Web series honors Bronx neighborhood while getting people back to work

KINGSBRIDGE, Bronx (WABC) -- As film and TV production started to resume amid the pandemic, one veteran performer got to thinking about what he could do to get people working again and honor his own Bronx neighborhood at the same time.

Steve Greenstein is a working actor who has credits going back as far as "Growing Pains" and "Seinfeld" and as recently as "Pose."

Greenstein was walking around the Kingsbridge section of the Bronx shortly after the pandemic began when he got an idea for an online series called "Covid Ditty."

The series of short episodes on YouTube is a labor of love, but also of respect and recognition.

"I live in this neighborhood and felt there was a story to be told here," Greenstein said.
Greenstein was born and brought up in the neighborhood. He still lives there which is also where so many essential workers live.

Workers like the nurse played by Monica Delgado.

"I feel lucky that I get to represent someone like that because they have been the true heroes this whole time," she said. "Hopefully, they feel the appreciation they deserve."

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Greenstein writes and directs each show, and his crew is so small a performer might act one day and operate the DSLR camera the next day.

Lee Zhou shot TV news and documentaries in his native China. He played a part in Episode 4 and was operating the camera when Eyewitness News visited.

"'COVID Ditty' is very sentimental, but in a very comedic way, in a very humorous way," he said.

Greenstein has been a union actor since 1983 so he's proud to let us know, "this is a SAG-AFTRA production under the New Media Agreement."

The deal allows each actor to earn a fair wage on the lower end of the pay scale.

"It allows us to do what we love and act," 11-year-old Andrew Terranova said. The 6th-grader at I.S. 24 adds that the show is helping him to break into show business.

However, shooting during the pandemic has its challenges just as it does for larger scale productions.

"There are a lot of guidelines that we have to follow in order to make sure everyone is safe on set," line producer Jennifer Plotzke said. But, surely the extra time and care is worth it.

"The production helps the community." Greenstein said. And, he never forgets the needs of this neighborhood.

"Every time we go to a location, we pay the location," he said. "Every time we have a lunch on set, we use a local restaurant."

The writer, director and star has dipped into his retirement savings to make these shows, but he also accepts donations. Find out more on his website.

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