New Media, Underground
Oct 8, 2013


There’s no manual out there for creating a fledgling passion project web series on a frayed shoestring budget. This was the plight of Lucky 13 creators Sam Rowley, Stephanie Dulewicz, and Meagan Monahan. But the former American Academy of Dramatic Arts (section 13) alums made it happen, the hard way.


Making your break is not easy in this town. No one is going to do it for you, and you will inevitably need help, luck, and plenty of both. Sam, Stephanie, and Meagan decided that creating a 30-minute television series based very loosely on their own experiences at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts would be their passion project. They wrote the script, got the actors, all the trimmings and last week held the premiere episode of their pilot, Lucky 13 fittingly at the very site they met and their collaboration first began. The show chronicles the trials and tribulations of eight strangers who have made their way to Los Angeles to pursue their dreams of ‘making it big.’


Despite the obvious limitations in budget, the trio managed to get themselves off to a great start even before filming began by writing an intelligent, amorous, and character-driven script. These characters may be familiar, but in a more intimate way, they are far more real then the single dimensional bold-type players usually found. The wonderful acting all around which includes the aforementioned creators who also star in the series enhances this.


I imagined it as a sort of more sober Party Down, with the same forced comradeship of the characters creating awkward, funny, and emotional moments. After the screening they held a Q & A with the creators and I was astonished to find out that another obstacle in the spawning of this show is the fact that Meagan lives in Chicago. Despite this, they already have the entire first season already written. They are raring to go, just as soon as they get financing.


Later I managed to talk with Stephanie and she said that, “No one can really tell how long a series lasts, but ideally this was meant to be three, maybe four seasons…as it stands right now.” She wouldn’t give any story away, despite my obvious prodding and intrigue given the events of the pilot episode but did say, “We’re going to see them progress…and some people, as they said in the trailer, some people make it and some people don’t.”


To keep up with this project and to find out more about its creators (as well as how to help keep it going) visit their Facebook page, Lucky 13 Series.