News Roundup: Gossip Girl, 90210 and The O.C.

24 05 2010
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Exclusive: Jonathan Jackson and Enation on Their One Tree Hill Connection

18 04 2010

About 200 artists are heard on One Tree Hill each season, according to the show’s music supervisor, Lindsay Wolfington. Of that 200, only a tiny portion are seen on-screen. A few easily come to mind…Fall Out Boy…Kate Voegele…Mike Grubbs. But what made the use of Enation particularly unique is that its first song on the show, “Feel This,” wasn’t sung by the band but by Bethany Joy Galeotti (Haley).

After Galeotti’s character performed the song during the season 5 finale (Episode 5.18, What Comes After The Blues), the band performed onstage with Galeotti as she sang it again in season 6 during the USO concert (Episode 6.10, Even Fairytale Characters Would Be Jealous), which also featured Voegele (Mia) and the band Angels & Airwaves. Enation, which features Jonathan Jackson (yes, that Jonathan Jackson), Richard Lee Jackson, Michael Galeotti, Luke Galeotti and Daniel Sweatt, also had their song “World In Flight” played in that episode.

I recently spoke with Jonathan Jackson on the phone and caught up with Richard Lee Jackson and Luke Galeotti via e-mail. In our interviews, the band discussed the effect One Tree Hill has had on them, their plans for the future and using social media to connect with their fans.

TeenDramaWhore: First of all, I want to congratulate you. I heard you have another baby on the way.

Jonathan Jackson: Yes, I do. Thank you. We’re excited.

TDW: I also have to commend you for the unbelievable job you did not too long ago on General Hospital in the scenes where Lucky confronts Elizabeth and Nikolas.

Jackson: Oh, cool. Thank you.

TDW: We all know that you have an obscene amount of talent but those were just breathtaking.

Jackson: Thank you so much. That’s awesome.

TDW: I don’t know if you can say but were those in your Emmy reel?

Jackson: Well, those are for 2010. If I’m nominated next year, then I’ll be sending those scenes in.

TDW: The cut-off dates always throw me for a loop.

Jackson: The ones [for the upcoming Emmys are from] ‘09 and that particular episode aired in January of 2010. So that won’t come around til next year.

TDW: Oh, wow. So even though you filmed it before January, it matters when it airs.

Jackson: Yes.

TDW: Gotcha. Switching over to Enation, some bands would say being featured on a teen soap like One Tree Hill or even a daytime soap like General Hospital is cheesy or selling out. But Enation has obviously embraced it. Why is this the route you thought was good for you guys?

Jackson: Well, there’s a few reasons. One is we’re friends with Bethany Joy Galeotti and Michael, who’s our keyboard player in the band, is married to her. So it was a friendship and a relational connection that specifically got us excited about doing something for One Tree Hill. And just in terms of the basic idea of placing songs on TV shows, we’ve always been for that. Especially as an independent band, when you don’t have a giant label pushing your music on radio, that’s sort of a different way to reach a wide audience. One Tree Hill has a really strong following and we thought it would be a great way to get our music out there and exposed to more people.

TDW: The fans who were uninitiated to Enation before One Tree Hill, did their enthusiasm surprise you at all?

Jackson: It really did. We had no idea that the music would catch on like it did. It’s been pretty cool. And the song that we did with Bethany Joy was really cool. People really connected with that song. It was a real personal song for me about redemption. It was neat to see people really connect with it.

TDW: For your appearance on the show, what differences did you notice between filming One Tree Hill, a primetime show, and General Hospital, a daytime soap? I know the processes are a bit different, right?

Jackson: Primetime shows that shoot on film are pretty different than daytime. Daytime is sort of a hybrid between theater and film in the sense that on General Hospital you have four cameras that are shooting at once. One Tree Hill usually does one camera at a time, which is more of the traditional film style. You do multiple takes from a bunch of the different angles over the course of the day. On General Hospital you basically do the scene once and they catch it with four different cameras and you move on to the next scene. As an actor, it’s pretty different. But I grew up doing films and other TV shows as well so I’m pretty used to the different styles that people do.

TDW: Was it an added challenge to be filming something with the musical component? Because you weren’t filming something as an actor, like you usually are.

Jackson: It was cool, actually. It was fun. I had never really experienced it from a different angle like that. It was cool to be part of the filming but not be one of the actors, per se, and just be one of the musicians. It was cool to see it from a different perspective and it was fun to partner with Bethany and see what happened. The USO thing was really cool, too, because the people were amazing. Just to be able to support something like that meant a lot to us.

TDW: I know Enation and [Galeotti’s band with Amber Sweeney] Everly recently booked a gig for August at the Corn Palace. Will other joint dates be announced?

Jackson: As soon as we get ‘em, we’ll announce ‘em. That’s definitely a possibility. It works out perfectly for us just because we’re all really good friends. Our music is different but it sort of complements each other well and there’s crossing of audiences with One Tree Hill and General Hospital. So I think it’s possible we’ll do more dates.

TDW: When you guys perform together, do you collaborate on-stage, too? Like, do you perform Feel This together?

Jackson: We’re sort of talking about that right now, how we’re going to arrange all that stuff. We’ve done small acoustic shows where we’ve done that but this is probably the first full-on, full-length show that we’re doing together so we’re talking now about how we’re going to execute everything.

TDW: In Enation, you & Richard are brothers and Michael & Luke are brothers. What is the benefit of working with your siblings?

Jackson: Well, for Richard and I, it’s awesome. Most of the creative things we do in our lives, we do together, whether it’s writing scripts or playing music. All that kind of stuff. It’s great. He’s an incredible drummer and producer. We work really well together. And I think it’s fun for Luke and Michael as well. It’s just nice when you’re traveling and touring to have your brother there and feel like somebody’s got your back. But we feel like that with Dano as well. We’re sort of a band of brothers.

TDW: I like that phrase. How do you find time for everything? You have the music, you’re doing other projects with your brother, you have two kids, and you have an immensely popular but very time-intensive daytime series. How do you fit it all in?

Jackson: It’s pretty tough. It’s pretty crazy. I don’t know. You just do your best to prioritize. For instance, I’m not working on GH this week so I’m up in Washington and we’re working on music. When I have downtime at night, I spend a lot of that time writing screenplays and books and stuff like that. Whenever I’m not doing one of those creative things, I’m doing another. Also prioritizing time with my wife and kids is something I work really hard at, trying to put that time before all the creative stuff.

TDW: You guys have increasingly been using Facebook and Twitter to interact with fans. It’s one more thing to do but it’s opened up opportunities to have relationships with fans that you didn’t necessarily have before.

Jackson: I know. It’s been a transition, probably, over the last five years to incorporate more of that stuff. It’s really important, especially, like I said, as a band when you’re doing some stuff independently. There’s a fun creative process of just dreaming about how you can stay connected with people and let them get to know what you’re about and what the music is about. We’ve been doing an online magazine, Enation Magazine. I think we’ve done five or six issues, and that’s been really cool because it gives people a really in-depth picture of some of the music and some of our experiences. But Twitter and Facebook have been great.

TDW: Last question, and I know it might be an impossible one to answer. If you had to choose one for the rest of your career–doing TV, making movies or playing music–which would you go with?

Jackson: Yeah, that probably is impossible. I think between the three, I’d probably try to hold on to a combination of making films and still playing music with the band. Maybe we could make films and then score the soundtracks. That would be cool.

Q & A with Enation’s Richard Lee Jackson and Luke Galeotti

TeenDramaWhore: How has the association with One Tree Hill changed your “knownness” factor?

Richard Lee Jackson: Being on One Tree Hill has increased our exposure in a big way. Not only were we able to play in front of the live USO crowd of over 3,000 people the night our show was filmed, but we were also seen by the millions of fans who watch the show once it aired. We’ve had over 100,000 people download the version of “Feel This” we did with Bethany Joy, which is now our biggest-selling song. There were also over 100,000 people all over the world who watched a YouTube video focusing on the lyrics to “Feel This”––which as a co-writer of the song makes me feel pretty great! We want that message of hope, beauty, and redemption to get heard, and One Tree Hill was a big part of that happening.

Luke Galleotti: Well for me, playing on One Tree Hill was the first time I’ve really been around “Fame” and I got an interesting new perspective on why I am playing music. Fame is very overrated but at the same time it can be used to influence a lot of people. So, I guess what that whole experience showed me was that what I really want for me and my music is to be content being me and bless a lot of people along the way.

TDW: What was the most surprising thing about filming your appearance on One Tree Hill?

RLJ: For me, the most surprising part was how involved the USO really was. The men and women on the base there in [North Carolina] were the ones who actually built the stage where the concert was performed on. They were so inviting, so happy for us to be there. We were the ones who were honored to serve them any way we could, but their hearts were so filled with gratitude. They put their lives on the line for us, and here they are thanking us for showing up and playing a concert. We told them, from the stage, anywhere we could, how thankful we were for their sacrifice and service.

LG: I was surprised that the cast and crew were everyday normal people. For me, I had a totally different view on how things worked and how people acted in the industry but when it was all said and done, we are all just people. I really enjoyed hanging out with everyone. There are a lot of great people on that set.

TDW: What’s the one TV show you would love to have an Enation song on?

RLJ: Lost. No question for me. That’s one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. They’ve had some really great music sequences, too.

LG: I don’t watch a lot of TV but it would be fun to hear our songs on the shows I do watch–Lost, Chuck and/or The Legend of the Seeker.

TDW: Who would play each of you in the movie version of Enation’s career?

RLJ: : Oh, man, great question! Okay, let’s see.
Jonathan: Leonardo DiCaprio or Johnny Depp
Myself: Matt Damon
Daniel: Adam Sandler, Will Ferrell or Jeff Bridges (younger)
Michael: Matthew Fox
Luke: Colin Farrell

LG: Hmm, that’s a tough one. I think I would nominate Enation to play Enation. I don’t know anyone who is better at being us than, well, us.

TDW: What’s next for the band?

RLJ: We are continuing to promote our recent albums, “World In Flight” and our first ever live album, “The Future Is A Memory.” We are also working on our next album, which at this point is at the “throwing paint on the canvas” stage. We don’t know what it will look like yet. We have some shows lined up for the summer and we’re still looking to book more. Those dates should be released pretty soon for our fans. We are always interacting with our fans, making our Enation Magazine for the Enation Army members, and we love keeping in touch through Twitter and Facebook. Our biggest desire is to continue to be who we are, making  great music that we hope connects with people. We want to look back and be really proud of the catalogue of music we have.

LG: Well, I hope to work on building a strong fan base in the northwest and seeing what opens up from there. For me, it’s not about where we go or how far we go. It’s about us being together.

Come back next Sunday for another exclusive interview!

TDW Interview Index





Exclusive: Charles Rosin Talks Beverly Hills 90210, showbizzle and More

14 03 2010

Think the Spellings are the only real-life Beverly Hills 90210 family? Think again. Meet the Rosins: Charles, Karen and their daughter Lindsey.

As you may recall from my previous interview with Charles, he was the executive producer of Beverly Hills 90210 for its first five seasons. Karen wrote nearly 20 episodes between 1991 and 1994 and Lindsey had a memorable cameo in Episode 2.o6, Pass/Not Pass, as a little girl asking Brandon (Jason Priestley) to dance the hukilau at the Beverly Hills Beach Club.

I mentioned in January that my interview with Charles was one of my highlights of TDW Year One. I never dreamed I’d interview him once–let alone twice and this time in person. But that’s exactly what happened in January on a weekday morning in New York City, where Charles, Karen and Lindsey came to promote their new media venture, showbizzle.

Charles and I sat down to talk about showbizzle and, of course, Beverly Hills 90210.

TeenDramaWhore: If you had to give your elevator pitch for showbiz, what would you say?

Charles Rosin: Showbizzle is a digital showcase for emerging talent that combines a webseries called showbizzle with a platform for talent away from the immediate pressures of the marketplace. So it’s two mints in one: it’s a show and it’s a resource for emerging artists. The show is populated by emerging artists and it was really conceived by emerging talents, namely Lindsey Rosin being the first one to be showcased, as the writer and director of the majority of the shows. So that’s the basics of it.

Unlike so many people who do webseries, what they’re hoping is “Oh, everybody loves our webseries and we create so much action and energy, FOX or The CW will find us and want to put us on the air.” We’re not interested in that. If we wanted to do something specifically for broadcast or cable, we would go into the room with those people and say “We think this works for your medium because…” But we like this form, the potential of it, the idea that you can just do what you want to do and not have to go through committees. From a business standpoint, there’s ownership potential that works in the current marketplace.

So the premise of the webseries is that Janey, a young wannabe screenwriter, who is very plugged into the culture of Los Angeles, sits in a coffeehouse in L.A. trying to write her screenplay and looking forward to all her friends who stop by and interrupt her from that. That’s the basic premise of it. What is a lot of fun about it is that for someone like yourself and the audience that you know, that although you meet all these disparate characters doing these short little two-minute snackable, for-the-digital-world kind of stories, you start to realize these characters are related and there is a serialized story. It builds to a serialized place. We’re fans of that. We try to do it with humor and insight and with a lack of snarkiness that is so prevalent in the digital world. We try to do a show that’s engaging.

One of our slogans is, “Just take a little bizzle break.” The one thing about all media, all the shows you cover–and thanks for even thinking about showbizzle in relation to it–is what they really are is diversions. Somehow in the last 20 years, the importance of the television business, the shows that are made, have been thrown so far out of proportion because of the material value of it. But all they are–we have a lot of issues going on the world–is just a little place to get a respite, to get a chuckle or a laugh. One of the things that Lindsey really values is when her friends say, “That happened to me” or “I’ve got a story.” The whole social network aspect came from Lindsey saying, “We should ask our viewers what’s happened to them,” because even though it’s very specific to Hollywood, because that’s where we’re set, at the same time trying to get ahead in life and figuring out what you’re going to do and using every connection you have when you’re kind of an adult but not really an adult, is something [everyone goes through] and we wanted to explore that.

TDW: How did showbizzle start? Who came up with the idea?

Rosin: The origins of showbizzle go back to a day in December in 2005 when Disney announced they were selling Lost on iTunes, which effectively meant the end of the syndication model that financed network television. Producers would make X number of shows and if they had enough, they could sell them to the local stations and other places, and that’s how the revenue would come back to the companies and people would profit from that. Fortunately, I benefited from that twice. Once from [Beverly Hills] 90210 and more recently Dawson’s Creek, which moved into profit because of the syndication of it. But when you sell something prior to syndication, it dilutes the value of the syndication and to do something that as dramatic as to put episodes on iTunes the day they’re running or the day after they run is a fundamental change.

I started thinking about that and how network television was going to be changing. In the spirit of “everything old is new again,” I started thinking about branded entertainment, which goes back to the pre-network era, where with the television of the 50s, companies–Chesterfield Cigarettes, Lucky Strike, Kraft, General Electric–would come in and buy the half-hour or the hour and be totally associated with the show, whether it be variety or comedy or drama. They all had that. That’s how the revenue was derived. I started to think about what company had the resources to do this and is currently not an advertiser on network television. I realized that anyone who was going to put their name above an entertainment project was going to do it and want total ownership and control and then go to a network or then go wherever they want to go.

So I approached Starbucks about a project called Starbucks Presents. We did this in the winter-spring in 2006. We were trying to create a social network for the people who use Starbucks, in store or at home, and program hours of different ways to do things. At the core of it was a daily soap opera about what goes on in a coffee house. Showbizzle is the distillation of that idea. By the way, Starbucks’ response was “Don’t bother us. Come back to us in 5 years. We’re in the music business.” They’re no longer in the music business. They’re still in the coffee business.

TDW: Where does the name come from?

Rosin: Well, we wanted to call it hollybizzle for a while but it was taken. So, showbizzle, not quite show business. And certainly Snoop Dogg is very “fo shizzle” and made my kids laugh. We were sitting around the dinner table–I have two other children besides Lindsey–and we came up with that and said let’s see if that one will work. We like the name quite a bit. It’s friendly and open.

TDW: What is your role on a day-to-day basis? Is this now your full-time gig?

Rosin: I teach at UCLA and I still develop shows. I was very active in the business from the late ‘70s to about 2005. Found my name wasn’t on the lists that I liked anymore and this was a place to do it on my own. The idea to get more sponsorships, provide things for the community–that is where I spend a lot of my time [with showbizzle]. I think like 85, 90 percent of the time I still do other forms of writing and developing other projects as well. I like teaching and I like doing this. If J.J. Abrams called, I’d answer.

TDW: What is Lindsey’s role?

Rosin: I get to refer to her as “the talent.” She’s the writer and director. The other woman who did a lot of writing and directing for the first season is a woman named Arika Mittman and Arika just won a Humanitas Prize for an episode of South of Nowhere that she did. Arika was my assistant on Dawson’s Creek. She’s terrific and very talented and gets along very well with Lindsey. Arika, she’s someone who in a different lifetime would’ve been head of daytime. She plotted the serial a little bit with Lindsey. But Lindsey, I say to her–sometimes to her consternation; it’s a family business and all–anytime she’s involved with the site, it’s better on all levels.

TDW: What has been the response you’re getting from people in the business?

Rosin: I think they admire the effort and realize we’re pioneers. This is not formed. People haven’t done things like this. They always ask, “How are you going to finance this?” and I kind of talk about it but steer away from it a little bit. It’s designed to be branded entertainment and we’re here in New York now to try and find brands. We’re hopeful that we can and we present something that has potential and is different. There’s certain things we did in the first year–we did a lot of monologues; we didn’t emphasize the cinema. We’d like to have a little more production value. Lindsey has a lot of ideas for the second season. We know where to pick up the show and what kind of sponsors we’re looking for. Forms follows function, after all…

TDW: You mentioned finding sponsors. Is that what you did on this trip?

Rosin: One of the most difficult aspects of doing webseries is, whether you’re doing six episodes with friends in your dorm room or if you’re trying to do something to ultimately become a daily habit on the web, is to get the levels of support that you need. When you do branded entertainment, you want to get to brands. Brands have not been oriented to this. So we’re starting to see the change and transition as more and more brands advertise or consider sponsorships and realize that it might be worthwhile to look at certain web series, to brand projects and put their name above the title and all that. It’s a question, though, of “how do you get access to that?” One of the ways is you do something and it goes viral and they come to you and say, “How do you do that?” The other way is to do some work, you put it together, you have more ideas, you go to the brand and say, “With your marketing support, we do A, B, C, D and E” and that’s the method we chose. Creatively, I think showbizzle is somewhere in a middle ground or at least between premium high content and user-generated. We want it have the feel of an independent but be scripted.

There was an event [this week] called Brand In Entertainment, which was an event to meet people who are independent purveyors of content and meet brands and those that are interested in the sector or interested in tipping their toe in. It’s a risk-adverse world, especially after the financial meltdown. It’s all going very slowly. But I had meetings with one or two other people who have access to brands and I wanted to let them know what we’re doing. It was a business-oriented trip.

TDW: You mentioned that you have people who are just starting out in Hollywood playing the characters in the webseries. Is anyone getting “noticed” from it? Any success stories?

Rosin: The thing that’s interesting is remember my original definition: digital showcase, emerging talent away from the immediate career pressures of the marketplace. So really, it’s only about a creative expression. Too much discussion in Hollywood has moved away from any form of creative satisfaction and is only based on business elements. That’s why you always hear about returning an investment and all that. Well, what about creative satisfaction? So the goal of [participating] is not necessarily to further a career but to allow them to perform. We are going to try and accelerate it. We’re going to formally announce soon that we’ll have a rotating group of casting directors as residents and we’ll supply short little monologues and encourage our community to perform them, upload the video and guarantee them that the ones the casting directors like the most, they will comment on them and be on the homepage. You get on the digital showcase. You’re in our community and now you get to be singled out. That might help.

This time last year, a cute little blonde came in and started [working for us], making calls to colleges for outreach. She was really nice. One weekend she told me she had to go to New York. For my class at UCLA, I was putting together a list of what [new] shows [the networks] had ordered so we could [evaluate] them and I saw the girl’s name. It was Brittany Robertson [Lux on Life Unexpected]. She was the girl making our calls. I had Subway sandwiches with her for weeks. I sent her an e-mail and said, “Either you get major kudos or someone has stolen your name!” Now she didn’t perform on showbizzle and I don’t think necessarily that people have seen someone on showbizzle and said, “I need that girl or that guy,” but I think it gives people the confidence to be that girl or that guy.

In the second season we may go after a few names that people know to play little characters. It’ll probably make a difference. Two of the biggest names so far have been Fran Kranz, who was on Dollhouse and was just terrific, and James Eckhouse [Jim], who isn’t in the same demographic. But people can come [to showbizzle] for various reasons. As Lindsey likes to say, they can choose their own adventure. They can focus on getting industry resources or they can focus on the show, they can express themselves, they can take a bizzle break from all the troubles in life.

TDW: What lessons from Beverly Hills 90210 have you been able to apply to showbizzle?

Rosin: The main thing I learned from [executive producer] Aaron Spelling is you make a show for an audience. The audience satisfaction really matters. We continue to adjust to what our audience is looking for, what they say they want. The other thing, which I always like to say, is showbizzle is low-budget production. We were able to do a little content for not very much money but still paid people and all that. 90210 was lower-budget production. We had much less money in the first two or three years than what was there afterward. When we built the college set, that was a big thing for us. We didn’t have big restrictions. The first few years we did. We learned how to do something economically and you learn how someone is paying for all this. Usually that someone is your corporation, whether it’s Disney or Fox or Aaron Spelling. In the case of showbizzle, it’s us. You have to be prudent. Production we were able to handle very well. It’s the digital stuff, the Web site stuff that sometimes spirals out of control.

TDW: I was curious to know if you and Karen were already married when you started working on the 90210 or if the relationship was born out of the show.

Rosin: I met a really cute girl in 1976. We were married a year later in 1977. We’ve been together a long time.

TDW: That is a long time.

Rosin: Yes, we’re very old.

TDW: I know she’s had a career of her own but she wrote close to 20 episodes of Beverly Hills 90210.

Rosin: She wrote the best ones. It was an interesting thing. Mr. Spelling had had a bad taste in his mouth about putting a married team on a show from when he did Dynasty. He never really wanted to let Karen come on the staff and be a permanent part. It allowed her to stay home and raise our kids, which is a great thing but at the same time, she really deserved a lot more recognition as a writer, as a writer-producer, and didn’t really get that from 90210 and I always feel badly about that. But it was circumstances beyond our control. I really love collaborating with her, and I really love collaborating with Lindsey, because you find out with writers, all writers have strengths and all writers have weaknesses. A lot of writers who really excel at dialogue have trouble organizing the story, the scene dynamics. That’s what I do in my sleep. But I’ll struggle over dialogue for hours and hours. So it was a really nice fit with us. One thing I would to say anyone who is starting out and is thinking about collaborating, is that you have to feel whomever you’re collaborating with brings more to the party than you do. You’re not carrying them but you’re benefiting from them. And that’s my relationship with Karen as a writer. Anytime we work together, it gets better.

TDW: I know you did commentary for the earlier seasons of the DVD sets.

Rosin: Karen and I were asked to do it on season 3 and I did an interview for season 4.

TDW: Since season 4, there’s been no extras. We’ve had seasons 5-9 with no extras.

Rosin: Want my opinion? Because there’s nothing to say. The show ended with season 5, in my opinion. Season 5, if you were going to do one, the person you’d need to talk to is Luke [Perry, Dylan] because Luke was so important in those first 12, 13 episodes where he has his money stolen and has his whole depression and anger, leading to the crashing of his car. Luke drove those first 13 and it was a pleasure to do them with him. He had such intensity. If he’s not going to talk about it, then what are you going to say? Tiffani [Amber Thiessen, Valerie] would’ve been the other person to talk to for season 5.

TDW: Some of us have also been upset with the cover art and that many songs have been replaced on the DVDs or scenes were cut because of songs issues.

Rosin: Knowing how much Mr. Spelling cared about the audience, the fact that the music isn’t up to the standards that we had, he’d understand it as a businessman but he’d be rolling over in his grave.

TDW: I heard you were once working on a 90210 spin-off concept with Aaron.

Rosin: When we were thinking about moving forward with the college years, we also proposed they could spin-off a West Beverly High series but they didn’t want to do that at that time. Then in the year 2000, Spelling wanted to do it and I was hired to do something on it but it didn’t turn out to be what they were looking for. It was like 90210, the next generation. I think it had the exact tone of the high school shows but it was just for a different generation of high schoolers. Instead we have this bastardized version that’s on now.

TDW: What was your reaction when you first heard about the one that’s on now?

Rosin: The first reaction was that it just shows how important the brand is and how much branding means. Every generation has the right to do anything. I don’t own it. It was Viacom, Spelling. Darren Star created the show. It was more his world than it was mine. I was there to do something much specific. But now I’m more excited by a show like Life Unexpected than recycling shows from a different era just because of their title. I don’t feel [the new show] has that much in common with the original other than it has a high school premise and it’s in Beverly Hills. But tonally, from what I’ve seen, it doesn’t have that much in common.

TDW: Not sure if you’re aware but they recently killed Jackie Taylor [Ann Gillespie].

Rosin: Why?

TDW: They did this whole cancer storyline.

Rosin: I understand that. When you run out of ideas, you get people sick. No offense to Joey [E. Tata, Nat], but we were struggling and had to do 32 episodes. So Nat’s going to have a heart attack [Episode 4.18, Heartbreaker]. If you see characters getting sick like that at random, it’s usually evidence of a bankruptcy of ideas, in my opinion.

TDW: It came out recently that Rob Estes [Harry, 90210] is leaving the show and people are very surprised. “He’s supposed to be our patriarch. He’s supposed to be our Jim Walsh.”

Rosin: I would imagine that you do things like that when you realize a few things have happened. After the 5th year when I left [the original], so did Gabrielle Carteris [Andrea] but so did Jim Eckhouse and Carol Potter [Cindy]. At a certain point, you get to be a mature show. You realize you have to cut your overhead a little bit. You realize the storylines are going to move into a different direction and things are going to be different. So you do make adjustments. Why did Estes leave? Maybe he was profoundly unhappy with what they’ve done with his character. I wouldn’t know that but that’s usually why actors leave. They weren’t satisfied. The show thought they were paying too much money. He wasn’t being utilized, etc.

TDW: It came out recently that Jennie [Garth, Kelly] is sort of cutting ties with the show as well. The media went crazy with it.

Rosin: I only have admiration for Jennie. I don’t see her that often but I know she’s raising a wonderful family. She has political and social issues she’s very committed to. I really admired her on Dancing With The Stars. She wouldn’t have been able to do that at 21, 22. To have that courage, I admire that a lot. Jennie was very loyal to Mr. Spelling, very loyal to 90210 and I’m sure that led her back to [the new show] in a way. One thing you realize is that people do for their careers what they think is best, both in getting in with things and getting out of things. And I never like to comment on that because at a certain point they thought it was a good idea.

TDW: Are you in touch with anyone else?

Rosin: I am. I’m in touch with the guys. Luke, not as much. Hopefully will get back in touch pretty soon. But Jason Priestley [Brandon] I consider a really good friend. I love Ian Ziering [Steve]. He actually helped on showbizzle, doing an interview. And Jim Eckhouse I actually put in front of the camera. So those are the guys pretty much. And I keep in touch with Gabby through her husband, who is my stock broker.

TDW: I spoke with [writer-producer] Larry Mollin recently and he expressed some interest in doing a panel to talk about the show.

Rosin: If you ever want to do something like that, you let me know.

Come back next Sunday for another exclusive interview!

TDW Interview Index





Exclusive: Get To Know Mike Grubbs of One Tree Hill and Wakey!Wakey!

31 01 2010

Among One Tree Hill’s crop of fresh faces this season is Grubbs, a bartender at Tric. If you’re wondering where the name comes from (Is he supposed to be grubby? Chubby? Just an odd duck?), meet Mike Grubbs, the actor who plays him.

In our exclusive interview, Grubbs explains how his band Wakey!Wakey! led to a role on One Tree Hill, who his character may or may not get together with and how he uses Twitter to interact with his growing fanbase.

TeenDramaWhore: Let’s start at the very beginning. How did you first get involved with the show?

Mike Grubbs: It’s actually a very interesting story, Shari. A friend of [OTH creator] Mark Schwahn’s saw me play. She called Mark and said, “When you’re in New York next time, let me know. I’ll arrange it so this guy plays where you’re at.” Mark came to town and I got a call the night of. I was actually out on a date at the time and I got a call saying, “We need you to go to this place to play for Mark” and I was like, “Well, actually, you know, it’s kind of a bad night for me.” At that time I didn’t know Mark but they explained to me who he was and everything. So I said, “Yeah. Okay. I might as well try it.” But I was on a date so it took me a little while to get out there. Mark sat at this open mic night for three hours waiting to hear me play, which is pretty amazing. Most record executives, the way they handle hearing someone play for them  is you’ll fly out to where they are and go to their office and sit in some cold waiting room until whenever they’re ready to let you in and do the audition. They’ll give you maybe about 5 minutes of their time usually but Mark came and sat for 3 hours to hear me play at this open mic in Brooklyn, which just kind of points to the fact that he’s doing something right. I think that’s why shows like One Tree Hill get such good music and good people. So he came and saw me play. He was really into the songs I played and he said, “I really want to use those on the show.” So the first song was “War Sweater” and he used that on the season finale last year [Episode 6.24, Remember Me As A Time Of Day].

Then Mark and I just really became friends. It wasn’t about a professional relationship for us. When he came to New York, we’d hang out. When I went to L.A., we’d hang out. And then he was here a few months ago and we were finishing this new album we working on so I called him and said, “Hey man, I want to play you my new album,” just ‘cause he’s my friend. So we sat down and I played it for him and he was like, “I’m really into this. I really like this music and I want to help you release it. Why don’t I write you a few cameos on the show and we’ll try to have you perform on the show and bring as much attention to the project as we can?” And I was like, “Oh, this is amazing!” He knew I was a bartender–I was bartending at the time–so he wrote this little cameo for me as the bartender on the show and that went really well so that led to another. They wrote me into the next episode and then the next one and the next thing you know, now I’m Grubbs on the show and kind of a regular occurrence on it. It’s kind of cool.

TDW: How familiar were you with the show previously?

Grubbs: I had watched the earlier seasons of the show but had fallen out of touch with it for a while. I love TV and I love to watch TV but I’m kind of more of a sci-fi nerd. I really like Battlestar Galactica and nerdy stuff like that. Lost. Those are my shows. So the drama stuff hadn’t really been as much on my radar for a while so I didn’t really know what I was getting into. It was really cool to see once I actually started researching the show and catching up on what was going on. It changed so much and was so good. They had these really exciting new characters and I was just really proud to be a part of the show at this point.

TDW: It’s funny because a lot people didn’t know you were an actual musician. I saw some comments online saying, “Wait–was the bartender the guy at the piano at the end of that episode?” when you performed “Brooklyn” [Episode 7.12, Some Roads Lead Nowhere]. People explained to them that, yes, it was the character of Grubbs at the piano but the actor is also Mike Grubbs who has his own band.

Grubbs: Everyone started to piece it together. I can’t say for sure what’s going to happen but I think it might become more clear to people in the next few episodes what my part is in everything.

TDW: Was there ever a question of what name to give the character or was it just Grubbs from the outset?

Grubbs: Mark had always known me as Grubbs. That was my nickname throughout college. So it was like, what kind of bartender name can they give me? And I guess at that point, the natural name was just Grubbs. I mean, that’s who I am and he wanted the character to be as much like me as possible. So that was pretty locked in pretty early.

TDW: You were in a few episodes before we actually saw you perform rather than have that aspect of your character revealed right off the bat. Do you know what went into that decision?

Grubbs: I just think it’s something that’s maybe more exciting for the viewers, to watch the growth of the character that way. I also think, in all honesty, that Mark just wanted to make sure that I didn’t completely suck before he put me on as this character. The fact that I started as just this bartender gives us a little more arc to the character, makes it a little more exciting. But that’s really who I am. I’ve been this guy who is working every day and living a really real, normal existence just tending bar and working like everyone else. I’m not someone who’s just a musician. It kind of humanizes the character as well.

TDW: You are, without a doubt, the most recognizable face of Wakey!Wakey! but the other people you play with, what have they said about your experiences on the show?

Grubbs: They’re really stoked about it. They, of course, love the attention it brings to the project and everything. It’s really fun. The first episode I was ever on, we got together and it was just a small group of friends. They were all really close friends to me because I didn’t want it to be–like all of my friends came to me and said, “We have to throw a huge party! You’re going to be on TV!” and all this stuff. Everyone was really excited. But I wanted it to be quiet because I wanted people to actually watch the show. I didn’t want it to be a raging party with the TV on in the background and then we’d just miss it. So we kept it really small but the majority of the band was there for that. They’re super-supportive, they’re super into it and they’re really excited about it. They’re proud of me and they’re happy. It’s cool.

TDW: Can you give us any hints on what’s coming up with Grubbs and how many more episodes you’ll be in?

Grubbs: I don’t really know for a fact but I think you’re going to be seeing a fair amount more of me. But as far as what’s going to happen to my character, all I can say is of the scripts I’ve read so far, it’s really cool and it’s really exciting. People are going to love it.

TDW: There’s two little fandoms brewing. There’s some people who think Grubbs and Miranda [India de Beaufort] are going to have something going on.

Grubbs: I’ve definitely heard that one.

TDW: And there’s others that are looking for some cougar action with Victoria [Daphne Zuniga].

Grubbs: Yeah, you know, I’ve actually seen people suggest that. I saw another one suggesting I get together with Sophia Bush [Brooke], which is really funny because I love that people not only want to pair me with Brooke but her mother as well! I love that people are speculating about it because it means maybe I’m doing my job well or the writers are doing their job well and people are excited about it. As far as who my character will end up with, man, I think that all of those actresses you just mentioned are the coolest chicks in the world and I would be thrilled to be with any of them.

TDW: That’s a great answer. So what would you say has been the easiest thing working on the show, the most difficult and the most surprising?

Grubbs:I would say the easiest part of working on the show has been how accepting the cast has been of me. The first night that I got down there, James Lafferty [Nathan], Stephen Colletti [Chase] and Shantel VanSanten [Quinn]–and, actually, I think Robert Buckley [Clay] was there as well. All these people came out. I think Mark set it up so that everyone I was working on my first scene with came out to meet me so I would be comfortable with everyone the next day and they would know who I was. Honestly, they are just the most accepting and wonderful people you can ever think of working with.

That actually leads really well to the next question, the most difficult part of working on the show. It’s funny because the most difficult part of the show for me is getting used to acting on camera. I have an actual background in theater and I’ve done a lot of acting before as a theater actor but never as a screen actor so the changeover to that has been really challenging for me. I really feel lucky to have such great people on set with me and working with me to kind of teach me. The scenes that I have with India or Sophia or [Bethany Joy Galeotti, Haley], there’s always sweet, little hints that they give me. You know, “Keep your eyes up here,” “Make sure the camera catches this kind of thing”–things that you really want to look out for when filming these kind of things and it’s really amazing how much they’ve helped me. So the most difficult thing has been getting used to filming.

The most surprising thing I think was definitely how big the production scale is. I knew what One Tree Hill was, I had seen the show before and I knew Mark and all that stuff but you never can imagine what it’s like to be on set and in the process of filming until you’re there. There’s literally like a hundred crew members, a hundred extras. There’s things flying around past your head–cameras, lights, everything. It’s really overwhelming. So probably the scale of it is the most surprising thing.

TDW: Do you have any favorite anecdotes from the set or from hanging out with everyone?

Grubbs: Wow. There’s just so many great moments we have down there. When the cast goes out, it’s always a blast because everyone is super cool. We really are like a family. My favorite anecdote ever would be the first episode that I did down there [Episode 7.09, Now You Lift Your Eyes To The Sun]. Like I said before, it was completely overwhelming to me. The first day I walked on set, I didn’t know where I could go or what I could do, what was off-limits, when I was making a fool of myself. It was a whole different world and I didn’t know the etiquette of it or anything. As the day went on, I slowly became more comfortable and suddenly, before I knew it, the day was over and the episode was over for me. The first episode I was in, it was just a very small scene. So they wrapped the day and Mark Schwahn was on set and Sophia Bush was directing and, as they wrapped, finishing my last take, I didn’t really know what was going on because they do so many different takes and so many different angles and everything so I didn’t know if they were turning around or whatever and then one of the guys that works with us and says “Hey, man. That’s it for the day. You did a great job. We’re all done.” And I was like, “Okay, cool” and I kind of had a “That’s it?” moment, you know, where I was like, “Okay, well, I guess I go home now and I don’t know if I’ll ever be back” because at first it was just like a one episode cameo. So I was slowly kind of wandering off set, not knowing where to go or what to do and I heard someone yell from the other side of the room–to this day, I’m not sure who it was. I don’t know if it was Mark. I don’t know if it was Sophia. Austin Nichols [Julian] was on set that day; it could’ve been him. It could’ve been one of the other producers. All the guys that work on the show are just so cool. But somebody yells, “Hey, everybody! Can you just stop what you’re doing”–and, literally, at this point there’s like a 100 crew members on set and a 100 extras so I’m in a room with 200 people and everyone stops and turns around–“Can everyone please put their hands together for Michael Grubbs. It’s his first day ever on set, wrapping his first-ever episode” and the whole room just burst out. By that time I was friends with everybody and everyone was cheering for me. That was probably the coolest moment ever in the whole process so far.

TDW: That’s sweet. How is Wilmington treating you? It’s a bit different than Brooklyn…

Grubbs: Wilmington is quite different from Brooklyn. But it’s a really cool town. I don’t think people realize how great they have it there. The people that I’ve met, the locals and stuff, are all super sweet and super kind. There’s some really cool bars, some really cool restaurants down there, too. It’s a great scene. There’s some great little clothing stores. There’s a little place called Edge of Urge that I try to hit once every time I’m down there. They have great clothes. It’s funny that I would go all the way to Wilmington to buy clothes when I live in Brooklyn, a place where there’s so many great stores and stuff but that’s just something in Wilmington they do really well.

TDW: What’s next for Wakey!Wakey!?

Grubbs: The next thing we have coming out is this album on February 2nd. It’s called “Almost Everything I Wish I’d Said The Last Time I Saw You.” It’s our first real live studio album and we’re super proud of it. We got really great distribution so it’s going to be widely available and just kind of another introduction of Wakey!Wakey! to America so I’m really excited to see how that goes and get that out there.

TDW: You’ve done a great job of capitalizing on social media tools like Twitter and video blogs. What value do you think they have?

Grubbs: I think there’s a big difference between actors and musicians. One of the big differences is actors, unless they’re trying to build some general form of celebrity, really want their social media to be private because they’re not trying to brand themselves. They’re trying to get people to watch the show that they’re on. They don’t really want people to take as much interest in them. For someone like myself–or India’s actually in the same boat. She’s a fantastic singer and has a MySpace page and has a lot of great music on it. For someone like her or someone like me, using Twitter, using blogs, using MySpace and different outlets to get to people to kind of spread the word of what we’re doing with the band and other stuff is a totally vital tool. I want people to know me. I want people to know my band. I want people to feel comfortable with me and my music and everything. One Tree Hill fans are so cool and so supportive of the show and they work really hard to find music. If a song’s on the show, everybody goes and finds it, which is just amazing. If they like it on the show, they talk about it and they get out there and they’re asking about it. They have just such a great community online, I’d be stupid not to talk to them and try and put my name out there as much as possible and get people to see me and follow me on Twitter and come to my Facebook page. So I think social networking is just vital. Not to mention the way it allows me to interact with the fans and just kind of connect with them; it’s really cool. I would say it’s absolutely a vital tool for anyone and definitely something to watch. So I hope everyone comes and follows me on Twitter!

TDW: You’ve had people send you questions through Twitter that you then answer through videoblogs on your Tumblr. How did that start?

Grubbs: The first day I was on set, my manager told me our goal should be to answer every question we got on Twitter and kind of let all the other stuff go. The first appearance I had on the show, the response was pretty overwhelming. We got hundreds of letters and stuff. So to respond to everyone was pretty possible. I sat down and tried to respond to all the tweets one by one and it took me like a week. I finally got it done and I went to my manager and was like, “There’s no way I can do this. There’s no way I can make this my life because all I would do is sit there and answer tweets.” So we decided the best way to do it would be to do the series “Ask Grubbs.” Basically every Wednesday what we do is I’ll sit down and pick some random questions from Twitter–I can’t answer them all but I’ll pick as many as I can–and answer them on a videoblog. So every Wednesday they can come check it out and maybe they’ll see me answer their question on the blog. It’s kind of cool that way. It’s a great way for me to easily connect with people. For instance, on the last one that I posted, there was a girl that said she fell down and hurt her leg and she was at home with ice on it listening to Wakey!Wakey!. Such a sweet, sweet little message and for me to tweet back to that seems kind of shallow. To just say, “Oh, thanks. I hope your leg feels better” seems empty. So if I get to actually go on camera and say, “Hey, you! Thank you for listening to us and I’m glad that we’re making you feel better,” it feels a lot more direct.

Come back tomorrow night after One Tree Hill to find out how you can win an autographed copy of “Almost Everything I Wish I’d Said The Last Time I Saw You” and get a shout-out on Grubbs’  blog.

Then come back next week for another exclusive interview!

TDW Interview Index





Reader Submission

10 10 2009

SaneN85 submitted the following:

While commenting on the news of Greg Vaughn being let go from GH, I made a comment about the connection between him, BAG, and Jonathon Jackson. This had me thinking about the many connections that you can find to the main teen dramas. I’d think it be fun to have like a weekly post naming one celebrity and challenging the readers to find how they connect to the shows, some actors would have multiple connections. For instance, let’s say Angelina Jolie…..

Angeline Jolie starred in Gia with Elizabeth Mitchell, who starred on Lost with Matthew Fox. Matthew Fox starred on Party of Five with Neve Campbell and Jennifer Love Hewitt. Neve Campbell starred in Scream with Rose McGowan, Jennifer Love Hewitt starred in I Know What You Did Last Summer with Sarah Michelle Gellar. Rose McGowan replaced Shannon Doherty on Charmed, and Sarah Michelle Gellar starred on Buffy with Michelle Trachtenberg (Gossip Girl). This doesn’t even mention that Rose McGowan starred in Jawbreaker with Rebecca Gayheart (who played Dylan’s wife on 90210). There are at least 2 more ways I can connect Angelina to our favorite dramas. I work at Blockbuster part-time and have an overwhelmingly silly amount of knowledge regarding actor’s careers. I just thought this would be like a fun weekly quiz.

I think Sane’s idea is great and we’ll start doing it under the name Six Degrees of Teen Dramas.  Starting today, each Saturday I’ll post a new person.  From there, it’s your job to connect that person to at least one of the teen dramas.  Here’s the first one:

Will Smith

Ready, set, go!





Spoiler: Ask Ausiello

9 04 2009

RELEVANT QUESTIONS–DON’T READ IF YOU DON’T WANT TO KNOW!!!

Question: What are your top three favorite shows to watch right now? –Jeremy
Ausiello:
Lost, 90210, and The Big Bang Theory.

Question: Everyone is so worked up about the Hilarie Burton and Chad Michael Murray’s negotiations for the seventh season of One Tree Hill, but what about Sophia Bush and James Lafferty? –Adrienne
Ausiello:
James’ deal is closed. Sophia’s is not, but my OTH mole assures me that she will definitely be back.








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