Platonic is the story of two close friends who have obvious sexual tension, but don’t cross the line for the sake of the friendship. Pretty relatable story, right? I thought so too when I wrote it in 2016. I just never thought it’d lead me to such a whirlwind experience I’d still be enjoying three years later.
My name is Moni Oyedepo and I’m so very excited to tell you my story and how my small idea blossomed through the hard work and dedication of talented creatives and small business owners who believed in a wonderful shared vision. Over the next few weeks VoyageLA is letting me take you on a fun, windy journey on how feeling isolated in LA led me to create one of the most collaborative passion projects out there. We’re going to make five pit stops and gain insight from the team and partners to learn how Platonic was conceived and ultimately developed. From addressing “Adulting in LA” to learning about restaurants in the area who support young creatives, to getting tips, tricks and DON’T EVER DO THIS advice, I’m excited to highlight this project and encourage you to pursue your own ‘simple’ project too.
Stop #1: Platonic’s Origins
Me In A Nutshell: It’s VoyageLA for goodness sake, so clearly you want to know more about me before you decide to watch my show or read more about it. Here goes. I quit my job as a government consultant and moved to LA about three years ago convinced I’d write for Buzzfeed, have a stable income and sip Mai Tais under palm trees laughing at my east coast friends for not daring to venture west. When none of that happened (I was devastated), a mentor told me I needed to do stand-up or improv if I wanted to pivot into a newer desire of mine, comedy writing. Uh… what?!
I finally enrolled in an improv class, was ready to check that off the life bucket list and figure out another way to break into the comedy writing scene when my teacher told me I had to take more classes and keep going. Uh… what?! She saw a performer in me that I was convinced never existed. Two years later and I’m proud to say she was very right and I was very wrong.
Platonic’s Inception: Can I just say that making friends as an adult when you’re not in school and don’t have a standard job to report to is hard AF. I was spending tons of time alone because I didn’t have these two aforementioned things and the improv community felt like high school 2.0 I DESPERATELY needed a break from. All of this loneliness made me miss my old friends and wonder what dumb situations I’d get into with new friends. Thus the friendship between Wood and Brea was born. I wrote 12 episodes, felt like it was great exercise, and planned to bury it deep in the confines of my computer. However, once friends and family got ahold of it, forced me to acknowledge I’d make this and convinced me to star in the project (trust me… still a stage fright shawty at this point, but very grateful to my inner circle strong arming me into my dreams!), I started softly asking people I knew and respected if they’d want to help get this made. The response was overwhelming as the yeses snowballed. Especially because my asks grew from people I knew to strangers responding favorably to my cold emails and DMs. I always believed this was an industry of rejection and I was a fool for entering it without the blind faith that I’d “make it”, but having this assembled team of people believing in something I couldn’t envision at the time, was a wakeup call that I can do this. I need to do this. And if I don’t start believing in myself people will stop believing in me. So, three years later I believed and very proud to say we conquered.
Now, clearly you want to know more about the project than just knowing that two friends don’t want to sleep together — even though they clearly do. That’s what this five-week journey is for! Even though the 7 episodes of season one tackle this friendship and more, I cannot wait to tell you more about the 20+ black owned businesses, artists and creatives we partnered with to profile other people who are paving ways through their own creative endeavors.
The team did a fantastic job and I can’t wait for you to hear from them on their trials and tribulations of living in LA, being young creatives, the headaches and good feels of working on the project and more.
You can view the entire series and subscribe to the show right now on YouTube and our site. Trailer below:
Check out the rest of the Platonic-VoyageLA Collab:
Week 2: Meet the Platonic Cast & Crew
Week 3: Adulting in LA: can we be friends!?!?!
Week 4: Platonic Collaborations
Finale: Lessons from an Intelligent Idiot