"Terminally Chill" is a short-form web series consisting of ten 15-minute episodes that aims to examine terminal illness through a comedic lens to provide refreshing new representation of the Cystic Fibrosis community. The series centers on Kirsten Michelle Cills, a millennial stand-up comedian with cystic fibrosis. The series chronicles Kirsten’s ongoing struggles as she tries to find a balance between pursuing her dreams, managing her terminal illness, and keeping her cool around a seemingly never-ending cast of eccentric characters including her lazy ex-boyfriend, bumbling best friend, and gossipy boss.
The team recently completed the final scripts and has begun pre-production for the series. Filming will take place in Philadelphia in the month of November for four weeks. We then expect 2-3 months of post-production to be able to release the first episode in February 2022, with subsequent episodes being released on a weekly basis after that. We plan to cross-promote and release the episodes on both Instagram and Youtube in order to make the project accessible to a wider audience who may consume content in different ways across the two platforms.
While this is a fictional story, I am the professional comedian with a terminal illness. Seeing the humor in your life is not difficult; the difficulty comes from showing the humor to those who feel pity for you. “Terminally Chill” has always been my life’s project. I’ve never lived a day without Cystic Fibrosis, and as a result, I’ve never quite lived the same life that those around me do. As a young actor with a bright passion for comedy and writing, I felt a consistent struggle creating and portraying the average character because they all always seemed to have one simple thing in common: having all the time in the world.
What I’ve always seen for my future is exactly what I’ve been working to accomplish with the project of ‘Terminally Chill’: a representation of life in your 20s without a moment to spare.
What our grantee is saying: "As a terminally ill actor and comedian, I have devoted my life to using storytelling to spread awareness for Cystic Fibrosis. Winning the Awesome Foundation Disability Chapter Grant has made this dream so much more attainable, and myself and the team could not be more grateful for an opportunity such as this. Thank you thank you thank you."
Funded by Disability (April 2021)