Back in the 1980’s I watched a very fun film that starred some of my favorites – Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and Harry Shearer. Written and directed by Carl Reiner, this mockumentary, This is Spinal Tap, chronicled a band and the film became a “cult classic”. I never in my wildest dreams would have predicted in those years that down the road I would work with one of the stars of this film in a series about a hair salon.
But, I did. And, I am.
A year ago, Roxanne Messina Captor enlisted me to help her “frame” an idea- a sequel to her 10 year old, Oscar qualified film – A Couple of White Chicks at the Hairdresser. After a few months of her storyboarding, writing and honing her script- THE SALON a digital series – was born!
THE SALON is a new digital series that has a diverse and abundantly talented cast, including the very demure and zen, Harry Shearer.
One of the most fun, but challenging parts of working as a co-producer in the role of media marketing strategist, was helping to find locations and casting ten roles or more. Plus let the worldwide audience know through media updates.
Diversity and tackling contemporary issues in this series were key elements that Roxanne was laser focused on weaving in to THE SALON. As she unfolded the story, I could vision it in my head – and counted down the day to actually see it all come together for filming.
But first you need a cast and a crew!
Early in the casting was Kate Linder – who joined her Couple of White Chicks co-star Harry Shearer to reprise her role as Marsha Flagg.
Sam Rubin from KTLA agreed to join the cast, playing a cameo role. (And, bringing much humor to the set.)
Luis Jose Lopez and I met during the San Pedro Film Festival. He was part of a short film called Life Interrupted (Written and Directed by Steve Wishnoff, cast photo below). For The Salon Luis was cast as one of the leads, Ricardo, the new salon owner and boyfriend to Eddie (played by the very popular Deaf actor, Eddie Buck).
Candy Washington and I had met through the Celebrity Connected Gifting Suites. After several years of hanging out together at these events, we became friends. I recommended she meet Roxanne. Candy as “Nicole” proved to be a solid actress. (Pictured below)
The women in this cast all are very dynamic with great delivery of the script by the “GOSSIP LADIES”- played by Jeanette O’Connor, Jennifer Lee Weaver and Gail Bearden. They are very, very funny and are included in some of my favorite scenes.
Chala Savino and Vanessa Garcia (below) are two very gifted actors who gave performances that brought me to tears. (Oops – should have said spoiler alert first.) One of the strongest themes involves their relationship and unlikely friendship.
Of all the roles, the hardest for Roxanne to fill was for the salon’s resident make-up artist, Abimbola. Akende Munalula was the perfect person casted for this part. Teamed with Derek Warburton in many scenes – the two of them ping-pong between the comedic and the dramatic throughout the series.
Lastly, the ingenue was played by Mason Grammer in her debut film role. She was perfect as Judy – the receptionist and Mason has a bright future in acting. Derek, Mason and Akende are pictured above from a photo taken on the set.
After a few months of assembling a cast, finding a perfect location (thank you to Anthony Nex Studios), and asking more than one favor from friends to help as crew – THE SALON was filmed and on time. The bonus came when the series’ music was set to the amazing tunes of Judith Owen. She is incredible!
What a year it has been!
Now it is a year later from when Roxanne “birthed” THE SALON proposal. Much has transpired – including a world that is topsy-turvey. Despite a Covid 19 pandemic, social unrest and much heartbreak – THE SALON’s team managed to finish with post – production and preview to audiences. Collectively all of us associated with this grassroots series have hoped to bring a bit of levity to a world that so needs to find a reason to laugh.
And guess what? – The series is on the track to the world of the Emmy® with step one done – being submitted for consideration! Working as the media producer for the film, I find myself on a very steep, albeit exciting, learning curve.
So, I invite you to enjoy getting to know THE SALON by watching the trailer below or if you are a television academy member viewing it on their For Your Consideration (FYC) site.as OUTSTANDING SHORT FORM SERIES COMEDY OR DRAMA – CATEGORY 93
If you are a member in niche categories – please also consider the following:
Roxanne Messina Captor for Director
Harry Shearer and Luis Jose Lopez for Outstanding Actor in a Short Form Series- Comedy or Drama (Category 81)
Jeanette O’Connor for Outstanding Actress in a Short Form Series- Comedy or Drama (Category 82)
Judith Owen for music. (Category 63)
THE SALON is from Executive Producers – Kelsey Grammer and Tom Russo. Learn more on IMDB.