Leah Byrd, a Dayton area native, has launched a Kickstarter.com campaign for her Webseries, Hot & Bothered."
Photo: Submitted by Leah Byrd
Photo: Submitted by Leah Byrd

Why this Daytonian is filming a ‘Hot & Bothered’ queer comedy 

A hot and bothered Wright State graduate is making a hot and bothered comedy.

Leah Byrd just launched a Kickstarter.com page for her webseries “Hot & Bothered.” The show, Byrd’s first film project of its size, discusses what it is like to be “black and queer in Midwestern America.”

She said most LGTBQ characters depicted on TV and in the movies are white, gay males and typically from the East or West coast.   

“I’ve never seen anything that is remotely close to my own experience,” said the Trotwood-raised, Chaminade-Julienne High School graduate.

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She said she wanted to provide an alternative to the love stories and tragedies. 

“There is hardly anything that is a lighthearted comedy,” she said. 

Byrd, who holds a BFA (bachelor of fine arts) in motion picture production from Wright State, directs and co-stars in the show with Ian Ashwell, a Wright State acting major from the Cincinnati area. 

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Two episodes have been filmed. 

Byrd is seeking $3,000 in funding for the third to sixth episodes of the series.

Buttons, T-shirts, stickers, posters, digital downloads and “Facebook shout outs” are among the items offered to backers at various levels. 

Byrd expects to record the shows in June and July in Dayton, and release all episodes at once in December for binge watching. 

Byrd plays Liz, “a biracial lesbian.” Ashwell plays her best friend Stan, “a white straight dude.”

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The duo find themselves in hot and bothered waters after starting a Grindr-like dating app for lesbians.

From the show’s description:

The app slowly grows over the span of the first season until it becomes a thriving massive corporation. The app that was originally created to help Liz find some lovin' eventually evolves into a "hipster" Google type office space that consumes both Stan and Liz's lives. The two must find a balance in running a huge corporation while still being the stoner 20 year olds that they are. 

Byrd said that the app is in part a reaction to the fact that while there are gay bars in Dayton, there are relatively few offerings for lesbians. 

The 21-year-old said only one of the bars has a “lesbian night.”  She added that she wishes there were alternatives to bars where LGBTQ people could meet. 

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Byrd said she wishes more filmmakers would think about places beyond the typical.

“They would make more interesting stories,” she said.

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