Baltimore Native Creates Acting Career with Her Web Series

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What have Olivia and Kari been up to on their web series, “Friday I’m in Love,” since we last left you with the teaser? The 12-episode season is more than half way through, gearing towards a special season finale. Will Olivia and Kari get a career-boosting callback or land the acting role of their dreams? Will an expiring lease force them to finally leave their apartment? No spoilers here, you’ll have to watch to see. (See the latest episode, above.)What I will reveal is how the level of creativity and work invested in these productions rises professionally above impromptu moments caught on shaky camera.

I contacted Olivia Ercolano, Baltimore-native, RPCS alum and BSA grad and one half of the NYU Tisch School of the Arts writing, acting, and marketing duo (Kari Grunberg is the other half) that creates the online series, to find out more about what goes on behind the scenes. Script writing comes naturally to Olivia and Kari. “We usually whip episodes out in an hour or less, and we’re always having a great time and laughing while doing it,” says Ercolano.

Melissa Balan, a fellow NYU student, films each episode. “She spends an hour editing and then sends us the final product,” says Ercolano. And the quality of their final product is evident in the seamless three to four-minute installments.

The business side of their art, however, lacks some of the whimsy and efficiency of production. “Marketing is much more calculated, and we find that we have to think more carefully about each move we make and what purpose it will serve,” says Ercolano. “We have to make sure to keep people interested and involved in the series.”

Two of the main ways they try to attract and maintain an audience is with a Facebook group and regular blog posts. To encourage viewer interaction, they regularly post opinion polls relating to the episodes.

Ercolano, who graduates from NYU with a degree in film and TV studio this May, regards their indie project as an investment in her professional future.

“The entertainment world is unpredictable at best, but I’m looking forward to exploring all the opportunities that are out there,” Ercolano says. She describes the “real world” as “daunting, but exciting.”

With so much competition for so few jobs, it makes sense for college students to take advantage of ways they can be their first employer. That way they might limit or avoid the dreaded “you lack experience” rejection in those difficult post-college interviews and auditions.



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