A fun fact: the five leads in LARPs: The Series are all classically trained theatre actors. In fact, they all went through Concordia University’s Theatre department. The key point, here, is that they’re theatre actors, and that means that there are some unique challenges when performing for a web series.

There are a few advantages, of course—most notably in memorization. Stage actors, obviously, must know their lines (be off-book) for the whole play. When you’re in front of a camera, you only need to remember your lines for as long as the camera’s rolling. (Though if you watch S01E07, you’ll notice that almost the entire episode is filmed in one take—including a phone conversation. Elizabeth Neale and Julian Stamboulieh went through extra rehearsal to get that one down.) Choreography also demands more of stage actors, since you have to be able to get it right perfectly, every time, with no do-overs if you screw up.

But throw a bunch of actors into a web series shoot, and you run into a few more problems than you may have anticipated:

  • Actors on film are front and centre, in glorious HD. Every spot and blemish are on display. We’re used to being looked at, but it’s a whole new level of scrutiny.
  • Energy becomes a serious concern. An actor in a play has to make sure that they’re rested for their performance (usually in the evening) and ready to go from curtain-to-curtain. On set, an actor’s got to be able to bring the right emotion and energy over a much longer period of time—and sometimes at ungodly hours. (Watch S01E06: when Will and Evan are talking in the café, both actors were called to set at about 5:00 AM, when filming had wrapped at midnight the night before.)
  • Film is so . . . so permanent. On stage, if you have a bad show, you can shake it off and do better the following night, and you don’t have a record of your failure. When filming, sometimes, you get one or two takes to nail down a shot, and then you’ve gotta move on, which means you’ve hopefully nailed it . . . or everyone’s going to be able to see your screw-up—or worse, the director puts it into the film.

What could we do? We rehearsed a few times before we started shooting. We crammed together in Julian’s apartment (you can see it in S01E03) and went through the whole script, with basic blocking, so we could get a sense of what we wanted to do with the lines, and everyone else could figure out how to light and shoot us. Excitement has a way of building during rehearsal, but none of it was quite real yet. We didn’t know what we were in for.

And even though I was still occasionally wearing an executive hat, and therefore had a bit more advance warning of what was to come, I was just as surprised as the rest of the cast the day before the shoot…