For awhile now fans of former As the World Turns favorite Van Hansis (Ex-Luke Snyder) have been hearing bits of information about his upcoming new web series project Ms. Guidance.
But on Wednesday, Hansis and the Ms. Guidance counselors launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the final three episodes of their first season of six! They have already shot three that are in the can. After the first 12 hours of the campaign, Ms. Guidance raised over 5K and was even named a Kickstarter staff pick!
Ms. Guidance is the brainchild of Hansis and playwright James Ryan Caldwell. In addition, Van co-directs the episodes of this dark comedy, and he also appears in the series as well in the role of Walker. And from what we can tell you the premise is pretty brilliant! Check out all the info on Ms. Guidance from the series official press release below:
Created by three-time Emmy nominee Van Hansis and acclaimed downtown playwright James Ryan Caldwell, Ms. Guidance follows Jenny Bump, a struggling actress, who, after a nervous breakdown on the New York stage, returns to the performing arts boarding school she attended in her youth to act as an interim guidance counselor. However, listening to the dreams and ambitions of her students only stokes the dying embers of her own, and soon Jenny is back to her old tricks, scheming for fame, and ruining lives (her own included) in the process.
Hansis describes the show as “ Strangers With Candy meets Anton Chekhov’” noting that although the series is an entertaining “fast and dirty comedy”, underneath the humor is “that layer of life that a lot of artists- actually, a lot of anyone- feels all too deeply. It’s a feeling you carry along with you, but try to ignore- the feeling that what you have become is less then you were meant to be.”
Caldwell agrees, stating “Ms. Guidance is about much more than theater and drama kids and singing and dancing. It’s about the sense of uselessness when your skills and talent don’t materialize into a successful career. Its about what we do with the dregs of our dreams – do we allow them to torment us, or do we shape them into something new? It’s about having the dreams of a teenager, when in reality, you are an adult.”
Having privately funded the first three episodes, Ms. Guidance shot almost entirely on location at Walnut Hill School for the Arts, Hansis’ alma matter, in Natick, Massachusetts last summer and is looking to the public to raise funds to finish the six episode season.
Hansis co-directs with Melodie Sisk (producer on features “Summer of Blood” Tribeca, 2014, “Female Pervert” Slamdance, 2015 and “Applesauce” Tribeca, 2015, among others) The cast includes Amber Gray (the title role Soho Rep’s acclaimed “An Octoroon,” “Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812”), Adriane Lenox (2005 Tony winner for “Doubt”), Van Hansis (Three time Daytime Emmy nominee for “As The World Turns), Ian Unterman (The Good Wife), Tyler Hanes (The Cohen Brother’s upcoming “Hail Cesar!”, Broadway’s “A Chorus Line” and Link Larkin in “Hairspray” among others), Peruvian film and television star Marco Zunino, and introduces Elliotte Crowell as Jenny Bump.
Below watch Van and James discuss Ms. Guidance with some clips from the episodes they have shot, and how you can help participate and help fund this very clever project! Then let us know… are you glad to see Van again and hear of his new project? What do you think of the concept? Share your thoughts below!