Columbia College Chicago alums Sam Bailey and Samantha Lee are profiled in an article on Wear Your Voice, an online magazine focused on intersectional feminist media. Bailey, an alum of the Columbia College Chicago Theatre Department‘s Acting BA program, is the star and creator of the Web series You’re So Talented, now in its second season. Lee (MAT ’13), a graduate of Columbia’s Master of Arts in Teaching program in Visual Arts Education, is the co-producer of the show.
As noted in this blog when the series premiered in 2015, You’re So Talented is the saga of Bea Freeman, a 20-something struggling black actor living in Chicago. Bailey, the series’ creator, writer and director, also stars as Bea. Lee, a composer and graphic artist, is the series’ producer and also a member of the musical group Whatever Spectrum, which provides the show’s score. The series’ second season was produced with a grant from the Chicago Digital Media Production Fund. The show plays on OpenTV, a digital outlet dedicated to “empowering queer, trans and cis-women and artists of color to produce and distribute indie series for artists by artists.” Also on the series’ production team is cinematographer Mateo Gonzales (BA ’10), a graduate of Columbia College Chicago’s film and video program.
“If you are tired of the trauma porn of Orange Is The New Black, you may be seeking something a bit more uplifting. This is where You’re So Talented comes in,” says the article by Laurel Dickman on Wear Your Voice, posted June 23, 2016. “The show provides much-needed representation to a variety of audiences without objectifying anyone. Why is this so hard for networks to get right?”
Bailey and Lee are partners in the production collective Our Names Are Sam (ONAS). “As content creators we are drawn to stories that are multilayered with unlikely (or rarely seen) protagonists,” the team say on their website. “Inspired by the wealth of underused talent in Chicago, we seek to tell stories that revolve exclusively around women and people of color through shorts, features and online content. Our goal is to make artistic and authentic work about underrepresented people accessible to all.”