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News Onicia Updates

Is it Okay For Artists to Take a Break?—Onicia Update

Hey, Friends!

It’s me, Onicia! Writer. Comedian. Internet bestie who triggered your abandonment issues by going on a year-long hiatus from slinging jokes and writing stories.

My last official newsletter update was in April 2023. I was very deep into my postpartum recovery and getting revenge on my crappy OBGYN.

Is it good for artists to take breaks?

YES! As a (bad) Seventh-Day Adventist, I will never give up Sabbath rest. I might not always make it to church, but I’m always gonna unplug for the weekend. Recently, several popular YouTubers like Adam Neely and Extranet Shaquille shared their experiences with burnout and their futures on social media.

One thing I like about being an artist before social media and content marketing is that stepping away from the public and working in private (this doesn’t mean completely alone).

In a Vox article by Rebeca Jennings, fellow comedian, marketing expert, and IRL friend Rachael Kay Albers shared thoughtful commentary on the pressure for artists to constantly be marketing and selling our work.

Taking a break was good for me. I’m happy to be in the land of the living sharing my “little” updates with you.

Addressing broken promises.

Last year, I promised to mail out some free greeting cards. Um, that ain’t happening. If you really want my new designs, my online shop is still open. If money is an issue, shoot me an email. We’ll work something out. <3

The producers of Louder Than A Mom never uploaded my story on getting revenge on my OBGYN. It usually takes them a few months. I didn’t feel like hounding them. You can hear the tales and other funny stories in my first half-hour comedy special ‘Good Island Gyal’.

Sooo, about them splits. My flexibility journey is still ongoing. I actually did a 90-minute stretch session today! Near the end of January, I completed 9 days of a 14-day stretching challenge. I got discouraged because I felt like I wasn’t seeing progress. Near day 9, I became less flexible. I forgot that rest (muscle rehabilitation) is an important part of training. It’s been about 5 days, and I finally saw more progress. By hook or by crook, I’m going to achieve the front splits. I recorded a few sessions, so you will see progress soon!!!

What have I been doing since last April?

I intentionally took a 1-year break from professional art-making (comedy, storytelling, fiction writing) and freelancing (content marketing and writing). The timing was perfect because I wasn’t in a great space mentally. A handful (yeah, that many) of good friends passed away, lots of family drama, my roommates and I had a bacterial lung infection and the flu (AT THE SAME TIME), and several scammers tried to do fraud on my bank card.

That said, good things also happened. I won’t share those right now because I’m rushing to complete some tasks on my to-do list.

How was 2023 for you? It was lovely seeing many of you IRL at my shows, on the Writers Guild picket lines, and on the internet. Hit ‘reply’ and let’s catch up!

Categories
Comedy Stand-up Comedy Women in Comedy

Good Island Gyal — A Caribbean Comedy Special by Onicia Muller

Caribbean comedian Onicia Muller jokes about surviving death and getting revenge on her crappy OBGYN who failed to diagnose her preeclampsia. Now she’s a good island gyal gone bad.

Shoutout to Paul Schissler (The Baddest B*tch) and Niles Abston (Household Name) whose comedy specials inspired me to produce and share #GoodIslandGyal.

Being funny on command requires proper nutrition. Please buy me ice cream. As thanks for the nutrition, I’ll happily send you my birth story video.

For bookings contact Nick Youmans bookings[at]oniciamuller[dot]com.

Filmed at The Rusty Rocket on Sint Maarten in front of a live audience.

For ELIZABETH, SHATORIA, IAH, and all the good island gyals.

ONICIA MULLER: GOOD ISLAND GYAL (2023)

Written and performed by
ONICIA MULLER

Executive produced by
REMIGIO TORRES
SHUDIKE TORRES
ONICIA MULLER

Promotional graphics by
SHAWN YORK
ONICIA MULLER

Cameras and audio
KAREEM ROMBLEY
HERBIE-JUNIOR MARLIN

Special thanks to
KAREEM ROMBLEY
ESDRA RICHARDSON + RUSTY ROCKET
SUPPA KID + LASER 101
EUNICE JARRETT
LISA EBEL
AMY SUMPTER
RACHAEL KAY ALBERS
KELSIE HUFF

lil fizz butthole - onicia mullewr - homorrhoidectomy
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Comedy Scams Swindles Schemes Web Series

Travel scams: fake AirBnB hosts and shady car rentals—Scams, Swindles, and Schemes

Onicia and Devin go back to basics this week with no new guests, but plenty of stories. First up, somebody tried to scam Onicia! Good thing she knew better. Later, they look into fake AirBnB hosts. This is exactly how the housing bubble crisis happened. (We think. Allegedly. LOL)

The pandemic rears its ugly head again, because those AirBnB scammers were the first hit when it got out of control. Nobody wanted to stay in someone else’s house when they couldn’t leave their own! But we keep it light and friendly on Scams, Swindles, and Schemes and this is no different.

You can reach out to us on Twitter, donate to our sleazy lawyer fund, subscribe to Devin’s and Onicia’s YouTube channels–and tell us how you plan to get ahead in your career.

Local car rental tries to scam a local

Onicia was visiting family and had to rent a car, but the renting service tried to squeeze more money out of her. She knew what was going on, though! Ultimately, she couldn’t fault these scammers from trying to get ahead. Too bad Devin doesn’t drive, so he could barely relate to any of what she was talking about.

Question: Do you think Onicia damaged that car or was the car rental company trying to pull a fast one?

Shout at @devinagonistes and @OniciaMuller on Twitter.

Fake AirBnB host get rich quick scam

Special thanks to Remigio Torres for bringing this scam to the show’s attention! Because subletting an apartment isn’t complicated enough, some people have decided to list properties they don’t own on AirBnB and hope nobody asks questions. Onicia and Devin talk about the logistics of this, how it was affected by the pandemic, and why it’s a terrible idea all around.

Question: Tweet us (@devinagonistes and @OniciaMuller) to tell us your favorite AirBnB stories!

Shout at @devinagonistes and @OniciaMuller on Twitter.

Categories
Comedy Scams Swindles Schemes Web Series

$299 for 5 Minutes to Practice a Pitch?! And No Deal—Scams, Swindles, and Schemes

This episode’s scam begins like so many others: with a mass email sent to the Promotions folder! Devin made the mistake of signing up for a “free” pitch meeting with a rando executive, but he forgot to read the fine print that stated he had to pay three hundred dollars if he wanted to actually pitch something in order to get lukewarm feedback. Full season 2 starts in April!

You can find us on Twitter (we’d love to hear from you!), donate to our sleazy lawyer fund, subscribe to Devin’s and Onicia’s YouTube channels–and pay us a lot of money to listen to your ideas so that we can compliment your “energy.”

Pitch Meeting Scam

Devin tells a story about how he ended up in a Zoom call with too many people sharing movie and tv show ideas, some of which are bad enough that they’ll probably end up produced soon enough. At least he didn’t stay for the whole thing!

Question: Tweet us (@devinagonistes and @OniciaMuller) to tell us: would you spend this kind of money for five minutes of pitching and two minutes of feedback?

We’re better than studio executives because we’re honest.

Categories
Comedy Scams Swindles Schemes Web Series

Girl, your “invisible” lace front wig can be seen from space—Scams, Swindles, and Schemes

Billionaires are going into the stratosphere, and even they can report back on the wig lace featured in today’s video! It’s our eighth episode, and we’ve got another lifehack that actually works and more people inflating perceived value to desperately try and create actual value. Another “devoted listener” who will remain anonymous sent in a story about using a $5 birthday coupon for a salad bar to basically get a week’s worth of food. And Gretta van Riel uses marketing psychology to sell watches that don’t look like they’re worth the asking price. Reach out to us via Twitter, buy us a coffee, subscribe to our YouTube channels—and let us know your favorite vacation spot according to security questions down in the comments.

Gretta van Riel’s cool watch scarcity scam

Who wears a watch when our phones tell us what time it is, anyway? Onicia discovered another Instagram influencer/salesperson trying to peddle wares on social media, and the results may or may not be exactly as you expect! The asking price is pretty high, and we’re not sure they hold up under scrutiny but you can be the judge and let us know what you think. If you thought last week’s scammer’s claims of half a million dollars on Fiverr were unreal, wait until you see someone claim they got a cool million off Shopify!

Question: Who is your fave jewelry influencer? Tweet us @devinagonistes and @OniciaMuller

Lifehack: flip a $5 birthday coupon into $50 in condiments

Another “dedicated subscriber” who may or may not be one of our illustrious hosts contacted us with a great idea on how to get free condiments. A birthday coupon for a subway shop included a salad bar trip for only five dollars. You’d better believe that salad bar container was fit to burst by the time this person was done stuffing it with pickles, olives, and whatever they knew wasn’t gonna spoil too quickly!

Question: Tell us your best scam *cough* “life hack” for getting discounts.

Um, your HairVivi wig lace is visible. PERIOD.

Onicia had to promise Devin multiple times that this story wasn’t a trap to trick him into saying something racist. Once she finally convinced him, he listened to her point and had no choice but to agree with her! There’s awkward hair moments, and there’s whatever is going on in the video embedded in this week’s episode. Wait until you see Devin’s reactions this time!

Question: Can YOU see da lace, or naw???

Categories
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