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By Dave Arena

GENRE: Comedy
LOGLINE: A struggling comic thinks his dream of sitcom stardom is dead when he's suddenly forced to be a full time Dad, but his new role especially dealing with a hell raising special needs daughter, is actually bringing him closer.


I’m Dave Arena, stand-up comic and the sitcom I wrote is a true story based on my life. So, my wife and I, already in our late 30’s (when hopes and dreams should long be dead), abruptly up and moved our family of 5 from a 5,000 square foot house in the ‘burbs of Cleveland, Ohio to a 900 square foot apartment in New York City (which is a very midwesterny thing to do, we just listen to Tony Robbins in the car until we snap and do something crazy). After 8 years as a road comic, I was going to hit the big time in the comedy capital of the world and my wife figured she’d try out make-up school. What I didn’t count on was her becoming the Forrest Gump of make-up artists, who in an unbelievable chain of events only a few months after graduating, gets a full time gig on The Tonight Show. And meanwhile, I’ve just completed my four thousandth open mic and have to take care of the kids on top of it. And that’s what the series is about. It follows DAVE and TORI CATALANO (and fam). Dave has to live vicariously through Tori since she now lives in a world he wants to be in, rubbing elbows with A-listers all day. He struggles between still pursuing his dream of being a famous comedian as a small fish in a big pond and his new role as full time Dad in helicopter parent filled Park Slope, Brooklyn. The title is Livin’ The Dream (which for one is literal and for the other sarcastic). Dave’s biggest challenge is CARLY, his 6 year old and youngest daughter. The doctors have no clue what’s wrong with her. She’s not autistic, she just does weird, random stuff (which makes Dave a little proud cause he feels everyone nowadays has an autistic kid but his has baffled medical science). Psychologists, neurologists, other parents and even Tori want to put her in a box and try to fix her. Dave wants Carly to be herself. Carly being herself is great for Dave’s comedy act but not for their home life. For example, in the cold open of the pilot, Dave wakes up to find Carly, sometime in the middle of the night, has torn a hole in their window screen and threw all their stuff 4 stories down (the salad bowl from the night before, scissors, cinnamon, it all went down. She wanted to see if things could fly). She wrote her name all creepy in raspberries on the wall and hid all the forks in her pillow case (like serial killer shit. Dave’s just waiting for the day he gets stabbed by one of those forks.) So, it’s fresh and edgy but also heartwarming. Many who have read it comment that I’ve done a great job taking a serious topic like raising a child with a mental disability and bringing people into that world with a lot of humor and lightness. I want to make it clear that this does NOT have a dark tone. It’s closer to a male version of Odd Mom Out. Tori’s world in the make-up room is behind the scenes like a 30 Rock feel.

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