Tag Archives: web series

Should Web Series Die?

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Hey guys,

Yesterday, I read an article about how there should be death to websites.  I thought it was very interesting. You can read it here.

I don’t think that web series to should die. Whether you call it an original series or a web series, one fact remains. The show is a serial online. I don’t think calling it one or the other makes it any better or different.

The author mentions several factors on his thoughts for the death of web series.

  1. Web series are amateur, self-indulgent, and rushed.
  2. Web series are light on character and storytelling.
  3. Web series a starting point in a career rather than the end goal.

While I can agree on most of these facts for the most part, I just don’t think this necessitates death. Sure, I’ve seen my fair share of not so good series, but I’ve seen some great shows that do what he and other people in “the Industry” say is wrong.

I’m going to list off some of the series I that I think are exceptions to the above mentioned factors:

Carmilla

This series is based on the novella by J. Sheridan Le Fanu with funding from U by Kotex, Carmilla is a story about Laura Hollis. Laura has just moved from a small town to go to university. Whenher missing roommate is replaced without explanation Laura vows to find out what is happening on campus while she deals with her new roomie.

You could argue that U by Kotex’s involvement with the series is what makes the series, I say it made for some very interesting extra content. You could also argue that basing it on another story leads to the character and storytelling, but modernizing something that was written in the 1800’s is no small task.

I think that the series it great and you should take the time to watch it.

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries is a modern retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. It follows Lizzie Bennet, a mass communications major, as she puts together her senior project. Her vlogs show us the trials and tribulations of her family life.

Again, I cannot recommend this series enough and any other show by Pemberly Digital. They are all modern retellings of classical literature.

Anyone but Me

When 16 year old Vivian McMillan has to move from New York City to the suburbs, her relationships, past and present, are tested. And her identity goes through seismic changes. The daughter of a NYC firefighter, Vivian has no choice but to leave the city with her dad after health problems he suffered trying to save people on September 11th force him to retire.

It’s about love, growing up, and being yourself. It’s is the series that really got me into web series and wanting to create one for myself.

Conclusion

I don’t think calling web series by another name changes anything. I believe that people will create crap, but there will be things that are done really, really well. I hope that you check out these series and start to watch other.

TTFN,
Nerd

 

Web Series to Watch: Producing Juliet (@ProducingJuliet) by Tina Cesa Ward (@twcnyc)!!!

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Web Series to Watch: Producing Juliet (@ProducingJuliet) by Tina Cesa Ward (@twcnyc)!!!

Howdy guys,

Happy March guys. Today, I thought I would bring you a new web series that I think that you all should watch. That show is Producing Juliet created, written and directed by Anyone But Me’s Tina Cesa Ward.

What is Producing Juliet?

According to the web site, producingjuliet.com, this is what the show is about:

When Rebecca meets kindred spirit Juliet, a playwright struggling to get her sophomore effort produced, Rebecca’s tenuous and open relationship with her alluring yet distant actress girlfriend becomes clear. Rebecca finds a new focus and decides to leave her corporate life behind to produce Juliet’s new play. And although Juliet is looking to create some distance of her own from an openly gay actor who can’t walk away from her, Juliet’s new partnership with Rebecca is about to put everyone’s drama center stage.

The show is made in New York under the direction of the award winning director and writer, Tina Cesa Ward (Anyone but Me, Good People in Love). The cast includes Rachel Hip-Flores (Juliet) and a slew of web newcomers such Alisha Spielmann (Rebecca), Jenny Grace (Laura), and Stacey Raymond (Michelle). The production team includes producers Allison Vanore (Anyone But Me, Cost of Capital, SOLO: The Series) and Rochelle Dancel (B.J. Fletcher: Private Eye).

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Why you Should Watch Producing Juliet?

I suppose that you could say that I’m a little biased due to my gushing about Anyone but Me, but I really enjoy this show. Every time that I watch a new episode, I’m always holding my breath and cannot wait for the next one when it is over, but let me break this down a little bit more for you.

Story

It’s an intriguing story that deals with a topic that isn’t very mainstream: open relationships. I love the fact that Tina isn’t afraid to push the envelope with her writing and the shows that she creates. It’s really a breath of fresh air compared to traditional media.

Not only that, it keeps you wanting more. I know that I mentioned that in my opening of why you should watch, but the show truly does. I’m never sure what will happen next. Will Rebecca leave her open relationship? Will Juliet’s new play be produced? I guess we’ll have to stay tuned to see what happens next.

Characters

Wow. I love each and every character in the show. Let me go through each of the main ones.

Juliet

Juliet is a kind of a starving artist. She’s struggling to get her new play produced. On top of that, she is struggling to leave behind an openly gay actor that you know that she has some history with him. I’m very interested to see where that relationship goes.

Rebecca

Oh Rebecca. Sweet little Rebecca. From the very first episode, you can tell her open relationship with actor, Laura is rocky at best. I get the feeling that, at least in the beginning, Rebecca wants to fight to make the relationship work. I keep wanting her to break it off. Again, we’ll have to see what happens with that.Laura

I can’t make up my mind about Laura. I think she’s the type of person who is non-committal. I think that she’s in a open relationship because she doesn’t want to settle down with people. I could be very mistaken about this, but we’ll have to see as the series goes on.

Overall, all the characters add something very different and very interesting to the story and that’s something that I really love the show.

Cast

Where do I begin with this? The cast is phenomenal. We’ve seen Rachel Hip-Flores in other Tina Cesa Ward web series such as Anyone but Me and Good People in Love, but some of the other actors this is their first time on film. A lot of the actors have had extensive experience on stage. You would never guess this while you’re watching the show. The actors really make you think that you’re watching someone’s real life. I’m very impressed with acting in the show.

Creative Team

I cannot gush about the creative team enough. We know that we have Tina Cesa Ward who wrote and directed my favorite web series ever, Anyone but Me. Then, we have the award winning producer Allison Vanore who produced several episodes of Anyone but Me as well as other web series such as SOLO: the Series and Cost of Capital. The other producer is Rochelle Dancel who produced BJ Fletcher: Private Eye. This team has produced some of my favorite web series and this one isn’t an exception.

Decide for Yourself: Watch or Not?

Below is the first part of the pilot episode of Producing Juliet:

Let me know in the comments below what you think of the show or tweet @producingjuliet your thoughts.

TTFN,
Nerd

New @L7sville Review!!!

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Howdy guys,

I thought that I would share one my current favorite web series with you, Squaresville. I know that I’ve talked about it before, but it is completely worth watching. It’s just amazing and I guess you could say that I’m biased due to the interviews that I’ve done, but I wouldn’t have done them if I didn’t think the show was worth watching.

Below is the playlist for Season 1:

And season 2:

And my thoughts and reactions:

Let me know what you thoughts about the series and my videos is in the comments below.

TTFN,
Nerd

Interview with @L7sville Star, @mkwiles-Part 2!!!

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Howdy guys,

It’s the last part of this particular series of interviews. I’m really sad. I look up to all the people who I’ve done interviews with for this series. Hope you enjoyed this.

MK Talks about Squaresville and The Lizzie Bennet Diaries

You play Lydia Bennet in The Lizzie Bennet Diaries (LBD). What is LBD for readers who haven’t seen it?
The Lizzie Bennet Diaries ia a modern-day vlog-style adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice.

Who is Lydia Bennet?
She is the younger sister of Lizzie and Jane. Lydia is known for being a bit of a loose cannon party girl, but as time has gone on I’m quite happy to say we’ve been able to add a lot more to her than appears on the surface.

Who else is in LBD?
We have a wonderful cast. Ashley Clements plays Lizzie, Laura Spencer plays Jane, Julia Cho plays Charlotte Lu, Christopher Sean plays Bing Lee, Jessica Jade Andres plays Caroline Lee, Maxwell Glick plays Ricky Collins, Briana Cuoco plays Mary Bennet, my cat Rosie plays Kitty Bennet, Wes Aderhold plays George Wikcham, Janice Lee plays Maria Lu, Craig Frank plays Fitz, and Daniel Vincent Gordh plays William Darcy.

What is Squaresville?
Squaresville is a web series about two girls, Esther and Zelda, in high school in the suburbs trying to be and do more than their surroundings afford them. It follows their misadventures and yearnings to make a difference.

Who do you play and what is she like?
I play Zelda, and she is the idealist of the two. She is the one wanting to be abducted by aliens or traveling through time and she often drags Esther along with her. Zelda is quiet but sharp, optimistic but judgmental, good-hearted but also condescending. She’s a wonderful character and I feel so lucky to be playing her.

Who else is in the cast?
Kylie Sparks plays Esther, Austin Rogers is Percy, David Ryan Speer plays Wayne, Tiffany Ariany plays Shelly, Chrissie Weatherup is Sarah, Jim Mahoney is Ozzy, Henry Monfries is Pete, and there are many many more talented actors who appear.

In what ways do you relate to your character, Zelda? Why?
I relate to Zelda in many ways more than any other character I play. Her optimism and her idealism which are in many ways her core are things that I have as well. I grew up wanting to be more and do more and experience more than my surroundings could afford me. My wants very much align with Zelda’s, and I was very much a “geek” or “nerd” or “outcast” in high school. She and I have a lot in common.

In what ways are you different than Zelda? Why?
Zelda is a little more sure of herself, at least when it comes to conflict, than I am. Zelda is stubborn and has no problem telling others that they’re wrong. I’m much more of a pushover and hate arguing with people, so I just don’t. I think if both of us could move somewhere towards the middle we’d both be better for it.

Who do you think you are most like, Lydia or Zelda? Why?
I used to think I was just like Zelda and nothing like Lydia. As time has gone on though, I have learned things about both of them that have made me balance that feeling out. I am like Lydia in ways I didn’t realize at first, and unlike Zelda in ways I hadn’t thought about before. I’m somewhere in between them. I have Lydia’s energy but Zelda’s gravity, and Zelda’s desire for activity and Lydia’s optimism.

Which character on Squaresville do you relate to most and why?
Zelda, without a doubt. For all the ways I’ve mentioned.

Congrats on season 1. A little birdy told me that there’s going to be a season 2. What can we expect from Season 2?
Thank you! Yes, there will be a season 2 and I’m very excited about it. I think Season 2 is going to really excite our viewers—I’m really excited about it. There is more of an overarching storyline in some ways, with still the vignette style episodes thrown in. There is a bit more that happens in Season 2—there are some fantastical elements that I’m very excited about. We meet a lot of new characters and the world of Squaresville is fleshed out in new ways. It’s going to be quite fun.

What is a typical day on set like?
Just fun from start to finish. We move fast and we get a lot done, but we are a family and we like nothing better than being together making the show.

You and Kylie Sparks have awesome chemistry. Was it something you had to work on or was it instant?
Kylie and I knew each other before we were cast together—we were at USC together. So we really have a common place that we’re coming from and I definitely feel like the prior knowledge of each other helped us have that foundation for Zelda and Esther’s friendship.

If you could give a high school girl advice, what would it be?
Just don’t worry about what anybody else thinks about you. Do the things that make you feel fulfilled and be silly if you want. Study hard if you want. Be creative. My friends and I did the silliest things in high school and didn’t really care if we were popular or not. I’m really proud of us for that, because I had the absolute most fun in high school. If I had been more concerned with being “popular” I think I would have missed out on so much.

Three reasons to watch both Squresville and LBD.
Squaresville

  1. I bet that no matter who you are, you can relate to at least one scenario in Squaresville.
  2. Matt’s dialogue is fantastic.
  3. It’s about going on adventures, and who doesn’t love adventures?

LBD

  1. If you are a dude, three lovely redheaded sisters.
  2. If you are a lady, Wes Aderhold.
  3. It’s truly unlike any other version of P&P, and unlike any other modern adaptation.

Any words you would like to say?
I’m incredibly grateful to be a part of both these shows and to be playing such different characters. I have made wonderful friends through both of them and am so happy to have connected with our audience in the way that we have. I am very, very lucky. And thanks for the interview!

My last Words

I would really like to thank Matt, Kylie and Mary Kate for their time in doing these interviews. I had a lot of fun reading and editing them. I hope you guys had fun answering them.

If you have a web series or film that you would like me to check out, leave it in the comments below or hit me up on my social media found on the contact page. Thanks.

TTFN,
Nerd

Interview with @robgokee!!! Exclusive Announcement!!!

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Hey guys,

I’m really excited. Earlier today, I interviewed Rob Gokee, a composer and friend of mine. He gave me an exclusive about a new book that he is writing. I hope that you enjoy.

Tomorrow, we have the second part of Mary Kate’s interview, so I hope that you come back.

TTFN,
Nerd

Interview with @hipsterhood Creator, Shilpi Roy (@Iplish)-Part 2!!!

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Hey guys,

Happy Presidents Day. If you don’t live in the US, then I hope you have a good day as well. Anyways, here’s part 2 of my interview with Hipsterhood creator, Shilip Roy. This part of the interview contains some spoilers. Read at your own risk.

About the Show

Tell my readers a little about your show.

Hipsterhood is about two hipsters in Silverlake, Los Angeles (i.e. hipster-central) and their extremely awkward interactions as they try to build a meaningful connection.

Tell us about the main characters

The two main characters are how I Imagine most people act at some point in their life. They are both struggling with who they are and who they want to be.  They have to balance on the line between portraying themselves as part of a group (hipsters) and making sure that they retain their own individuality.  I think Faux Fur Girl is a little more self-aware than Cereal Guy, but we’ll see what happens in season 2.

Where did the concept for the show come from?

The concept for the show came from my identity crisis over buying skinny jeans (if you’ve seen the kickstarter video, you’ll know what I’m talking about). Once I realized that I might be turning into a hipster myself, I started observing people as I ran errands in my neighborhood, and I realized that sometimes I ‘d recognize someone, having seen them somewhere else in the neighborhood. But I never felt comfortable approaching them and saying “hi, I’ve seen you around” – that’s just not something you do in an urban environment. And that’s basically what led to season 1, which is all about the neuroses that Cereal Guy and Faux Fur Girl have trying to do a simple thing like saying “hi.”

 What is a typical day on set like?

For me, it’s super fun. Up until you get on set, it’s kind of nightmare because of all the things you have to do, but once you’re there, it’s kind of like spending the day at Disneyland or something. It’s super fun.

 What can we expect from season 2 of the show?

In season 2, Cereal Guy and Faux Fur Girl start dating! Kind-of. We’ll find out how hipsters date when it’s cool not to care. It’s going to involve some ping-pong, tattoos, produce, and much more!

You’re Kickstarting for season 2 of the show. What kinds of perks can people get for donating?

My personal favorite perk is the Hipsterhood Soundtrack we’re putting together. It’s going to be made up of lots of local bands and artists that I personally know have awesome music, but haven’t been able to reach a wide audience. Some of these musicians are people who do music in their spare time, and it’s really great music, but almost no one will ever hear it. With this soundtrack, we’ll be able to expose the Hipsterhood audience to music they literally will never hear anywhere else.

We also have stuff like “video chat with the cast” “download Hipsterhood season 2” even give exclusive access to the character’s playlists, so you can find out what kind of music our hipsters are listening to beyond careless whisper.

Three reasons people should watch the show who haven’t.

1. It’s fun.
2. I guarantee you’ll see something of yourself in the characters.
3. Episodes are only 2-3 minutes long, it’s not a huge commitment.

Why should people donate after watching the show?

Making a web series is a full-time job, but right now no one can make a living doing it. If you want me, or anyone to keep cranking them out, we have to rely on your donations and support to make it happen. I really hate having to ask for money, I don’t think you should pay for it, but right now, it’s kind of the only way to make the show happen.

Any last words?

I had a great time doing this interview! I mean, whatever.

Another Interview Down

Managed to get another interview under my belt. If you want to learn more about the show, you can check out their web site here or their YouTube channel here.

Stay tuned for an interview with my friend Rob Gokee, composer for some notable web series, which should be coming in the next couple of days.

TTFN,
Nerd

Interview with @hipsterhoodshow creator Shilpi Roy (@Iplish)-Part 1!!!

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Hey guys,

I’m really excited to be doing this interview. I was contacted by a creator of the series Hipsterhood to check out her series and do and interview if I liked it. Son of a gun, I did. So here’s the first part of my interview with Shilip.

Introductions

For those of us who don’t know much about you, tell me a little bit about yourself.

Glad you asked! I am originally, from North Carolina, and basically grew up in the South.  My mother is a classically trained Indian music vocalist, so there was always a lot of singing, dancing, and art in general in my house growing up.  I always felt the urge to go West for some reason, nothing I could really explain, but when I finally moved to Los Angeles, I instantly knew I was in the right place. Finally.

How did you get started in film making?

It was an epiphany that I had while I was at Vanderbilt, where I did my undergrad. I was heading into my senior year of school, and I realized that I hated all the career paths I’d set myself up for as an Economics and Psychology double-major. I saw life ahead of me as one giant bore.  As I was picking my classes for senior year, I realized I had room in my schedule to do a film minor, so I signed up for a bunch of film classes. It was something that I’d always loved, but never considered an actual career. I attended my first film class – and it just blew me away. In the first 5 minutes of that class, I was happier than I’d been in the last 3 years. That’s when I decided to go into film. I had no connections, and no real experience, but I finally knew what my dream was. And that’s how it all began.

What were some of your favorite projects and why?

Well Hipsterhood is obviously my favorite project right now. I really love interacting with the fans, the audience, finding out what they like and don’t like. Web series are great because they give you a kind of access to your fanbase that you don’t get with other kinds of media.

But beyond Hipsterhood, my favorite project was my thesis film from USC, it’s called “the Indian and the Samurai” about an Indian boy who wants to be a Samurai, and one day, a samurai walks through the door.

It was during this project that I first met Julia Cho, who’s now a producer on Hipsterhood and a good friend, and it’s also the project where I first really noticed the man who would become my husband (Anthony C Kuhnz, who’s the DP for Hipsterhood). The rest of the cast and crew were great as well. Making that short film was a lot of work, but it was a lot of fun too.

If you weren’t making films, what would you be doing as a career?

There are so many days when making films, especially this web series, just seems too difficult, and I want to throw in the towel and do something much easier. But…I can’t ever come up with what that thing would be.  When I was little I wanted to be a fashion designer, but that doesn’t seem like a viable career path anymore J.

Dream project and why?

This is totally out of left field, but my dream project would be to do an epic Native American period piece, like Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto. I find Native American culture, before Westerners arrive, really fascinating. 

If you could work with any actor/actress living or dead, who would be and why?

Oooh, that’s a tough one. I think my top would be someone like Meryl Streep, because, well she’s Meryl Streep. I’m also love to work with Johnny Depp, I feel like it would be really fun watching him perform.

Tips for beginning filmmakers?

 I’m a big believer in just doing it. A lot of filmmakers, especially film school filmmakers, get discouraged because they can’t get the money they need behind their projects. Hipsterhood is an example of making something that people will notice, and not having money. If you really want to be a filmmaker, you will find a way to make your films. So, do that, and the rest will come eventually.

 Tips for people who want to create their own web series?

Another thing I believe in is, if you’re gonna do something, do it right. If you’re planning on doing a web series, you must put time and energy into marketing and promotions. There’s too much stuff on the internet now for you to bank on people randomly coming across your content and liking it, so when you’re striving to write, direct, and produce a web series, which takes an enormous amount of time and effort, you need to make sure you’ve got energy to after it’s done so you can get it out to the world.

 Quick fire questions

Coke or Pepsi?

Neither. I don’t like soda anymore, too sugary for me.

Cats or dogs?

CATS

Summer or winter?

Summer

Hugs or kisses?

Hmmmmmm…..kisses.

Fame or fortune?

Fortune.  I don’t need fame.

Which is worse: speaking in front of a crowd or writing a paper?

I LOVE speaking to crowds! Writing a paper sucks.

Time travel to: the past or the future?

The PAST. There are soooo many things I want explained.

Celebrity magazine or newspaper?

Newspaper. Are those still around?

Fave food?

Homemade Pizza.

Fave  book?

Oh god. I am a fantasy freak. My favorite is the Deverry Cycle by Katherine Kerr. Or Game of Thrones, but I am annoyed by how long it’s taking things to happen in the Game of Thrones series.

Fave color?

I refuse to answer this question. Colors are for different purposes and moods, you can’t just one favorite one.

Stay tuned tomorrow to learn more about Hipsterhood.

TTFN,Nerd

Interview with @L7sville Star, @mkwiles-Part 1!!!

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Howdy guys,

This the last set of Squaresville interviews. 😦 I’m really sad about that, but what are you going to do. It’s with star of the show, Mary Kate Wiles.

Courtesy of Mary Kate Wiles

Courtesy of Mary Kate Wiles

Getting to know Mary Kate

For those of us that don’t know much about you, tell me a little about yourself.

Well, I love Lord of the Rings and cats and coffee and sweet tea and good stories and good friends. I went to USC and got degrees in Theatre and English Literature and studied abroad in London. I like to dance, to sing, to read, to write, to draw, to craft, to talk, to laugh, and to generally live life to the fullest.

Word on the street is that you’re from Fayetteville, Arkansas. What was it like growing up in a small town?
I am indeed from Fayetteville.  Fayetteville is a great place to grow up and live—but as I grew up and became aware of my desire to do something with my life, much like Zelda does. I knew that I needed to venture out of it to pursue my dreams. I wasn’t often bored because my friends and I found fun and silly things to do, like Zelda and Esther, but I was knew that I needed to go elsewhere to accomplish what I was longing to do.

How did you get started in acting?
I had always been in dance classes and choirs growing up, so I was not a stranger to performing. It was when I saw The Lord of the Rings for the first time that I remember distinctly thinking: “I want to do that.” And throughout high school I continued to pursue it by being in plays and going to Arkansas Governor’s School for Drama. And when I got into USC for theatre, I kind of thought I would be a tiny fish in a big pond, and I was, but I held my own. I continued to get cast in things so I continued to go further. And the same after I graduated. I just have been really thankful to get greenlights along the way, and hopefully they continue coming.

 What are some of the shows and films you were in?
Some of the shows I did while in school were The Pajama Game (Poopsie), Bat Boy: The Musical (Shelley Parker), Hello Again (The Nurse), and Brigadoon (Jean MacLaren), among others. After school I also did The Winter’s Tale (Perdita) and Anne of Green Gables (Anne Shirley), as well as some others. The films I have done are Dark Woods, Murder in the Dark, Dreamworld, The Sound at the Shadow; the short film Prism; and of course the webseries Squaresville and The Lizzie Bennet Diaries (LBD).

What were some of your favorite projects and why?
Oh, I can never pick. I have been exceedingly lucky to have been in some very fantastic projects and hardly any bad experiences. Murder in the Dark was amazing because it was a completely improvised film shot in Italy; Anne of Green Gables was wonderful because it was a marathon of a musical and such a learning experience for me; Squaresville has been fantastic because it speaks to me so strongly and has lead to so many other projects, including The LBD, which, of course, has been great in its interactivity and brand-new format.

If you weren’t acting, what would you be doing as a career?
The only other thing I ever saw myself liking at all was writing, but that wasn’t enough of a love to sustain me. I have no other thing that I could do–acting demands your everything; if there was an alternative I would be doing that. But there isn’t, and I’m quite happy.

Dream project and why?
I don’t really have one, because every new project I do finds some way to be my favorite thing. I have always had a fondness for epics, though.

If you could work with any actor/actress living or dead, who would it be and why?
Cate Blanchett. She is my ultimate idol. I look up to her in every way. Although if I really did get to work with her I can’t imagine I’d be any good because I’d just be in shock.

Tips for beginning actors?
Never stop learning, never stop trying. Never take no for an answer. Work hard. Love what you do, or do something you do love.

Tips for people who want to create their own web series?
Go for it! The web is such an open forum and a great way to get your name out there. There are no rules and there’s complete access to getting your work out in the public—why wouldn’t you?

Tips for surviving auditions?
Know that ultimately, what you get or don’t get is out of your control.  Just do your best and trust that you will get the jobs you’re meant to have.

Quick Fire Questions
Coke or Pepsi?

Coke.

Cats or Dogs?
Cats.

Summer or Winter?
Winter.

Hugs or Kisses?
Both.

Fame or Fortune?
Success? [I’d say totally valid answer.]

Which is worse: Speaking in front of a crowd or writing a paper?
Writing a paper, definitely.

Time travel to: the past or the future?
The past.

Celebrity magazine or newspaper?
Newspaper.

Fave food?
Tortilla chips and guacamole.

Fave book?
Ultimately: David Copperfield, by Charles Dickens.  Recently: The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green. [editor’s note: The Fault in Our Stars and anything else by John Green is a must read. Do it. Do it now!]

Fave color?
Green.

Stay Tuned!!

The last part of this series of interviews are coming your way next week. So until then, keep checking back for new content.

TTFN,
Nerd

Interview with @L7sville Star, @kyliesparks-Part 2!!!

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Howdy guys,

And we’re back! Yeah. This part is where we get to see what Kylie has to say about the series. Yipee!

Kylie Talks about The Show!

What is Squaresville?
Squaresville is a webseries about two teenage girls dealing with the trials and tribulations of growing up in the suburbs where everyone has settled down a little too quickly.

Who do you play and what is she like?
I play Esther. She is a sarcastic, witty, realist who isn’t afraid of dishing out some truth and knowledge, but she also can be very insecure, very unsure of her future, very supportive and loyal, but when she’s had enough, she has HAD enough. She’s also trying to figure out who SHE is and there’s a part of her that she’s still trying to deal with and figure it out.

Who else is in the cast?
The main cast consists of Mary Kate Wiles, who plays Zelda (Esther’s BFF), Austin Rogers as Percy (The third prong in Esther and Zelda’s triangle), Tiffany Ariany as Shelly (the resident hot mess and Esther’s foil), David Ryan Speer as Wayne (Zelda’s Love Interest), and Christine Weatherup as Sarah (Zelda’s Big Sister). We also have recurring characters Pete (Wayne’s buddy and Esther’s “date” during Season 1, episode 14, played by Henry Monfries) and Ozzy (Esther’s big brother, played by Jim Mahoney).

In what ways to you relate to your character, Esther? Why?
I really relate to Esther in that personality wise, we are very similar. I’m very sarcastic and loud and I have a filter, I just choose not to use it most of the time, and I’m very independent as well (I think Esther really is truly independent, she’d rather go home and watch Roller Derby or read and do homework than ride a shopping cart, sorry Zelda). I’m also very loyal to my best friends and would do anything for them, and like everyone, I have the tendency to listen to my insecurities sometimes.

In what ways are you different than Esther? Why?
Esther has a lot of angst and insecurity behind her, and while I get that and definitely feel for her there, I’m way more bubbly and although I’m independent and like doing my own thing, I love going out to parties and travelling and exploring world and getting together with my friends and just being crazy. My wardrobe also is different than Esther; while 99% of the clothes I wear on the show are mine, I love dresses, I love fashion and working on my style and aesthetic and seeing what outfits I can come up with (my style is very ‘girly edgy hipster’ where I pair pretty/colorful things with studs and leather jackets and lots of black)

Which character do you relate the most to and why?
I’ve always said if I’m the hybrid of Shelly and Esther. I know Esther like the back of my hand, but Shelly is definitely more my wild and fun side and she can be just as snarky as Esther sometimes.

Congrats on season 1. A little birdy told me that there’s going to be a season 2. What can we expect from season 2. (of course I don’t expect spoilers.)
Thanks so much! I’m so excited about season 2, and it was SO hard to sit on all the season 2 info because 1. We’re all SO stoked about it, and 2. We couldn’t talk about it on social media while we were shooting season 2, which was the complete opposite of protocol for season 1. (don’t worry, I have things I’ll share when the time is appropriate!) Not to spoil anyone who hasn’t watched Squaresville yet, but season 1 ends on a very chaotic time for Esther and in season 2, she really has to evaluate her whole life and who she is and who she wants by her side, and this second season is really about Esther coming into her own. There’s still a ton of snark (it’s Esther, obviously the girl is still her typical sarcastic self!) plus we have some episodes that were REALLY fun to shoot because of the creativity involved.

What is a typical day on set like?
Crazy. Seriously, we shoot anywhere from 10-14 pages a day (for reference, a typical studio movie shoots 1-3 pages a day, a one hour TV show shoots 5-8 pages a day, and a sitcom will pre-tape scenes before shooting most of the episode in front of a live audience) and we have 12 hours to do it. But we have the most fun and the crew and cast have been together now for over 2 years doing the show, so it’s really more like extreme playtime because we love what we do and we laugh a LOT. Even when things are heated and intense, there are times where I literally have to bite my cheek to not laugh.

You and Mary Kate Wiles (MK) (co-star) have an awesome chemistry. Was it something you had to work on or was it instant? Why or why not?
It was pretty instant. MK and I knew each other before we found out we were going to be on the show together because we went to USC at the same time since the School of Theatre was a very close community. We became better friends because of the show, definitely, but when we first started we really got to know each other well and now we just lock it in and do it since we’ve been in the trenches for so long.

If you could give a girl in high school advice, what would it be?
If you have a passion, invest your spare time in it. People suck and in these four years, people will be your friend one minute and hurt you the next, but if you have a passion you love, devote all the negativity in your life into energy for your passion. You will find true friends that will love you for you and you don’t need to feel pressure to be perfect all the time, and bullies are just insecure individuals who don’t know how else to deal with it and take it out on people. You are worth fighting for, and you will grow up to be a kickass person.

If you haven’t seen the series, three reasons to watch.
1. It deals with real issues that make you think while making you laugh at the same time.

2. The Squaresville Community (or Squares/family of Squares as we call them) is one of the most supportive, loving, creative communities I’ve ever seen. You don’t just watch the show; you become invested and build friendships because of it, and we love our Squares and we love making the show for you

3. Everyone can relate to feeling like Zelda and Esther, whether you’re a teen girl or a 40-something man. We all have felt the same way at one point in our lives and we still work on the pursuit of happiness (or even the pursuit of okay-ness.)

Any words you would like to say?
If you’ve been around for season 1, whether it’s been since the beginning or you’re just joining us, thank you. You are the reason we make our show and we love making our show. We are so excited for season 2….so many new twists and turns in store, plus, as we announced during our supersized Google hangout during Wonderly Weekend, a whole new video format will be happening as well, so season 2 is going to be epic.

Stay Tuned!!!

We got two more weeks of interviews with Squaresville star, Mary Kate Wiles. I hope that you enjoyed this one and will continue reading my blog.

TTFN,
Nerd

Interview with @L7sville Star, @kyliesparks-Part 1!!!

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Howdy guys,

I hope that you enjoy this interview with Kylie Sparks, one of the stars of Squaresville, as much as I did. She’s a really, really funny woman. We’ve had many a chat on twitter and they were fantastic.

Courtesy of Kylie Sparks

Courtesy of Kylie Sparks

Getting to Know Kylie

For those of us who don’t know much about you, tell me a little bit about yourself.
Hi! My name is Kylie Sparks and I play Esther on “Squaresville.” I was born and raised in Tulsa, OK, but have been living in Los Angeles since I was about 17 (I started coming out here part-time when I was 13) and steadily working as an actor ever since, including during college (I graduated from USC). I have two dogs, love fashion, writing, music (both singing and listening to it!), travelling, and just generally having a good time.

How did you get started in acting?

I always credit my second grade teacher, Susan Sullivan, because she cast me in my first play-a simple retelling of Snow White for the Second Grade Fairy Tale Tea Day and I played the Wicked Queen. It was love at first sight for me, and I began training in Tulsa at a performing arts studio, Theatre Arts, in musical theatre, dance, voice, and acting (on top of the 1200 other extracurriculars I participated in) as well as doing theatre around town. I was 13 when my mother and I decided to try auditioning in Los Angeles, and was in LA part-time while still going to school in Tulsa. I ultimately began homeschooling and tested out of High School when I was 16 and booked my first professional job, the IFC Films feature “Pizza.”

What are some of the shows and films that you were in?
Besides “Pizza,” where I was the female lead opposite Ethan Embry and a whole ensemble of incredible actors, I’ve recurred on ABC’s “Complete Savages” and “Desperate Housewives,” as well as guest starring on such shows as “Bones,” “Melissa & Joey,” “ER,” and “Greek,” among other shows and have worked in commercials, stage, and other new media series. I recently worked on my second feature, an indie college-football-slacker comedy called “Mr. Intangibles” that should be out in 2013.

What were some of your favorite projects and why?
I really can’t pick a favorite because I have been so spoiled in my career that every job has been absolutely incredible and I learn so much from each of them. If I HAD to choose, it’s a three-way tie between Complete Savages, ER, and Squaresville. I started watching ER from the VERY beginning at 7 years old (my mom was a huge fan of George Clooney, and I don’t blame her!), and 10 years later I was a guest lead on one of my favorite shows, so it was a dream come true and I got to work with some of the best actors on television that I had been watching for years. Squaresville has been our “little engine that could” that when we shoot the show, we are a family, and while we are shooting a ridiculous amount of work each day, I come home exhausted but happy and just excited about the whole thing even if there are times where I personally feel frustrated or anxious about how I did that day, I just know the next day I get to see my friends again. The same is for Complete Savages-it was my first television job, I had three lines in the pilot but they treated me like I was one of the stars of the show and when the series was picked up, they kept asking me back and every time I stepped onto the set, I felt like I was home. I had a whole family of people who just loved their job and fought for it tooth and nail and always had my back 100%.

If you weren’t acting, what would you be doing as a career?

Acting has been the only job I’ve ever known and I’m not sure what I would do as an alternate. I think I’d probably go back to school for journalism or producing to learn how to be a film producer or an agent or a music journalist, but I’m hoping that’s not the case (although at some point I do want to write and develop my own projects to produce down the road.)

Dream project and why?
There are so many people I want to work with that I admire and that I met that as long as I get to keep working, that’s my ultimate dream. I hope someday I get to be in a film adaptation of a book or two that I love (or the film adaptations of musicals I’m obsessed with since I started in musical theatre) just because it would be extra-special to me.

If you could work with any actor/actress living or dead, who would be and why?
Well, besides Bradley Cooper (who I LOOOOOOOVE. This is not new information, haha!) I want to work with Marion Cotillard. She is absolutely flawless and incredible in everything she does and she just seems like the nicest person on the planet who just does her job and doesn’t get sucked into all the hoopla. And I think if I could go back in time, I’d love to work with Danny Kaye, Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, Doris Day, and Rosemary Clooney. White Christmas is one of my favorite films ever, and I LOVE Doris Day in Pillow Talk. It’s such an adorable classic.

Tips for beginning actors?

Tenacity. Keep going. It’s hard, but to survive, you have to keep going and work hard every day. It gets tough (believe me, I know and still experience it), but the pay off is so worth it. At the same time, do not take this whole game seriously. That will kill your spirit (and your career) in the long run, because you have to have something else you love that will distract you during the hard times.

Tips for people who want to create their own web series?
I’m very new to the web space, but what I’ve learned is that if you have an idea and a camera, just do it. Write it out. Shoot it, whether you have a point-and-shoot camera (or even an iPhone) and a few friends or a professional camera with a boom and grips and a crew of a bajillion, as long as you just do it and you do the best job you can, there’s room for everyone.

Tips for surviving auditions?
Don’t let the mind games win. Just go in, be prepared, but have fun and be nice to everyone. Learning HOW to audition is also necessary, so be in class to learn how to audition so you can get the job.

Quick fire questions
Coke or Pepsi?
Diet both (I have a serious addiction to diet soda!)

Cats or dogs?
DOGS.

Summer or winter?
Winter!

Hugs or kisses?
Both 😉

Fame or fortune?
Fortune.

Which is worse: speaking in front of a crowd or writing a paper?

This is gonna sound so weird coming from me, but speaking in front of a crowd. NERVEWRACKING.

Time travel to: the past or the future?

probably the future.

Celebrity magazine or newspaper?

celebrity mag (you can always get the news online!)

Fave food?

pancakes.

Fave book?

oh MAN this question hurts me…tie between “On the Road” by Jack Kerouac, Tina Fey’s “Bossypants,” anything by Nick Hornby, Joe Meno’s “Hairstyles of the Damned,” and one of the most haunting memoirs I’ve ever read, “Wasted” by Marya Hornbacher.

Fave color?
Blue, Black, and Silver.

Stay Tuned

Next week, we have the final part to Kylie’s interview and then we have the final two interviews with the other star, Mary Kate Wiles.

TTFN,
Nerd