THE BLOG

On Collaborating With Stacey Dash

12/17/2012 01:37 pm ET | Updated Feb 11, 2013
  • Abe Schwartz Screenwriter, Copywriter, Producer, Director, Consumer

I've known Stacey Dash for several years, since I first moved to LA after college. We met on the set of an indie film, where a friend was working in casting. Stacey had a supporting role, and there was considerable down time, so we ended up discussing movies and TV. I quickly discovered that we share a similar sense of humor and both love the films of Bruce Robinson (Withnail & I, How to Get Ahead in Advertising), Curb Your Enthusiasm and more. She had a script idea that she wanted to develop. Over the next several weeks, I helped her plot out the story, then we both found ourselves busy with life, and the project fell through the cracks. We stayed in contact, mostly in the form of the occasional email or phone call. She sent me a congratulatory email when my no-budget feature got distributed. I did the same when Single Ladies was dominating the Twitter discussion. Recently, we decided to collaborate on some new projects, and there hasn't been a dull moment since.

The Stacey Dash I know is a much more interesting character than the Stacey Dash often depicted in the media. Yes, she's going on 46 and still resembles a hot 28 year-old. In fact, she's even more ripped these days than during her iconic turn as Dionne in Clueless. (Did you know she practices kung-fu?) Stacey's been blessed with great genes and takes amazing care of her body. As someone who used to be overweight and have breathing problems, I find her commitment to personal health inspiring. I'm a white Jewish guy in his 20s who listens to rap music and loves basketball. It never ceases to amuse me how often I hear her name mentioned in rap lyrics and hear of active NBA players hitting on her on Twitter.

So, Stacey decided to endorse Mitt Romney. Big deal. So did nearly half the country. Stacey considers the economy to be issue No. 1. For some people, it's gay rights. For others, it's Israel or medical marijuana legalization. Stacey's political leanings depend on the issues, and she's always been cool with discussing/debating with me, a (gasp!) liberal. She'll respect your beliefs and hold a great conversation, unless you approach her like a jerk, which a lot of people seem to do online. I guess it's easy to do when hiding behind a keyboard or touch screen, though I've never seen anyone show her anything but love in person. I have relatives whose politics differ from mine. I've had roommates with politics vastly different from mine. It's never been an issue to me, unless people are dicks about it. Stacey's never been a dick about politics, and we're able to work together just fine.

The fact that Stacey was able to command so much attention with one Romney-themed tweet was, to me, incredible. I had just written the pilot episode of Stacey Dash Is Normal, the new comedy series she and I are developing, and one of its storylines includes a Twitter controversy. The Mitt Romney backlash became life imitating art (or simply scripted comedy), and then I knew we were really on to something. Stacey is as bold as anyone I know and never shies away from controversy. She has a world view unlike anyone else I know, and a razor-sharp and often dark sense of humor. She takes my jokes to another, much more specific and intense place.

Stacey and I are in the process of getting Stacey Dash Is Normal off the ground. The show is a scripted comedy in which she plays an over-the-top, conflicted version of herself. We recently co-produced this teaser trailer, as well as some additional content, on next to no budget:

There will be more to come. For now, follow Stacey (@RealStaceyDash) and me (@AbeSchwartz) on Twitter for updates.