Easley native makes female-driven original web series set in New York

Online fundraiser launched to help pay for post-production

EASLEY — Easley native Aaron Ballard has created an original web series called “Brokers.”

Loosely based on her brief stint as a real estate agent in Manhattan, Ballard co-wrote and stars in the female-driven comedic series about the absurd world of real estate in NYC.

Ballard, who graduated from Easley High School, was active in both high school and community theatre productions at Easley Foothills Playhouse and Pendleton Playhouse. She relocated from South Carolina to New Jersey nine years ago to achieve her Masters of Fine Arts degree. Upon graduation, she moved to New York City, where she still lives, to pursue a career in acting.

ballardThe plot of “Brokers” mirrors Ballard’s real-life experience. When Ellen, played by Ballard, moves to the big city from her idyllic hometown in South Carolina, she joins a crew of misfit brokers at Awesome Apartments.

“As an actor, I have had quite a few supplemental jobs over the years, but my work with a certain real estate company stands out,” Ballard said. “I had some interesting coworkers. One of them had a Lifetime movie made about his sordid past. In the movie, he was the villain, so he rented apartments under an alias in case people had seen the movie and recognized him.

“Some of our listings were terrible. The first one I rented was a tiny room in the East Village with no kitchen and green carpet. It couldn’t even fit a bed. With all the fees and deposits, the renters paid close to $10,000 to secure the place. That disturbed me a bit.”

Ballard admits she didn’t last very long at the real estate company, but she did have ample experience to inspire her web series. However, her experience wasn’t the only thing driving her show.

“I knew I wanted to have as many women in charge as possible,” she said.

Ballard said women are traditionally underrepresented in the film and television industry, with a very small percentage of programming with female directors, cinematographers, writers and producers.

“I’m really proud of how many women are involved in this project,” she said. “We have a female director, writer, cinematographer and all but one of the producers are women. Stories with women in charge tend to be more female-centered in their storytelling, which is still quite rare in this male-dominated industry.”

The first season of “Brokers” was filmed over the summer in locations across New York City. Now, Ballard and her production team have launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for post production. A sneak peak of their footage can be found on the fundraising page. The money will help them hire an editor to complete the show so that it can be released next spring on Vimeo and submitted to web festivals across the country.

The crowdfunding campaign can be found at