Vishaal Reddy, queer, South Asian, actor, writer, and producer, has released the first episode of his debut miniseries Insomnia today, Wednesday, June 5. The series, consisting of six episodes, will be released weekly on Wednesdays at 12PM EST and available to watch via YouTube and insomniatheshow.com. Watch the first episode now here.
Insomnia is a darkly comedic, single-camera, limited series about Nikhil Sharma (Vishaal Reddy) – a struggling bi-sexual Indian-American writer who can’t seem to get his life together. Nikhil secretly starts moonlighting as a male escort in New York City, and through his darkly absurd, late-night adventures, he finds himself dealing with racism, sexuality, loneliness, and a lack of sleep. Taking cues from shows such as Master of None, Louie, Fleabag, and High Maintenance, this is Nikhil’s journey to find love, happiness, and his true identity. This is a story about growing up. And failing. A lot.
After spending years being frustrated by both the lack and misrepresentation of roles for someone of his race and sexuality, Reddy decided to take matters into his own hands and create a role of his own. The concept for the show spawned from real-life experience out in NYC where he was approached by a stranger, who had asked him to consider taking a job as a male escort. The series was directed by award-winning director, Michelle Cutolo, and also stars Nikki Renee Daniels (Hamilton, The Book of Mormon), Aneesh Sheth (High Maintenance, Difficult People, New Amsterdam), Cheech Manahar (Mean Girls The Musical), Alison Barton (Master of None), Kuhoo Verma (The Big Sick), and more.
Reddy was able to get Insomnia off of the ground with the help of a Kickstarter with over 190 backers, and the series has already been heralded by Wussy Mag, The Teal Mango, India West, and more.
Vishaal Reddy is an NYC transplant, originally from Tennessee. He received his undergraduate degree at Boston University, studying Business Administration and Theater. Upon moving to NYC, he was a part of numerous off-Broadway plays and musicals, while also diving into the television//film world (recent credits include The Punisher, Bull, and Big Dogs). Feeling frustrated with the industry’s portrayal of Indian characters, he started writing and producing his own screenplays and sketches. Most recently, Reddy completed the Tribeca Film Creators Market, where he was selected as one of the N.O.W. creators, and has been a special guest at Buzzfeed HQ, where he had a chance to chat all things Insomnia during a panel. His ultimate goal is to use Insomnia as a platform to launch a production company, focusing on the stories of Asian Americans and members of the LGBTQ+ community, as Asian characters make up less than 3% of on-screen characters, and only 4.8% of television characters identify as LGBTQ+.
The first episode of Insomnia is available to watch now. For more information, please visit https://www.insomniatheshow.com/.