The highly anticipated new comedy series MIXOLOGY premieres tonight on ABC! I spoke with one of the starts of the show, Alexis Carra about her character Jessica, her theater background, and how it feels to get the coveted time slot after MODERN FAMILY.
MIXOLOGY is set differently than most shows out today, with each episode focusing on a specific characters storyline. Can you elaborate more on the shows setup?
Alexis Carra: The whole show takes place over the course of one night. So when we’re in the bar “The Mix” it’s all taking place in one night, sort of like how 24 is only it’s not per hour, it’s not delineated by hour. So therefore each episode focuses on each character and the connection between those two characters at the bar. Then there are flashbacks that detail kind of how the character got to where they are, and why they are at the bar that night.
Can you tell us about your character, Jessica?
The pilot focuses on Tom (Blake Lee) and Maya (Ginger Gonzaga), you’ll see Jessica, my character featured in episode 3 and she is a single mom and doesn’t get many nights out a year really, she has kind of a not great job, and she has two kids, so it’s my two or three nights out of the year and I’ve been doing some online dating and I’m meeting a guy at the bar who I think is really awesome and I’m super excited about. In the Pilot I’m there with my sister and my sister ends up leaving and in episode 2 a new character is introduced and it’s my childhood frenemy named Fab (Frankie Shaw) and I run into her as I’m trying to leave, because as you will see in the Pilot my characters date doesn’t go very well. He throws up in my purse. So my character is kind of the heart of the show cause she’s a mom and she cares, she’s a little bit insecure and so the whole series for her is kind of a journey and learning to love herself, and be confident, and really knowing that she doesn’t really need a man to be happy. She’s just fun and sexy, but a little bit insecure, like every human.
You come from a huge background in musical theater; do you think it’s harder to work in TV, or vice versa?
I think they are both challenging for different reasons, I think doing 8 shows a week is one of the hardest things ever to do. So I think doing Broadway is a real challenge in that schedule but for television I think the challenge is to stay focused with long hours and there’s always changes happening really quickly, especially on a comedic set like re writes. So it’s staying really focused and concentrated, and then also having a lot of fun. I think that television and film even though the days end up being a little bit longer sometimes than theater it’s actually a little bit easier because it’s always changing. Even though our wardrobe is pretty much the same the whole season because it’s one night in the bar, which is similar to theater. But each episode is so different and so it’s like a new discovery for the character, so it stays really fresh. Having done Broadway shows like Wicked for a year at a time that’s sometimes a challenge where you’re doing the same show eight shows a week.
MIXOLOGY premieres right after MODERN FAMILY, how do you feel about it going on after such a successful show?
We are super excited because we’re gonna have an awesome lead in. It’s like the best time slot for a new show, I think the audience of MODERN FAMILY will carry over into MIXOLOGY, and we’re right before NASHVILLE too so we are sandwiched in between two really awesome shows, which will carry the audience into MIXOLOGY. ABC has been great with how they are promoting it, on the ABC website we have “barcabulary” where you can get to know the characters a little bit more. The show is really funny so I think it’s perfect for MODERN FAMILY, we’re not intimidated we’re excited!
Aside from MIXOLOGY what do you love on TV right now, any show you would love to guest on?
MODERN FAMILY! We all love MODERN FAMILY, I love NEW GIRL, I know the creator we went to college together, so I love that show. I love the Robin William’s new show THE CRAZY ONE’S; I have a couple of friends on that. I was a BREAKING BAD fan, I’m a DOWNTON ABBEY fanatic, I would love to guest on that. I still haven’t completely watched all of MAD MEN but every time I do watch it I love that show.
What’s the best piece of advice you would give any aspiring actor?
Persevere, grit, just keep going for it, and don’t give up. What you learn about yourself in the discovery, no matter what ends up being the result is so important, and just trust, whatever happens is meant to be if you’re still going for it. It’s really perseverance and focus.
You can watch the premiere of MIXOLOGY tonight on ABC right after MODERN FAMILY at 9:30, and you can follow Alexis on twitter at @alexiscarra
Victoria Nelli loves TV so much that she is paying $30,000 a year to learn about it in College. When she’s not learning about TV she enjoys writing about her favorite shows, interviewing anyone in the industry that will let her, and ranting about how underrated Parks and Recreation is. She is very much aware of her Netflix addiction, and no she will not be seeking help anytime soon. You can follow her on Twitter @VictoriaNelli