Joining us on this episode of HALO Talks are a cast of veteran actors and incredibly talented individuals who have combined their love for performing, writing, and a newfound passion for pickleball to create something truly special: Pickleball is Life-Dill With It! Watch the hilarious trailer here!
Today's guests include Carol Ann Demarco, Susan Gallagher, Catherine Curtin, and Leigh Anne West.
When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, Carol Ann and Leigh Anne found themselves brainstorming ideas for a comedy project. Drawing from their experiences in New York Theatre and indie short films, they came up with the concept of a mockumentary that serves as a bit of a "love letter" to Cape May, the quirky and eccentric characters they encountered in the world of pickleball, and the sport itself.
Despite initial resistance as a former tennis player, Leigh Anne embraced the project wholeheartedly. She and Carol met every Friday to develop the characters and scenarios, created a pilot, and with the addition of powerhouses Catherine and Susan to the team, their project began to really take off.
The pilot, however, is not just about the sport itself. It also serves as a platform to showcase talented actresses, and challenges stereotypes of 'older' women. What started as a personal diary of sorts soon transformed into this hilarious pilot that anyone who has ever picked up a pickleball racquet could relate to in some way.
The group also discusses the public's hunger for content and the growing popularity of pickleball as a sport, making this the perfect opportunity to bring "Pickleball Is Life" to the masses. They also touch on the current writer's strike (still happening as of August 2023) which opens doors for production and shooting, highlighting the advantage of having content ready to go once the strike ends.
"We have content that [the networks] can have now . . . instead of 'you need to make your content,' which will take 6 months. We have content that you could have right now and it's really funny, and it is the most popular thing going in the world right now," states Curtin.
Some key moments:
[00:01:23] Pickleball enthusiasts combine passion for acting.
[00:04:58] New York theater duo creates pickleball mockumentary.
[00:11:57] Agent received email. Offer to play pickleball. Excited to work with familiar faces. Grateful for opportunity and fun experience.
[00:17:07] Proof of concept TV pilot seeks fan base and investors for full season.
[00:18:45] Age of actors not the issue, public's interest is. Pickleball trend creates content opportunity. Writer's strike will create demand for content.
[00:24:15] Mental health and community through fitness.
A few key takeaways:
- Pickleball has gained tremendous popularity, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, providing a sense of community and connection for players of all ages.
- The TV pilot "Pickleball is Life: Dill With It!" was created as a love letter to Cape May and the pickleball community, showcasing talented actresses Leigh Anne West, Carol Anne Demarco, Susan Gallagher, and Catherine Curtin.
- The project evolved from brainstorming a comedy about experiences in New York Theatre and indie short film into a mockumentary-style TV pilot, inspired by movies like "Best in Show."
- The group emphasizes the importance of creating content on the subject of pickleball, as there is public hunger for it and the popularity of the sport provides an opportunity for unique storytelling.
- Pickleball is seen as a democratic and inclusive sport, bringing people together regardless of skill level and providing an outlet for fun and teamwork.
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