Writer, producer, actress, and singer Victoria Gordon joins Chelsie Overocker from House of Hallmark to talk about her new web series, Pilot Season.
Growing up in the entertainment business and having a television comedy writer grandfather, Al Gordon, who won awards for The Jack Benny Program and Three’s Company. Victoria has shown much appreciation for the arts and using her legacy to create projects with the new technology we have today.
Victoria signs in on Zoom looking beautiful in a maroon dress with her hair in waves.
“Thank you so much! I feel like we don’t get to dress up enough anymore so I figured why not?” [laughs]
So true! Since we all have been spending a lot of time this past year at home it’s rare when we get a chance to dress up. Might as well take advantage of those opportunities when we can.
We are excited to hear more about your new web series that you have self-produced. Can you tell us more about Pilot Season?
“Yes! So what I’m doing is it’s five separate pilot readings but they are not just like the two of us talking on Zoom right now. They’re enhanced with sound effects and stock footage music. So they’re not full episodes produced on a sound stage but they’re as close to that as they are going to get during this pandemic.”
How cool! What are the five pilot readings about and what can we expect in each episode?
“They are all comedy. We had one that just debuted..that was a multi-camera family sitcom. Then we have a few single cams coming up and then we have the final show which is more of a dramedy. More intimate and they all have a slightly different feel to them but at the end of the day, I think they have the same sort of witty sarcastic tone that I like to think is my signature in writing. I’m having a lot of fun putting these out there.”
That does sound like a lot of fun. What inspired you to want to create this web series in the first place?
“I pretty much got inspired by sitting at home. I felt like we weren’t going to get out so I might as well make the most of it. I think at a certain point we all had that realization of this isn’t just going to be a couple of weeks or a month. For me, that meant how can I keep entertaining people while they are at home. So I was doing a lot of singing shows. I sang and was doing a live online cabaret series. Then at a certain point, I was like you know I love doing these but I really want to show off some of these other stuff I’ve done too. I pulled out the pilots and I thought let’s just make them.
You set the example of what creators should be doing during this downtime and you definitely were proactive during Covid. No one knew what the entertainment industry was going to look like last year but instead of taking time off and relaxing, we love how you kept pushing to create your own web series.
“It’s definitely a product for the way life is right now”
That’s why Pilot Season is going to be an icon for your career. This is the new way on how to create content with the technology we have.
“We’re still learning. I’m not gonna lie it’s hard but I’m really excited because I think there’s a lot that can be done using remote technology.”
Producing a show 100 percent remotely there are a lot of challenges that come your way. During this process what have you learned that help advance your career in the entertainment industry?
“I think there is a lot that I’ve learned and one thing, in particular, is I don’t have to do everything. I say that as a slight control freak [laughs] I wrote this and I direct most of the episodes and I’m in several episodes. I think I’ve come to realize that when I’m in an episode as an actress that’s where I want my focus to be. When I’m directing an episode that’s where I want my focus to be. I don’t want to have this split focus of where I’m directing and overseeing Zoom and I’m this and I’m that. So it’s been a lesson in focus.”
Great lesson! It’s important for us producers and actresses that a show can’t be done alone. It’s okay to seek help because the more you have on your team the better the outcome will be for your content.
What we are looking forward to seeing is what content is going to be produced in the entertainment industry. A lot of creators had a whole year sitting at home brainstorming new ideas.
“Oh my goodness definitely!” Victoria states, “the last 15 years you would think of traditional gatekeepers of entertainment have started to slowly erode. We had three networks and then there were four networks. Now, I can’t even tell you how many networks there are where you can have your content displayed. There’s YouTube, Tick-Tock, and Instagram. I think the democratization of entertainment is just accelerating at an even faster pace right now. So I really am hopeful that we will see more creators with more viewpoints putting out more content. Rather than just expecting one source.
You as a creator what is one thing you are wanting to change with your projects?
“I’m going to be very honest with you. I look at my work and I’m very proud of my written work and my performing work but I really feel as though I need to make a commitment to have better diversity, in terms of my team. It’s something that stood out to me. I am doing this little challenge on Yahoo right now that’s a privilege challenge.” Victoria explains, “I want to make sure going forward I make my team and community of creators and actors and artists that I work with as diverse as possible. I want to give voice to many people as I can from as many different backgrounds…I want to make sure people of LGBTQ feel represented. I want to make sure people of color feel represented. I want to make sure people from different lifestyles feel represented.”
As a woman of color, this makes me happy that you will make sure there will be diversity in your future projects. There have been too many communities left out and not represented. It’s time for much-needed change.
Victoria explains as a casting director that it’s time to start making changes from the bottom starting with opening the door to more opportunities for people who might not be given the chance.
“I think it’s time that we make sure we aren’t just focused on the people who can afford the best tools. The best training and we give resources to talented young people or older because that’s important too, who come from backgrounds that maybe affording headshots is not a priority and I’ve seen several of them they are no less talented. They’re no less creative. They have no less to say. But they haven’t had the same opportunity.”
Not only do we need more diversity on screen but behind the scenes too. We need diversity in the writer’s room, producing, and directing.
“Let me do a little plug for Evan Dodson who is a friend of mine and worked on one of my earliest projects. He is the youngest writer ever to appear on the Black list which is a list of the top unproduced scripts in Hollywood. Evan is such an exceptional writer.”
Shout-out to Evan. We will be sure to check out his work!
You are multi-talented and are working on many projects. Where would you like to see yourself by the end of 201?
“Interesting you ask that. Towards the beginning of the pandemic when I realized I would not achieve most of my goals because we weren’t going anywhere. I read a book called “The 12 Week Year”. The premise of the book is you divide your productivity and work into 12-week chunks and you focus on your goals for those 12 weeks. I focus on the idea of quarterly goals now. I focus more on the short terms for the moment…that being said I want to continue making good content. Whether that’s my singing, acting, or writing. Whatever that is I want to keep making good content…Wherever I end up at the end of the year I hope it involves entertaining people.”
We like that. It’s good to have long-term goals but short terms goals are just as effective. Plus, your goals can change throughout the year as you change as a person and more opportunities arise.
Make sure you all are following Victoria on IG @thevictoriagordon to keep up with all of her exciting opportunities that’s coming her way. Check out @tvpilotseason for the latest info on new episodes airing.
Thank you, Victoria for coming on the House of Hallmark and we would love to have you back again soon.
Watch the full interview here.
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