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This past weekend, I got to hang (albeit through a computer screen) with two old college buddies of mine, Melissa Hunter and Jessica Lowe. They’re the creators and stars of “Backseat Bitches,” the new web series about the worst Uber passengers in the world and their nearly intolerable backseat drama. It’s hosted on Above Average, the web-producing arm of Lorne Michael’s production company, Broadway Video.

Melissa Hunter is well-known on the web for her unflinchingly awesome portrayal of Wednesday Addams in the web series “Adult Wednesday Addams,” which she also writes, directs, and produces. You may have seen Jess in the recent Adam Sandler movie Blended, or in one of the many CollegeHumor shorts she’s done. We spoke to these renaissance women about the never-ending appeal of Wednesday Addams, being your own boss, and how making auditioning is a lot like dating.

When you first came out to LA, it was your goal to become an actor, but then you fell into creating a bunch of awesome stuff.
Melissa Hunter: Yeah, so I graduated from Northwestern, as you know, with a theatre degree, and I came out here with the sole purpose of being an actor. And when I started going to auditions, I just felt really bored. I hated just sitting on my hands and waiting for opportunities to come. So I started writing for myself out of frustration with the roles that were available for young women. Then I started doing comedy, training at UCB, and meeting people in the sketch comedy world. Eventually I discovered my love for the whole process of making a show, and being involved on both the performance side and the writing side. Seeing a project from inception to release is just so exciting for me, and the more I do it, the hungrier I get.

Tell me about how you guys started doing comedy together.
Jessica Lowe: Northwestern has this thing called the Wildcat mafia, and it’s true, it’s a big scary city and you band together with like-minded people. And it just so happens that the people I get along with most are from Northwestern or the comedy community, and she’s in both.  I think the first time I saw her and fell in love with her was when I saw a bunch of “Hipster Shore” episodes. And they’re so well produced, so well-written, and I was like, “hey that girl went to Northwestern!” And then she asked me to be in her “Adult Wednesday Addams” season 1 as a bitchy blonde hiker, and I was like, absolutely.

So when exactly did you start doing “Adult Wednesday Addams”?:
MH: I released the first season of Adult Wednesday Addams last September of 2013, and I started writing it 6 months before. I came up with the idea the Halloween before. I finally went as Wednesday after being told my whole life that I look like Christina Ricci. The costume got such a strong reaction that I rewatched the movies, and was struck by what an incredible character she is and an amazing female hero. The character hadn’t been explored in so long, so I thought to make a show sort of in the vein of Girls, or New Girl — these shows about young women coming into their own and going out into adulthood. To do that with Wednesday seemed like so much fun. That was the first series I created completely on my own and now we’re about to shoot the second season.

One piece of advice? Learn how to edit. So that you can do things yourself.

The idea of seeing her as an adult was so gratifying. It’s like she says what we all connect to, and I’m sure that’s partially why the series went so viral.
MH: Well, I feel like there really isn’t a hero like her in any kind of entertainment, at least not that I’ve seen on TV or the web now. She’s a real hero for outcasts, because she’s an outsider who’s not trying to fit in. She’s fearless in the face of her antagonists, and she uses people’s expectations of her against them in order to win. I think there’s something so empowering about that. She just doesn’t give a fuck about what people think of her.

Do you feel like she’s also given you that kind of freedom to be whatever you want to be and the world has to adapt around you?
MH: Doing Wednesday made me feel incredibly empowered. I’ve done a lot of work and a lot of writing with big groups of people, and with writing partners, but to know that I could come up with an idea, write it, make it, release it, and build a fan base on my own…it was so exciting. What I really want to do is exactly what I’m already doing, just scaled. Just bigger budgets. I’ve raised $20,000 for “Wednesday Addams” season 2, and so now I get to pay people! The magic of being a writer/producer is coming up with an idea and seeing all the pieces fit together, and watching talented people doing their job in such an incredible way. Nothing gives me more joy.

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So how did Above Average reach out to you and want to create a partnership?
MH: They saw “Adult Wednesday Addams” — Jess had worked with them before, and she was in the first season of Wednesday. She passed it along to them and they reached out to me, and asked me to be a YouTube partner.

JL: I met Celeste [of Above Average] a million years ago when she came to visit her sister at Northwestern. She saw me perform improv and sketch with “The Mee-Ow Show.” We stayed in touch, she cast me in a few videos at Above Average when I moved back to LA, and she’s actually how I landed my first theatrical agent. (I owe her my first and third born children.) So I sent Celeste an email about “Adult Wednesday” and how fantastic Melissa is. She agreed. The rest is history.

MH: Several of the multi-channel networks reached out to me after Wednesday because of the views I was getting, and that’s kind of the way I’ve noticed that it works. But Above Average was excited not just because of the numbers, but they were excited about the show and the content itself. They have a lot of opportunities to pitch to them and collaborate with them in different ways.  It just seemed like a really exciting community to be a part of. It’s incredible people from the comedy community who I admire so deeply.

Can you tell me a little bit about how you got the idea for “Backseat Bitches”?
MH: It was pretty organic. I remember this very specifically — when Jess was shooting her episode of “Wednesday Addams,” she was playing a pretty similar character to what these girls are like. In the beginning of one of the takes, the director and I asked her to improvise a little bit, because she’s talking on the phone as Wednesday approaches her. She said this line that cracked me up so much… She said, “And I was like, Jinny, stop crying, the Uber is here.” We’re in a group together at IO, and we would do bits as these two awful girls. After I became a partner with Above Average, I had an opportunity to pitch show ideas to them. So when I was brainstorming ideas, I told Jess I wanted to pitch our Uber girls as a show and we went from there.

How has producing and creating your own stuff changed your notion of women’s roles in comedy? Do you feel like you’re still dealing with the stereotypes that often arise for actresses in general?
MH: I definitely think it’s helped. What’s so exciting about it is it’s making me feel like I don’t need to fit into any box. I’m not trying to be someone else’s idea of a girl next door, or a Hollywood club bitch, or a goth girl. I’m creating characters that are truer to what I have to offer, and I think that’s actually opened up a lot of opportunities for me, because I’m not playing at something. It kind of feels like dating, you know, if you lead with yourself, then the people who like it will be excited — the people who don’t respond and don’t get it are never gonna get it, so why worry about them?

JL: I don’t know if this is universally true for all actors, but from my standpoint the casting process feels like a mysterious, terrifying beast. It’s like a mathematical proof: in order to be cast in a project you need infinite yesses, but for it all to crumble you just need one person to say “nah.” According to my friend who works in casting, it can be anything from “you didn’t get it because you look like one of the producer’s exes” to “you got it because you look like one of the producer’s exes.” That is insane. Now that I’ve started creating my own things, I no longer feel like I’m a recipient of gifts. It’s wonderfully empowering.

“I’m not trying to be someone else’s idea of a girl next door, or a Hollywood club bitch, or a goth girl. I’m creating characters that are truer to what I have to offer, and I think that’s actually opened up a lot of opportunities for me, because I’m not playing at something.”

What do you think is changing now that we have more women in commanding roles in comedy?
MH: I think there’s exciting momentum happening, and it’s all moving in the right direction, but I still think we need more writers, directors, and producers who are women. What I love is women offering their own stories, and injecting a real human experience into female characters, as opposed to just answer the need for a woman in a scene. They’re able to be goofy, and disgusting, and weird, and ridiculous in a way that only men were allowed to be for a very long time. We’re chipping away at it. We as an audience are so used to seeing women on screen as eye candy, and what they were doing and saying and saying as secondary. And now that we’re starting to flip that, it’s hopefully becoming less important what women look like.

JL: I am so inspired by women like Tina Fey, Katie Dippold, and Mindy Kaling. They’re such fantastic role models for aspiring female writers.  Due to the success of their projects, a lot of studios and networks are now clamoring for more female-driven comedies. Finally. Geeze.

What advice can you give the youngins starting out in web-based comedy who don’t want to be like the cookie cutters that we hate?
MH: Learn how to edit. So that you can do things yourself. This may sound corny, but I really do believe that it’s leading with yourself.  I think what’s so exciting about the web landscape is that there is always an audience. And if you are authentic to what you like and what you find funny and interesting, you’re going to find people who find it funny and interesting too. Don’t try at being like X person, because guess what? X person has been doing it for 10 years and will do it better. What you will do best is based on who you are and what you are about.