“K&A” centers on a lesbian and her straight BFF


With promised future episode titles like “The Herps,” “Doing Nice Shit For People” and “Racist Wednesday,” K&A sounds like comedy gold and you can help make it happen. They are currently looking for backers through Kickstarter to begin filming their first season in Boston. The series will feature “Karly (straight) and Alex (lesbian) best friends since college, whose dysfunctional, co-dependent, drinking, and drug taking relationship impedes them from ever finding someone special in their lives besides each other.”

Personally, I was sold after viewing their promotional video “Donna Martin Graduates,” in which Karly prays to a shrine of the 90210 alum.

Katie Shannon (creator and former Retro Reviewing star), Audrey Claire Johnson (Karly) and Ashley Elmi (Alex) took some time to answer a few questions about the series and themselves.

AfterEllen: How did you come up with the idea for this series?

Katie Shannon: One of my favorite shows is Sex In The City because to me it is honest and truthful about women today and their friendships. My best friend from college lives around the corner from me. I’m gay and she is straight. I think we have a unique relationship and I would definitely say that a lot of the ideas for the series come from our relationship. Not all but some. I think it’s a character dynamic that hasn’t really been explored that much. When I hear or see something I think would be great for the show, I write it in my phone. If someone ever read the list, they would probably think I’m crazy! This series never focuses on the fact that the character of Alex is gay, but to me the more normal being gay is portrayed, the more of an impact this series can have. K&A is crazy, crude, and pushes the envelope.

AE: The city of Boston seems to be an important aspect to your web series. Why is Boston special to you?

KS: I’ve lived in the city of Boston on and off for about seven years now. It’s the place I consider home. The cast and crew of K&A are so talented and inspired. We really want to show people what the independent film scene in Boston can bring to the table. The city is full of people who have huge amount of pride for Boston. It’s a different and special city, and I wouldn’t want this series to take place anywhere else. With everything that has happened here in the last few months, it can’t hurt to try to put a smile on people’s faces.

AE: Can you explain the casting process you went through for K&A?

KS:  I had worked with Audrey on a previous project of mine called 617. When I wrote the part for Karly, I knew Audrey was the one I wanted for the part. With Audrey already in place, we knew we needed a strong female who could match her hilarious wit and personality. We liked Ashley from her first audition, but we were concerned that she may be a little too young for the role. In the second round of auditions, Ashley was the last actress to read. At that point we already had decided that we would most likely be casting another actress who had auditioned for the part of Alex. Just when we thought we were set, Ashley came in and nailed her second audition. She left the room, and we all looked at each other and said, “That’s our Alex.” Sometimes when you are casting you need to wait for that “ah ha” moment. And with her, that was it.

AE: What is your writing process like? Is it collaborative or a solo effort?

KS: I write all the original scripts. Then I’ll bring in Ashley, Audrey and Mike (our other producer) for writers table session. We laugh a lot and throw out new ideas as we go. And then after a few drinks, a new script is born. With such funny and talented leading women, it’s safe to say a lot of it will be improvised once filming begins.

 Katie Shannon

AE: What are some of the main challenges when creating a web series?

KS: I think the main challenge with any creative project is financial backing. You could have a brilliant idea, but without money, it will always just stay a brilliant idea. That is why we are doing a Kickstarter Campaign. The biggest challenge is convincing total strangers to donate. You just hope that there is something that they can relate to or makes them want to take time out of the day to press that donate button.

AE: Any advice you could give to someone who is thinking of creating their own web series?

KS: Have fun with it. Base it on things you are passionate about. Love what you do. And remember, having the web as a source for distribution is a great way to share your talent and to make people’s days a little better.