When you get the opportunity to chat with the writers of the hit show, Victorious, Erica Spates and Sam Littenberg-Weisberg, you jump at the chance. Especially when those writers are now also the writers and producers of a new hit on Netflix, The Healing Powers of Dude, which features Jace Chapman and Sophie Kim in roles that are both touching, funny and engaging all at once.
Social Anxiety is real but often masked well so that those around you can mistake it for “just being shy” or even awkward, maybe even “not that nice” but behind all the masking is pain and fear and a desire to simply fit in without all the difficulties.
The Healing Powers of Dude brings these important issues to the forefront, entertaining kids along the way and opening a dialogue that can only add to positive change. Listen to this podcast and you will get the behind the scenes look into this awesome show!
[01:52] How Erica and Same became writers for the American Sitcom Victorious
- It was their first tv writing job
- They were assistants before. Erica was on House while Sam was at Family Guy.
- Their agents got them to a meeting with Nickelodeon executives and landed with the writers for Victorious.
[02:50] The theme of Victorious
- A quirky group of friends who were pursuing their dreams and getting in and out of mischiefs while being supportive of each other
- The demographic hits the young kids around 11-13 years old
[04:48] The theme behind the Netflix Show The Healing Powers of Dude
- If you’re dealing with something, part of having the hope and acceptance to go through it is having the support of incredible family and friends to be by your side.
- It’s based on Sam’s little brother who had a hard time in middle school.
[07:48] Children feels social anxiety around the school at varying degrees
- Going to school is an intense experience for kids especially that they’re just starting to discover who they are.
- For people with Social Anxiety Disorder, it’s an irrational fear. Everything is overthought and becomes a burden for them.
[10:44] They want everyone to connect with Noah and the other characters
- It was very important for them that when people are watching him, they weren’t afraid of him or turned off by him despite having Social Anxiety Disorder.
- The pairing of different characters is also important for them and should complement as a support system for each other
[13:51] How important it is for them to produce a show where disabilities are highlighted
- One character who’s in a wheelchair was played by a young actress who in real life is also bound in a wheelchair.
- They were able to see videos from all over the world of young girls recording their audition for the role.
- When they saw Sophie’s audition tape, they immediately figure out that she’s the right one for the role of Amara.
[19:01] How to get your show to stand out
- Netflix has been very supportive and doing everything that they can to get the actors to talk about the show but they have a lot of content.
- Erica “infiltrated” mom groups on Facebook to share the show.
- Word of Mouth is the best for these shows given the competition
- People were thanking them on social media because of the show
[24:05] How can families eliminate the stigma of having Social Anxiety Disorder
- If somebody is seemingly not wanting to do something, hear them out and don’t force them to do something that they don’t want to do.
- Be the support system for their children.
- Give them the time and attention to talk it through.
[28:32] Fun backstage moments in the set
- Everyone believed in the message of the show and the crew really cared about the kids.
- They had a very supportive, fun environment where the kids had the best time of their life.
- Murphy is also the most lovable dog and always excited to go to work.
[31:55] Can we expect a Season 2?
- The more people who watch and complete the series, the better chances that there will be a season 2.
[33:05] What it’s like working together
- Most of the time it’s great.
- Sam and Erica started as best friends at film school.
- They have the foundation to do something as intense as making TV Shows together while raising their daughter.