There's certainly no lack of talent in the Bednarsky family. While Matt's sophomore album just a few months ago, big brother Josh is now producing an original comedy web-series, "Crowned," about the hazards of being a party princess.
Josh Bednarsky, a 2004 graduate, got his start as an actor through community programs right in his hometown. He trained under the direction of Center Stage owners Gary and Francesca Scarpa and was President of the Drama Club his senior year. He met Brianne Sanborn in New York during an off-Broadway national tour of Seussical. The two married in April 2011 and have since moved to Hollywood to pursue careers in the entertainment business.
"I've always known I would make a career out of acting and wanted to do it for my whole life, and was blessed to have such a wonderful community such as Shelton to grow in. Even at we were doing plays, shows and concerts!," Bednarsky said.
"Crowned" tells the story of "lowly grad student" who accepts a job as a party princess -- making appearances at children's parties in full character garb -- only to realize it's not a fairytale. The series is inspired by Sanborn's real-life experiences with the job and is co-written by her and Bednarsky. The first season will have eight episodes, each 5-10 minutes long, with a musical component and original songwriting.
Of course, the couple needs more than pixie dust and talent to make this magic happen, so they've set up a fundraising effort through Kickstarter, an online crowd-funding website. Supporters have an opportunity to donate with charming rewards such as $5 for “a princess kiss blown in your general direction”, to $200 for “a zany singing telegram from one of the princesses from 'Crowned'” to $2500 for the King and Queen package involving a princess party, personalized videos, a cameo in the series, a full HD download of the series, and more.
They are hoping to raise $8,000, all of which will go to production costs: sound, lighting, rentals, wardrobe, makeup, locations, animation, editing, and so on. If the goal is not met, the show doesn't get shot.
"There's a reason why money is being raised and it’s not going to my benefit; actors are the last people to get paid when it comes to producing your own work," Bednarsky said.
In fact, for approval to start the campaign, he had to submit a detailed budget report to the Screen Actors Guild itemizing how the funds will be spent.
Bednarsky said although the process can be stressful and challenging, having a companion along for the ride has made it all the more rewarding.
"Los Angeles is a very, very weird place. Even in your days of success, it's a sea-saw life," he said. "Brianne is such a team supporter who herself is in the industry and wants to do the same thing, so we can stay up till 2 or 3 in the morning watching the films we both like."
Tentatively, the pair plans to film "Crowned" in September, with a premier episode hitting the 'net by the end of November.
"It's a big door opening mechanism," Bednarsky said. But even if it doesn't catch the attention of a big-time casting agent or director, "then worst case scenario is we have a web series we are proud of that’s entertaining."
To donate to Bednarsky and Sanborn's "Crowned" campaign, visit their Kickstarter website.