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News Onicia Updates

The Writer’s Room Women’s History Month Panel — Onicia Update

Hey Friends,

TGIF!!!!!!!!! I really enjoyed hearing your takes on my current TV shows. Looking forward to watching your TV and YouTube recommendations.

Season 2 of Scams, Swindles, and Schemes premieres in 1 WEEK! Plenty of time to catch up on Season 1. Click to watch episode clips on YouTube.

The Writers Room Women’s History Month Panel

The Jeniro Agency invited me and some other talented writers to share our experiences and knowledge during its upcoming virtual panel.

The Writers Room was created during the height of the pandemic. It was conceptualized to build a space to connect individuals directly to media, but also to educate and authentically familiarize those with how media works, how pitching works, and the in’s and outs of true storytelling.

Now on our fourth go around, we are bringing The Writers Room back with new talent, new faces, and new writers to curate the same experience as the past three have lived up to! You’ll experience knowledge and insight into the media world, you’ll connect organically with writers, and you might just get placed in some cool outlets!

Thursday, March 31, 2022
7:00 PM CST

The Jeniro Agency, The Writers Room - Women's History Month - Onicia Muller

Therapy Would Be Cheaper

Fellow Whohaha.com podcaster, Kenzie Rowland invited me on her podcast Therapy Would Be Cheaper. While we wait for that episode to air, enjoy Kenzie and Maurie Speed talking about religious trauma. It’s a hilarious and insightful listen.

what if jesus doesn't have the wheel and i'm a terrible driver. Therapy would be cheaper - Kenzie Rowland - Maurie Sped

BTW, if you decide that therapy might be cheaper than whatever loco you’re doing right now, consider Erin Matthews and the licensed professionals at Living in Empathy.

Funny Forward @mayamontrell

If a comic screams “cancel culture” in a forest with no one around to hear, how many book deals would they get by the end of the business day? #cancelculture #readingrainbow🌈 #GirlShutUp #PoorChoicesAreNotOppression WATCH ON TIKTOK

Let the Black people in your life know you care. Send them a funny greeting card. [JOIN MAILING LIST] for 30% off all orders over $20.

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News Onicia Updates

I produced a TV pilot! — Onicia Update

Happy Black History Month! I PRODUCED MY FIRST FULL-LENGTH TV PILOT!!!!

Having a television show that runs for 3+ seasons is one of my big career goals. Filming a pilot is a looooong way from that goal, but it is a major milestone. I won’t share the entire pilot because we’re shopping the idea and seeking additional funding to produce the other 5 episodes of season 1. However, I can share the trailer. 

Special thanks to Peter Sagnia for trusting me with his story idea and to Diane de la Haye and Maya Montrell for providing additional writing and story support.

When I have a moment, I’ll post the full project details with cast and crew info. Please, ‘like’, share, and leave a comment.

2021 Resolution and Goals
In December, I shared that I didn’t want to make plans for 2021, but I lowkey felt inspired to write and workshop a new half-hour pilot. I also wanted to rest more. Well, I did just that. I took the entire month of January off. I feel pretty refreshed.

I wrote a new pilot called Matched. Very thankful to my friends Devin Whitlock and erica Dreisbach for their feedback and encouragement. Now I have a kickin’ script to submit to Sundance’s Episodic Lab and Warner Media Access’ (f.k.a. HBOAccess) fellowship.

On set of The Wonderful Counsellor, a Caribbean TV drama by Peter Sagnia and Onicia Muller

Want to own an original Onicia Greetings? Buy a greeting card from my online store. Cards not your thing? Consider sending me ice cream money. Full disclosure: sometimes, I buy cookies instead of ice cream.

Lastly, I want to thank the GOOD web developer erica dreisbach for creating my new WordPress website. Holla at her. 

Looking for a content writer or editorHire me to write snappy blogs, articles or witty social media posts! HeyOnicia[at]niciaMuller[dot]com

Categories
Stories TV Scripts

Counting On Kendra – Original TV Pilot by Maya Montrell and Onicia Muller

Logline: When a jaded accountant with a mysterious chronic illness and an extreme couponer go viral, her scam-obsessed best friend pushes them into the wacky world of private investigation.

Counting on Kendra advanced to round 2 of Sundance’s Episodic Lab (2020).

Pilot Synopsis

ACT 1

KENDRA watches finance videos in bed. AVON, calls to say that his nonprofit job agreed to have Kendra host a financial literacy workshop. Kendra fears committing because of her chronic health issues. She’s even too sick to buy toiletries.

With Avon’s support, a bedazzled cane, and a motorized shopping cart, Kendra makes it to the store. Kendra doesn’t see PATRICIA grabbing all the air fresheners in the household and cleaning supply aisle. She’s on a video call telling Avon about an alternative healing retreat. 

Kendra finally notices Patricia, her binder of coupons, and overflowing cart when she joins the check-out queue. Patricia says Kendra can livestream her ring up.

Kendra and Patricia politely to explain the difference between ‘per purchase’ and ‘per transaction.’ Unfortunately, the cashier and manager are convinced they’re committing coupon fraud.

ACT 2

Apparently, couponing while black is an arrestable offense, so Avon hops on Instagram live to raise awareness.

Dr. BIAGI shoots down any talk about alternative remedies and offers what Kendra considers is bullshit advice for her ailments.

While Avon is in the hospital’s bathroom confronting a man who refuses to wash his hands, Patricia calls Kendra with good news. She got them booked on Good Morning Chicago (GMC). Kendra ends the call when Avon enters chasing Mr. Dirty Hands.

VLAD (Kendra’s boss) tells REGINA from HR to set up a meeting to discuss Kendra’s extended medical leave. At this point, Kendra has been sick longer than she’s been employed.

Patricia tells her online community that her GMC appearance is uncertain because she hasn’t heard from Kendra.

In their meeting, Vlad and Regina tell Kendra to return to work full-time or lose her job. She has the weekend to think it over.

Upset that she lost a great PR opportunity for her couponing website, Patricia calls Avon to find out what’s up with Kendra.

ACT 3

Avon cleans Kendra’s apartment while reading comments and emails from fans.

Lupe knows Kendra is an accountant, not a lawyer. Still, the recently divorced mother of one hopes Kendra can help investigate her ex’s finances.

Kendra ain’t trying to be Harriette the Spy but Avon convinces her to at least do right by Patricia by contacting GMC. Also, if Kendra loses her job and ends up needing a GoFundMe, GMC is the perfect platform to get the word out.

MEL and AMIR, hosts of GMC, have differing opinions about couponing. Kendra snaps when Amir makes several indirect comments calling couponers moochers.

Couponers aren’t frugal jerk unwilling to pay full price. Sometimes you’re the only person in your family who “makes it ” and uses coupons to help your community. Sometimes your scumbag ex won’t pay their fair share of child support, so you’re stuck maintaining a household on a single income. Some people have invisible disabilities and can’t work a 40-hour week. Unlike Amir, Kendra won’t shame people for trying to survive or leave them hanging when they’re counting on her.

Maya Montrell - Chicago scriptwriter - Onion Features contributor - Counting on Kendra

Maya Montrell – Writer/Creator

Maya Montrell is a Chicago-based writer and improviser. This Southern Belle with a not-so-secret passion for floral arrangements once dreamed of a career in public health. Now she’s following her heart by pursuing the creative arts.

Maya is currently studying Anthropology and Linguistics. In 2019 she was a part of The Onion’s Diverse As F*ck writing workshop. This year she created and produced the five-week improvised medical drama, ‘Code Grey’ at The Annoyance Theater.

Her creative work centers around uncovering personal biases. She’s interested in exploring the intersection between linguistics and medicine. 

When Maya is not in class, she’s at the yoga studio or on Twitter impersonating Angela Bassett’s missing Oscar. She is equal parts carefree, careless, and careful.

If you enjoyed our original half-hour comedy pilot, ‘Counting on Kendra,’ email us at HeyOnicia[at]OniciaMuller.com with feedback, collaboration requests, and icecream donations.

Lead Photo by Jazmin Quaynor on Unsplash