Giving audiences and potential advertisers a sneak peek of its first scripted comedy, About Magazine has recruited local talent such as Ty Frazier, Teresa Zimmermann, and more to star in a reading of its sitcom The Anthony Project.
(HOUSTON) – About Magazine’s newest venture, a production studio named About Media (both of which operate under the About Media Group umbrella) has begun its forays into television programming. Earlier this month, About screened its first original talk show, Round-Up with Mel Rose, and now has three pilot scripts in development and is halfway done with the writing process of its first scripted sitcom, The Anthony Project.
The Anthony Project was created by About Magazine editor-in-chief, Anthony Ramirez, and is executive produced by Ramirez and local Houston singer/About creative director, Wendy Taylor. Former 93Q morning show producer and New Country KSCS afternoon radio host, Al Farb, also serves as the supervising producer on the show. The comedy’s team of writers includes other notable Houstonians such as Pride SuperStar contestant Shaun Gray, Rebekah Knight, Christian Peck, Lea Alonso, and Kimberly Dyan. Serving as story editor on the show is About Magazine book reviewer, Megan Prevost. But now that the series’ first season is nearly halfway written, the crew has announced a September 29th upfront for the community and potential advertisers. An upfront in Hollywood is a presentation by the network for its television shows in which advertisers are invited to preview the show, talk to the cast and crew, and begin their bids for where and with which shows they would like the ads placed. Ramirez’s comedy is only slightly different in nature, with a table read of the first half of The Anthony Project‘s scripts being table read by a collective of actors and the show’s writers for advertisers and the community to come out and get a taste of what the show is all about. The read will close with live musical performances from the actors in a special musical episode featuring two original songs (“The Good Guys” and “So Happy I Could Die”) and Broadway favorites such as “The Mad Hatter” from Wonderland, “On My Own” from Les Miserables, “Defying Gravity” from Wicked, and a medley of songs from The Last Five Years.
In preparation for this event, Anthony Project producers have announced that joining their cast will be actress and singer Teresa Zimmermann — who currently stars in the Queensbury Theatre’s production of the musical Violet — production designer and OutSmart Gayest and Greatest Award nominee for Favorite Male Entertainer Ty Frazier, and local Houston actress Julitta Pourciau, who has appeared in various TV shows such as Claws and The Leftovers. While they have not confirmed their appearances yet, Houston artist Morena Roas has been invited to appear, as has Miss Gay Texas America 2012, Kara Dion. The latter two personalities are currently in the process of checking their schedules.
The show revolves around a fictionalized version of Ramirez and deals with real issues he’s dealt with in the his real life. Set half in the fall/winter of 2018 and half in the spring of 2019, The Anthony Project finds its titular character the night after he has been raped, flashing back to the events several months before after his grandmother has died and leading up to the events transpiring around the rape. While the story is a dark comedy, Ramirez states that the major, darker themes of the series — such as rape, death, homophobic work environments, and substance abuse — are all based on events that took place in his life. When we find the comedy’s protagonist, he is working as a writer at a fictionalized version of About Magazine as he tries to juggle the cartoonish antics of his friends and coworkers Sofia, Alex, Kelsey, Matt, Wendy, Nikki, Kara, Erin, and Jackie, while also struggling to cope with the death of his late grandmother and his recent sexual assault.
Teresa Zimmermann will be playing the role of Erin Duval, the show’s primary antagonist and Anthony’s arch nemesis. Erin’s character is summarized as “a white, heterosexual, conservative, Christian employee of the magazine who interjects her unwanted opinions and beliefs upon her coworkers.” Ty Frazier will be reading for the part of Alex Fields, Anthony’s potential love interest in the series as well as his marketing director friend of the fictional version of the magazine with whom he often partakes in reckless recreational activities. Wendy Taylor will reading for a character based on herself, Anthony’s best friend, aptly named Wendy Taylor. As for Kara Dion and Julitta Pourciau, either would be playing the roles of Kara Wells — Anthony’s flighty, incompetent editor-in-chief who is struggling to kick a drinking habit — and Jackie Ferguson, the magazine’s seemingly-delusional receptionist who lost a child in a car accident to a drunk driver. Should Morena Roas appear, she will land in the role of Sofia Garcia, Anthony’s best friend from high school and coworker at the magazine. Ramirez, who will also serve as the show’s director, will be playing the titular lead who tries to coat his anxieties with drugs, alcohol, and sex.
Other characters that remain uncast for the September 29th reading of The Anthony Project include Kelsey Carter, a new, bisexual accountant coming to terms with his identity and his possible feelings for the Anthony character, Matt Delaney, a bartender at the gang’s local hangout, the Esquire Room, who gave up his career as a middle school music teacher to pursue music full-time, Nikki Adams, the bar’s motherly owner, Jillian Mitchell, a therapist to Anthony and Kelsey, as well as other supporting characters.
Actors wishing to read for these roles are asked to send an email to email@example.com, or message About Magazine on Facebook.
The table read — which begins with the first episode, “I Am Not This Person“, and ends in a special musical episode entitled “Alex + Anthony” featuring two original songs by Ramirez — is open to the public, as well as businesses that would like to discuss advertising and sponsorship of the program. Community members that would like to reserve a seat can follow this link to the Event Brite page. Businesses and potential sponsor should send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a table. Complimentary beverages and food will be provided.