Inclusion StatementWriters Jessie Jolles and Sarah Smallwood Parsons are actors as well and no strangers to the majority of roles women are still offered today (Mother, Teacher, Bride -- Mother again? Seriously?) That's why Forgotten Animals is comprised of an all-female cast playing unique and meaty characters!
About The Project
Forgotten animals is a 30-minute scripted comedy series about a female-run non-profit for less-than-cute creatures (think Sharks, Fire Ants, and Pigeons) In this pilot episode, the women throw a luncheon for Raccoons, while facing the threat of a company shut down, an uninvited visit from their nemesis, and the wrath of one employee whose yogurt was stolen from the office fridge.
Meet The Writers!
Jessie Jolles and Sarah Smallwood Parsons met while performing at The Upright Citizen's Brigade Theater in New York City and instantly connected over their shared sense of humor. While Sarah went on to produce videos for Above Average, and Jessie for Betches, they continued writing together.
Both working actors, they were less than thrilled with the generic female roles they were constantly auditioning for (Girlfriend, Nurse, Young Mom -- Ugh, well at least they said 'Young.') So they set out to write a pilot filled with complicated female roles they would love to play, and made it a cast of all women, to give opportunity to as many female-identifying performers as possible. And so, Forgotten Animals was born!
Meet The Team!
Jessie and Sarah assembled their FA crew from past projects. Director Alec Cohen worked with Sarah on her series F*CKING as well as the video sketch team TOS Comedy. Art Director Claire Burns was a favorite of Jessie's after absolutely killing it on her series Stuff For Women on UCB Comedy.
Meet The Characters!
Diane Lovington (Played by Jessie Jolles): Managing Director of Forgotten Animals. Wears head-to-toe TJ Maxx ("but you'd never know it, it's designer clothing at such a good price!" -Diane) Used to work for the ASPCCA until they saved an adorable piglet over a mangey vulture. Terrfiied of most creatures, but her heart is in the right place.
Karen Ridgeport (Played by Sarah Smallwood Parsons): Director of Donations. A power-hungry saleswomen with a closet full of power suits. Used to work on Wall Street until she was fired for embezzeling 100K ("but who hasn't?" -Karen) Not really an animal-person, but will interrogate, seduce, and even kill to get them funding.
Elle Trimble (Played by Madeline Grey DeFreece): Head of Public Relations. A bubbly perfectionist who throws incredible fundraising events but always goes over-budget. Massively allergic to peanuts ("but the swelling doesn't look that bad, right?" -Elle) Thinks animals are gross but could be improved with a makeover.
Margo Trotter (Played by Claire Burns): Office Manager. Went to prison for liberating animals from a make-up testing lab. Makes great brownies ("They're great cause they're made with weed" - Margo). Sincerely loves animals, almost as much as she loves Diane for taking a chance on her.
Beth Horner (Played by Nichole Yannetty): New Assistant. A terrified people-pleaser who dresses like she wants to blend into the wall. ("............................" - Beth) Loves animals more thn anything, if that's what you need her to do.
Truella Duvaul (Played by Ann Carr): Head of the ASPCCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Cute Animals) and Diane's ex-boss. ("No, I don't work here. I have standards." -Truella)
Sue Fiberly (Played by Leslie Meisel): Representative from Corporate who observes the women to decide if they get to keep their funding. ("Just pretend I'm not even here!... Unless I have question, then you'll need to answer that immediately." -Sue)
We are currently in pre-production and begin shooting January 18th with the goal of posting the pilot online by Spring 2020! We hope you'll join us for the ride!
Sincerely, Jessie & Sarah
"One man's trash is another man's pet" -Diane
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About This Team
Jessie Jolles (Co-Writer/Actor)
Jessie is a comedian and writer living in Queens, NY. Recently 1 of 100 creators from around the world selected YouTube’s “Women in Comedy” Production Program. She is a writer/director for betches media and works with brands creating orginal content. She is a weekly co-host on the Taylor Strecker Show and hosts a weekly podcast called "No Such Thing As Love" with Claire Burns. Visit www.jessiejolles.comto learn more!
Sarah Smallwood Parsons (Co-Writer/Actor)
Sarah is a comedian and writer living in Brooklyn, NY. She's a performer at the Upright Citizen's Brigade Theater and a director of their character teams, Characters Welcome. Sarah was selected by the Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal to perform characters in their New Faces Showcase in 2018. Sarah was a Resident Writer/Performer at Above Average, and was Head Writer of the NY public access sketch comedy show TOS Comedy. Sarah created and starred in the series F*CKING (NSFW) and Personal Business and hosted the online news show We've Got Questions. You can see her live the second to last Thursday of every month performing with character team Leather Father. www.sarahsmallwoodparsons.com
Alec Cohen (Director)
Alec Cohen is a man but Jessie and Sarah don't hold it against him. Alec's work has been featured by UCBNY, Above Average, NYTVF, MTV.com, The New York Times, Funny or Die, Mashable, Food.com, Comedy Hack Day, LA Comedy Fest, Chicago Sketchfest, Hell Yes Fest, Encounters, Portland Comedy Film Festival and The American Association of Immunologists. He has created ads, directed video, directed photography, strategized, theorized, innovated and shared adventures with brands like Nike, 20th Century Fox, BlackBerry, The Foo Fighters, Skullcandy, Bonneville Environmental Foundation, Prabal Gurung, Flipboard and adidas. He lives in Brooklyn, NY. www.aleccohen.cool
Claire Burns (Art Director & Actor)
Claire Burns is an art director who began her career by redesigning her Barbie’s mansion with a little paint and the fabric from her father’s old shirts. An all pink home is no way to live, after all. She later went on to study set, lighting, and costume design at Indiana University in Bloomington. Claire has since worked on numerous productions and videos shoots for UCB Comedy, MTV, betches, Elmhurst, and more. www.claireburns.com
Nichole Yannetty (Actor)
Nichole Yannetty is a an actor/comedian based in NYC. Some of her credits include: a recurring role on 'Jessica Jones' S1+S2/'The Defenders' (Netflix), The Last O.G. (TBS), 'Younger' (TV Land) and National Commercials. She's currently a perforer / writer on Characters Welcome at the Upright Citizens Brigate Theatre and previously performed on Maude for a couple seasons. She studied improv and sketch writing at the UCBT and at the PIT, where she won the NBC Diversity Scholarship. www.NicholeYannetty.com
Madeline DeFreece (Actor)
Madeline Grey DeFreece is a NYC based actress and graduate of Pace University’s Acting for film and TV program. Recent credits include: Tahara directed by Olivia Peace, screenplay by Jess Zeidman (World Premiere at Slamdance Film Festival), Fancy Maids at Ken Davenport's Rave Theater Festival (Outstanding Play, Outstanding Performance); Hysterical Women (Best Pilot, Bentonville Film Festival); appearances on The Last OG, She’s Gotta Have It, and Succession. She currently stars as Trish in Under The Influence, a new series by Betches Media.
Ann Carr (Actor)
Leslie Meisel (Actor)
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