Enjoy our trailer, and keep your eyes peeled for screenings near you!


creative team


Dawn smith

Dawn is the creator, writer, director, and co-producer of PAID FOR BY. She works as a freelance writer and producer in Boston, Massachusetts, and was field producer for Bernie Sanders' campaign commercials in 2016. Two of Dawn's feature scripts ranked in the top 20% of the Academy of Motion Pictures Nicholl Fellowship, and her script THE LIGHT FANTASTIC was a second rounder at the Austin Film Festival in 2016. Before settling in Boston, Dawn worked as an associate producer at AKPD Message and Media (formerly Axelrod & Associates) in Chicago. She's produced political ads for Rahm Emanuel, Martha Coakley, Dan Malloy, Jason Carter, and many others.

devra sari zabot

Devra is the co-producer of PAID FOR BY. She has produced content for high profile clients including Cookie Jar Entertainment/DIC and Sander/Moses Productions, has excelled as a production manager for films airing on SyFy, Lifetime and MarVista and has worked on branded/commercial content for major brands including Puma, American Beverage Company, Play-Doh, and Elmo. Devra has also produced riveting content for museum installations as well as documentaries, including some acclaimed projects such as “Boston (Marathon),” and “A Path Appears.” Devra is a transmedia professional who has worked across all platforms including digital, animation, gaming, educational programming, social media and other video platforms.



joann cox

A native of Massachusetts, JoAnn attended the University of Southern California before returning to New England. She's worked at a non-profit, a major media company, a dot-com, a school, and a start-up, and city government. Since 2007, she has served as a Founding Board member and Administrator for the Shirley Jackson Awards, which recognizes outstanding achievement in the literature of psychological suspense, horror, and the dark fantastic.

JoAnn is working on a novel and freelances as a production coordinator and producer. For the 2018 Muse and the Marketplace, she'll serve as Venue Coordinator & Onsite Volunteer Manager.




Kelly plays Margot Meriwether, a rule following, passionate environmentalist turned political commercial producer. Margot would describe herself as a woman and feminist first, but her friends might be more inclined to mention that nice guys finish last proverb.

Kelly MacFarland has an extensive and well-rounded resume including comedy clubs, theaters, colleges and several television appearances. Kelly has entertained our US troops overseas, headlined the 2009 Boston Women in Comedy Festival, was first runner up in the 2009 Boston Comedy Festival, voted Best of the Fest 2010 Aspen Rooftop Comedy Festival, appeared in the Oddball Festival 2015, Boston Calling, Stand Up in Stilettos, Comedy Central’s Premium Blend, part of Top 100 Comedians of Last Comic Standing Season 9, on AXS Gotham Comedy LIVE, and won first in the professional category of the Ladies of Laughter 2016 competition.

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Tony V plays Seth Nelson, numbers guru, campaign advisor, and parther at political consulting firm Nelson & Nelson. Algorithms and big data dictate Seth's decisions, and his last minute moves are frequently in direct contradiction to Margot's mission to make the world a better place.

Tony V was named “Funniest Person in Massachusetts” by Showtime, has performed on HBO, the A&E, Comedy Central and MTV, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central’s Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn and several sit-coms including Seinfeld, Boston Common, The Single Guy and Dr. Katz Professional Therapist. He performs regularly all over New England, and has a show at Laugh Boston. His film credits include State and Main, The Town, The Heat, Celtic Pride, Housesitter, One Crazy Summer and Shakes the Clown, By the Sea, Daddy's Home 2, and SMILF.

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Tooky plays Shelby Samstrot, a millennial production assistant with razor sharp wit, who has to put up with Margot's unrealistic ideals. Shelby is often the voice of reason in the midst of a chaotic shoot day.

Tooky (rhymes with cookie) Kavanagh speaks her mind with honesty, charisma, and edge. After three years on the comedy scene, Tooky has already performed throughout New England and New York. Her credits include Laugh Boston, Nick's Comedy Stop, The Comedy Studio, 2017 Women In Comedy Festival, Thunderfest 2017, opened for Brent Weinbach (Adult Swim), Opened for Myq Kaplan, Boston Comedy Chicks, Boston Comedy Arts Festival, The Producer’s
Club, Comic Sit-In at The Riot Theater, Comic Meritus at Johnny D's Uptown, and Dick Doherty’s Comedy Den.

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Jose plays Phil Gunning, the observant camera operator always ready with a witty zinger.

Jose Gunsalves is a highly versatile SAG-AFTRA actor with extensive commercial work, as well as film and television credits. He's appeared in The Blacklist (ABC), Daredevil (Fox21), Homeland (Showtime), Billions (CBS TV), and Gotham (Fox). His film credits include Proud Mary, Daddy's Home 2, and Pimp. He is represented by The Carson Kolker Organization.

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Zele plays Diane Busch, a down on her luck Democrat running for governor of Pennsylvania.

From local fringe theatre, to corporate videos for national brands including TJX Companies (TJ Maxx,
Marshalls, Home Goods) and Staples; from local commercials (Plexxi) to national commercials
(HASBRO); from web series to feature films (MALL COP, THE A PLATE, DADDY'S HOME 2); film shorts (KNIGHTSVILLE) and
indie films (SPIN THE PLATE, MAIL.MAN); Zele has extensive acting experience.  She is a former English/Drama teacher, was a professional stage manager, and she assisted on a couple episodes of HOARDING: BURIED ALIVE on A&E. Zele is represented by Andrew Wilson Agency.


Cast members joining us for an episode include fantastic local Boston comics.

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kathe farris

Kathe Farris is a suburban housewife and mother who shares her unsolicited advice about everything from calcium supplements to the awfulness behind book groups. Her credits include Boston Comedy Festival, Women in Comedy Festival, and Chicago Funny Festival. She was the comic in residence at the Comedy Studio, and has also performed at Laugh Boston, ImprovBoston, and Boston Comedy Chicks. She also teaches stand up at ImprovBoston.

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brett johnson

Brett is a comedian, actor and Boston transplant by way of Albany and East Africa. He is cofounder of the web video team BRAINFOX, and has performed at the Women in Comedy Festival, Boston Comedy Festival, and other Boston comedy clubs. He has never run a marathon.

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awet teame

Awet Teame is an Eritrean, East African comedian with a Bostonian edge. She talks a lot about being born in Eritrea and coming to the States, only to discover no one, including herself, knew her country wasn't on the map. She worked in Los Angeles as a casting assistant on ANIMAL KINGDOM and FLAVOR OF LOVE, as well as associate producer on the feature REVOLUTION. She's performed stand up at The Hollywood Improv, San Francisco Punchline, Seattle Underground, the Comedy Store, Laugh Factory, Ice House, and Flappers.