Austin-based Writer and Director Andie Flores Writes Austin Her Way
This fall, Austin-based writer and performer Andie Flores is set to direct Muy Excited, an original episodic comedy series about being a down and out Latina in a new city. The show follows the overeager and underprepared “Andie”, played by 26-year-old Flores, her wacky news anchor cousin, played by comedian Vanessa Gonzalez, and her new friends, played by actors Nickclette Izuegbu, Jesus Valles, and comedian Devon Walker, as they navigate a very white Austin, Texas. The story broadens the mainstream narrative of what it means to be a young person of color in an urban city, similar in style to HBO’s Insecure and the upcoming Brown Girls -- both shows that began as independent web series.
The cast alone has already earned major bragging rights: Gonzalez was featured as one of the Just for Laughs comedy festival’s ‘New Faces of 2017’, and Walker was featured on Comedy Central’s ‘Up Next’ at Clusterfest 2017. Izuegbu is a creator of her own acclaimed web series, ‘Nneka the Uber Driver’, and Valles is a noted powerhouse performer around Austin. Flores has written for and starred in several award-winning Austin comedy productions, as well as over sharing in storytelling nights around town.
The cards are stacked against women filmmakers of color, specifically Latinas. An August 2017 USC report, “Inequality in 900 Popular Films,” reported that “…of the 100 top-grossing films of 2016, Latinos captured only 3.1% of big-screen roles.” It is the lowest percentage since the study first began in 2007. Similarly, shows like Saturday Night Live, a place responsible for propelling alums into fame and opportunity, only recently hired their first Latina performer - in their 41st year on air. Even locally, April 2017 brought an elimination of the Texas film incentives program, used to encourage major filmmaking in the state, altogether.
Flores’ project, aiming for a crowdfunded production budget of $15,000, hopes to encourage Latinas and women of color makers and doers in Texas and beyond to tell their stories.
Muy Excited is fundraising through mid-October and will film this fall in Austin. For more information, visit the show’s website, muyexcitedwebseries.com. To donate, visit the project’s IndieGogo site.