The web series Close Quarters, starring actress (now also writer/producer) Piper Major and writer/producer (now also actor) Jonathan Ritter, presents a new roommate dynamic for the 21 century. Major stars as Erica, a bombastic, outgoing, fun-loving lesbian while Ritter co-stars as Steve, a far more reclusive straight guy.
The series just completed its first season, but the journey of a couple years began with Ritter sending the script to Major. At the time, Close Quarters was conceived as a short film and neither had been cast in their eventual roles. In fact, Erica was Eric. But Ritter asked Major to read the part anyway.
"This has some funny moments, but a girl would never forget the toilet paper," Piper told him.
A lot of bad auditions for the part of Eric followed and it was decided to make the character a female named Erica. Major had already been in several of Ritter's films and he praised her with always adding depth to the roles she plays.
"Add that to the random ideas she would talk about on set and marrying her to this character seemed like a no-brainer," Ritter explained of Major's casting as Erica.
Then came the arduous task of finding the best person to play Steve.
"You know who gave the best read for Steve?" producer/director Brad Paulson asked Ritter. "You."
"I don't want to be that guy who writes and stars in his own thing," Ritter replied.
"Yes you do," Paulson retorted.
"Okay, I kinda do," Ritter conceded. And with that, he was cast as Steve.
A short called Roommates was shot at Paulson's apartment. But everyone who saw the final edit wanted to know more about these characters. And with major's casting in the Bitter Bartender web series, Ritter was inspired to expand on the idea and turn the short into a web series.
Ten episodes comprise the first season.
EPISODE ONE - "The Shoddy Tub"
While an injured Erica is preparing to head out for the night, Steve brings up a pressing roommate issue. With Jonathan Sundeen as Erica's friend Will.
EPISODE TWO - "The Trip to the Store"
The pressing roommate issue continues when a drunken Erica returns home, passes out on the couch and recounts a memorable evening that involves her friend Will becoming the subject of a news report. With Brad Paulson as Bill O'Scatly and Vanessa Ledesma as Kelly Walker.
EPISODE THREE - "The Pool Party"
Erica takes Steve to a pool party -- where she misrepresents him in an effort to help him fit in and get laid. Arlene Victoria makes her first appearance as Holly. Rachel Reilly appears as Charlene. Ben Jacobs appears as Mark. Cari Kenny appears as Angela. Deborah Jensen appears as Holly's girlfriend Catie. Also with Brad Paulson as Bill O'Scatly and Vanessa Ledesma as Kelly Walker.
EPISODE FOUR - "The Hook-Up"
Erica and Mark (Ben Jacobs) go out to a bar -- where she winds up making out with a straight woman (Liberty Freeman) and he winds up making out with a straight guy (Jesse Langston).
EPISODE FIVE - "The Anger Management Class"
Erica gets into a fight with the brother of a guy Mark (Ben Jacobs) meets at a bar. With Mike Ciriaco as Billy and David Henry as Billy's brother.
EPISODE SIX - "The New Girlfriend"
Erica and Steve head out to a barbecue with her new girlfriend Holly (Arlene Victoria) -- where Steve gets the wrong idea about her. Konstantine Anthony appears as Gene. Cari Kenny returns as Angela. Rachel Reilly returns as Charlene. With Brad Paulson as Bill O'Scatly and Vanessa Ledesma as Kelly Walker.
EPISODE SEVEN - "The Wingman"
Erica takes Steve out to a bar to help him meet women, but his ex-girlfriend (Michael Gonzales) shows up. Konstantine Anthony appears as Gene. With Caroline Montes as Melinda.
EPISODE EIGHT - "The Revelation"
Erica's relationships become strained when she discovers she doesn't have as much in common with Gene as she thought, Holly reveals a continued connection to her ex-girlfriend and she shares information with Steve about his new girlfriend Melinda. Konstantine Anthony appears as Gene. Arlene Victoria returns as Holly. With Caroline Montes as Melinda.
EPISODE NINE - "The Next Step"
Erica and Steve both face crossroads in their respective relationships. With Arlene Victoria as Holly and Caroline Montes as Melinda. Jon Paul Burkhart appears as Randy. Brad Paulson appears as Bill O'Scatly.
EPISODE TEN - "The Decision"
Steve wonders if he should continue seeing Melinda (Caroline Montes) while Erica prepares for a family event.
Plans for a second season have not yet been announced but you can "LIKE" Close Quarters on Facebook to keep up with the latest developments.
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