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The Dream Vs. The Come Up

Set in Washington, DC, The Dream Vs. The Come Up tells the story of Rob Johnson, an up-and-coming comedian as he fights to save a struggling comedy career and a failing relationship in the midst of a pandemic.
A college drop-out, Rob’s life-long dream is to make it big as a comedian and leave the city where “nothing seems to be happening for him-” a dream that seemed to have been snatched away from him by the cold arms of the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, he perseveres and embarks on a journey to record his first comedy special – a move he believes will take him out the city and launch him into the spotlight. But things begin to fall apart when his mother’s health begins to wane and his girlfriend of three years gets pregnant by his best friend’s uncle.

It all builds to the final moment of the story, where Rob finds himself at a cross-road – he finally has the opportunity to record his special and open for an internationally-renowned comedian at a sold-out show, but just before he is set to leave the city, he loses his mother to a heart-attack and finds out his fiancé’s life is hanging on a thread. In the end, Rob realizes that sometimes the best things in life don’t always come from where we expect and the answers to our problems don’t always lie on the mountains to which we look, but in our own backyard, all around us. It is the Big Sick meets About Last Night with a hint of Coming to America.

Through the eyes of everyday people, the story examines the reality of the night life industry during the COVID-19 pandemic. By shining some light on the fighting spirit and doggedness of patrons and entertainers during such trying times, the movie explores a common circumstance, a shared struggle, and in so doing, stirs hope and strength in the hearts of viewers.

Associated Members

Lysious Ogolo, Independent Filmmaker