San Francisco’s @RENTCHECKSERIES is an upcoming web series written by actor and comedian Mike Evans Jr about a young Black artist trying to find their purpose during what feels like the end of times (aka this crazy 2020 year)! Every cast member is an up and coming Bay Area artist! The completion of the project requires financial support from our diverse community in order to be brought to life. Below is a preview of “Rent Check Series” and our interview with Mike Evans Jr on why it’s essential to get this project into the hands of the people! Find ways to donate on Mike Evans Jr’s IG: @everybodylovezmike or click here.
Thizzler: Where are you from? How was your upbringing?
Mike Evans Jr: I was born and raised in San Francisco, California. Hip Hop was my first love, but I’ve been performing stand up comedy for the last 6 years.
I’ve performed at many rap concerts and political protests along with all the major comedy clubs in the Bay Area. In 2015 my friends and I came together to form Old Soul Kollective; a diverse group of artists ranging from producers, photographers, videographers, rappers, graphic designers, DJs and 1 comedian.
I’d say my upbringing as a comedian has been different from my peers
because I was surrounded by so many different types of artists from across
I’m heavily influenced by my favorite comedians, but I’m just inspired by
artists of all disciplines. Hopefully my work illustrates that connection.
T: How did you get into filmmaking?
Mike Evans Jr: For 5 years I worked with Jimmie Fails & Joe Talbot as a creative consultant for the films “American Paradise” & “The Last Black Man in San Francisco” .
Watching Joe & Jimmie do what it takes to bring their film to life,
inspired me to write stories of my own.
T: How would you describe your directorial style?
Mike Evans Jr: I wouldn’t say I’ve discovered my directional style yet. Each episode I wrote of Rent Check Series is very different from the next. With each episode being 2 to 5 minutes long, every episode will have a different
style of its own. Some episodes will feel like you’re watching “Black is
King” or a Seth Rogen movie, and others will feel like you’re watching an
episode of “Atlanta”.
T: Tell me about the new project.
Mike Evans Jr: Rent Check Series is a scripted show about a young Black artist trying to find their purpose in the world, while the world is going through a crisis of its own.
Throughout 12 Episodes the main character “Mike the Comedian” receives
guidance from an old SF Native he calls “Sensei”. On the first episode
Sensei sends Mike on this path towards understanding and self worth. While on this quest Mike has hilarious interactions with his friends and family who will be played by up and coming Bay Area music artists , actors,
activists and comedians.
This show will be hilarious, sad, thought provoking and surreal. The
Co-Director Jules Retzlaff and I are trying to immolate all the different
energies you feel in the Bay Area into one show.
T: What inspired the web series Rent Check?
Mike Evans Jr: The year 2020 inspired me to write Rent Check Series. Originally I was booked to perform my first 1 Hour Comedy Special in June of this year, but of course Coronavirus came through and f****d up my plans. As I was preparing for the biggest comedy show of my life, one by one I watched show after show get cancelled indefinitely.
In 2019 I filmed three videos I wrote to be played in front of a live
audience at my comedy special, but 2020 forced me to come up with a new
plan involving the release of just one video.
RENT CHECK will be divided into 3 parts:
1. “RENT CHECK” PREVIEW. Featuring StunnaMan02 & Equipto. Released July 3rd 2020.
2. “RENT CHECK” SERIES will be released whenever we reach our financial goal of $15K .
3. “RENT CHECK: A Comedy Special by Mike Evans Jr”. A Live comedy show with musical guests at a venue to be announced in San Francisco. Tickets will go on sale for the show whenever it’s safe to have indoor shows again.
T: How did it get its title?
Mike Evans Jr: I titled the show “Rent Check” because it embodies the everyday struggle of an artistic 25 year old. Everyone gets paid twice a month; 1 check is for food/gas and the other check is for Rent.
Mike is going through a quarter life crisis because he’s struggling to pay
rent at 25 years old but also doesn’t want to work at just any job. In your
mid-twenties you feel like you should have everything in your life figured
out because you’re running out of time to be young. The mental battle of
any artist is weighing the pros and cons of pursuing your artistic dream or
settling for a more realistic career.
Rent Check is a Black coming of age story with the twist being that we’re
living in Trump’s America.
T: How is it different than previous projects you’ve worked on?
Mike Evans Jr: All of the previous projects I’ve worked on before have been focused on a specific theme. This project is different because each episode will take you to another place emotionally. Each episode will be able to stand alone as its own short film.
8. What message do you want fans to walk away with after watching?
Mike Evans Jr: I want fans to walk away from this show feeling empowered. I want all artists to know that we’re all connected in the struggle to be heard in the Bay Area. The Bay has always had a lot of talent, and I want this series to serve as a beautiful showcase of that talent.
I want fans to walk away from this show feeling like they’re not in
competition with the artists around them.
T: What’s next?
Mike Evans Jr: After we reach our financial goal, we’ll get the show filmed and ready for public release. We’re about $6000 away from reaching our financial goal, and any money we don’t use will be donated to organizations fighting for human rights .
Donate Here: https://linktr.ee/mikeevansjr.
T: Is there anything else you want to say?
Mike Evans Jr: Justice for Breonna Taylor, Sean Monterossa, George Floyd, Luis Gongora Pat, Mario Woods, Alex Nieto, Amilcar Perez Lopez, Jacob Blake, Aiyana Jones, Oscar Grant and everyone who’s killed by injustice.
Vote now, Vote sooner rather than later, Vote Trump out of office.