Aug 9, 2013

The History Of Swallow Your Bliss

I have lost count of the cooking show pilots and series I have worked on as a food stylist. I put them in the good, the bad, and "I worked the Titanic" categories. Most of them were decent shows that lasted a few seasons and then disappeared. The television show being the pinnacle of the talent's career, even adding a cookbook or two, but no remarkable sales. Those shows just go bye-bye, and the talent goes back to their restaurant or bakery or computer. If you don't know, I'll tell you that most talent has a very small window of time. Only a tiny percentage moves on to super stardom.

Several shows I've worked on from the spark of an idea to thirteen taped shows never made it on the air. The network sells the forgettable season off to hotel programming after a dismal weekend showing. Now, I told producers on one particular show, "Really guys, don't cast for talent on Craigslist." Those silly kids, they just had too much of someone else's money, and the show was ahead of its time; gluten free, sugar free, vegan, no dairy (we mixed up a lot of nuts). As the stylist, I was left with brown gunk. And every time we used the dehydrator, we fell behind schedule. Twelve to fourteen hours is a long time to cook a tomato. Remember, television is a visual medium. Thank GOD the hostess had a nice rack.

When the shows bombed or died, so did the producers. In my career of 25 years, I think I've worked with at least four generations of producers. Just like dog years, producers age and die rapidly. It's only fair. They've had enough. I've had producer friends that were driven to drugs, alcohol, and serial marriages. And they were the happy ones.

The best shows for me have always been hosted by real chefs or cooking school teachers. Talent who knew their craft and loved their work. It wasn't money or fame that drove them. It was the food. Now, don't misunderstand me, just because they were great chefs didn't mean they were exceptional people, nobody's perfect. Actually, one of my favorite chefs is still in jail. I don't care what evidence the jury had, he was such a nice guy who made an exceptional reduced fat eggplant Parmesan.

What I have witnessed when I'm around the greats, the legends, the masters...their work is truly their bliss.

I have seen a lot from my backstage kitchen. It's not always pretty but it's usually funny. Yes, you can die laughing in the kitchen. I have written volumes about my kitchen adventures but on the advice of my attorney, my last agent, my present agent, and possibly pending agent...I've inspired a script instead. Please know that ALL names have been changed to protect the guilty. This is a script for television; it's not real. Even if it seems real it, is not real. It's as real as a Real Housewife.

A few years ago, one of my best clients and producers, Pattie Kelly said, "Denise, we'll have our writer friend Brian Everingham come and follow you around on set, he'll take notes and make sure you tell him all your war stories." At the time, I was working with a woman so mean, she would have made Osama Bin Laden cry. I dubbed her Princess Petty Tyrant. But, I had to admit that bitch could cook, and then Brian created Amanda Bliss.

The other cast of characters fell into place; the brow beaten assistant, the sassy food stylist, the director with the voice of GOD, the network show runner with his perpetual tick, and the dear, foolish producers, always like generals, screaming no guts, no glory. It's a very littered battlefield. I've known them all.

I love seeing "behind-the-scenes" on a set and thinking; it's only Monday.

Our show is called "Swallow Your Bliss." We need money to make the pilot. We want to make it our way and with our talent. And yes, there are some dirty, sexy, possibly raunchy parts that go down in the kitchen. Why else work there?

My team and I are asking for donations (your money) - oops, now it's called "Crowd Fundraising." Please go to our Indiegogo page and make any size donation.

Everyone in the Army of Bliss has been working for free, even our talented cast for months. We believe in this idea that much. Please join us and help yourself to a big serving of fun and laughter!

Thank you.

Denise Vivaldo feels if you know her, you will donate because dammit, she's funny and one of the hardest working women in Hollywood and if you have worked with her and you were a shit, you owe her hush money.

Aug 6, 2013

Swallow Your Bliss

Swallow Your Bliss at Times Square!


A brand new sitcom produced by Scarpaci/Kelly Productions is taking a truly independent approach to funding its pilot episode by raising money on crowd funding site, Indiegogo.

 Swallow Your Bliss is a tantalizing food-centric sitcom about a top-rated TV cooking show and its life-addled crew. In "Bliss", the only thing sacred is the food. Everything else is fair game.

Award-winning food stylist/chef Denise Vivaldo and multiple award-winning indie filmmakers Pattie Kelly, Phil Scarpaci and Brian Everingham created Swallow Your Bliss.
The sitcom was born out of their obsession for cooking shows, the antics of many celebrity chefs, their complicated recipes and definitely their public gaffs. So it is not surprising that between a food stylist/chef, a producer, a director and a writer, that this hilariously funny script came to life.   


Rounding out the team are Actor/Producer Christopher Rich (Murphy Brown/Reba/Boston Legal) Actor/Producer Lisa Long (Shameless) respected Casting Director/Producer Ricki Maslar, C.S.A and veteran actor Michael Dorn (Star Trek: The Next Generation / Castle).

What sets this crowd funding campaign apart is that this is the very first time a sitcom has turned to a crowd funding site like Indiegogo to raise money to film the actual pilot episode. By utilizing this unique independent approach, the team, who refer to themselves as the "Army of Bliss", will have the opportunity to shoot the pilot their way, maintaining the wacky characters and the quirky humor they feel makes it special.

Indiegogo allows the production to launch a campaign of this size to help generate interest in the project throughout the entertainment community and beyond. By involving potentially thousands of people through the crowd funding process, they will create an early buzz for the project that can help the actual series find its permanent home. The Indiegogo campaign can fund the project quickly so it can go into production in months not years. The filming of the pilot episode is currently scheduled for the end of October.

Additionally, Swallow Your Bliss will give back as they move forward by donating five percent of all funds raised to the Los Angeles Mission,
their lead character's favorite charity.  

Contact: Cherry Hepburn Office: (818) 783-4071
Cell: (818) 471-7079  

Thank you SO much for your support!