“Super Single” is a hit show by talented actress and screenwriter Christa Nannos. Christa is currently promoting her brand-new musical comedy web-series called “Super Single.” The show derives its humor from the struggles of modern dating as told through the eyes of Brit Ashburn, a successful and independent woman. Although content with her single life, Brit decides to try online dating and opens herself up to a world of experiences, both good and bad—and many based on the actual life experiences of creator Christa Nannos! Throughout the show, Brit breaks the fourth wall to give viewers a deeper look into her psyche.
Christa Nannos always knew that she wanted to create a show that would fluidly combine both music and comedy. Christa has a strong background in improv and sketch comedy and she is a graduate of iO West and Second City Hollywood’s Conservatory. Trained in classic music and opera from early childhood, Christa soon became a skilled songwriter who penned most of the funny-yet-deep songs for her show of which she wrote, filmed, produced, and released eight episodes within one year. To date, her show has gained a massive following on social media, earning over 15,000 channel views with 30,000 minutes watched and a dedicated fan base already clamoring for season two.
“Super Single” was featured at the 2018 Glow Television and Webseries Festival in Los Angeles and Christa was nominated for “Best Writer.” She also recently organized a red-carpet premiere of the show which was attended by more than 100 guests in the entertainment industry.
Christa recently discussed her show and more via an exclusive interview.
Meagan Meehan (MM): How did you discover your knack for acting and how did you get into writing?
Christa Nannos (CN): Ever since I was a little girl, I can remember the glorious feeling of making people laugh. Whether it was dancing in a hula skirt in front of my family, to then turn around and not have any underwear on, or preparing a special rendition of “In The Jungle” where I sang lead vocals and made my friends pretend to be cats and sing back up “meow” vocals, I loved putting on a show. However, I think I truly found a knack for acting in high school. I started performing in Shakespeare plays and musicals and began to be recognized both by my peers and teachers for my talents. Writing came much later. I didn’t consider myself a writer until only a few years ago! After studying at and graduating from Second City Hollywood, I learned how valuable writing is in this industry. I started by writing sketch comedies, which led to writing my own musical comedy web series “Super Single”.
MM: What roles have you managed to land and which characters have been the most fun to play?
CN: I’ve worked a lot in comedy ever since moving to LA. I booked a role playing a kid’s party princess on “Parental Discretion” on Nickelodeon, and since then I’ve performed a lot in indie films and on stage. The wackier the character and situations are the more fun it is for me. I recently played a neurotic, single woman with baby fever who would do anything to get knocked up. She researches what foods help produce more sperm in men, and buys a baby crib to prepare for “mistakes” that might happen on dates. She was crazy, and I loved it!
MM: Typically, how do you mentally prepare yourself for each one of your roles?
CN: I mentally prepare for every role by digging into how that character might be similar to me, and grabbing onto what is relatable. Finding their truth and point of view on the world is really important. I don’t always share that same point of view, but can usually find something to connect to. Recently, I played a mom in a short dramatic film. This character had passed away and her spirit comes back to comfort her daughter. I’m not a mom, so finding these emotions were more challenging. But I was a nanny for many years to children I care deeply about, so I was able to access this character by pulling from my real experiences of love and loss.
MM: “Super Single” is based on your own dating experiences, so what have been some of the most outrageous stories you’ve garnered?
CN: I’ve been on so many terrible dates! All the dates in “Super Single” are based on my real dating horrors in LA. I think the worst is when a guy told me I was his “Number 2” after three months of serious dating, and expected us to stay together. He literally said that to my face. I base the character Chase, played by Clayton Snyder, after that jerk. But, in terms of outrageous dates I’ve been on I have a few not mentioned in Season 1. A date one time showed up an hour and a half late to dinner, why I waited I will never know, ordered duck and multiple vodka drinks and then made me split the bill. Mind you, I had ordered a salad and one glass of wine. He then asked me to drive him home since he had Ubered there, which I reluctantly did, and then he sang me an entire love song in Spanish. He hugged me and I never heard from him again! At the end of another date, this guy took my Dodger’s hat off my head, kept it, and said it would be incentive for another date. Well, I never heard from him again… hat stealer!
MM: How is your character, Brit, similar and different to you?
CN: My character, Brit, is similar to me in how she values her friends, uses humor to deflect things, and how she tries to make the most of every situation. She’s a strong, independent woman who doesn’t need a man to make her happy. Just like me. However, we do differ in a few ways. Brit’s more of an introvert and enjoys her time at home alone. I’m very extraverted. She’s also more sexually promiscuous than I am, and finds herself in bed with men long before I would be.
MM: What was it like to get the locations, equipment, cast, and funding for this web series?
CN: It was really important for me to cast and hire as many friends as I could. We have to stick together in this industry and support one another, and I was happy to provide jobs to my friends. Not only are my friend’s extremely talented actors and singers, many of them have had more success than I have on television, and I was humbled and honored to work with them. It’s building these relationships where we work together now because I’m casting something, and in the future they might be casting something I’m right for. In terms of equipment, my amazing DP/editor, Nicole Bell, whom I’ve worked with for years, has a great camera, and I was able to borrow lighting equipment from my boss. I hired a great sound guy, and I recorded and mixed all of the music in my apartment. We had a small but mighty crew. I made a list of filming locations that were free to me, such as friend’s apartments and some workspaces, and for other locations I rented great places on peerspace.com. I self-produced Season 1 and luckily did not have to fundraise at all. I won’t be able to afford doing that again for Season 2, so I’ll be looking into investors, grants, and fundraising then.
MM: What were some of the challenges of filming it?
CN: The biggest challenge of filming “Super Single” was scheduling. We mainly filmed on the weekends, due to auditions and other bookings people might have during the week, and I would have to coordinate anywhere between 5 people and 20 people’s schedules. My other lead actress, Catherine Lidstone, booked a recurring role on FOX’s new procedural drama “Proven Innocent” and was constantly flying back and forth to Chicago to film. Her schedule wasn’t consistent and ended up changing two times right before we were supposed to film. I unfortunately had to do last minute changes to the scripts and write her out of those episodes. With locations booked and paid for, and my cast and crew locked down, I wasn’t able to rearrange those shoot days. It was hard having to rewrite episodes that I was attached to, but as a writer you have to stay on your toes because things like this happen all the time.
MM: You were nominated for “Best Writer” and organized a red-carpet event around this series, so what were those experiences like?
CN: It was an honor to be nominated for “Best Writer” at Glow Television and Webseries Festival. I actually didn’t know I was even nominated until the ceremony began. Being recognized as a writer is such a cool feeling, especially because this was my first major writing accomplishment. It’s the greatest compliment when someone tells me my writing is funny and relatable. And organizing a red-carpet event was no easy feat! I reached out to sponsors for my “step and repeat” banner, had to book a location, a photographer, buy a red carpet and banner, coordinate schedules again with my cast and crew, send out invitations, and set up a Q and A. I’m so grateful to Second City Hollywood and Whalebone Vineyards for sponsoring my event, and to Bar Lubitsch for hosting us. Over 100 people attended the event, and raved about my show. It was a huge success, and I’m very grateful for everyone who helped make that night so special.
MM: What are your ultimate career goals?
CN: My ultimate career goal has been to be on a sitcom or single-camera comedy television series! However, career goals evolve as you get older and are more experienced in this industry. I would really love to develop Super Single as a half hour comedy, or another show where I’m the creator. I’m so inspired by Rachel Bloom and Phoebe Waller-Bridge and their shows “Crazy-Ex Girlfriend” and “Fleabag”. Both shows heavily influenced “Super Single”, and I see myself going down similar paths they took as creators.
MM: What projects are coming up for you soon?
CN: Just last weekend I acted in a dramatic film called “Candles,” where I got to put my opera training to work! I’m also doing a lot of writing. I’m finishing the pilot of “Super Single,” writing Season 2, working on another show I’m developing with friends, and writing a short film.
MM: Is there anything else that you would like to talk about?
CN: A lot of people ask how I got started with “Super Single,” and, frankly, I figured it out as I went along! I had the idea, I started to write it, filled out the SAG paperwork, and within 2 months I was filming episode 1. Not everyone’s story is like that. Often, people write for years before filming, and that’s totally cool. My point is you don’t have to wait if you don’t want to. Sometimes you have to leap before the net appears. More and more actors are realizing that there’s more to life than just waiting around for the next audition. I hope my story about “Super Single” will inspire other actors and artists to create their own content and share their voice with the world. We are the next generation of filmmakers; let’s make it count.