Bluebird is a short comedy web-series that began trickling out through the cracks of the internet in late June 2017.
It’s a character-driven comedy, drawing out the awkwardness of young adult melodrama. It centralizes the real struggles of being a young adult – trying to belong, trying to find what you’re passionate about, and to be taken seriously when you do. Couch these age-old questions among eccentric characters and you get this charming little piece that succeeds in standing out from the saturated “webisode” milieu.
Geographically, the cast and crew is mostly made of east coast transplants who have converged on the Toronto TV and film industry – and the story reflects that. Instead of the shining lights and endless days of a set, however, the stage is a tiny woodshop. It’s about an islander in search of work.
You likely know at least one name from the cast – Newfoundlander Liam Small. He might have told you jokes or screamed at you. After clocking his hours on virtually every production that came through Newfoundland, he made the move to Toronto last year.
When asked what the show is about, Liam says that it “follows a young carpenter named Jordan (Jessica Vano) who has just moved to Toronto from PEI, in pursuit of her career as a carpenter and designer. There is some resistance to her being a young female carpenter and she experiences some difficulty landing steady work until she applies to a small shop named Bluebird.”
His participation stems from the local productions of Republic of Doyle and How To Be Deadly, having worked with creator Bluebird Dominique Girouard (a PEIer; fellow Islanders from a different Island), where both were technicians.
Girouard and Tyler Boyco had been tossing around the idea of Bluebird for quite a while, and Liam melded right in when it actually started taking shape. He “loved the idea, and wanted to help make something happen. It’s easy to talk about the things you’d like to shoot eventually when you work in the industry, and I think we were all a little sick of not doing our own thing y’know?”
Talking to Liam, that seems to be the biggest benefit of being part of such a massive creative mechanism like the Toronto production industry – resources. But there’s a community that Toronto lacks. Although he appreciates the ability to work on such great projects, the scope of production means everyone’s job is detached from the next person’s. That’s where our small local industry shines.
I asked him what Newfoundland has that Toronto is missing, and he gave an answer that sums up that small town identity: “Fog, wind, and family. I mentioned above that the character of Jordan is a displaced east-coaster from PEI, and I think most of us involved have felt that to some degree in our lives. It’s got a bit of that old story about moving west to find work, prosperity, and all that good stuff. I would have also added jiggs dinner and The Levee, but the bar’s been sold and a couple of the b’ys up here are pretty resourceful with the mustard pickles.”
Bluebird is available at bluebirdtv.ca and on Facebook.