New World School Grads Hope To Create TV Sitcom About Being Haitian In Miami
Photo courtesy of Edson Jean.
For Edson Jean and Joshua Jean-Baptiste, the true story of Miami is made up of a million small vignettes of daily life that come together to create our collective reality.
The two New World School Of Arts graduates are Haitian Americans who want to tell a uniquely Miami tale of youth, sex, and technological obsession on television. And after a modest Kickstarter campaign success, the duo are well positioned to make their dream a reality.
"I feel like Miami is in a weird, almost adolescent phase where it's trying to find itself, alongside artistic relevance," Jean-Baptiste said. "This city has always been an escape for other people from other places, leaving the actual natives in the shadow."
Jean-Baptiste grew up in Miami and attended North Miami Beach Senior High School, where he "left alive, and with my hopes and dreams still intact." He ended up at the New World School where he both graduated from high school and received a college degree in acting.
While at New World, Jean-Baptiste roomed with Jean. A artistic partnership was born, as was an idea for a comedy show.
"The foundation comes from his real life experiences," Jean said of Jean-Baptiste, who was two years behind him at New World. "While in school, Josh struggled with women because he was the ideal nice guy. He would often come to me for woman advice. I would assist, but knowing how to execute a plan is a lot different than actually executing it. He would come back to me time after time and we would laugh together as he shared his stories of how he fucked it up this time. After a while I told him, 'We should write this, it's golden,'" Jean said.
Those experiences bred the basic concept for their tv project titled #Josh.
Jean explained it as being centered around a "digitally dependent Josh, [who] is forced to coexist with his promiscuous problematic cousin Wes, and face his fears of a human connection."
After raising just over $2,800 from a Kickstarter campaign at the time of this article's publication, the duo plans to film a quick "sizzle reel" in hopes of pitching the show to networks like HBO and Netflix. With Miami based 5k Productions on board, the team is excited about the future of creating a 30-minute show. They even already have the first season fully scripted.