Jordan Drake and Alysa Mena join us on Close-Up Culture to chat about the upcoming YouTube series, A Barman’s Aperitif.
A Barman’s Aperitif will be released this Valentine’s Day on YouTube. Can you tell us about the project and what interested you in it?
JD: This project came early on in my career and it was exactly what I needed. I was interested because of Michael Pierce and the opportunity to be a part of a project with other creatives. I hadn’t had that yet in my career. The script was hilariously awkward and pushed limits of comedy that I enjoy pushing. Plus, I was going to get to play multiple roles; I love playing multiple roles.
AM: The moment I heard Michael share his vision of this sitcom, his baby, I was reeled in. The entire premise, all the details, and characters create this vibrant and hilarious world. He painted such a picture of what he saw and I tapped into his vision immediately!
What can you reveal about your character?
JD: My two characters were entirely different from one another so I wanted to do my best to portray that because I’m not hard to notice in costume. As the younger Man at the bar I was channeling the faithfully married no nonsense type of guy I was doing my best to be in real life as my wife and I had just found out we were pregnant at the start of filming.
Now for the older “peevish” customer, that was just me doing my best to channel the late John “Spoon” Witherspoon, who is most notably Mr. Jones from Friday.
AM: I play a sassy server in the bar, who Michael keeps comparing to Vesper Lynd. My character can’t decide if she loves or hates her boss, but eventually everything grows on her.
The series was filmed entirely on an iPhone. How did you find that experience and the shoot in general?
JD: I actually was the camera operator or cinematographer for A Barman’s Aperitif and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Since high school I had been creating sketch comedy and anything else I could think of using my phone so I was used to it. This time I was doing my best to be detailed with angles, lights, movement and anything else that I’d seen previously. I’ve never had any formal instruction so I treated it like my senior thesis or final project on the path to becoming a professional actor.
How much fun did you have working on a comedy like this?
JD: I had an absolute blast working on this comedy. All tiers of fun. Fun during, and difficult at times but fun to look back on. What I mean is, when there were early morning call times I was grumpy like I usually am in the mornings and then realized I’m a grump in the morning because for years I was waking up before the sun rose to do something I didn’t enjoy, but this wasn’t that. Right then I realized I had to become an actor and it was possible.
AM: I had a BLAST! There’s so many fond memories on and off camera. The cast was supportive of each other and we bonded, laughed, and just got creative. It was amazing!
Why should audiences check out A Barman’s Aperitif this Valentine’s Day?
JD: Check out A Barman’s Aperitif on Valentine’s Day because the cast and crew loved every second of creating it. Anything created with so much happiness and love is bound to bring audiences happiness as well.
AM: Treat yourself to a drink and this smutty comedy this Valentine’s day!