A Moment of Jen
THE NEXT BEST THING — In Stores July 3rd!

Monday, October 25, 2010
posted by Jen at 10/25/2010 08:29:00 PM

It’s been a week since I came to Los Angeles and started working on “The Great State of Georgia,” the sitcom I wrote with Jeff Greenstein that ABC Family picked up, and things are flying along. In a week’s time, we’ve hired a bunch of key personnel, including a great casting director and started auditioning actors for the lead roles.

Auditions are great fun…and a little dangerous. Actors come in. They read the lines, and then you say, “Could you try it a little faster? A little slower? With more of Southern accent? Hopping on one foot?” Georgia, our lead, is a singer, so we asked a few of the actors, if they could sing for us. One of them just finished a run as the lead on a Broadway show, so having her singing in a room was just amazing.

The thing is, once you realize that the actors will basically do anything you tell them, as long as they think it’ll help them get the part, it’s tempting – at least, for me – to take it too far, in a dance, meat puppet! kind of way. I see on your resume you can do a Cockney accent. Can I hear it? It says you can belt an E above high C. I’d like to hear that, too. In Polish. On one foot.

Georgia, our big, confident, curvy girl is probably going to be the biggest challenge to cast. Big, curvy, confident girls are not easy to find in LA as, say, tall, skinny, gorgeous girls. But our Georgia is out there, and we will find her.

Aunt Honey, our Southern grande dame of a certain age, is a challenge for another reason – we've got an embarrassment of riches. It seems like every actress of a certain age with comedy chops and a Southern accent in her repertoire wants to read for the part. I can’t name names, but it’s been kind of a Who’s Who of 1980’s/1990’s sitcom stars and big-screen actresses, and I’m having a hard time not behaving like Chris Farley meeting Paul McCartney when I see them. Remember when you were in the Beatles? That was cool!

In between all the TV fun, I'm working on my new book and getting my November and December in order, figuring out when I can fly home to see my family, or when they can come out here and visit me. Bicoastal living is rough. I miss my friends, and my routines, and Philadelphia in the fall…but I love this show, and I love these characters, and I’m having a lot of fun. And in less than six weeks we'll be shooting the thing!

Stay tuned...
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