The combination of a strong concept and five creatively driven, independent ladies, “Stand Up Girls” is a singular Web series that exists far beyond our computer screens.
“We didn’t want it to be another show that was based on boyfriends or always trying to get a date or something,” says Blair Skinner, the show’s director and co-creator.
After meeting Amy Green on the set of Oliver Stone’s 2012 thriller “Savages,” Skinner knew the two of them could collaborate. “Every time we get really creatively bored, like, ‘We have to do something!’ I just bug my writer friend Amy,” she says.
And it was as simple as that. “Stand Up Girls” follows three female comedians, Harper, Ursula, and Dolores (Jenna Brister, Stephanie Kornick, and Hollie Lee, respectively), “and their horribly misguided outlooks on life.” Skinner says she and Green were friends with some of the women who play the standups, and they “wanted to explore how you start out as a female comedian” and “what their lives were like.”
Skinner and Green screened the entire series at Westside Comedy Theater in Santa Monica, Calif.—where they shot the series—for the cast and crew, but the turnout included many others, including regular patrons of the comedy club.
They also did a show featuring improv, standup, and sketch comedy, essentially bringing the characters to life in front of an audience. When they started, the live shows weren’t even an idea. “But after we did it,” says Skinner, “we were like, ‘This could be a thing,’ and it’s something we want to propose to Westside, too.”
Though the first season of “Stand Up Girls” was completely self-funded, Skinner says they might think of performing live again to raise funds for a possible second season. Crowdfunding and self-funding are the most common ways to finance a Web series, but Skinner says Kickstarter is not for “Stand Up Girls.” “I love Kickstarter, but it really only gets to our friends and family that way,” she explains, “and I think we’re kind of depleting everyone on that.”
For these creative types, “Stand Up Girls,” is “probably the most fun thing I’ve worked on,” says Skinner, who has a day job as a production assistant.
She encourages everyone to start a Web series—especially actors. “My sister just started a Web series,” Skinner says. “She wanted to get herself out there and get roles for herself that wouldn’t come to her naturally.”
If you’re not a writer, Skinner suggests finding one you can get along with and reaching out to people. “Even on Craigslist, there are amazing people who are willing to work with you, even for free.”
Lastly, she says not to worry if you get off to a rocky start. “The first thing you do isn’t going to be good. It takes time, but it’ll be better.”