There is something very raw, campy and sexy about the women in prison genre. Those who are fans of classics like Caged and the not-so-subtly titled Girls in Prison you know what I’m talking about. (Nikki, I’m looking at you!) It was the style of these locked up ladies that inspired actress Jillian Armenante (Fresh Off The Boat, Judging Amy, Girl, Interrupted) when she was creating her new show, Kittens in a Cage. As she explains in this episode, Kittens was based on a play written by Kelleen Conway Blanchard after reading it on a trip to Seattle.
In fact, Seattle played the backdrop for a lot of the history between Jillian and her craft. Hearing her tell stories about her theater foundation and how it led to her life in LA makes me feel a little out of my depth. I never fully pursued theater as a career because I was scared to death of failure. And, yet…here I am in Hollywood. I’m a star! Rather, I’m a co-star!! I made it?
Any who, I love hearing stories from other actors on why they perform and what keeps them going in the face of a career with constant rejection. It can truly wear on your soul after a while. The best part of all of this is that Jillian and her wife Alice Dodd are moms to two beautiful little girls. I couldn’t wait to ask her how she found time to produce a TV show, star in a billion other TV show and films, and still take care of her kids. How did she do it? After our chat I’m guessing lots of booze… Noted, Jillian. Noted.
Plus when I found out she pulled it all together with a Kickstarter campaign, lots of favors from friends, and enough moxie to fill a…moxie holder… I was super inspired! I wanted to know more and find a way to tell my friends to watch. We should all watch and support other actors who get out of their “cage” and try new things. (see what I did there?)
Kittens stars Rebecca Mozo, Erin Anderson, Rebecca Field and of course Jillian who also directs and executive produces. The guest star list is ridiculous…Joel McHale, Amy Brenneman, Tyne Daly, Felicia Day and Constantine Maroulis to name a few. You can find more info on the Kittens website, and watch it on Hulu, Vimeo and Amazon.