"Call Me Adam" chats with John Dylan DeLaTorre and Baltimore Russell, the creators of the new Gay Series People You Know, which will be launching in late June, available for streaming via series website with various VOD's to follow.
Come join John Dylan, Baltimore, and the rest of the cast at their launch party on Monday, June 23 at 7:30pm at Industry Bar in NYC (355 West 52nd Street, between 8th & 9th Avenue), hosted by Pandora Boxx. Click here to reserve tickets!
1. You are the creators and part of the principal cast of the new drama series People You Know, which premieres June 23! How did you first come to work together? What has been the best part about working together?
John Dylan DeLaTorre: We both met in acting school and from there we got involved in few productions and had a great camaraderie early on. We have a rule that if one has an idea he must convince the other and give them a valid reason why and how to make it work within the concept. We can't move forward unless we are in agreement.
Baltimore Russell: John and I first met in Acting school and have been working together on various projects since then. We have really developed a great working relationship and we split the creative workload equally. Whereas John is really adept in the technical aspects during post, I can really concentrate on social and marketing aspect. There have been many times where we go back and forth over a particular plot point until it finally makes sense and works. We've really created a great relationship where we can go toe to toe about the series, but at the end of the day we just want to make the best show possible.
John Dylan: I found myself getting burned out working for other people's visions and dreams that I found myself at a point saying to Baltimore, "We both came here to make our mark and if we are killing ourselves for others and we're too worried about other people's dreams, what about ours? Aren't ours just as important? We need to put ourselves first." So we did. We went into our idea box, took one of our ideas and threw caution to the wind and went for it.
Baltimore: Since I was young, I was always writing and creating stories, so when I started to feel a little burned out on the acting side I brought up to John that we should create our own work. When you are doing theatre in NYC you have shows that run a month or two and unless people or agents see them it's just something on your resume. We wanted to create something that everyone could see. People you Know came from that discussion as a series with characters and situations that we see in our lives. We wanted to steer away from the stereotypical portrayals of gay characters and develop a world where being gay was the 3rd or 4th most interesting thing about them.
3. What do you hope viewers come away with after watching the series?
John Dylan: I would love for the audience to feel for these characters and story. That it is relatable and speaks to them. That they can see themselves or someone they know and fight for a character. Getting wrapped up in the story from the emotional to the crazy twists and turns and wanting more.
Baltimore: We hope that viewers come away with a better understanding of the LGBT community and what we go through. That the stories we are telling are universal and each person will find someone they can identify with. We also hope that they will enjoy the sinful drama and will come along on this ride with us. The show, at its heart, is a story about how the circle of friends you create can sometimes be more important than the family you're born into.
John Dylan: When we are on-camera we are in actor mode. Nothing else exists. It was challenging in the pilot because we were constantly begin pulled and involved in every decision. By episode two we had brought on great people who were a lifeline and we didn't need to worry about every little detail and trusted them to stay within our vision and get things done the way we wanted. That allowed us more time enjoy the moment and not have everything be like a whirlwind.
Baltimore: It is certainly a challenge to be the creators and part of the principal cast, but we enjoy both parts of the process. In these first episodes, we only have a few scenes together so it made it easy to work. When John was in a scene, I could act as producer handling all the various questions on the production side and vice versa.
5. Since you are the creators of the show, did you cast yourselves in your roles or did you have to go through the casting process? Did you handpick your other cast members or did you go through a traditional casting process?
John Dylan: We wanted to play a character that we normally did not play and that would allow us to go there emotionally. Though we are only in the first season we are excited for our characters to be pushed to the limits. For the character of "Mia" we definitely had our dear friend Jaime Summers, who was our roommate and went to acting school with us, in mind for for the part. Steve Hayes just embodies the character of "Patrick" and we were thrilled to know that he was with us from the beginning. For the role of "Adora Jarr," there was only one performer who we saw for it and that's Pandora Boxx. She read the script and was completely on board. As for the other characters of the show it was grueling to find the right actor for the job.
Baltimore: When we began writing the series we figured out what roles would be most interesting/challenging for each of us and went from there. We wrote the role of "Mia" for our friend Jaime, who also went to Acting school with us. We wrote the role of "Patrick" with Steve Hayes in mind and we were thrilled when he jumped on board the production. But all the other cast members were found through the casting process.
John Dylan: It's diversity in backgrounds and in age. Professional. Even though we are all working in strenuous situations every one knows that what matters most is the end result and commits to what is expected.
Baltimore: We are really lucky to have a great and passionate cast. They understand what we are creating and have really given such depth and beauty to the characters.
John Dylan: New York gives it life with its energy. We've been very fortunate to have our community and local hangouts like The Ritz, Bar-Tini & Il Baretto to welcome us and the series and have it be part of show.
Baltimore: NYC is an amazing place to live and to be able to shoot on the streets was an incredible experience. There's an energy and excitement when you film here that we hope that we've captured. It's vibrant and compelling and real. And what you see on the street translates so well on camera. There are so many places that are our personal favorites that we hope to include when we film again.
John Dylan: Being like a sponge. We jumped into the deep end fast and hard and instead of drowning we hung on and absorbed as much knowledge in producing and getting things done as much as possible. Seeing the end result from its inception to signing off on the last piece of sound or music and seeing everyone's hard work in its entirety.
Baltimore: I think that the best thing is being present to see how the original idea has transformed and developed in these two years. Going from us talking about the series, to writing the episodes, to casting and filming. Even since we started the post production process seeing the edit come together and then putting the score and songs really cemented that we have something really special. It has been really encouraging the response we've received so far and that they understand the concept and what we are trying to achieve.
John Dylan: PATIENCE! I learned to not to rush or follow through from what others expect. Waiting for the right moment or person to come on-board, which has always been a step in the right direction. My instincts are never wrong & I should trust them.
Baltimore: It's been one huge learning curve after another. We have learned that we really have to listen to each other and trust our gut. We have been able to surround ourselves with talented crew members that understand what we are creating and are behind our vision. We've learned that it's important to delegate what we can and trust in the production team.
10. What's the best advice you've ever received?
John Dylan: Enjoy every moment of accomplishment and continue to go with your gut it's obviously working for you.
Baltimore: Follow your instincts and trust in the process.
11. Favorite way to stay in shape?
John Dylan: I love swimming that is my thing. Twice a day. It is the best for the entire body. Plus, I love swimwear, ha ha.
Baltimore: I love the bootcamp classes - they totally kick my butt.
12. Boxers or Briefs?
John Dylan: If I could tolerate abrasive fabrics rubbing against my skin I wouldn't wear anything at all, but I would say briefs.
13. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose?
John Dylan: As a X-men fan it would definitely have to say the Phoenix Force.
Baltimore: I'm such a comic nerd, so I would have to say telekinesis - it's so versatile. Or being able to teleport.
John Dylan, a Jersey boy through and through, discovered his love for acting and his creative aspirations at an early age in his grammar school productions and by recreating iconic roles like "Luke Skywalker" and "Flash Gordon" in his backyard. As he grew and matured, he embarked on his road of self discovery and artistic exploration and found himself in New York City where he studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Follow John Dylan on Twitter
Baltimore is a native Texan who developed his acting and writing skills by attending Southern Methodist University as well as the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Baltimore found his love for the theatre at the age of 6 playing "Late Rabbit" in his community theatre’s production of House At Pooh Corner and stretched his imagination by developing and writing his own comic books. Follow Baltimore on Twitter
John Dylan and Baltimore met at the American Academy and have landed roles in TV and films such as Sex and the City, One Life to Live, Rescue Me, Adjustment Bureau, Wall Street 2 and Sinister. They have worked together on many acting projects including the critically acclaimed production of Judy and Me as well as producing and directing multiple theatre productions which includes Endgames - an all-male adaptation of Les Liaisons Dangereuses written by John Dylan.