By Jerry Lee Davis, Staff Writer
Los Angeles actress Laraine Fisher is doing just that with Westside Tight, an original episodic series that she created. The series follows two twenty-something friends, Mauve and Meredith, through their journey of friendship, tests of loyalty, and the challenges of dating on the Westside of L.A., while trying to retain peace and sanity in a city that, at times, offers anything but that. The stories are inspired by Laraine's love for Santa Monica, while glimpsing at it's neighboring city, Hollywood, and how the two worlds compliment each other and sometimes collide with each other, just as the people living in them do.
Jerry: Tell me about Westside Tight and what’s happening with the series.
Laraine: The premise of the show came to me one evening while I was driving back to my apartment in Santa Monica from an audition in Hollywood. As I was listening to the radio, I happened to catch a promo for the season premier of a show called Army Wives on Lifetime. My first thought was this sounds like a great show, and my second thought was why didn’t my agent call to get me an audition. My third and most significant thought was why don’t I write a show. And the result is Westside Tight.
Right now the trailer is out on the web for audiences to see. We’ve filmed six episodes, and we have an entire season written. I just learned that the networks are taking a look at the show, and I’m excited about that news. Depending on what the networks say, we may release the episodes as webisodes on our own or through one of the networks. If we’re really fortunate, a network will pick up the show as a television series.
Jerry: I don’t know if you saw the news that ticket sales for Sex and the City 2 are already selling out, and the movie isn’t being released until May 27th, 2010. Are you flattered when people refer to the trailer of Westside Tight as the West Coast version of the Sex and the City series?
Laraine: I did see the news about the ticket sales, and I’m happy for them. Means there is an audience out there for comedies with females. And, yes, of course, I’m flattered when people see our trailer and compare the show to Sex and the City. I’ve even heard our show called the female Entourage, too, and I embrace that as well. I see the similarities with these shows, but I’m also aware of the differences, too. Westside Tight looks at Mauve and Meredith’s relationships in a way where we see that there are tools to help up get through the one night stands, and the un-returned calls and all the other disappointments of relationships, as well as the ups and downs of our careers and our relationships with each other. In the series, the women are going to yoga and meditation, and you see the benefit of these types of modalities.
Jerry: Do you enjoy wearing so many hats? Actress, writer, producer, and are you directing, too?
Laraine: (laughs) Yes, and I have a different hat for every position. I did direct all six of the completed episodes. It’s great to have a vision, and to be able to follow it through to delivery, and I did have all of these positions to do. But I couldn’t have done all of the work without all of the talented people whom I had working with me. I had an excellent DP and an excellent crew. I believe “it takes a village,” and I believe in the power of a team. I work better in a team environment. I know that like attracts like, so I try really hard to stay in the positive belief system, and I got lucky, because I attracted people of similar mindset.
Jerry: With so much focus on the younger actresses today, those under 25, what do you think the opportunities are for actresses over 25?
Laraine: Mauve and Meredith, the characters in Westside Tight are in their mid 20s. And I think there are many roles for women 25 and over. I don’t believe in limits. Youth works in our favor at times, but I don’t think age limits us. Kathryn Bigelow just became the first female “Best Director” Oscar winner, and she is in her late 50s. Meryl Streep is one of the top box office stars in the world. Male or female, young or older, you go out there and believe in yourself and what you are doing, and things will work out.
Jerry: How do you feel about using entertainment as a vehicle for political, social or spiritual commentary?
Laraine: That’s a very good question. I think you can get away with a lot of this in comedy. You can address religion, politics and other taboo subjects, if you treat them with humor. Sometimes I think it’s really necessary to put information out there, and let people make their own decisions, but I’ve never been one who believes in using entertainment to force an issue. Westside Tight touches on some environmental issues, but in a subtle way. Entertainment is a great way to get a message to the masses, and if you can do it in a way that isn’t forcing an opinion, why not do it? I think it’s our duty.
Jerry: What wisdom do you have for yourself and the many actors, actresses, writers, directors and other creative talents in this town who are hoping to be successful?
Laraine: I would say follow your passion whatever that may be, and don’t ever back off from what you know should be done. Don’t listen to that doubting voice. Believe in yourself and your choices, and you will find so many people willing to jump on board to help you, so you don’t feel so overwhelmed. I always have faith that the Universe knows what our heart’s desire is, and it will be done.
Jerry: Thank you so much for the interview. Much success I wish for you and the show.
Laraine: Wow.You’ve been great. Thank you for your time. I really appreciate the support.
View the trailer for Westside Tight at www.wstight.com
Also check out the Westside Tight Facebook page
Jerry Lee Davis
Love Angeles Magazine©