Ever feel like someone else is pulling the strings of your life?
In the comedic web series “Misdirected,” Freddie — played by Lauren Mora — wakes up alone in a hospital bed and comes to find she is suffering from amnesia. Unfamiliar with her life, Freddie is desperate to find out who she is and blindly puts her trust in her friends Josh, Gerald and Cameron, hoping they can help fill in the blanks. As the series unfolds, it becomes evident that Freddie’s friends are pulling the strings and misdirecting Freddie as she tries to figure out her old life. With season one recently wrapping up, the show’s cast and crew are now looking forward to a second season, but calling upon the donations of fans to make it possible.
After the season one “Misdirected” Kickstarter raised over $6,000, “Misdirected” executive producer and leading lady Lauren Mora decided to employ the same techniques for season two, but this time around, has doubled the goal. The season two Kickstarter is set to close in five days, and with just under $2,000 to go, “Misdirected” fans will be holding their breath till the very last second to see if the show gets picked up. Talking with NMR, “Misdirected” co-stars Lauren Mora and John T. Woods shared how they originally got involved in the show, the things they’d like to re-experience if they were ever diagnosed with amnesia and why they believe working on a web series is something every actor should experience.
If you could dibs beforehand who you would want to see first when you woke up from amnesia, who would it be?
Lauren Mora: If I had amnesia the first person I would want to see is my mother. Friends or significant others I’d be wary of — no one enjoys being told who they like, which can change. Your mother, on the other hand, is always your mother: she’s a fact, not an opinion. I would imagine I’d already be feeling alone and adrift, and it would be a great comfort to know I belong to and am cared for by family. She’s got the mental record of my past, plus a great smile and a soothing demeanor.
John T. Woods: I’m not really sure I would pick a person. I’d probably have a dib list of things that I was really interested in when I didn’t have amnesia. For example, really good movies, really good books, really good TV series that I could rewatch for the first time and I’d make a list of these things, and what would be great would be — that if I had that kind of amnesia where you lose all of the details but you still know what a movie is and you don’t forget you’re a human being — I could sit down and I could watch like “The Shawshank Redemption” and I wouldn’t know probably who Tim Robbins was or Morgan Freeman maybe, and I would be watching the story for the first time and it would blow my mind and then I would tell people about it, be like, “Have you guys seen ‘Shawshank Redemption’?” I’d probably sound like a crazy person, but I’d reread books, I’d probably rewatch “Breaking Bad” again. I’d watch a lot of TV series. Basically it would ruin my life ‘cause I’d have to relive everything over again that was ever exciting. It would be a big box of dib things.
What books would you reread?
JTW: Well, starting back at the beginning, I’d read “Hatchet,” which was one of my favorite books in fourth grade. I’d reread everything by Hemingway; I’m a big Hemingway fan, and that would be really nice to be able to reread all those. I haven’t read any of the popular series like Harry Potter for example, I haven’t read any of those, but I always tell myself that eventually I’m going to get around to it. I guess I figured they were just always going to be there so I’ve never been motivated to read them. Maybe if they were going to burn all the books and I had like a time window I could get to it, but anyways [laughs].
How did you originally become involved in “Misdirected?” And Lauren, why did you decide to take on the lead role as well as the title of executive producer?
LM: If I could have convinced someone else to take up the EP duties, I would have loved it! In truth, it was my first experience with producing and I was intimidated by the amount of work I knew would be involved. I have always enjoyed showing up, doing my part and going home, but this meant I’d be the first to show up and the last to leave, and I’m not just referring to production. For pre through post, I had to set up this party and be the one to clean it up, seeing it through every step. Man! I don’t know how people do this regularly. I’ve thankfully been surrounded by wonderful people, both on set and off, who have educated, supported and mentored me. And though I certainly wouldn’t turn down any help, I am pleased that I ultimately had control. I do like control.
JTW: I originally was involved because Marion Kerr, the writer and director, she wrote the entire series and directed it and made it specifically for Lauren, and when i found out that she was doing this, I asked if I could be involved somehow. I said, “Is there a character for me or someone I could play?” Because I find Lauren Mora to be hilarious, and she’s great in the series and she’s really the center of the series so she has to be funny and she has to be poignant and she has to be very sincere, and she really nailed all these points really well, and I really just wanted a chance to work directly with her, her and I. I asked and they said yes, and that’s how I got to be involved graciously.
How do you relate to your characters of Freddie and Josh?
LM: Normally when you get cast in something you immediately start working on your character, making choices about their background, likes and dislikes. I couldn’t really do any of that on “Misdirected.” Freddie doesn’t know any of those things, and I, as the actor, have no idea because it hasn’t been written yet. Marion Kerr, the writer and director, and I had talked about some possibilities of what Freddie was like pre-amnesia, but that doesn’t factor into where we see her now in the story so instead she’s a walking blank slate. I equate it to being thrust into an improv game where you’re getting your “who,” “what,” and “where” from your scene partner. Freddie’s at first skeptical of these people telling her about her life, but then she just goes with it because why would they lie? There’s a lot of “yes and”-ing.
JTW: I relate to my character of Josh — to be perfectly honest, it’s pretty much just a version of myself. As far as my relationship goes with Lauren, it’s not much different. I mean this web series is basically Lauren and I but in these given circumstances. It’s basically how we would act … in real life.