For many aspiring actors, the pursuit of stardom is often a long and painful one, a pursuit constantly filled with rejection and disappointment. Yet, for those who manage to persevere, and to finally get their big break, the success is all the sweeter. The new mockumentary comedy THE COLD READ, produced by series co-stars Curtis Reid and Brian Farmer, and directed by Jeff Buchbinder, follows a group of young adults who experience some hilarious ups and downs in their pursuit of stardom. The series’ first season premiered on Youtube on July 3rd. Five episodes have aired, with four or five more (depending on the length of the season finale) set to air beginning next week. In addition to its Youtube page, the show’s episodes will also be released through its IMDB (Internet Movie Database) page. (See links below).

The show stars Reid as Tom, a dedicated actor who takes his craft seriously, but often ends up having his chances of success thwarted by his best friend and fellow aspiring actor Seth (Farmer, also the show’s main writer), a guy more interested in getting the girls – primarily his main squeeze, Nancy (played by Anna Rizzo), than getting his big break. The show’s ensemble cast also features AnGe Borges as Kat, a talented actress who Tom not only admires and respects for how seriously she takes acting, but also for her personality. On the other hand, there’s Brittany (Valerie Hines), a flirty, fun loving girl who, like Seth, seems to think that pursuing an acting career is all fun and no work. Rounding out the cast is Jenna McGowan as Kat’s equally talented – but catty – sister, Shannon, who often tries to outshine Kat, but only ends up making it harder for her to get noticed as an actress.

Reid and Farmer created THE COLD READ not only as a way to keep themselves busy, but also as a way to comically portray (in exaggerated form), many of the pitfalls that all actors – including the aforementioned duo – experience as they seek to become successful in their craft. “Living in Boston, we go through the process of going to auditions and going to classes, and just sort of starting our acting careers where you just have to break in somehow, doing student films, doing background, extra stuff. It was just sort of a mirror image to what we were going through as actors in the industry already, and it’s something that I said people can relate to, but  the plot and the show itself is about these two best friends who work together and try to overcome all these obstacles and challenges, while one of them is very serious and passionate about it, and the other one is a complete moron (who) just brings him down in terms of just getting into trouble, and ruining their reputations. It also has to do with their relationship and girls and guys they meet along the way who affect their careers and their relationships with each other.”

The series also provided Reid and Farmer with a chance to showcase some of Boston’s finest actors, many of whom they had worked with previously. “We worked with a number of other people on different projects (who) sort of showed an interest in working with us again. We wanted to expand their characters, and their opportunities. I know that Brian and I and Jeff just really wanted to make this (casting) a fair process, and to give people opportunities who weren’t always given opportunities, and (to) showcase people that were talented and wanted to share these stories. It was people that just really liked us, and that we liked. Obviously there’s so many people we would have loved to work with, but that’s why we really want to do season 2, so we can get more people on the show that we weren’t able to before.”

Along with its often improvised style, and its unique characters, THE COLD READ stands out from a lot of comedy web series in many ways, not only because of its storyline, but also due to the fact that many aspiring actors and filmmakers can relate to the wacky situations that the show’s characters find themselves in. “A lot of the people that are watching THE COLD READ are actually older, and adults and out of college, so they wouldn’t necessarily be able to relate to a bunch of high schoolers, popular cheerleaders and stuff, but that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t enjoy it. I just think that we’re sort of a special niche of people that not only are actors and filmmakers, but also people our age (and who might live in Boston). So there’s a lot of different brands and different types of people who can enjoy it,” he says.

Through its characters and comedic situations, THE COLD READ portrays not only the struggles of being an actor, but also the stories of two different kinds of people who pursue the craft: those who are in it for the long haul, and those who just see it as an instant ticket to stardom while not realizing the hard work and dedication that being an actor requires. “It’s just all about the culture here, and how people take it seriously versus how people aren’t serious, how people want quick fame versus people who really want to establish themselves, and just the way actors relate to each other and how they go through the process in an industry (in a place) like New England, which is not fully established but an up and coming place to be. It’s just a very interesting niche market, and nobody really told the story yet of what it’s like to try to navigate through all those challenges. I think it’s a really good way to see what people who are watching the show go through and what we’ve already gone through ourselves,” Reid says.