Last week I was invited to attend the press invitational for Crystal Chappell’s new web series, “Venice”. The series was shooting it’s first season episodes all last week, and last Wednesday was their press day out in Venice Beach! Well, where else would they shoot “Venice”? In Compton? Inside a suite of the beachfront hotel where the series was being shot, I, along with my Advocate.com videographer set up our little area to conduct one on one video interviews with the participants that will be up on Advocate.com in a special “Venice” preview package coming shortly! I am promised within the next two weeks.
I had such a great time (as you will see) chatting it up with the all-star cast of “Venice,” and felt the same excitement that all Otalia, “Venice”, and Crystal and Jessica fans have…. waiting to see the first installment of this highly anticipated web series which at its center features a gay women named Gina (played by Chappell) as we see her through her struggles, familiy, and screwed up love life!
My day of interviews started with a big hug from Crystal who was off and running to shoot a scene outside while we began talking with Harrison White, an out gay actor who plays an intergral part in the series. Next, in walked in my long time professional pal, Gina Tognoni, who sat with me for a very interesting and thought-provoking interview. Galen Gering (who replaced both Jeff Branson and Daniel Cosgrove due to scheduling conflicts in the role of Owen, Gina’s brother) had already left for the day, but I can give you a sneek peek at some of the images from the shoot here!
Writer/Producer Kim Turrisi and I talked what it meant to the LGBT community to get behind such a series as this, and her love of the work and her friendship with Crystal Chappell.
Jessica Leccia who had flown in from NYC had brought her hubby and baby, Ivy, with her on the trip. Jessica previewed for me her role of Ani, and we took a short stroll down memory lane and discussed the final episode and finale of Guiding Light and the ending of Otalia.
Nadia Bjorlin and I got very cozy and chatted about her confusion stepping into the role originally to be played by the ailing Elizabeth Keener. Bjorlin on short notice, took over Keener’s role that day while having a whole other part she was set to play in her head. Nadia plays one ‘hot’ lady in the series.
When Crystal and I finally got our moment together, she told me I had an “Oprah” moment when I asked her something “deep” and got the beautiful and talented actress teary-eyed. What did I say? You have to read my Soapside column tomorrow at Advocate.com, and watch for the upcoming video to find out! As well, I will be rolling out “Venice” content on Michael Fairman Soaps.com leading up to the premiere of the series, which is tentavively scheduled for late November.
John Paschal, from JPI Studios, the world reknowned celebrity soap photographer took these beautiful images and shots you see here. And as I looked on during some of the shoot I saw some of the most beautiful people inside and out in daytime participating in a project started by the ground up which was really a labor of love between Crystal Chappell and her creative team, acting pals, and her LGBT fans.
More “Venice” to come. For now enjoy these images!
Till next time,