Alec Mapa: Baby Daddy premieres on Showtime tonight, at a moment when the Supreme Court is considering gay marriage, and Michigan just made it legal to deny LGBT families a chance to provide stable homes for the state's 13,000 children in foster care.
"I just couldn't take conservative pundits passing judgment on LGBT families any longer," Alec explains why he created his award-winning one-man show. "I couldn't take hearing that my marriage wasn't legitimate or that gay adoption was harmful to children. Creating and performing this show was a way to beak down that hateful narrative and replace it with an authentic truthful telling of how my husband and I created our family through foster adoption. The main message is my family's not all that different from yours. We all want the same things. The only difference is we're gay, so we want nicer things."
Alec was about to retire his act some time ago, and I asked if we could film it. Live theater is fine, but you can reach so many more people on-screen. We figured out what it would cost to get a film we could do as a festival release, then set up a Kickstarter. Alec is fortunate that his husband, Jamison, is also a great producer. We set up a production company and got to work.
"My advice for someone who wants to create their own content with the help of crowdfunding starts with 'the pitch,'" Jamison said. "Tell people not only what you are creating, but more importantly why you are creating it. With Alec Mapa: Baby Daddy we knew that we had a calling to bring to the national stage our story of foster/adoption. That and awfully filthy stories of our married sex life that will be completely uncomfortable for my parents and other relatives to endure.
"After you have passionately and cleverly expressed your intentions, keep those that contribute to your project well informed and make them feel special, because dammit, they are special! They are helping you create your project, whether it's good OR awful, and without them you would not be able to bring forth your creation." Jamison says another important benefit of crowdfunding is owning your content outright upon completion: "After you have successfully raised the funds for your production, ensure that you are the owner of your content. Ownership secures total creative control during production, authority over distribution, sales, as well as acquiring revenue."
We were so delighted that Showtime saw the importance and timeliness of this message. They have always been great about edgy comedy, and this show pushes that envelope. Straight comedians can work blue and no one would ever question if they are good parents. I wanted to show a gay comic talking unapologetically about his sex life, and also showing what a great family man he is.
Alec said he's honored to get recognized as a public face of gay fostering and adoption. "On a recent trip to Disneyland I was approached by a fan of a TV show I'm currently on and he said "I wasn't sure it was you, but then I saw your husband and son and thought who ELSE has a family that looks like that? That has to be Alec Mapa!"
Alec Mapa: Baby Daddy premieres on Showtime at 10pm ET/PT. Check their site for additional airings during Pride Month.