In 2011, I got to meet a very ambitious determined young woman who attended Temple University. We worked together volunteering for the African American Film Releasing Movement (AFFRM). It was a wonderful October night as we successful had quite a few sell out crowds for the Ava DuVernay film “Middle of Nowhere”. We got to talk for a few and look over some photos and of course, meet Omari Hardwick. How cool is that? Well, I am going to fast forward a few months.
It is now February, and she’s talking about putting her dream into action and I am all for it. I had just talked to someone about wanting to write a show based off of my college years, and here she is already working it out. She asks if I’d like to come on as a production assistant and I’m all for it. As the weeks go by and the preparation is in order, there are casting calls, important rehearsals, and most importantly, we shoot the pilot. Last April was a wonderful experience. Never imagined that I’d get to work with such a talented group of individuals. Then it hit me, she saw me as a quality piece in her puzzle, and it never dawned on me that I would ever be essential to such a major project.
Fast forward to 2014 and here she is offering me an opportunity to be a part of the media company that she founded. And again, I am just in awe because she believes that I am valuable to her cause. I want to see this company and this project flourish and become what I know it can and will be. This wonderful creative team is full of ambition and drive. I admire their work ethic, and ability to see their dreams through to completion. They’ve turned a dream into plans, and put that plan into action. And I am just happy to be considered for this journey.
Please, take the time and see what I’m speaking about. This young creative team is offering quality. We aren’t just attempting to throw something out there. This team is full of people who are passionate about what they do and they’re working very hard to achieve their goals. Maroon Media will be a place to cultivate your dreams and create beautiful projects of quality.
Junior Citizens is a coming-of-age dramedy web series based in Philadelphia about three college friends. Izzy is a recent film graduate whose her-way-or-no-way attitude often causes more setbacks than triumphs.
Xavier is a free-spirited actor in his fifth year of school who wishes to act in theater. However, due to his variety of interests he changes his major on a regular basis.
Rhonda is also in her fifth year after taking her junior year off due to depression – a topic she is reluctant to share. Rhonda returns to Temple University determined to graduate but her anxiety heightens when most of her friends graduate on time – leaving her behind with the realization that she has to focus this time around.
Regardless, she returns to Philly and with the help of her overbearing mother Patricia they purchase a home in Philly. Abruptly, Rhonda invites Xavier and Izzy to live with her.
The friendship of the trio becomes tested when they become roommates while each have to deal with their own separate issues discovered during the transition from the college life to adulthood.
Junior Citizens has been an idea of the director Natsai Todd’s since 2010 but it wasn’t until the summer of 2012 when the majority of her friends graduated and moved back home while she still had a year to go that it dawned on her. That is what she wanted Junior Citizens to be about. She wanted to focus on the post-grad and fifth year experience.
This series is loosely based on her personal experiences during college and during her fifth year in terms of school, friendships, relationships, mental health, finances, and career goals. She wants Junior Citizens to explore various topics that effect the modern, college-educated, twenty- something year old.
College was not easy for Natsai. In 2011 she was diagnosed with adult ADD and clinical depression. The demands of school only magnified her symptoms so she had to take a year off to recover (this is also why she graduated a year off schedule). Mental health is a theme that she intends to apply to Junior Citizens to bring awareness to it.
One of the themes of Junior Citizens is parents allowing their children to grow up, children allowing the advice of their elders, and realizing nothing goes as planned. The early stages of adulthood is a confusing and trying phase that the characters of Junior Citizens are trying navigate through and come out on the other end in successful circumstances. This is a common one that needs to be shared.
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