By Jerry Mooney

Grassroots Comedy

At zenruption, we love creative new ways to do things, especially when they challenge the antiquated and entrenched power structures that block the success of the little guy. This is exactly what we are seeing with the plucky endeavor of a small group of actors that are producing their own television series. They are creating first and asking for validation second.

Bypass The Man

In today’s distributed access to fame, normal channels to success are no longer needed. There was a time that you looked to be ‘discovered’ in order to be able to become famous. Now, you are in charge. You just need to create enough buzz to get people to watch. Ultimately the landscape of how we create art, media, literature and ultimate fame has completely changed. This phenomenon is represented in the grassroots creation of the entertaining TV series, Idaho Boys.



The show’s “webisodes”, seen on Facebook and Youtube, revolve around two brothers who are constantly battling to save their family farm. When all avenues seem futile, the brothers, played by real life brothers, Troy Ozeander (Cameron Crain) and Jerry (James Russell) are confronted with an entertaining idea to attract listeners to their hillbilly radio show. Having more listeners is believed by the Ozeander boys to be a method which will produce more ad revenue; money they need to rescue their farm. The plan becomes complicated by periodic attempts to be sensational and the hijinx among the disparate characters is reminiscent of a countrified version of Three’s Company. The antics are entertaining and the concept is solid, but the real story is how they have tapped into the modern ethos of distributed creation and marketing.


The show’s foundation is completely organic. It was conceived of and created by a small group of actors (not yet household names, but an accomplished group). Instead of going through conventional and traditional routes, like pitching an idea to a studio, creating a pilot and hoping for the show to be picked up, this group has self-funded, crowd-funded and created the show from the ground up.

Troy Ozeander

The group is lead by the two brothers who also star in the show, Cameron Crain and James Russell. Cameron was the longtime president of the Nevada Shakespeare Company, where he acted, directed and produced nearly 2 decades of perpetual stage events. He has also had appearances in the movie A Single Woman, where he had multiple roles. Currently, in addition to creating Idaho Boys, Cameron is developing his career as a standup comedian and playwright. He penned Nevada: It Ain’t Just Vegas Baby! Which toured to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland.




Jerry Ozeander

James Russell attended Colorado Film School, where he received his Associate’s in Acting with a Certificate for Acting on the Screen. He has a list of credentials as long as his arm, including playing Aëtius Patrius Majorian in the film 476 A.D.Now he is turning a major focus to the project where he and his brother disrupt conventional media conventions both on and off the screen.

Together these brothers are carving out a path to produce their show, with or without the support of the establishment (although they encourage joint business ventures and sponsorship, particularly with Idaho and other relevantly branded companies). The premise and the entertainment value are worthy of mainstream success and we should all be rooting for them as examples of how we can all forge our own path to our dreams.

Originally published on disruptive website zenruption

Ignorance Confidence And Plenty Of Beer

Ignorance Confidence And Plenty Of Beer

By Cameron Crain

In 2009, at the urging of my school’s Headmaster, the late, great Bill Heim, I applied for entry into graduate school for Southern Oregon University’s Master in Theatre Studies in Production Design. It was a nerve-wracking time. I was teaching theatre full-time, directing a season of programming, running a Shakespeare company, and oh, helping my wife raise our twin daughters, who were two. The timing of taking on an advanced degree was less than ideal. And yet, I needed the professional development to advance my career. So it was a necessary madness.

I arrived in Ashland in July, and that’s when I met Shane Brown. The quiet, gentle-seeming, yet comically intense, sage from Idaho. My home state! What? Who was this guy who quoted Jung, jammed to Metallica and was from Jerome, ID? Becoming friends with Shane brought back the best of Idaho to me: a hard work ethic, a wicked sense of humor and connection to community. We shared almost as many stories as we did beer along with our good buddy Wayd–an Oregon boy, whom we adopted as a fellow “Idaho Boy.” Least we could do. Bein’s how we were in Ashland and all and Wayd was from Grant’s Pass.

Well, it was late one night walking back to the dorms after seeing a Post Modern adaptation of All’s Well That Ends Well when Shane first did the voice. And when I say voice, I mean, he unleashed the sting of a raspy, belligerent know-it-all. Think a redneck Muppet. On steroids. That’s the voice. Armed with ignorance and confidence, it captures the renegade sensibility of the West. And we were off imagining what the crispy critters from our Idaho childhoods would think about the very serious, very expensive theatre productions we were witnessing, courtesy of Oregon Shakespeare Festival. And that’s when the germ of Idaho Boys was planted!

-Cameron Crain, 8/13/2015

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