What’s up, Stareables! Carl Foreman Jr. here with my good friend and collaborator Anthony Gaskins! We wrote and star in *Frank & Lamar*, a digital series currently featured on IFC’s Comedy Crib. We met as MFA Acting students at the A.R.T. Institute at Harvard, and we’ve been both been based in NYC since graduation. We’ve collaborated on many projects, but this is definitely the biggest one to date.
Welcome, both of you! First question is for both of you- having now made a web series/proved yourselves, would you want to continue making smaller indie content or are you ready for the next level? A mixture?
The time has come! Ask me anything…
Good question, Bri! I’d say kind of both. We’re working on a half-hour pilot of F&L for IFC but we also want to stay sharp producing other projects on our own, maintaining as much creative control as we can along the way.
First off, love the show. It’s funny, and it’s got heart.
Your on-screen chemistry is really authentic. How much do you pull from your friendship IRL?
I have huge love for the independent world and would definitely love to continue creating projects that are produced with folk of similar interests. However, I’d also like to start a family soon, so a couple big budget projects would be very welcome!
A good amount probably, but not in a direct way. One thing that probably helps is that when we’re developing dialogue we read the script out to ourselves, and tweak it until it sounds natural, which tends to be more fun, and helps that IRL relationship shine through a bit more.
What do you think you guys gained from your acting MFAs, and would you recommend it to other hopeful actors/performers? I know people have a lot of different opinions about grad degrees for artistic pursuits, even if they’ve received them themselves.
What was the process like getting your show on Comedy Crib?
I agree with Carl. We have a lot of fun working together, and the jokes and banter have to be authentic in order for us to include it into the script. Our friendship is beautifully woven with sports references and poking fun at one another. Nonetheless, it’s still a #Brotherhood
Speaking for myself, I didn’t have formal acting training prior to the MFA, so that was all helpful. Truthfully, this far out from it, I do feel like I could have sought out a similar level of training (which was high I must say) for cheaper. The debt was (and kind of continues to be ) a damper on life, but I wouldn’t trade away the experience because I met a lot of great ppl I would not have otherwise, and learned a lot about myself as an actor in the process. For other actors in a similar situation, I’d stay in NYC or LA or wherever you’re applying your trade, and study with a great voice/speech coach, great acting coach, take some movement workshops, but maybe don’t put your whole life on pause to where you can’t still audition for work.
Awesome, thanks for the response, guys!
The Comedy Crib process began when I got a general meeting with IFC following a good showing at a comedy showcase in which I was performing some original characters. We had already filmed a portion of what at the time was a pilot dramedy of F&L, and we used that to help pitch the show and get the ball rolling.
So they came to you, because of a live performance they saw you in? Did you know they (or other companies) were going to be in attendance beforehand?
What was the timeframe from initial meeting to launching on the Comedy Crib site?
Correct. I kind of assumed some industry would be in the audience because it was an audition for Comedy Central’s Comics To Watch, as part of the NYC Comedy Festival, but that was more of a vague conceptual knowledge. Someone from the network contacted my manager the next day to set up the meeting.
Whew!!! Acting MFA’s??? That’s a tricky one. I feel two ways about it. First, I think if you’d like to continue to challenge yourself as an actor in a safe setting, then definitely do it! However, I would suggest finding a program that does the best to support you after you graduate in terms of networking possibilities and establishing yourself after graduation. I just hate the fact they cost so much money!!! That being said, if you make the investment I’ve found going in with a couple of immediate goals and ideas of things you want to accomplish outside of becoming a better actor, will be helpful.