Writer director Ken Arpino reveals everything about the new series of The Queens Project…
Last year GuysLikeU told you all about a cute little web series called The Queens Project which focused on the lives and loves of a bunch of New York gay guys. It might have been the tiniest of mini series (each of the six episodes was about two and half minutes) but we loved it and the world appeared to too.
But guess what? The brains behind the show – comedy genius Ken Arpino – has unleashed a SECOND SEASON upon the world, and we couldn’t be more excited. Here, the handsome wit tells us about what we can expect from the new show plus what else he and his hunky other half Dustin have been up to.
READ MORE: KEN ARPINO: “BULLIES MADE ME FUNNY!”
The second season of The Queens Project has hit YouTube. For those foolish few who missed series one, give ’em a recap…
The Queens Project is a fast paced comedic web series about two gay roommates, Gabe (BJ Gruber) and Ash (me- Ken Arpino), who moved to the big city to become Broadway starts, but reality—and lack of talent—set them on a journey to become the truest, nerdiest versions of themselves. We learn in season one Gabe is a closet nerd, which makes Ash see his best friend is a whole new way. (To be clear, it’s a sexy way) Season two starts with Ash attempting to summon the courage to tell Gabe his true feelings once and for all.
Ooh how Ross and Rachel. What else does this season have in store fo us?
The viewer will get to know the other characters in the show a little more. Season one really focuses on Gabe and Ash’s story, but The Queens Project has a truly phenomenal ensemble cast! I’m excited to show them off.
We noticed this new series has a stronger narrative and a more polished sheen with lots of locations. Has this been an easier series to work on?
I know I’m supposed to say this, but I actually mean it. WE HAVE SO MUCH FUN! Fun fact, season one was actually a test project for a larger series that I am working on. I released the first two episodes just to see how people would react to the characters and situations. Well, turns out people really connected. The show generated an organic following, so we were so excited to get season two filmed.
What do you want to achieve with the series – would you like to turn it into a fuller series like the Netflix show, The EastSiders?
It would be a dream come true if The Queens Project could be my full-time job. We have assembled such an incredible team. I would happily spend every day with them! So, Netflix/Hulu/Amazon, if you’re reading, let’s talk! The EastSiders is great! Start from the beginning if you haven’t watched yet. Kit Williamson is a super hard worker—I am so happy for him! He is doing great things for LGBT content creators and deserves all the success he is seeing.
You’re working with the gorgeous BJ again – pleas tell us he is an utter pleasure to work with?
Eh. He’s alright. Kinda harsh on the eyes.
We were disappointed to see very few shirtless scenes with Beej – we hope that is will be rectified in Season 3?
Ha! Have no fear, season three will definitely have more skin. That being said, we are prepping for season three! Keep your eyes open for our crowd funding campaign. We appreciate the support.
What is the ultimate dream? We’re guessing producing The Queens Project has helped in raising your profile.
The ultimate dream would be to write and create new content all the time. Full-time. Like, only do that. Forever. Not sure how much the show has raised my profile, but I appreciate all the love we have been getting. I have also been getting more collaboration requests, which is awesome! Keep them coming—I love working with other creative and driven creators. I just spent a week in London and LOVED it. I would love an excuse to come back for projects…
Producing comedy for YouTube isn’t all you do. You started out in theatre, right?
In brief, my career to this point has been theatre. After graduation, I was fortunate enough to tour with the Broadway companies of Hairspray, Legally Blonde: the Musical, and Mamma Mia. I have also performed Off-Broadway and at regional theatres throughout the US. For the last two years, I have been working fulltime with Wolfbane Productions in Appomattox, Virginia and focusing on generating my own content. I’m a lucky SOB. I get paid to be creative and work with my boyfriend, Dustin.
What kind of shows are you wicked boys dreaming up at the mo? We hear they’re wild!
If you are a history buff, you will know Appomattox is where the American Civil War ended. This year will be my second as Executive Director and I’m loving it! We have grown a lot in a very short amount of time. Last year we had 23 weeks of programming and this year will have 40 weeks. I think one of my favorite shows we have produced is Evil Dead: the Musical. It is based on the Sam Raimi horror trilogy and it’s freaking hilarious! We built a replica cabin deep in the woods and set-up a blood splatter zone in the audience—so every time a character dies the audience gets blasted with blood. You see people come in with white t-shirts and leave completely red. Tons of foolishness.
What’s life like in Virginia? Is it a very accepting place?
It’s very Green Acres. We spend half the year in NYC and half the year in Virginia. It’s nice because once we are sick of the country we head to the city and when we need a break from the city we head to the country. I have seen a major shift since my first visit in the level of acceptance. We live close to Liberty University, which is the epitome of Christian hypocrisy. In the past, we had definitely seen our fair share of resistance. However, in the past couple years, we have seen so much love and support. Haters gonna hate, but I love my Wolf Pack!
Has it been hard to break in to the industry?
That’s a tough one. I am a believer that timing is everything. My goal is to just keep creating solid, original work. Hopefully, at some point, the work will speak for itself and something big will happen.
What have you got planned the rest for the year?
Filming season three of The Queens Project and Wolfbane of course. However, I am also working on a new project with the creator of the DaddyHunt series, Ra-Ey Saleh. He is a great collaborator and I’m excited for you all to see what we’ve got.