Tuesday, March 25, 2014

These are the Breaks

If you keep up with the buzz about card collecting comedy shows, you'd know there's never been any buzz, until two months ago. The Breaks Episode 1 hit Youtube in January like a prospector hits themselves when they think about their stash of Jesus Montero autographed Chromes... hard. The card media immediately picked up on the show and card collectors like myself went nuts. The show follows Ivan, a card collector just like you and I, and his attempt at balancing "real life" with the hobby. Hilarity ensues. I honestly can't remember a comedy that hit home like The Breaks does, it offers me a chance to laugh at myself while also sympathizing with Ivan.

Tell me you haven't had the same look on your face when confronted with an unopened box
As you can imagine, producing a show like this for Youtube isn't cheap, so The Breaks launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to continue the show. In just a week, they raised over 75% of their goal! If that doesn't show you how passionate the folks in this hobby are, I don't know what will.

Through the magic of Twitter (follow me @VFTSB) I've gotten to know the actor who plays Ivan, conveniently also named Ivan. In real life he's a card collector (like us) and also an actor (not like us). Ivan agreed to do an interview with me to give us an inside look at The Breaks.

VFTSB: Ivan, which came first, acting or card collecting?

Ivan: Card Collecting DEFINITELY came first - I got my first pack of cards at a Woolworths when I was three!  I didn't seriously pursue acting until college.

VFTSB: Which players would you consider your PC guys?

Ivan: My best PC's are Andrew Luck and Anthony Davis.  I just got my first Kris Bryant auto (hoping for more, but already too expensive!), and I like Cubs, Bears, Bulls, and Los Angeles Kings for teams.  Oh, and I'm pretty sure I have the world's largest Darnay Scott collection back home in my parents' basement.  He was my first PC...

"Ivan, how could you stick me in your parent's basement for so long?"
VFTSB: Is there anything else you collect?

Ivan: I don't collect anything else specifically, but I do enjoy memorabilia from time to time.  I've got a few Starting Lineup toys, a Dustin Brown autographed Kings hat, and I like Star Wars, Batman, and M & M's stuff.

VFTSB: What inspired The Breaks?

Ivan: The Breaks was very much inspired by my real life!!!  I have a history of always learning by making each mistake once, and when I started collecting in earnest again 2 1/2 years ago I fell into every trap possible.  As an actor & producer I'm always looking for opportunities to showcase myself, and it got to the point where card collecting was taking away from my other daily work so I figured, maybe I should do a series about this!

VFTSB: Tell me about the team who helps you produce the show.

Ivan: The team behind The Breaks consists mainly of myself and Dave Denholm.  Dave is a radio host in Los Angeles who I first became a fan of 7 years ago when he was doing the Clippers Post-Game and I was living in my car having just moved to LA.  I called in to his show a few times and he was always very encouraging.  Fast forward 5 years later, when I discover Twitter, and begin following Dave.  He actually followed back, and a few months later when I first tweeted my idea for "The Breaks" the ONLY PERSON who responded was Dave saying "hey Ivan, I like that idea, wanna meet?"  Dave is a great writer (his favorite show all-time is Frasier) and his years of experience in radio make him a fantastic director on set as well.  We are also blessed to have a DP (Colton Davie) who is one of the most technically proficient young men I've ever known, and our editor (Eddie Lucitt) usually only needs 2 rounds of notes to come up with a fantastic finished product.  His "rough cuts" are usually his fourth or fifth pass at an episode, so by the time Dave and I review the "rough cut" we see it as nearly finished! Sorry to ramble on, I am so blessed by the team of people I work with I could go on and on and on about working with them and what they bring to the table.

VFTSB: What are your visions for the future of "The Breaks" and how can our donations help?

Ivan: Our ultimate goal would be to turn The Breaks into a half-hour comedy for a network like FXX or even Spike.  I've always admired how Mark Wahlberg spoofed himself with his cameo in the first episode of Entourage, which then initially led audiences to tune in each week to see who would "show up" as themselves on the show.  I would love to employ this same thing on The Breaks, having different athletes guest star each episode.  Right now our budget to complete Season 1 is $7,000.  That covers costs of equipment rentals, editing equipment, lights, locations, snacks, and of course the cards!  We are hoping to raise $4,000 via Kickstarter, and we just got an offer from Ultra Pro to match up to $3,500.  Of course if we can exceed our $4,000 Kickstarter goal, then we can begin to reach out to some recognizable faces for guest star roles, make the show a bit more exciting, have more explosions, etc.  Just kidding about the explosions!  But seriously, this is not so that we can make money (notice we don't do google-ads during the episodes), anything above and beyond our Kickstarter goal will go back into making the rest of Season 1 of The Breaks UNFORGETTABLE.

Also, we do have a plan for where Season 1 takes us specifically, as well as a clear outline of Season 2, 3, AND 4 of the show.  But that is for a later blog...

A big thank you to Ivan for taking the time to chat with me! Check out The Breaks Kickstarter and follow @watchthebreaks on Twitter to keep up with the campaign and donate! 

If you haven't seen the first three episodes of the Breaks, then you're in for a treat:


  1. I hadn't seen this! (not sure if I was just out of the loop or what). Very cool, and great idea for an interview.

  2. I've watched a couple of these. They hold your interest as a collector and I'm sure they'll get better and better if the cash keeps flowing in.