Why the Life of an Actor is Funny Stuff

3.27.2012

By Jerry Portwood

'Submissions Only' stars Kate Wetherhead and Colin Hanlon on the sweet, silly world of actors and gay casting directors

 

These days, if you need a creative outlet, and feel like you're not getting the opportunities you want, it's not uncommon to turn to the web and, yep, do it yourself. That's what motivated Kate Wetherhead and Andrew Keenan-Bolger when they created Submissions Only in August 2010. The web sitcom delves into the complications, drama, and, of course, humor of being a working actor in New York City and is focused around actress Penny Reilly (Wetherhead) and her pal and casting director Tim Trull (Colin Hanlon).

The series has involved a staggering array of guest stars, including Michael Urie, Kristin Chenoweth, Kristen Johnston, and even Chita Rivera. For the penultimate episode of Season 2, the guest stars include Broadway actor Adam Pascal and Mary Beth Peil (The Good Wife, Dawson's Creek). 

We caught up with Wetherhead and Hanlon to ask the funny duo why this show means so much to them. And if they are trying to scare potential young ingenue's from the New York City acting scene.

"Actually it has less to do with competition and more to do with the daily grind of auditioning for theater in New York, how the process of auditioning itself is its own job," said Wetherhead. "It's not meant to be a cautionary tale by any means. It's not meant to be some public service announcement to children: This is what will happen to you if you move to New York and try to become an actor. It's NOT as easy as it looks and talent is not a guarantee for success."

Hanlon plays one of the funniest (and honest) portrayals of an ambitious gay man we've seen in quite a while. As he explained: "We try to explore every angle but Kate and Andrew are smart enough to make it about the characters and not just about how our business works… She writes these characters not because they're gay but that they happen to be gay. I hope I portray Tim in a funny, sweet, ironic way."

Ultimately Wetherhead and Hanlon hope that people find that the foibles they portray in Submissions Only actually effectively portray their comrades in arms in a positive light.

"It's the community of people who make this business that makes it attractive and desirable," Wetherhead said. "Even though you're getting rejected and humiliating yourself on a regular basis, you're surrounded by funny, warm, quirky, interesting people."

Watch the full interview below. And visit SubmissionsOnly.com to view past episodes and Episode 7, which premieres Friday, March 30.

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