Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Talking With The It Girls on The Stoop (Part One): A Conversation with Soap Icons and It Girls Crystal Chappell and Hillary B Smith on Their New Cooking Reality Show Which Combines Cooking, Girl Talk and a Whole Lot of Fun

What's it like to chat with the "It Girls?"

Pure fun. I had the pleasure of talking to The It Girls On The Stoop, soap legends Crystal Chappell and Hillary B. Smith about their new reality cooking series on Vimeo, called The It Girls on the Stoop. These ladies were so much fun I could have talked to them all afternoon. Viewers can get a good glimpse into their personalities while watching this unscripted show. It's a reality show, it's a cooking show, it's a show you just have to keep watching till the end - not just to see how their creations turned out but also to hear the end of their conversations. Read on to find out the whats and whys of The It Girls on the Stoop and of course, the origin of the stoop

Suzee: First question, and the most obvious. Do you really like cooking?

Hillary B. Smith: Well, we did an episode of Venice the Series, which is the show that we have done for several years now. And in the one episode there is a scene where my character helps Crystal's character in the kitchen trying to make a lasagna and a chocolate cake. And the the fans responded so well to it they wanted to see us in the kitchen! They said "why don't you do a cooking show?'

Crystal Chappell: That's pretty much it!  We've been getting together for years now and eating and cooking! We used to hang out in the kitchen drinking cocktails, eating dinner. And when  we were doing the movie A Million Happy Nows, there was a stoop there that we would sit on at the end of each day with a glass of wine or whatever and go over the day. And after a while we just started, you know, talking and telling stories.And we put a scene like that in the series and the fans responded so positively and said they would pay for a cooking show, we were like, well okay!

"It's about hanging out, it's about appreciating your girlfriends, it's about making your life really really simple. It's about you know, embracing each other's differences." - Crystal Chappell

And really it was about friendship, it's about hanging out, it's about appreciating your girlfriends, it's about making your life really really simple. It's about you know, embracing each other's differences. You know it's more than just puzzle pudding and cocktails, it's really just like, like let's do this together and you teach me something and I'll teach you something,

"In this day and age there is just so much not to laugh about, so we wanted to do something fun." - Hillary B. Smith

Hillary B. Smith: In this day and age there is just so much to not laugh about, so we wanted to do something that was just fun, where people could appreciate the joy in life, and the joy of other people. And we ended up having -  well I did! -  the most fun I've had on any shoot I've ever done.

Suzee: Where are the recipes from?

Hillary B. Smith:  They are recipes that have been in my family, but they have been modified, and they keep getting modified as time goes on.

Crystal Chappell:  Same here, I just like cooking with meat. Some kind of meat! I like to try new things, I'll see it and think I can do that, or it's cool to do that, like there's a great new thing to do with eggplant.... gotta figure that out... and then I Google.   I like to Google.

Hillary B. Smith:  I read cookbooks, I like to read about techniques, shortcuts, but if it gets too detailed that's it for me. I like shortcuts! Like we did a whole Superbowl episode. I did 4 layers in my dip! Who needs more than that really, why??? And it feeds the masses.

Crystal Chappell:   My hubby did a lot of the cooking when I was working (outside ). Now I work from home. I do the prep work early in the day. It's all about time management and creating food for and feeding your family and friends.

Hillary B. Smith: I like to enjoy my family and friends,  If I come over and they're cooking I don't see them, you know, unless we are in the kitchen and all of us are cutting things up or helping or something.  

When I was working on the West Coast doing a movie and doing a soap on the East Coast, I would cook all day on Sunday, and leave it in the refrigerator so my kids and husband would have something to eat everyday. My husband does not cook!

Suzee: Well that leads me to my next question. Here you are a successful actress working on two great projects and you have to worry about making sure your family gets fed while your'e not there. Though that is the sign of a good mother and wife, it just shows how much we need to juggle as women.

Hillary B. Smith: Well that is what I call having it all!  Varicose veins, grey hair, everything!!

Suzee: Will you be doing some lowfat recipes?

Crystal Chappell:  Well, we did have some on the show.. oh yeah.... that dessert show! We shot all the episodes over 4 days, And we watched our waistline expand after each segment!  And oh those shots!! But we did have  some veggies. I will make it more in the future like like how I eat at home, more veggies. I have a great recipe for sweet potato fries. Who doesn't love sweet potato fries?? But we would like to bring in more healthier options. 

And oh those shots, 3 shows a day, 3 shots, at least 6 drinks. Super fun!

Suzee: Do you watch any cooking shows on TV?

Hillary B. Smith: I watch Rachel Ray because I think she's funny, and she's entertaining with her guests. And I like her also because she's very no fuss no muss in her kitchen. But there's nothing dietetic about what she cooks!

Crystal Chappell:  I like the Food Network so I like watching Chopped and seeing things I've never seen before. And I'm like, what?  what's that?, and I Google it...like those cowballs- I want to know who's eating that? 

Hillary B. Smith:  And I like that other show when they compete, like they're all given the same ingredients  (Editor's note: At this point all three of us tried to think of the name of the show and no one could think of the name).  It's really good and they all get the same ingredients and have to make something up.

Suzee: -How about that? That would be really good both of you get the same ingredients and have to make something up?

Hillary B. Smith:  Sure!! But it's a very small kitchen!

Crystal Chappell:  We could do it, we could do it!

Hillary B. Smith:  But you can't look!

Crystal Chappell:  But we'd have to do it individually and I couldn't watch what you were doing and you couldn't watch what I was doing so we'd kind of have to do it like that..

Hillary B. Smith: Oh that would be hysterical.

Crystal Chappell:  And then like Adriana (Editor's note, she's the Director of Photography), could come out from behind the camera because it was just Hillary, myself and Brianna. She would have to be the judge so she would have to come out from behind the camera and judge us.

Hillary B. Smith: I actually have a friend of mine from San Antonio who told me he wants to come on my show, he wants to be a guest cook and cook on your show. And I'm like, okay we'll figure it out, that will be fine. Blind taste tests!

It Girls first episode is free:  https://vimeo.com/253913857

Suzee: That leads me to my next question. Will you be having any guest cooks or anyone coming it to taste what you cook?

Hillary B. Smith:  Well, yeah, like as I just said my friend from San Antonio lives near us, and he was like yeah, I want come on and and another friend was like "I want to come and try all of your shots!" So we may, we may have guests here and there.

Crystal Chappell:  We'll probably have some guests, though we shoot in Florida so we'll probably have some guests via Skype and talk to us about their favorite recipes and things like that!

Suzee: So you shot in Florida, and you shot all of those in 4 days. Do you have a Season 2 planned? 

Crystal Chappell: Yes! We do. We do. So far we're planning on shooting again, and I love having these conversations, because talking about having the competition, and guests...they're all things that we'll be kicking around and yes, I well I , I just got to get physically prepare for 4 days of drinking!!!

Hillary B. Smith: We're going to do our cleanse BEFORE instead of AFTER!!

Crystal Chappell: LOL , yeah....well being over 50, you know, I am finding I need my little breaks in between those couple of shots!! Just can't do it anymore!!

Suzee:  Okay, so now I have to know. You are such phenomenal actresses so it's hard to tell, but that  "hangover" show, were you really hung over or was it just acting?

Crystal and Hillary: That was the first show of the day. It was just acting.
Watch the first episode free:  https://vimeo.com/253913857

Suzee:  Now, let's switch over to what you two are most known for. What do you think about soaps in general these days? This is Us is a soap, plain and simple, but people don't call it soaps,  What do you think is going on with soap?  Do you think they have a future? Do you think people should be also be looking online to find them now?

Hillary B. Smith: Go for it Chrystal.

Crystal Chappell:  Well yeah, I do think they have a future. The four shows that are still on the air have a future. You know everything is business. You keep your costs low and you sell, sell, sell. So with regards to finding soaps elsewhere, online or Netflix. I am a big Netflix user, the opportunity is there, it's just that the business model changes. Venice has a base audience and we will do it as long as the fans want to watch.

Hillary B. Smith: So many of the shows that are on broadcast now and other place have the serials relationships in them. The relationships come into play, with soap quality, that carry over week to week. Like someone can still be saving the world but now we see what that person's family is like. And relationships carry over from week to week even though the show has a beginning and an end.  Primetime has emulated daytime in that everyone has a family.

Want more of Crystal and Hillary? 
Come back for Part Two of Talking with the It Girls when they talk about the #Metoo movement, juggling work and family, and more. 

Behind the Scenes at Venice The Series with
Cady McClain, Director, Galen Gaing

For more information:
To Watch IT Girls on the Stoop, Venice seasons 3-5 and more:

Venice website: venicetheseries.com
OBP website:  openbkprod.com

It Girls first episode is free:  https://vimeo.com/253913857

For updates:

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