Artie O'Daly & Theresa Ryan to Launch SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE Web Series This Month
Writers Artie O'Daly and Theresa Ryan, better known as the popular Youtube duo Skip & Terri, met their first year in the acting conservatory at Purchase College and, in the years since, have watched many classmates go on to become successful people. Inspired by the struggle, they have written and star in the Youtube series SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE, which will premiere its first of eight 5-minute episodes on YouTube Tuesday, March 15, 2016.
Starring O'Daly and Ryan, the series also features many of their successful friends, including Todd Sherry (Supergirl, Parks & Recreation), Malcolm Foster Smith (The Middle, Modern Family), Matthew Bohrer (Masters of Sex, Scandal), Miki Yamashita (Law & Order, The LA Opera), and Lisa Linke (Black-ish).
Watch the trailer below!
In SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE, songwriters Laura O'Malley (Theresa Ryan) and Chet Kensington (Artie O'Daly) are ten years into an unsuccessful career penning jingles for doughnut shops, but a hit for Ariana Grande has eluded them. After encountering a much younger and more successful songwriter (Matthew Bohrer) at a networking event, pregnant Laura is stunned to realize her dream has been slipping away and decides she wants it back. Chet, on the other hand, has nothing but his dream - no friends, no boyfriend, no home (except for Laura's garage). He's all for Laura's reignited passion. However, Laura's formerly-unsuccessful - and highly judgmental - friend Jake (Rob Dionne) convinces them the baby is the definitive end to their songwriting hopes - and possibly their friendship. Afraid he's right but convinced to prove him wrong, Laura and Chet try new tactics to achieve their dreams, including making vision boards to make gay friends; learning how to be a functioning alcoholic from a high-powered agent (Miki Yamashita); and crashing a red carpet event in outfits that are more "gag" than Gaga. They're willing to try anything to become successful, but is it already too late?
"Theresa and I have been friends for sixteen years and we've been doing Skip & Terri for six of them," says O'Daly. "We've seen contemporaries of ours achieve success, and it's like, 'How did that a-hole make it?' But then it's like, 'Well, do we only think they're an a-hole because they made it and we haven't? Do they know the secret to success?' We wanted to take that and play it for laughs."
Ryan's real-life pregnancy spawned her character's storyline during pre-production, and ended up adding to the humor beneath the pathos. In one episode, Ryan's character gets a makeover from a stylist/drug dealer (played by Sherry) who dresses her like a cross between Little House on the Prairie and Nicki Minaj.
"If you've ever wanted to see a pregnant woman attempt to wear a corset, we're your show," says Ryan.
"We wanted to exploit tricks people do to become successful, like dressing crazy on a red carpet," Ryan continues. "At THE GRAMMYS this year, there were people in straight up costumes. One girl looked like she had her head stuck in a bike helmet, and I was like, 'Someone's gonna call her an ambulance, right?' But everyone took her picture. It's crazy."
Exploring the lengths people go to to achieve professional success is only part of the story. O'Daly's character Chet is a socially awkward gay man who fails at his attempts to connect to the gay community, causing him to cling to Laura and their shared dream. "We're kind of like Will & Grace," says O'Daly. "But without the careers. Or the friends. Or the ability to afford an apartment."
Through all their obstacles, however, Chet and Laura still believe they can make it, but are feeling the fear of getting left behind.
"We're living in a time now where your number of Instagram followers is more important than where you went to school, where a song will literally have no melody and become a top ten hit," says Ryan. "It wasn't like that when we started out. The rules to success are constantly changing, and I ask myself, 'Am I able to keep up? Do I even want to?'"
"I don't know," responds O'Daly. "What would a successful person do?"
SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE. Starring Theresa Ryan and Artie O'Daly. Produced by Theresa Ryan, Artie O'Daly, Lu Macnaly. Executive produced by Jeff Tidwell and Michael Bartlett. Directed by Janina Maria. Director of Photography is Westley Gathright. Editor is Artie O'Daly. Written by Artie O'Daly and Theresa Ryan.
For more information, visit www.successfulpeoplewebseries.com, follow SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE on Twitter @SPWebseries, follow Artie O'Daly on Twitter @ArtieODaly and online at www.artieodaly.com, and follow Theresa Ryan on Twitter @theresa_ryan.
Artie O'Daly is a graduate of the theatre program at CSU Fullerton and attended the Acting Conservatory at SUNY Purchase. He has appeared in television series such as The Big Bang Theory, Scorpion, Castle, Grey's Anatomy, THE HAUNTED Hathaways, Scrubs, Veronica Mars, Gilmore Girls, and Pushing Daisies. He is the co-writer of the popular sketch series What Would Taylor Swift Do? and the upcoming web series How to Get Featured on Deadline, produced by CapGun Collective.
Theresa Ryan is a graduate of the Acting Conservatory at SUNY Purchase, and attended UNLV and the Las Vegas Academy of Performing Arts. She has performed on the main stage of The Second City in Las Vegas and studied improv at Upright Citizen's Brigade. She has appeared on MTV's Awkward, in campaigns for Comcast and Globanet, and was a $200,000 winner on the Wayne Brady-hosted game show, Don't Forget the Lyrics.