Episode 2

Episode 3

Is violence justifiable in a violently oppressive culture? This is the main question we explore through the dark, satirical comedy web series Killer Workout. Directed by award winning filmmaker Sara Werner, the series is created by NYC-based personal trainer/writer Erik Potempa and produced by his wife Yvonna Pearson wanting to shed light onto the inequality, classism and racism many Americans experience on a daily basis.

Killer Workout uses horror, comedy, and violence as a vehicle to explore the struggles faced by Joy, a 31 year old broke, bi-racial, queer, female personal trainer for the elite of NYC. Struggling to fit into a society that constantly disrespects and others her while compensating her high level service with far less than adequate payment, Joy finally snaps as a result of a particularly offensive client’s racially charged sexual advances. This little violent BDSM matinee surprisingly exhilarates a traumatised and broke Joy as she begins to feel like she may have just found her “true purpose”: brutally murdering toxic rich assholes!

The series also stands as a commentary on the current economic conditions, where 61% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, with the top 1% controlling 32% of the wealth. Potempa explains: “Job security depends on how we as workers gracefully handle outrageous demonstrations of classism and condescension (stroking egos, deferring power, and eating reactions to abusive behaviour in order to stay employed). The wealthy are rarely held accountable for their toxic behaviour, often leading to physical and emotional damage in exchange for inadequate compensation. To understand the magnitude of the issue we just need to look at the hashtag #EatTheRich, which has become a very popular handle of late in response to this widespread abhorrent behavior of the toxic elite.”

Killer Workout is an exploration of repressed anger towards the violently oppressive system that we have been born into. Inspired by a true story, it addresses the abuse carried out by a self proclaimed feminist liberal. The series does not condone violence; rather it uses violence as a tool to externalise the trauma of what it means to be “broke as fuck”, i.e. living paychek to paycheck in a capitalist society. As a queer woman of color herself, producer Yvonna Pearson was especially drawn to the the main character for how she uniquely comes to own and express her anger. She explains: “Black women have often taken on the burden of the world’s violence – becoming, as Katori Hall puts it in her play The Mountaintop, ‘the mule of the world’. Black historical heroes and sheroes like that of James Baldwin, Malcolm X, Angela Davis, Assatah Shakur throughout their lives were in constant struggle with this same violently oppressive system and did not always take the road of the pacifist. In Killer Workout [Joy] gives me the catharsis of seeing my inner fury validated on screen.”