Chris Meyers, a writer/actor in New York city is raising money to show the effects of gentrification in Washington Heights, Patch reports. Gentrification is when wealthy people move into a low-income area making it harder for the poor members of the community to afford living there anymore due to local rising costs (rent, food, etc.). Gentrification also changes a neighborhood’s character and culture when rich outsiders settle into historically poor districts.
He has raised over $18,000 on Kickstarter to launch his comedy series about gentrification titled Guap.
Myers is a native of the Upper West Side in New York City, which is where he originally planned to use as the setting for his series. However, because gentrification was so advanced in the neighborhood he grew up in, he decided to instead use Washington Heights as the setting for his show. “I let my mind wander and thought, ‘hey, Washington Heights, This is a very vibrant community with a lot of culture, I have a lot of friends who live up there, and I also feel like there’s not a lot of stories about Washington Heights.”
Myers wants his show to focus on gentrification because it has become extremely problematic for multiple communities in New York. And a lot of people in state aren’t fully aware of what’s happening. Even Myers commented that he doesn’t know too much about gentrification by saying “I know the same two jokes about hipsters and coffee shops that everyone else does.”
The goal of the series is to give viewers a better understanding of all the effects of gentrification.
One topic that the show will question is who has the right to live in a neighborhood. In addition, Guap will focus on telling the story of a family dealing with gentrification firsthand.
Myers wants the series to be authentic so he’ll be shooting the show in Washington Heights and hiring actors of Dominican ancestry. If Myers managers to raise $19,967 for Guap, then production for the pilot will begin as soon as late August or early September. As of now, the show is hiring a cast and crew and securing filming equipment. After the pilot is filmed, Myers plans to pitch the series to secure a distribution deal.