Friday, May 16, 2014

INTERVIEW: Kelsey Jorissen on 'The Dreamers' Season Finale, Being an Artist in Chicago, and The Future

Have you discovered Chicago-based web series The Dreamers yet? In the age of binge-watching, this is the perfect time. The season finale debuts tonight at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.

Many have checked out the show, and it was recently nominated for two Indie Series Awards, best ensemble and best writing in a drama.

The Dreamers centers on Kara (Kelsey Jorissen) and her five best friends: Cavin (Mike Hamilton), Clarissa (Giselle Ruecking) Jackson (Michael Bartz), Brad (David Wesley Mitchell) and Eliza (Callie Stephens). All six have graduated from Art School and, as they fight to achieve their career dreams, it is the bond of friendship that keeps them going.

Ultimately, what makes The Dreamers such a relatable and heartwarming series is that we all know what it's like to endure the desperation, heartbreak and struggle it can be to make your dreams become a reality. Watching The Dreamers you get a true sense that these are real people that you could easily run into on the street. There isn't anything that feels manufactured for the sake of plot.

However, there is much more to The Dreamers. Like any good series, it focuses on the romantic lives of the main characters. Relationships end, new ones begin, but through it all the bonds of friendship are never broken. These are characters I would want to meet for coffee or a drink.

Do Kara, Cavin, Clarissa, Jackson, Brad and Eliza find the success and love that they want? You are going to have to watch to find out, and I urge you do so.

The Dreamers' Kelsey Jorissen and guest star
Michael Goldberg.
I was honored to have a chance to see the dynamic Kelsey Jorissen in action. Jorissen not only stars as Kara, but is also the writer and director of the series. It was fascinating watching her jump between acting and directing, especially as she was playing opposite someone (me) who has never acted before a day in his life.

I sat down with Kelsey after the shoot was over, and we spoke about what it was like for The Dreamers to be nominated for two Indie Series Awards, her goals for the show, and why The Dreamers is an Indie worth checking out. Read our exclusive interview below:

WE LOVE SOAPS: Once again, congratulations on the nominations The Dreamers received for best writing and best ensemble. Clearly it says a lot about the quality of the writing on the show but also about the chemistry of your cast.
KELSEY JORISSEN: Thank you, Michael. My cast is great and The Dreamers wouldn't be what it is without them. When we were nominated, I went and kind of stalked all of the series that won last year, and these series and people were so great. This product that they are putting out is phenomenal. And then when we watch the video of the nominations that came out, we saw our name and we all went crazy. It was such a dream come true. The Indie Series Awards struck me right away as being so professional and, thoughout, they had a passion for those people who are trying to make it happen.

WE LOVE SOAPS: It was great seeing you out in Los Angeles for the awards.
KELSEY JORISSEN: I felt like I was given access to all of these other people who were so passionate in the same way I was. I was in the room with kindred spirits. They are doing it themselves. I enjoyed every moment. It was larger than life. Being on the red carpet, being interviewed, being photographed, sitting in this huge theater, listening to Carolyn Hennessey's monologue, my heart was bursting. I can't wait until ISA6!

WE LOVE SOAPS: Where does your drive come from?
KELSEY JORISSEN: When you have a creative idea like The Dreamers, it haunts you. Those ideas keep you up at night. They just knock at your door. They are demons almost, and gnaw at you. I wrote the pilot episode and the final episode first. And then, how do you connect those dots? What happens in between these two things? Because, for me, the beginning of something can be so poignant and fresh, and the same can be said for an ending. Those two episodes were so important to me. I always want to identify with a character, I am drawn to characters and shows with heart. That is what I set out to do with The Dreamers.

Kelsey Jorissen at the 5th Annual Indie
Series Awards.
WE LOVE SOAPS: You certainly did that. I've noticed that unlike most web series, The Dreamers is longer in length, and that has helped me feel more of a connection to the characters.
KELSEY JORISSEN: Thank you! My feeling from the very beginning is why not go the whole nine yards? Why not put yourself out there as a TV show? I didn't want The Dreamers to be feel stunted in its growth. I wanted people to sink their teeth into the characters. I stay true to the writing. There is a reason why each episode is 30 minutes. You go on this mini journey. My first love is television. I love television. There is something so cool about a group of characters, or a character go through this journey. You not only see just one story in their life, but you see a myriad of stories happening in their life. You take a character on a journey and put them through all of these different scenarios that life can throw at you, and see how they come out the other end.

WE LOVE SOAPS: Any particular scene that stands out to you in season one?
KELSEY JORISSEN: One of the scenes that breaks my heart is the final moment when one of our characters says goodbye to all of her friends. They think she is going off to achieve her dreams. On the outside she is killing it, but on the inside she is falling apart. She is tired, exhausted, and is heartbroken. In that moment she has tried her hardest to be happy, and all she wants to do is go home. I’ve seen a lot of artists give up. It's just a symptom of something bigger, about being an artist of this time. It's hard.

WE LOVE SOAPS: Having grown up in Chicago, it is nice to see a series set here. What do you think the city of Chicago adds to the series?
KELSEY JORISSEN: There is something so scrappy about Chicago. The community of artists here are beyond supportive, just like the characters in The Dreamers. We go out of our way for each other, seeing shows, attending fundraisers, supporting crowd funding campaigns, and being extras on set. I am so proud that I got my start here, that I got my education here as an artist. The art here that is happening isn't commercial. People are doing it for themselves and for each other. They are telling honest, human, raw stories. That is what The Dreamers is all about.

WE LOVE SOAPS: Will there be a season two?
KELSEY JORISSEN: After my cast read episode 12 of the dreamers, they told me that Kara deserved a second season. I think that all of the characters deserve it.

WE LOVE SOAPS: Good sign!

Watch the season finale of The Dreamers.

The Dreamers has launched their Post-Production Crowd funding Campaign. Interested in supporting The Dreamers? Click here to see the awesome perks and incentives for those willing help the show reach its fundraising goal.

No comments:

Post a Comment