The story of a gay couple picking up the pieces and trying to work things out after one lets his wandering eye get the best of him, the new web series EastSiders is already gaining a huge amount of buzz — and it has yet to even premiere.
We took some time to chat with writer, director and creator Kit Williamson about the new show, how he got started in the business and getting his first major break while still in college.
Williamson grew up in Jackson, Mississippi, about as far away as one can get from NYC and LA while still living in the US. At 16 he attended the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan, and from there went on to study at Fordham. It was while at Fordham that he scored his first big role, starring alongside Liev Schreiber and Sebastian Stan in the Tony nominated Talk Radio.
Soon after, Williamson moved out to LA, Silver Lake to be specific, a neighborhood that partially inspired him to start writing EastSiders.
“I really wanted to write a story with characters I could relate to, but I also wanted to write about my neighborhood,” he explains. I have fallen in love with Los Angeles through Silver Lake, and I wanted to show that.”
So he set out and wrote three episodes, looking over them for months before finally showing them to some producer friends. They loved them, and soon the series was shooting.
“We shot the three episodes in four days, but the cast and I were able to rehearse beforehand,” Williamson says. “It was important to me that we be able to rehearse before shooting, especially as I come from a theatre background.”
Speaking of the cast, it is a pretty impressive group, especially for someone making their first web series. There is Emmy nominee Van Hansis of As The World Turns fame, Constance Wu who just starred in the critically acclaimed Sound of My Voice and the hysterical Stephen Guarino from Happy Endings.
“The cast mainly crystallized from friends of mine and through some of my industry contacts,” Willamson says. “I met Constance in acting class when I first got to LA, and my acting couch put me in touch with Van.”
The series will have its big premiere Friday, with the first two episodes premiering on the EastSiders site, which you can find here. You can get a feel for the series with the trailer below, and stay tuned for more EastSiders and more from Williamson.
“I really just want to keep creating content and keep combining my skill sets.”
Judging from how successful EastSiders looks to be, he should have no trouble writing, acting and directing for a long, long time to come.