What started with three brothers making home videos has become a comedy sketch YouTube channel. Now it’s a media production company releasing its first sitcom.
Goof Entertainment is a media organization specializing in photography, videography and music production owned by Courtney Theophin, 24, and her brother, Kenneth Theophin, 26.
The crew recently wrapped filming the pilot for “Courtney,” a show about a struggling comedian in his early 20s who navigates life after a rocky breakup. It draws on Courtney’s personal experience balancing her previous romantic relationship with her creative ambitions.
“When I was in a relationship, I wasn’t really nurturing my creative side,” Courtney said. “I was like, ‘Let me do a show about how a person finds themselves after they get out of a relationship.'”
Courtney studied nursing at Santa Fe College for two years before transferring to UF to study journalism and improve her writing and production skills. His goal was to expand Goof Entertainment, which started as a comedy sketch YouTube channel with his brothers in 2015.
The brothers’ collective creativity emerged during their childhood after their father gave them a camcorder. They continued to write, film and edit comedy sketches for entertainment after moving from New Jersey to Bronson, a rural town about half an hour from Gainesville, in 2006.
“We just honed it over time,” Kenneth said. “We graduated from YouTube.”
While at UF, Courtney became distracted with school and his personal life, which caused him to take a break from the channel. However, after a difficult break in 2019, he puts all his efforts into it.
“I had all this extra time on my hands and as part of my healing process, I picked up this camera and started filming as much as I could,” Courtney said.
The brothers also moved away from sketch comedy and turned Goof Entertainment into a media production company to make the business more profitable by establishing a large following, Kenneth said.
“Courtney” represents Goof Entertainment’s return to original video content.
Ricky Theophin, the youngest brother of 23, plays himself in “Courtney.” He is excited to show people they mean business and bring attention to Goof Entertainment.
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“I always wanted to get into the creative industry because I love making people laugh and smile,” Ricky said. “The most rewarding part is knowing that I can do it with my brothers.”
Ricky is a law enforcement officer but also acts and writes sketches at Goof Entertainment.
Kenneth, co-CEO of Goof Entertainment, spends most of his time behind the camera as a photographer and videographer at the company. The older brother also leads the business and marketing departments of Goof Entertainment.
Growing up with little access to cable TV and the internet, Kenneth said he’s proud of how far he and his brothers have come in video editing.
“That’s always been the goal of doing what we’re doing now,” he said. “I am happy that we are able to shake things up together as a family.”
Ashayla Blakely, a 23-year-old former UF telecommunications student and assistant principal at “Courtney,” met Courtney in 2020 while working for the UF College Reach Out program, an initiative dedicated to increasing the number of black students admitted to UF.
Courtney approached Blakely with the “Courtney” script and asked him to be her assistant director in January. Blown away by the humor of the scenario, she accepted without hesitation.
Blakely said the plot of “Courtney” is similar to famed writer and actress Issa Rae’s comedy web series “Awkward Black Girl,” with a timeless comedic twist resembling the work of Eddie Murphy.
“I know people are going to love this,” Blakely said. “I see this show becoming something my kids watch.”
For Sabrina Blakney, a 24-year-old acting junior MFA from UF who played Courtney’s ex-girlfriend, Lani, in the pilot, working with Courtney was exciting. Her infectious personality and priority given to her comfort put her at ease throughout the filming process, she said.
Blakney also said Courtney’s directing style was supportive and open-minded.
“It lets you try to figure it out on your own and gives you room to explore,” she said. “It’s an actor’s dream.”
Kenneth and Courtney recently moved to Los Angeles to pitch “Courtney” to television networks and plan to release the pilot on Goof Entertainment’s Youtube channel in July.
For Courtney, the sitcom represents his journey as a content creator and the creative community he’s cultivated in Gainesville.
“This project is the culmination of all the time I spent and the relationships I made in Gainesville,” Courtney said.
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