Well peeps, Luke and I have some really exciting news to share with you. The second season of Nate Golon's insanely-funny, independent TV series WORKSHOP has been picked up for distribution on Hulu! Golon, who co-created the series with Kimberly Legg, signed on the dotted line late this past week. We couldn't be happier for our boy, especially since Luke and I are associate producers on this season, so a victory for WORKSHOP is a victory for the entire Daytime Confidential/Pop Confidential family!
I caught up with Golon, who also stars in the series as struggling actor Jeff Reynolds, for an exclusive sneak peek at Season Two of WORKSHOP, which will debut sometime in mid-to-late March (Actual premiere date TBA). If you thought the first season of WORKSHOP was jam-packed with spit-out-your-vodka-all-over-your-keyboard moments for Jeff and his motley crew of struggling thesps (including Passions' alum Phillip Jeanmarie as Jeff's scene-stealing roommate Adam), you ain't downloaded nothing yet! Just wait 'till you see the arc featuring That 70's Show's Don Stark! But don't think it's all hijinks; Golon has added plenty of soapy drama this time around, not to mention soapy stars, like As The World Turns' Marie Wilson (NutMeg). If you don't believe me, keep reading and find out for yourself!
Daytime Confidential: Dude, congrats on the Hulu deal! How did it come about?
Nate Golon: Thanks so much! Getting the Hulu deal was months in the making. When we were still in production on Season Two of WORKSHOP in October 2010, a friend of mine, Canyon Prince, contacted me and told me he was running the first ever New Media Day at the Anaheim International Film Festival, and asked if I wanted to include WORKSHOP. We put together a 10-minute first episode of Season Two, and previewed it in Anaheim. I met a guy named Keith Knee, who had helped make another web series, Blue Movies, one of the most watched shows on the Internet. Keith told me he really liked the show, and though we could present it to Hulu. Four months later, with Keith's help and advice, and the help of another associate of mine, Garrett Law at Attention Span Media, Season 2 was picked up!
DC: Awesomeness! Season One of WORKSHOP was presented as 13 webisodes. How will Season Two roll out on Hulu?
NG:WORKSHOP is branching out into new territory. Hulu has picked up Season Two as six episodes, 22 minutes each, making it one of the first independently-produced half-hour comedies ever on Hulu! The show looks and feels like a television show now.
DC: To go from short webisodes to 22 minutes is the dream of most web creators, again major props! The first season of WORKSHOP saw struggling actor Jeff and his close group of friends trying to book gigs in L.A. What can we expect from Season Two?
NG: Season Two picks up months later, after the end of Season One. The show shifts away from casting director workshops (where actors pay money to be seen by casting directors) and focuses on their ups and downs of going to auditions, their personal lives, acting classes (half the cast is in an improv class now, and half are in scene study), side jobs, you name it. You'll also see some great guest star roles and cameos, from That 70s Show alum Don Stark, to Josh Meyer, brother of Saturday Night Live'sSeth Meyers, who has appeared on That 70s Show as well, and was a regular on Mad TV, to As The World Turns alum Marie Wilson.
DC: NutMeg! By the end of World Turns' Marie became one of our favorite love-to-hate, whackadoodle soap villains. You already have another in your cast with Phillip Jeanmarie, so this season should be a soap fan's wet dream. Let's talk about your character, Jeff, for a minute, since he's the protagonist. Jeff was almost painfully nice during the first 13 installments. Will we see a shift in his personality as his pursuit of the Hollyweird dream intensifies?
NG: This season, Jeff is even moreso the nice, somewhat naive, actor, who's trying too hard and keeps getting crapped on at every turn! [Laughs] I loved writing this season and playing this character, because I got to make fun of myself in every way. The headshot scene at the end of the first episode in Season Two is epic.
DC: Phillip Jeanmaire plays Jeff's best friend Adam, who dealt with insta-fame in the first season, following his popular-yet-embarrassing commercial for the Dance Channel. Will we see more of his trademark freakouts this season?
NG: You will definitely see more freakouts from Adam! Season Two opens with the audience learning that between Season One and Season Two, Adam booked and filmed a big budget action film called Urban Tiger, that is set to premiere. His character personifies the good and bad of insta-fame in Hollywood. You will see how it changes him and his life.
DC: Kaitlyn, played by WORKSHOP's co-creator Kimberly Legg, was still jonesing for some of Jeff's good, blond lovin' at the end of the first season. Will she get her guy this season?
NG: Your audience will just have to wait and see! [Laughs] Let's just say that Kaitlyn has other suitors trying to work their charm on her, and where Jeff fits into the equation will have to be seen.
DC: Blonde bombshells Vivian (Leanne Wilson) and Sarah (Audra Marie) were BFF's in Season One, but there started to be a bit of animosity between them near the end of the season, as they found themselves competing over roles. Will we see more of that this time around?
NG: Vivian and Sarah are forever in competition for the same roles, the best agents, the best everything. Vivian ended Season One getting romantically involved with the sleazy Junior Agent, played by Will Rothhaar. Expect the Junior Agent to be a big part of Season Two! Sarah has a very interesting storyline with a charity called "Anti-Pave LA", whose mission is to bring old-school dirt roads back to cities, because it turns out pavement is the leading cause of global warming, as it traps in so much heat. [Laughs]
DC: Ha! Watch a real charity pop up like that in Hollyweird now! I think my fave character from Season One was asshat, acting egotist Matthew (Jonathan Schwartz). What can you share about his arc in Season Two?
NG: Matthew has an amazing storyline in Season Two. Always the horse's ass, he will be trying to keep it together, while taking advantage of his superior acting chops to book great roles. Get ready for a marijuana-themed storyline involving Matthew and his Theatrical Agent, played by the brilliant Christian Campbell.
DC: Nate, having started this project with basically no money and little connections, what do you think it says about the power of the web and guerilla-style marketing that you're now in business with Hulu?
NG: When I first started writing Season One of WORKSHOP with Kimberly in April of 2009, many people hadn't even heard of a web series. Fast forward two years, and it's common knowledge. The power of the Internet is the ability to get your content to people all over the world by simply clicking a link. Enough people believed in the show after the first season, that we were able to raise more money for Season Two, have really high production values and a really funny show, and now it has an amazing platform on Hulu! We are playing alongside network shows, which blows my mind.
DC: What advice would you give other aspiring TV writers about using the web to break in?
NG: Try to focus on a good script, solid casting and great production values. Start off with an episode or two to get your feet wet. See what works and what doesn't, then do it again and make it better. Keep working hard and find your audience, because people are always looking for a great new show to watch!
Check out the trailer for Season Two of WORKSHOP below! To catch up on Season One go to www.workshoptheseries.com.