'Duffy' gets unhingedThursday, June 18, 2020
BY RICHARD JOHNSON
With entertainment avenues abruptly cut short due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, people in the industry have been forced to find alternative ways to earn an income. This dilemma was what forced local stand-up comedian Dufton “Duffy” Shepherd to take his future into his own hands.
He is taking his craft to a global audience with the launch of his Slightly Unhinged series which will premiere online at the end of this month.
“Last year we did the Slightly Unhinged live version and the plan was to repeat it this year based on the support we got and the reaction following that show. But den now baps…COVID. The comedic fraternity has no care package to get so I realised that I have to do something for myself…find a way to earn legitimately and, by extension, assist other members of the industry, so that's how the idea was born,” he explained.
“A few members of the fraternity have been trying to maintain an online presence during this time. Some have been doing Zoom projects, others have been going live on IG ( Instagram), but I really wanted to do something different. So Slightly Unhinged is a pay-per-view situation. So you will purchase a link which will be available from 8:00 pm on Friday, June 26 and expires on June 28 at 11:59 pm. Once you purchase the link, it will be accessible to you and you only for the entire weekend,” Shepherd added.
The one-hour-long feature will showcase one other comedian alongside Shepherd. For the premiere, actress/broadcaster/theatre producer Dahlia Harris will share the stage. Shepherd also noted that the first in the series will also include some behind-the-scenes footage. There are plans for at least five instalments of this online feature. He is still mapping out which other comedians will share his stage, but told the Jamaica Observer that Christopher “Johnny” Daley has been confirmed for the second show.
The fear of material being stolen has not prevented Shepherd and his team from launching this project. He noted that it is a gamble, but all the necessary precautions have been taken.
“We have copyrighted the event and the material. You can't get away from people trying to replicate your exact interpretations of an idea, so you just have to do all the due diligence and copyright the material. Make sure viewers are aware at the beginning of the show, and are aware that legal action can and will be taken if we become aware that copyright has been infringed,” he said.