Two things that I don't get enough of in my life — trips to San Francisco, and funny women — are combined in the upcoming miniseries Welcome to the Stage.
Over the course of eight to 12 episodes, each running close to 20 minutes, we'll get to follow four Bay Area comedians as they perform at a variety of venues, from open mics at laundromats to clubs such as The Purple Onion and the Punchline. "The show features me, Janine Brito, Dana LoVecchio and Marcella Arguello, and is based on an idea I had at an open mic one night to share the awful comedy OF the comedy world, so to speak," Pamela Ames told me. "I realized that we are in such a unique and fascinating position to many people, plus San Francisco is so picturesque and cool and a great place to live and film." Roll the clip!
This isn't going to be your typical documentary, though, Ames told me.
"So yes, what makes it so great is that all of the characters are very unique – we all come from very different backgrounds (i.e. straight, gay, white, Cuban, El Salvadorian, Italian, big family, small family, east coast, mid-west); and doing stand-up comedy in San Francisco is the tie that binds, but we still all have very different experiences, reactions and outlooks on the scene," Ames told me. "It comes across as very funny and moving at the same time. It has substance and humor, but it isn‚Äôt canned, scripted, or made into cheesy reality TV by adding a contest."
The initial teasers are up on the YouTube.
But this is a new age for video production, isn't it? What's a TV show and what's an online show? Ames told me they'd like to think Welcome to the Stage could be both.
"As far as the online/offline thing, we think that people should be able to watch the program on their computers and have it be as great of an experience as on TV, so it‚Äôs all been shot in HD/broadcast quality," she said. "We also think that over the next couple of years the lines between the two mediums will continue to blur and that content needs to be developed with that in mind. This program is good enough to be watched on television traditionally, but exciting enough to be watched online. As we‚Äôve seen with sites that have become enormously popular like Hulu ‚Äì it‚Äôs not just that they put the big networks‚Äô shows online (they were already there) ‚Äì it‚Äôs that the site is dedicated to quality, and not just videos about dogs on skateboards (albeit sometimes hilarious)."
So be on the lookout for the first episode, coming soon…