a part of our success and sustainability with just a few bucks!
I wrote this series as a way to reveal the world of post-graduation, unbalanced and haphazard. We are constantly seeking stability, a lucky break, a really strong drink, or just someone to talk to who understands. The artist's life isn’t a charmed one. I wrote this web series as an ode to those who fight the good fight despite all the odds. I wrote this series for THE DREAMERS.
THE DREAMERS is a Chicago based web series about six young artists that are as wildly talented as they are unsure of what comes next. Follow them as they try to navigate the world of post-graduation in the Second City.
Kara has recently graduated from art school along with her five best friends. She is a small town girl who has set out to conquer Chicago one photograph at a time. With a heart of gold and a knack for falling up stairs, at any given moment she’s surviving on almond butter straight from the jar, planning a fulfilling life of love and adventure with her cat, or seeing the world through her camera lens. She wants the world to see what she sees. She fears that she won’t find balance.
Cavin, Kara's wingman from art school, is an east coast hipster who wears plaid like a second skin. He can be found reciting Keats or Poe in random alleyways, drinking fair trade coffee in dark corners, or unearthing his masterpiece of a manuscript in the recesses of his studio apartment. He wants the world to hear him. He fears not achieving all that he has set out to do.
Clarissa, Kara's bestie from college, is a west coast transplant who doesn’t take shit from anyone. Just because there is a flask of whiskey in her purse at all times doesn’t mean she’s a lush. As equally in love with the stage as she is with her boyfriend, she puts the sass in class. Though she be but little, she is fierce. She wants to light up the stage. She fears not being able to have it all.
Jackson, Clarissa's boyfriend, is Chicago born and bred. He loves his iced coffee with cream and is a hard core Tracy Lett's enthusiast. Jackson also knows all of the choreography to all of the Rihanna music videos. Ever. He wants to make the world laugh and smile. He fears he will never be truly comfortable with who he is.
Brad, Kara's coworker, is also a native to the rumble and the rust of Chicago. He definitely has memorized the lyrics to every the musical written in the 20th century, don’t even try and challenge him. Armed with a quick wit and a serious addiction to dance parties, he spends his non existent free time singing his heart out to those willing to lend an ear and drinking embarrassingly large gin and tonics. He wants the world to listen. He fears never finding stability.
Eliza, Kara's best friend from home, is a true blue Minnesotan who is trying her hardest to adjust to the concrete and cacophony of the city. Aside from her inability to navigate the CTA and deep seeded hatred for small talk , she enjoys three ice cubes in her glass of chardonnay, impeccable graphic design, and giving people the side eye. She wants the world to know she is capable of taking risks. She fears that she won’t survive away from home.
Experience the mayhem, hilarity, and heartbreak that can come from venturing out on your own in hopes of achieving your dreams. Welcome to the life of a working artist.
About This Team
When a creative vision becomes a reality there are so many unsung heroes that contribute to the launching of a project like this. First and foremost, you. With your help we have the ability to submit to festivals, incorporate and become an official LLC, and have the leverage to allow our actors and crew to unionize. Your contribution has the power to make this project move forward. From having a hotel to sleep in while traveling for awards shows to paying for editing, your support opens all sorts of doors for us as filmmakers.
The universe has provided so many helping hands to me and this series that I have to give a shout out to those mentors, cheerleaders, and team players. Matt Brassil is about to graduate from the film school at DePaul University. I met Matt working on one of my first short films two years ago. Collaborating with him on set was a blast and I knew that it was the start of an awesome creative partnership. Matt has answered all of my questions, big and small, when it comes to producing a series of this depth. Another amazing friend and collaborator that has been invaluable to this project is Dane Ohlrogge. Dane is also about to graduate from the film school at DePaul. Dane was the other half of my creative brain from going over second and thrid drafts with me to being my second eye on each episode before it live to the public. Thanks to him we had top-notch equipment to film with, amazing locations to shoot at, and unyelding support of the show. He was the best Producer I could ask for. Another person integral to this process is Coco Chanel Fernandez, my Assistant Director and Sound Operator. Coco was my go-to gal for organzing events, planning shoots, and finding locations. Without her incredible attitude and spirit, none of this would have been possible.
As an alum of DePaul University I have gathered a fantastic production crew from my alma mater. When you work on a project of this magnitude, some months have upwards of 25 film shoots, your set becomes a revolving door of indispensable talent. Cisco Corral, Valentine Flores, Veronica Bouza, Eddie Avinashi, Alec Basse, and Alex Pavlovcik all were immensly talented Directors of Photography that I had the honor to work with and get to know. Daniel Martinez and Claude Lanier are two lighting designers and gaffers that were so incredibly necessary to make our show look professional. Lauren Awtry and Gabby Joly both helped out with sound and were such great people to have on set. They all were committed, driven, and passionate about making this project high quality and accessible.
The actors are all wonderful friends that I've met over the last six years studying and working in Chicago. From traveling on national tours together to collaborating on random projects, these performers I would trust with my life. David Wesley Mitchell, who plays the part of Brad, has not only made me laugh until my head feels like it's going to explode, but he has this amazing expanse for honesty and depth. Giselle Vaughn Ruecking is a little spark plug of an actress and I knew within five minutes of meeting her that she was my Clarissa. Whenever I'm around Mike Hamiltion, the actor who plays Cavin, I feel as if I can not stop giggling. This guy has such incredible comedic timing and a fantastic sense of play and presence. Callie Stephens is another actress I met and knew within an instance of her wry sense of humor and serious love for acting that she was my Eliza. Michael Bartz, the actor who plays Jackson, has the biggest heart with an amazing ability to be vulnerable and yet wildly hilarious. In sharing their stories and anecdotes with me about their lives as performers, they have contributed to the overall message and voice of this project.
I am an actress and a freelance photographer that has been living in Chicago for the last six years. In 2007 I came to this city to study acting. Since graduating I have collaborated on a number of films and projects with my friends, it's a serious addiction folks. At the beginning of 2013 I made a commitment to myself to make more time for my art, and that is where this series began. The idea for this project grew as I heard the stories and anecdotes from artists that I have met these last two years outside of college. Writing, creating, and producing THE DREAMERS has been an engaging and exhilarating process. I hope you find this project as compelling and wonderful as I do.