Jay Runham

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Interview: Dookie Squad

That DIY spirit is alive and well in Edmonton. Angela Palmer’s Dookie Squad proves it. I sat down with creator of the show Angela Palmer and one of her cast mates Ashley Almon to talk all about the YouTube series.

 For the folks who aren’t aware, what is Dookie Squad?

Angela Palmer: Dookie Squad is about a group of janitors who clean at a hospital. 

Where did the idea the series come from?

Angela Palmer: I was a hospital janitor for five years. I wrote Dookie Squad based off of my experiences. How did you get involved with the series?

Ashley Almon: I was asked by Ang to get involved. I remember her messaging me and saying she had this role for me. This really bitchy, bitch-ass role. I replied with excitement “Sweeeet!” I love those roles. 

Why YouTube?

Angela Palmer: Because of my infatuation with other web shows on Youtube at the time, I was inspired to write and distribute my own series for online audiences. 

What’s your favourite part of working on Dookie Squad?

Angela Palmer: The people. I am lucky to have gotten to work with the everyone involved. I also liked being messy on purpose- like throwing “puke” at Matt in ep 1 and spilling “pee” in ep 2. The cherry on top though… seeing the finished product. 

Ashley Almon: Probably the food. I hang out near any coffee (seriously I actually can’t live without it) and I loiter around the veggies and dip and fruit trays and then stalk the sandwiches. I also like working on Dookie because I get to play my future self in my 50s- A complete asshole who’s wig is receding.

Whose music is in the first and second episode?

Angela Palmer: In the first episode we were fortunate to have the song Food by Kazmega and This Flame by Jaide along with Play Your Part by Gray Wilson Ford in episode 2. 

Who created the Dookie Squad theme song?

Angela Palmer: An amazing band called Locution Revolution! The Dookie Squad theme song won an award for “Outstanding Theme Song in a Comedy” which was one of two awards Dookie Squad brought home from the LA Web Fest! 

What do you think is the hardest part of being an actor/actress in Edmonton?

Angela Palmer: Personally, I’d have to say, roles for diverse actors like myself come far and few in between. It’s hard enough being an actor for a living in Edmonton period because there isn’t that much work here. The up-side is that, the film industry in Edmonton has truly pushed me to be an independent artist-writing and creating my own roles has been an awesome gift despite it all!

Ashley Almon: Paying gigs. 

What inspires your work on Dookie Squad?

Angela Palmer: I have a strong desire to tell my story because it is influenced by true past events. I also like the fact that I have the ability to get diverse actors involved in this project. That makes me feel like I am doing something positive in this industry.

Ashley Almon: The content, the quality and the crew of people involved. 

What can people look forward to seeing in upcoming episodes?

Angela Palmer: More drama! This season apart from seeing what a hospital janitor deals with on the job as far as cleaning and classicism goes, the relationships between the janitors will be the main focus.

Ashley Almon: I dunno, I don’t even remember! I do remember some twerking though. And there were shots. Lots of shots. Unfortunately I don’t believe there was any mooning or other funny naked asses, but I HIGHLY suggest you comment on any Dookie post and ask for MOONING. 

If you could have one celebrity guest on Dookie Squad, who would it be, who do you think they would play?

Angela Palmer: Sandra Oh as a feisty unit clerk! Or….. Mindy Kaling as a janitor!!! I’d make her Robin’s side kick just so that I could have an excuse to hang out with her.

Ashley Almon: Will Ferrell. I love him. He would be a sexy doctor who has extreme diabetes or narcolepsy. Maybe he’d just be a lifer hospital patient who everyone knew. He would have like, a obsession with shit and piss and he’d bug the hell out of the squad to just let him take a selfie with it before we destroyed the blessing of ‘God’s Organics’. Ha ha ha. 

What’s the hardest part of getting Dookie Squad up and out for people to see?

Angela Palmer: Letting go! It’s tough to put out episodes without doubting my own work. Because of our ultra low budget, I had to cut season one down from 13 15 minute episodes to 6 5 minute episodes, meaning there is so much more to Dookie Squad then I was able to show. So, there is worry that “is there enough material to allow people to make a connection”. So far, I have been getting lots of positive feed back. So much that I think I may be willing to work past that fear and put the “lost” episodes into a season 2! 

What is your favourite TV show or web series?

Angela Palmer: The web shows I am into right now are Brady Robert’s Nightwing: Prodigal, San Fran Land, The Young N’ Reckless, First, That Guy and I am looking forward to seeing season 2 of Entangled with You and the first season of No Happy Endings by my girl Ashlei Shyne.

Ashley Almon: Kenny vs. Spenny. My humour exactly. Anytime I’m feeling down I watch a few episodes. The only time I’ve felt starstruck was at their tour and just sitting a mere 100 ft. away. Who can be tied to a goat the longest?! Yes! I want to do a Ashley vs. …? 

Which Ninja Turtle was your favourite?

Angela Palmer: Michelangelo! I just really liked his name…

Ashley Almon: Michelangelo. But as I grew up I realized I was just like Raphael, a pessimistic antisocial fuck with cool weapons.

Big thanks to Angela and Ashley for taking the time to chat with me. Be sure to check out the newest episode of Dookie Squad on the YouTube channel at YouTube.com/DookieSquadwebseries and support Edmonton Arts!