Born out of the fear of filmmaking, the new original comedy web series There Are No Second Takes in Life…Take 2 is anything but fearful. Sketch comic and actor Stephen McNamee created and stars as a down-on-his-luck actor who records all the pitfalls and roadblocks of his career right from the safety of his own apartment.

Stephen took an interesting approach to overcome his filmmaking fear. He decided to do pretty much everything himself. That’s right -- he shot all 38 episodes without using any crew behind the camera. Aspiring to be more than a simple vlog series, he did bring in 23 actors and 17 bands to share their talents throughout the project.

To entertain fans further, Stephen has also created special interstitial segments as a companion to the series. These include episodes of his original mini-series The Powerpuff Girls: The Teen Years; along with Famous Meet-Cutes In History, Fake Auditioning Tips, Behind-The-Scenes footage, and Inaccurate Indie Filmmaking Tips.

Known for his witty but deadpan sense of humor and sheer determination to accomplish his goals, Stephen gained a lot of fans for his sketch comedy show Casual Ambiguity. He wrote a young adult/urban fantasy novel, It Would Like Suck To Die On A Tuesday: A Fairy Tale, and then went on to create and star in the festival favorite comedy short, Hold The Mayo.

I recently caught up with Stephen McNamee to find out more.

Q: What can you tell us about your new web series There Are No Second Takes in Life…Take 2?

STEPHEN MCNAMEE: The series tries to capture what it's like when you have big dreams but lack the common sense and well thought-out strategies needed to accomplish them. The series follows the main character, Stephen, who believes he can turn his life and career around in a manner of months and so wants to document his road to success. Unfortunately, his plans devolve quickly.

Q: Why did you want to create the series?

SM: I noticed that so many web series involve outlandish characters where the actors wear a ton of makeup, wear crazy wigs, and speak in zany accents. Although many of those series are hugely successful, they didn't speak to me, and so I wanted to create something that was a bit more grounded in reality, that was a bit more focused on plot and human relationships...and that captured how awkward we all are even when we're just wearing our normal clothes and speaking in our regular voices.

Q: How did you come up with the idea?

SM: I was in the midst of a panic attack because I had these scripts written but not the budget, know-how, connections, or social network needed to film them. So, to calm myself down, I wrote out a list of fears I had about filmmaking (finding a film crew, scheduling actors, editing, proper lighting, proper audio equipment, etc.). Then, I asked whether I could create a story that could circumvent these problems. I then asked questions like, "What if I wanted to work with dozens of talented people?" "What if I wanted a new song for every episode?" etc. The idea formed as I answered those questions.

Q: What’s been your favorite moment from working on this project?

SM: It's not one moment but a type of moment. When you write a script, you have an idea in your head about how it should be performed. But, once you start filming, you'll come across a line of dialogue that isn't working or a joke that isn't landing. However, as you collaborate with your co-stars you figure it out- you realize you need to maintain eye contact to make the joke work or see that the dialogue needs to be sped up or slowed down. It's that moment when filming each episode where you figure out how to make it work that is so much fun and so rewarding.

Q: Is there anything that audiences will be surprised to learn about it?

SM: Just that it cost more to make than Rogue One.

Q: Any lessons you took away from creating this series?

SM: 1. Meditation is your friend.
2. Just because an actor submits to your project and then requests an audition time slot, that doesn't mean they'll actually show up to the audition.
3. Bring something to read for those unexpected open audition time slots.
4. When filming in New York, more takes will be ruined by a broken muffler or barking dog than by an actor's mistake.
5. There are so many talented actors and musicians out there- try to figure out a way to work with as many of them as possible.

Q: Are you working on anything else in the near future?

SM: Yes, I'm working on a short film that deals with dating in the digital age, a web video/satire that involves the lack of empathy that can be found in our society at times, and a music video about the creative process of a famous pop star.

Watch There’s No Second Takes in Life…Take 2 now at: and on Instagram @swmcnamee
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