On November 6, 2017 a new show Giving Me Life: In the Land of the Deadass will air on Youtube. Described as a “dramedy” by its executive producer Dafina Roberts, the series follows the lives of six Black and Latinx friends striving to make it in the “land of the deadass” also known as New York City. It was created, written, produced, and directed by one person – Dafina Roberts. The Brooklyn-bred filmmaker created this provocative show to portray the lives of real people in New York or at least the way she and her friends have lived it.
“We live in such a public world where people are so easily shamed. But this show is about being ok to be yourself; highlighting the beauty in the complexities,” said the creator Dafina Roberts. One of the inspirations for the characters in the show, particularly Travis, stems from her mother’s experience as a Queer Christian. The duality of this character’s identity serves as a new perspective that we do not see on screen often - or ever.
But don’t get it twisted – this is not a straight show, this is not a gay show. This is a show about six friends living in New York and the realities around their experiences. No glitz or glamour. Just real deadass lives. The show stars Lori Laing as feisty Nala, Natalie Jacobs (from the Emmy-Nominated Digital Series ‘Tough Love’) as tightly-wound Leah, Mark St. Cyr as religious-minded Travis, Sly Maldonado as free-spirited Cam, Nathaly Lopez as rebellious Jess and Jarvis Tomdio as geek-chic Gil.
A new episode of the show will drop weekly focusing on the life of a particular character’s love, work, and play. “Everyone’s voice is heard. Everyone’s love life is represented. There should always be space to tell these stories because at the end of the day it’s all about love,“ said Roberts.
The series is executive produced by Dafina Roberts of So NYC Productions and produced by Sophia Clark of Sophia Estelle Productions.