Normies + Wierdōs

After a tragic loss, fed-up wife and mother of two, decides to finally follow her dreams…to Hollywood, where she enrolls in a 10-day actor’s boot camp that promises to make her a star; and among the madness and the magic, she finds home.

  • Ryan Hope Travis
  • Vishani Miller
  • Vishani Miller
  • Ryan Hope Travis
  • Vishani Miller
    Key Cast
  • Tercell Pryor
    Key Cast
  • Ryan Hope Travis
    Key Cast
  • Joydaisa Mims
    Key Cast
  • Eric Yu - Lee
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Short, Television, Web / New Media
  • Genres:
  • Runtime:
    4 minutes 33 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    February 25, 2020
  • Production Budget:
    2,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Ryan Hope Travis

Ryan Hope Travis is an actor, director, and multi-hyphenate filmmaker. As a filmmaker (e.g. writer/director/cinematographer), Ryan has 10 short films to his credit, with several having their world premieres at film festivals in New York City, NJ, Los Angeles, and most recently at the Academy Award-qualifying, Atlanta Film Festival. His debut feature film, Cocoa in the Dark, is currently in post-production.

Ryan was commissioned by the New York State Council on the Arts to write and perform A Shout in Salty Water, a one-man show based on interviews with 17 low-income African American fathers in Syracuse, NY. His other one-man show, June 16, is an autobiographical piece based on interviews with fathers in Washington D.C. Both productions explore the role poverty plays in fatherhood.

Ryan pursued Black Studies in college (B.A., Fort Valley State University) and graduate school (M.A., Syracuse University). He went on to earn a Master of Fine Arts in Acting from the University of Florida ('12). He has written for The SAGE Encyclopedia of African Cultural Heritage in North America, 2015 and Syracuse New Times. Additionally, he is the founder and lead filmmaker of Arcable, a film production company dedicated to producing works of art rooted in social commentary.

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Director Statement

From Writer / Creator Vishani:

I wanted to tell this story because there are moments in our lives, when we are in conflict with who we authentically are, and the expectation of who others desire us to be. This is a pivotal scene as the clash between expectation and authenticity, comes to a head, and someone must make a choice.

Although the short follows the story of a forbidden romantic relationship, it's also symbolic of any relationship that doesn't allow a person the freedom to be what they truly desire for themselves. Here, this choice not only pertains to an eros love, but to philautia as well, which demands honesty and self-acceptance, and is ultimately born from the realization that whoever we decide to be is worthy, because we are here.

The theme behind this short explores letting go: letting go of the preconceived notions about who we think we are; letting go of those expectations that require sacrificing bits and pieces of ourselves; letting go of the mundane in search of the sublime.

My hope is to demonstrate that somewhere between the black and white, the good and bad, and the normal and the weird, we can find all of ourselves...with the truth; maybe we are more alike than we think.