Cast of Bitter Party of Five (Interview)
Cast of Bitter Party of Five (Interview)Interviewed and written by Aaron Robinson – Editor
During a very hot evening in
I (Consciousness Magazine) was given the opportunity to interview the talented actors, Mary Birdsong, Romy Rosemont, Tricia O'Kelley, Greg Cromer and Jason Antoon regarding their motivation to pursue the webisodes series and much more. Here is what they had to share with the readers.
Aaron Robinson: What is the chemistry or experience like working with such an amazing cast of talented individuals?
Mary Birdsong: It’s really rare. The majority of the people that I’ve worked with have been pretty nice and professional. To meet a bunch of people that you wish you could marry…we all love each other! We’ve been very blessed in that way.
Romy Rosemont: In one word ‘fantastic.’ It’s what brought us together; it’s why we wanted to do it. We all fell madly in love when we worked together and did the pilot. It’s really such a joy! Everybody’s timing is impeccable and we all bring something very different to the table.
Tricia O'Kelley: That’s the whole reason we’re doing this, because we met on the set of our NBC pilot starring Rosanne and John Goodman, and we all kind of bonded immediately and had this great chemistry and connection at the beginning. When the show wasn’t picked up, we were devastated. The reason we came up with doing this web series is because of our whole chemistry and connection and this desire of love that we have for each other.
Greg Cromer: We have a blast ever since we did the pilot for NBC last spring. Once it didn’t get picked up, we started brainstorming ideas to do a show. We really have fun every time we’re shooting, writing or editing.
Jason Antoon: The five of us is like...we sort of became one entity. It was like one person split into five personalities. That’s what we are. The chemistry is amazing. It works as if we were all brothers and sisters. It's fun, and it’s not mean spirited. Even though we’re acting, we’re all really nice in real life.
AR: What makes the character you portray so interesting and unique?
Mary Birdsong: I don’t know. (Laugh) When we’re younger we all want to be the actors/actresses who we admire; the hard lesson to learn is to give that up and be you…to be the best you can be. Even if it doesn’t seem as glamorous as someone that you admire, it’s not reproducible. You can’t help but be unique if you have the courage to be who you truly are.
Romy Rosemont: I think what’s interesting about any of the characters is that we have this completeness, we’re not self-aware. We’re just open to everybody laughing at us. I think the people who are playing the characters is what makes each character so unique.
Tricia O'Kelley: We’re playing ourselves, but very exaggerated altered versions of ourselves. It’s all very heightened and we’re very self involved.
Greg Cromer: My character is very relatable, but also a character that people tend to feel sorry for, because I play a part as being pretty naïve and a bit obtuse. It’s kind of a guy you can relate to, but also laugh at.
Jason Antoon: I think I’m the inappropriate one, the one that will ask the questions that are not normally asked to people. I make shocking statements. I think I ask the most inappropriate surprising questions. I try to listen the most so that I can gather information and bring it out at the right time.
AR: You have appeared and worked on many films over the course of your career. What makes this web-series different from any other film that you have been a part of?
Mary Birdsong: The web series is so creative. It’s not like someone hired us or agents had us to audition for it. It organically grew out of the chemistry and love we have for each other. I think that’s really rare to have absolutely 100% creative control. I think audiences are getting exposed to projects like ours that are unfiltered…unwatered down entertainment. They think it’s so refreshing. It’s not a corporate endeavor; this is totally homemade.
Romy Rosemont: I’ve been on it from the ground up. I hope that it grows to something bigger, and you’ll be able to see it on TV. I think the creative control is the difference. We get to do and say what we want. It’s all improvised; all we do is write the questions. It’s a real group effort.
Tricia O'Kelley: We’re apart of lining up the guests, but we’re also apart of the editing, marketing, branding, etc. So that’s definitely different because usually as an actor you’re at other people’s mercy, showing up and trying to do a good job. But in this case we’re controlling all of it. It’s really exciting to be able to work with really good friends.
Greg Cromer: This is something that we’re actually creating, rather than going in playing a part or role that somebody else created. That’s why it’s special to me, we’re creating the characters, and we’re creating the story.
Jason Antoon: We have set questions and set sections that we hit for interviews, but we don’t know what's going to come out of our mouths. It’s fun, and you’re surprised at what the celebrity is going to do as well.
AR: As professional actors/actresses, many may not know that you all do not get paid for this show and that you have a crew of volunteers. In regards to the web series, what are some of your future goals that you all have or the opportunity that you think will aspire from these webisodes?
Mary Birdsong: We love using the platform of the web. One of our main goals is to get to what we were originally hired to do, which was to perform together on a weekly basis on a TV series.Romy Rosemont: We are all paying for the rentals of the equipment. Our producing company furnishes us and finds the people. We also have friends that are helping out. We’re all working really hard because ultimately we want to pay people for their time and talent. That’s why we want to increase our viewership. If we can bring eyes to it, that will bring some kind of budget.
Tricia O'Kelley: [We want to get] to a point where we are actually making money doing this because we love to do it so much. Right now we’re just enjoying doing the web series.
Greg Cromer: Originally, we thought it would be an interview format show for the web and also something to do for fun. We’ve received a lot of positive feedback.
Jason Antoon: A lot of stuff that happens on the web, from the crew to the actors, they are doing it because they want to do it. Doing the web stuff, you’re not doing it for the money. So the goal is you hope it’s successful enough that it attracts advertisers to pay for your show and you advertise there products.
AR: For inspiring actors/actresses who are having a challenge or stumbling blocks with their career, what advice or inspiration would you share with them?
Mary Birdsong: From my own experience I would say give yourself permission to totally fail. When I first started I had an urgency as if I had to make it. What would people say if I fail? I felt like I wouldn’t be worth anything unless I’m a big TV or movie star. I had to prove to people that I am worth something. I think it’s a real danger for actors to have that part of their life become their life and become their entire values. I would say go out there and explore other countries, get hobbies. There are a lot of people who earn a good living performing or writing or dancing that aren’t super famous mega stars.
Romy Rosemont: I think you have to make sure that you love it. If you don’t love what you do or have the skin for it, it’s going to be a very frustrating life. I think any time that you are not pursuing something for passion sake, it’s very difficult. Keep creating, even if it’s just in your living room. It keeps that fire going.
Tricia O'Kelley: I think we’re a perfect example showing there are so many opportunities to create your own stuff. Web series are actually being taken seriously now. It’s awesome that we as actors can get a crew, come up with a great idea and every now and then you strike gold. It’s exciting.
Greg Cromer: I would say if it is something that you really really want to do - which it has to be or other wise you won’t stick it out because there’s a lot of rejection. You have to be persistent and also keep your life in order around acting, having your priorities straight and not being consumed with getting the next job. You have to live your life.
Jason Antoon: It’s all about longevity. If you stick in it long enough you have a better chance and something will eventually break. You also have to have the right connections and know the right people. A lot of steps have to be joined together for you to [elevate] in a career like this.
AR: Would you like to add anything that we didn’t cover with viewers and your fans before we close the interview?
Mary Birdsong: Thank you so much for this wonderful interview! Be sure to check out our Youtube for our shows.
Romy Rosemont: I love what I do! I love the show! It’s so rare that you get to really love what you do. You get to a certain age and you have the opportunity to have a little control in your life…who wouldn’t want that? I am personally very proud of what we have done thus far with “Bitter Party of Five”. I celebrate every person at that table.
Tricia O'Kelley: We love the people who are watching. We need everyone’s help to let people know that we exist. So like us, subscribe to us, follow us on twitter @BitterPartyof5. Basically, spread the word; we need everybody’s help getting the word out.
Greg Cromer: I would just like to say thanks for the people who are following us, and ask anyone else who has a few extra minutes here or there to tune in to us and help us get the ball rolling.
Jason Antoon: The show is not scripted; it’s truly improvised…a live experience. We really are working actors and we all get along, so we’re doing something creative for ourselves just to keep alive in the art.