Giving Me Life (In The Land Of The Deadass)

A brand new web series about the struggles of living and loving in NYC.



Series Description

A new dramedy web series about six Black and Latinx friends as they struggle to live and love in New York City.

The series is now distributed through Xfinity, UrbanOne, Gravitas Ventures and RevryTV. Previously, the series won the AT&T Audience Award for Best Episodic at the 2018 Frameline San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival. It also was an Official Selection of the 2017 New York Television Festival, 2018 Cleveland International Film Festival, and 2018 Atlanta Out On Film Festival.



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Lori LaIng

Lori Laing is an American actress based in New York City. Her eclectic resume includes various web series, film, television and commercial projects. She is known for her roles in the second season of Marvel’s Iron Fist as one of the Crane Sisters, the recently released She's Gotta Have It Too, as well as the Broadway Video scripted series The Other Two from the award-winning former co-head writers of Saturday Night Live. Lori will also be appearing in the BET remake of First Wives Club scheduled to be released this fall.

Lori first learned the art of storytelling by paying attention to the rhythms of the people around her in Queens, New York, the most ethnically diverse borough in the city. After earning a Bachelors degree in Government from Georgetown University, she went on to receive a Master of Fine Arts degree from Columbia University in 2017. 


Natalie Jacobs

NNatalie Jacobs is a former Division 1 All-American soccer player who began her theater training at Studio Theatre in Washington D.C. She has since been featured on television, in various stage pieces and in national training videos. You can find her in the Emmy-nominated show Tough Love on CleoTV, Showtime’s Billions, and NBC’s Blindspot.


Mark St. Cyr

Mark St. Cyr is a series regular on Disney’s upcoming High School Musical: The Series.

He plays a supporting role in the upcoming indie feature A Modern Persuasion based on Jane Austen’s book. He has been featured in the Oscar-nominated film Marshall.

He is an alumni of the ABC Diversity Talent Showcase alongside the likes of Jesse Williams, Gina Rodriguez, and Chadwick Boseman.


Sly Maldonado

Sylvestre Maldonado is an actor and filmmaker born and bred in The Bronx, NY. He started acting in 2015 and hasn't looked back since. With national commercials such as Nikon, Amazon and Pepsi, he is looking to have more forward progress in his career. He was a series regular on Giving Me Life (In the Land of the Deadass). He continues his studies and growth while living his life on the happy side.

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Nathaly Lopez

Nathaly Lopez, a.k.a Nat Lopez, is an Afro-Latina hailing from the Caribbean (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic). She grew up and resides in the Bronx.  As an actor, singer, and recording artist, some of her top accomplishments include her album release "Nat Lopez," touring as a singer with Cirque du Soleil, performing Off-Broadway at New York Theatre Workshop, and her TV debut on Investigation Discovery's "The Perfect Murder." Since falling in love with Television & Film, she continues to pursue that path strongly. For more: IG, Twitter, FB: @natlopezartist.


Jarvis Tomdio

Jarvis Tomdio is an actor from the Washington D.C. area and is currently based in New York City. He is a first generation American, as both of his parents were born and raised in Cameroon (West Africa). Growing up, Jarvis always enjoyed playing make-believe and coming up with characters, but never considered getting into acting. This all changed when he did a play his junior year of high school and discovered that acting was something that he could see himself doing for the rest of his life. Jarvis is passionate about his craft, and currently trains at the Acting Studio NY. As he continues to grow in his career, you can expect to see more of him on screen and on stage!


Press Releases


Production Team



Born in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, Dafina Roberts is a New York native who works as a development executive/ producer/ writer/ director in television, film, and theater, with a specialization in coming-of-age stories. She is the writer/director/executive producer of Giving Me Life (In The Land of The Deadass). She was a 2017 Kickstarter Creator-In-Residence.

Prior to that, she worked as a Director of Development & Production at Nickelodeon, where she oversaw development and current series for scripted and unscripted projects; helped manage the first-look deal with Nick Cannon’s Ncredible Entertainment; and coordinated the creative development of the network’s current series slate with past credits including the Emmy-nominated Degrassi and the channel’s first English-speaking telenovela Every Witch Way to name a few.

Dafina also co-produced the coming-of-age feature film, Punching At The Sun (Official Selection of the 2006 Sundance Film Festival and Tribeca Film Festival; Winner for Best Narrative at the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival.) In addition, she has produced and directed live events at the Starbucks Music Series for the Sundance Film Festival as well as at MTV with the cast of Fela! On Broadway.



Sophia Clark is a Harlem based Producer driven by a passion for humanizing and celebrating queer and POC stories. She graduated from Philadelphia’s University of the Arts with a BFA in Film Production and a double minor in Creative Writing and Religious Studies. Before she transitioned to New York, Sophia worked as the Creative Consultant for the feature-length documentary Give to Live, which focused on charitable giving and foreign aid in East Africa. Currently, Sophia works as a field and coordinating producer for WNET, PBS’s flagship station. Her work with public media has yielded multiple local Emmy-nominated documentaries and collaborations with PBS Digital Studios and PBS Learning Media. 



Jordan Anthony Battiste is a music and film producer residing in Harlem, NYC. He has procured placements on Step UP 3D, MTV’s 10 on Top, and MTV’s MADE and has also appeared on MTV’s P. Diddy’s Starmaker. Jordan was instrumental in the signing of pop artist Marco Foster to multi-platinum artist Flo Rida and his label imprint IMG/Strongarm, as well as the Hip Hop/Pop band Pants Velour to Tommy Boy Entertainment and produced music for Shaun T’s workout DVD project CIZE. Jordan served as Music Director at the nonprofit youth organization The CityKids Foundation and produced their short film Conquer All which was awarded “Best Narrative in a Youth Film” at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival. Since then, Jordan has had various projects in numerous festivals and won awards in various categories. 

More recently, Jordan is the music director and producer for the New York Times acclaimed off-Broadway production A Brooklyn Boy, as well as, Josh Raff’s The Reverend JEAU and Love-Love. Concurrently, Jordan and Joshua Raff co-founded the video production company The Panda Bandit, which has produced the Columbia, South Carolina feature film What Matters as well as various web series such as Meme Girls and the after-school film program Five4Five



Hassan El-Gendi (a.ka. HaZ) is a Creative Consultant and Social/Branding Strategist with a unique, approach to digital branding and marketing for entrepreneurs and small business owners. He credits the combination of his project management experience in pharmaceutical advertising and creative work across multiple media platforms (his work has been featured in radio, television, and film) with his "creatively strategic" approach; developing and executing innovative strategy to produce quality content which crafts a unique, compelling identity helping brands to stand out in today's market.

When he is not bringing value to individuals/organizations in need his services, HaZ can be found indulging his passion for food, photography, and hip-hop, as he builds his latest project: a hip-hop fueled, multi-media exploration of what connects us together entitled "all.brunch.everything."



Bradford Bridgers is a publicist and aspiring visual creative from Fort Washington, MD. Bradford’s diverse digital media experience has supported key editorial and marketing initiatives for a number of brands and events, such as the Essence Festival, TIME 100, BET and more. A modern renaissance man, he is currently working to develop his writing, photography and acting skills. Bradford’s current passions and projects involve telling compelling visual stories that highlight and normalize queer people of color’s lived experiences in America. He currently resides in Brooklyn, New York.



LaMonday Baxter is a creative hailing from Raleigh, North Carolina. Her background is in digital media, filmmaking, photography, and content development. She works as a YouTube Strategist for Complex Networks. While at Complex, she works as a liaison between video and development- helping to coordinate for both Complex’s Election live coverage night, and the first ever ComplexCon. By night, she is currently helping to develop visuals for The Molecule Project and streetwear brand, Sundae School. Although she has many skills, she prides herself on her passion for using media to impact content that explores various groups of people and cultures. LaMonday resides in Brooklyn, New York.