Queens director films series in local neighborhoods
In an era of online dating, many single people know the highs and lows (but mostly lows) of dating all too well.
A brand new web series, “The Disastrous Dating Life of Diane Damone,” features actress and comedian Brittany Brave, who brings this relatable concept to life.
She portrays Diane Damone, a young woman living in New York who often finds herself unlucky in love.
“The Disastrous Dating Life of Diane Damone” is the brainchild of director Joseph Patrick Conroy, who based the show on his friend Laurie Roma’s true stories about dating.
As an experienced cinematographer, Conroy said he tends to write his stories with a person in mind.
He remembered Brave from a project they worked on together previously, and she was his inspiration — before he even told her what he was working on.
“Brittany got back to me immediately and said ‘I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. This is perfect; this is what my dating life is like,’” Conroy said. “And then we started shooting with a very small crew.”
As a resident of Middle Village, Conroy said it simply made sense to film a large portion of the series in the local area — including Middle Village, Maspeth, and Astoria.
Residents of these communities might recognize the locations of some of the show’s scenes, including Juniper Valley Park, Grand Avenue in Maspeth, and My Sushi on Eliot Avenue.
“It’s a very Queens centric show, because most of the people who are involved with it are from Queens or live in Queens,” Brave, a Floridian who once lived in Astoria, said.
“We had a lot of local businesses be kind enough, especially in the early stages to donate their spaces to us,” she continued. “If not for free, they gave the space to us for very cheap. And for an indie film crew, that’s so key and pivotal because it really allowed us to get the job done without going bankrupt.”
Brave added that this role is very important to her because Diane’s humor is so similar to her comedy style in real life.
“Diane is an extension of me,” Brave said.
“I really have a lot in common with the character, and a lot of my comedy is based off of dating, sex, dealing with dudes, living in the city, and being Italian and single,” she continued. “It’s been kind of nice to showcase other abilities outside of just what I’m able to do in stand up.”
Although the series just premiered last Friday, April 29, Conroy said that if all goes well, a second season is “on the table.”
For now, you can watch “The Disastrous Dating Life of Diane Damone” on Roku and Tubi.
“I think this show is more relatable than ‘Sex and the City’ where it’s all about money and the fancy parts of Manhattan,” Conroy said.
“This is just about a girl who’s an average, everyday working person who has been in situations that I’m sure even people who are married were in before they got married,” he continued. “I think a lot of people will connect with it, and they’ll definitely laugh.”