'Life's a Drag' Pilot Premieres at Brooklyn Web Fest; Series Crowdfunding for Next Episode

The multi-talented Ian Verdun stars as Melvin Everman in Life's a Drag.
Life's a Drag premiered at Brooklyn Web Fest on Friday, October 9. Based on the positive reaction from a packed theater, creator and star Ian Verdun has a hit on his hands.

Life's a Drag is a story about self-discovery as straight(ish) down-on-his-luck actor, Melvin Everman (played by Verdun), in an act of desperation, "inexplicably embarks on a journey that will lead him to Drag superstardom. Along the he'll will meet a host of colorful characters, some new and some old as he struts his way to glory. But before the crown is won, he'll have to go toe to toe with more than a few shady queens, and be forced to come to terms with the most damaged parts of himself, forever altering the perception of his own identity, and testing the foundations of his relationships."

Chatting with members of the audience at Brooklyn Web Fest, it was obvious the pilot made an impact. Viewers instantly cared about Mel and his friends, rooted for him, and against the boss that fired him (played by series director Sebastian La Cause, Hustling). The superb pilot script was full of humor and heart, and sets up a potentially fascinating journey for Mel that seems new and fresh.

I asked Verdun what inspired him to create Life's a Drag.

"Honestly, I wrote the first episode in three days after experiencing my worst year in recent memory," Verdun explained. "It was the kind of year where life just takes a huge crap on you...repeatedly...in rapid succession. Really, the only way I could retain any form of sanity was to write about. I think a lot of artists can relate to exercising their demons through their craft, I'm certainly no different."

Ian Verdun in Life's a Drag.
"I'm also a huge fan of RuPaul's Drag Race and I live in West Hollywood so drag almost seems like a constant element playing in the background of my life," he said. " I've always respected the craft of Drag Queens, not to mention the mystique involved in their profession. So Life's a Drag was born. It's a way for me as an artist to explore (and pay homage to) a group of artists who's world I find to be fascinating, and at the same time take an active part in making sure that quality LGBT stories, not to mention diverse stories have a place to be heard. I really love the idea of humanizing the world of drag; of getting to the moments out of the makeup and away from the spotlight, to tell the story of group of disparate people who are all drawn to this life, putting on perfect faces as they deal with all the very real drama present in their day to day lives. As an artist, I want the freedom to tell a story as truthfully as possible, and to shine a light on communities who's stories deserve to be told. And if that all sounds a bit too self-righteous, you could also say I just really wanted to see what I'd look like all dolled up. Suffice it to say, I wasn't disappointed."

The cast also includes Toofun West, Santana Dempsey, Amanda Hyde, Andy Gala and Stephen Guarino.

The Life's a Drag team is taking a slightly different approach to crowdfunding. The show is currently raising the money necessary to produce the second episode, and to get the word out, via an Indiegogo campaign.

The first part of the pilot is now available online. Check it out below:

Click here to support the Life's a Drag Indiegogo campaign.

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