“Patsy” is a comedy inspired by real life experiences most of us aren’t brave enough to talk about at all. The team behind the project is raising funds on Indiegogo through the end of December.
Yola is one of Austin’s rising stars. Just earlier this year, the comedian/actress/writer won Best Actress in the Austin Chronicle’s Best of Austin awards, the annual poll where the newspaper’s 22,000+ readers nominate and vote for their local favorites.
But her reach extends far beyond the Austin city limits.
She’s performed in revered comedy festivals like San Francisco Sketchfest and the Del Close Marathon and opened for standup icons like Margaret Cho. She co-founded Austin’s first all-Asian American improv troupe, Y’all We Asian, which has since gone on to win multiple awards and earn coverage in the New York Times. And in 2012 Yola (along with Atsuko Okatsuka and Jenny Yang) co-founded Disoriented Comedy, the first ever Asian American, mostly-female standup tour in the U.S.
Off stage, Yola has starred in sketches, a feature film, and in 2018 she wrote, produced, and starred in a six-episode web series (uncomfortable the series) which has amassed a sort of cult following on YouTube over the years.
Now she’s focusing her energy into her latest project, Patsy, a short film inspired by real events from Yola’s life. “I wanted to see myself represented on screen. We need more horny Asian-American women.”
A Fresh Take on Millennial Relationships and Heartbreak
“I knew I wanted to make a story that was narrated through stand up, but I wasn’t sure what story to tell,” says Yola.
The 22-page script follows the flawed and very horny Patsy, an Asian-American woman trying to find love while navigating her 30s. The film is inspired by real events from Yola’s life and intermixes with stand-up comedy to share her truth.
“I knew I wanted to talk about my divorce, and I had also been dating a lot and went through heartbreak right after my divorce so I also wanted to talk about that. So I basically just told the story of what happened in my life, but tried making it funny.”
Yola doesn’t shy away from more serious topics like divorce, miscarriage, and even suicide. “It’s actually really funny, like surprisingly funny, especially for the subject matter.”
But that’s just who Yola is. She’s not afraid to take on hard subjects and look at them through a comedic lens, even if it’s dark or uncomfortable. She’s honest, and you just can’t help but be charmed by it. Her authenticity is what draws you in.
Patsy Fundraising Campaign Exceeds Expectations — And It’s Not Over Yet
On Dec. 1, Yola and her team, director John Valley (The Pizzagate Massacre) and producer Eric Alan Rousseau, kicked off an Indiegogo campaign to try to raise $10,000 to fund Patsy. The crowd-sourced contributions will help cover costs for cast, crew, locations, props, meals, and equipment. Yola is also partially funding the project with her own savings.
In just four days, the team met their goal when over 80 backers contributed more than $10,000 to the project.
“Oh my god, it was insane. I launched the campaign the day I was going out of the country, because I really wanted to launch on Dec 1st. And I was blown away by the size of the donations I received. And some people who I didn’t even know donated. I just felt so loved and also felt like people really believed in this project and in me.”
Now the team is aiming for their stretch goal of $17,000 to pay for post-production (editing, color correction, mixing), festivals, travel, and distribution/tour costs. The campaign ends on Dec. 31.
With less than two weeks left to raise funds, Patsy is just a little under $4,000 away from the team’s new stretch goal.
Production for Patsy is expected to start in early February 2023. Yola hopes to screen the film for friends and family next summer, then submit to festivals in the fall.
For more information about Yola Lu, visit www.yolalucomedy.com or follow @yolajlu on Instagram.
To learn more about the project, check out PATSY Short Film on Indiegogo. The crowdfunding campaign ends on December 31, 2022.