Among the reported biggest fears humanity harbors are Public Speaking, Death, Heights and, as always, spiders. Let me add another here: Vulnerability. As a society, I believe we generally avoid situations where we’re publicly exposed (metaphorically speaking; literally speaking, just don’t do it). We as a species have developed a strong aversion to being ridiculed, judged or mocked. So why in the world would I take a script I’ve written and put together a team to cast, costume, and film it, all with the intention of airing it in front of the entire world, free of charge?? In the days leading up to filming of our first episode of Upstaged – the series, I find myself asking this question more and more. Well, the obvious answer is that we hope some Hollywood big shots see it and simply have to have it for themselves. Which has about the same percentage of happening as me eating a bag of sunflower seeds, crapping it out, planting it, and having an orange tree come up. Pretty low, amiright? The other reason is that there’s a story inside me I’ve been telling over and over again in different ways my entire life. It’s a story about family. But not that family you’re born into, although that very well may be the case. It’s family by definition of people who grow together, love each other and support each other, no matter what calamity and chaos surrounds them. One thing you’ll notice (hopefully) when you watch the first episodes is that this is not a mean show. There are so many comedies out there that trade purely in insults and conflict and you wonder why on earth the characters stay in that situation or are even friends, after the way they treat each other. Upstaged is not that. Yes, there is conflict; yes there are moments when the characters will act in terrible ways to each other, because that’s what people occasionally do in real life. But they will always love each other, and they will always be there for each other. There’s a lot of unkindness in the world already; we certainly don’t need to add more. This is the vibe I want to put out into the world, a show where the characters laugh with each other, not at each other. If the audience engages and identifies with Billy, Liz, Duane, Desmond, Teri, Jen and the rest, then I’ve told the story I wanted to tell, and I’m ok with putting it up in front of the whole world. Vulnerability be damned.