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Character Descriptions

Cast & Crew Bios



Senior Partner of Kick-Ass Kasting©


Portrayed by Brian Spectre Smith


“So I’m late a few times. No worries babe. I'm here now, unless you were counting on my demise for life insurance payments!” “This agency may go downhill unless Janice works a lot harder.”


Leading man and film director, Brian joined forces with his college friend, Janice to

open up Kick Ass Kasting©. “The purchase of this company is just a stepping stone to bigger and better things.” But money and artistic talents are very tight.


Cast’n Couch© Biography


Brian is a 20 year three time cancer survivor and chronic pain sufferer who has been writing, acting and directing for more than 15 years.  Starting out in the music business, he was a sub-contracted studio musician for Geffen Record artists. He also played and produced on Spectre's two albums "Above Ground Level" and the highly internationally regarded "Dreamland". 


Brian shifted his goals and talents to filmmaking after his bout with stage 4 Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and chronic pain. He has earned several nicknames over the last few years due to the numerous surgeries that he has endured on his spine, hip, shoulder, stomach and neck. He is known as a true survivor or “Iron Man”, by his peers.


Brian obtained cancer from bad well water through illegally dumped chemicals in a rural neighborhood's water supply. He is allegedly the only remaining survivor of 7 individuals who were poisoned by benzine a gasoline additive. During this time his fiancée lost her battle with the non Hodgkin's lymphoma cancer.  It was one of the darkest periods of his life. "I lost my fiancée, my musical career and almost my life as I was only given about 8 weeks to live as a stage 4 cancer patient…"

Brian is also a motivational speaker addressing groups and individuals on overcoming cancer and chronic pain.


Film background

Presently Brian has successfully produced and directed 3 films and 2 eye-opening documentaries. He currently as co-founder runs "Cancer Survivors Who Can Charities a 501c3" a charity that helps terminally ill kids with all aspects of cancer and pain. He also owns "Atlantian Films" which has earned Hollywood attention with the sale of his screenplay "Mindscapes". With the sale of the screenplay, he was able to donate to a cancer patient in need of a bone marrow transplant and expedite his treatments. He has also recently done ghostwriting and edited some popular episodes of television shows.


Some current projects include "The Cast’n Couch" with fellow director, producer Janice Luise, a Yale directing graduate.  He also is in production on "The Knowwhere Man" a show based off of James Michaels the action character from "Mindscapes Origins". The show is being produced by Janice Luise’s "AspenDream Production's" in association with "Atlantian Films" and "Cancer Survivors Who Can 501c3"  Most of the team are cancer patients and survivors with proceeds going to help seriously cancer kids and their families.


Currently Brian lives with his two amazing rescued dogs Timber and Dingo. He is an advocate for dog rescues worldwide.


You can donate to his terminal childhood and survivor cancer charity "Cancer Survivors Who Can Charities " a 501c3 by clicking here:






Senior Partner of Kick-Ass Kasting©


Portrayed by Janice Luise

“Bri this is a professional theater business. You have to be a role model. We've got to pay our rent. You know there will be... consequences.” “Brian really has to work much harder.”

Former stage ingénue Janice paired up with her former college friend Brian to start a casting company  but seems to have a secret which may put the company in jeopardy.


Cast’n Couch© Biography

Janice is the Executive and Artistic Director of AspenDream Productions™; CT’s longest running Comedy Wedding and Murder Mystery Company.​  AspenDream Productions has performed in over 21 cities throughout New England, performed for over 25,000 guests and has raised over 1 million dollars for charities and fundraisers for over 20 years. http://www.aspendreamproductions.com/Home.html


Janice has directed more than 60 plays including the works of David Auburn, Neil Simon, Peter Shaffer, and A.R. Gurney. https://www.janicedirects.com/  She was the producer and host of the TV program, CT Arts & Entertainment© a program that interviewed entertainers in the State of CT.


​Janice is the author, producer, and director of seven interactive, immersive plays that are regularly sold out months in advance. Janice is a proud member of the Dramatist Guild of America, League of Professional Theatre Women, and a Member of the Stage Directors & Choreographers Society. Luise specializes among other things, retroscripting. Janice received her Bachelor’s Degree in Directing & Acting at University of Connecticut and attended Yale University Drama Conservatory. Today, Janice is a highly successful entrepreneur with an ever-growing portfolio of clients both behind and on the scenes in theater.




Secretary of Kick-Ass Kasting©


Portrayed by TBA


“She spends thousands of your money on Botox. How bout spendin' 50 cents for a razor for that mustache.” “Every morning, like clockwork, at 7 a.m., I pee. Unfortunately, I don’t wake up til 8.”


Vera has the wit that Brian and Janice need to run the casting agency.  She’s loud-mouthed, kooky, and quick to complain.  Vera has her own agenda and it’s not acting.


Cast’n Couch© Biography




Owner of Gym where Kick-Ass Kasting© rents part of the facility


Portrayed by Jim Murkette

“Well, you said I could show you my film work. It's as good if not better than Hitchcock. I finished it in 24 hours and 36 minutes and it's called, 'The Claw'.”


Cast’n Couch© Biography

A veteran of theater, Jim studied acting at the Herbert Berghof Studios in NYC and led the casts in several community theater productions, including “The Nerd”, “Bad Habits” “Damn Yankees” and others.  Jim, a versatile character actor, is working on a film with Atlantian Films’ Brian Spectre in a sci-fi project called “Mindscapes”.


Jim currently owns a gym in Unionville CT, Valley Fitness. His wife of twenty years, Margy, and Jim have two kids William, 17 and Sophie, 14.




Don Franco 


Portrayed by Donald Rondini

“Call me Don or The Don. The real measure of respect is how quickly people respond to you no matter what size that request is.”

Cast’n Couch Biography

Don is a veteran actor who has performed with many theater groups across the state. Some the lead roles he was privileged to perform in the past 25 years were: Sargeant Toomy in Biloxy Blues; Mel Edison in Prisoner of 42nd Street; Barney Cashman in last of the Red Hot Lovers; Victor Velasco in Barefoot in the Park, a role he performed twice 10 years apart; and Sheridan Whiteside in The Man who came to Dinner. There were many others as Don has been in about 40 productions over the years. He currently is working with AspenDream Productions for the past 16 years. He filled the role of father Freddy O'Flasky a tipsy priest for 10 years and for the last 6 years has filled the lead role of Franco Machiavelli, "Uncle Franco" thanks to the wisdom of his Mentor, Janice Luise.




Elmwood Productions


Elmwood Productions is a small and mighty film production company based in Connecticut!



Our flicks star puppets behaving like puppets! 

Having fun, trying to have fun, and doing those crazy things we all want to do!

(Akis) Kostakis Yerocosta

Director of Photography

Cast’n Couch© Biography

My camera fascination started many years ago, when as a young lad, my sailor cousin sent my family an 8mm crank movie camera. I loved it, loved the feeling of looking through the viewfinder, composing a shot. Back then the 8mm spool of film had to be sent away to be developed, then returning to be viewed on a projector. All

very mysterious and magical to me as a boy! This introduction led to many years of photo taking. 


After landing in Hartford Connecticut I joined the team of Hartford Late night with Mr.Frank Butash, at Hartford Community TV – a team of enthusiastic dedicated volunteers. Hartford Late Night was a weekly 2 hour live show, featuring music, poetry and a variety of performances and interviews of various “Hartfordites”. It was here that I was introduced to operating studio cameras, floor directing, technical direction, filming and editing. Eventually I got myself a HI8 camera and started filming and documenting anything that moved. I loved it! As a musician, I began composing my own music videos and making videos for local bands including Melrose Angel, Spector and the Poor Nephews. This led to various film projects with Mr. Brian Smith, (Atlantian Films) some of which are ongoing.




Kala Kusy

Auditions/Production Assistant

Cast’n Couch© Biography

Kayla Kusy is an actress and singer. She graduated from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City in 2018. 



Kayla has been in shows such as “I Never Saw Another Butterfly”, “Chicago”, and “Annie Get Your Gun”. Television/film work includes “Cobblestone Corridor”., “Instinct”, “Venus from Love” and the upcoming feature film “To Avenge”.



Tina Parziale 

Location Scout/Set Decoration


Cast’n Couch© Biography

Tina got her first taste of filmmaking when she was ten. She and her cousin decided to make a movie to occupy themselves during a rainy summer vacation. After teaching theatre in Hartford for six years, she began freelancing as an Art Director and Property Master in NYC. She has designed for various commercials and editorials, and has finally returned to making her own films. She also works as Education Coordinator for Real Art Ways, and the Artistic Director for Backyard Theater Ensemble.


Jeff Vegiard

Video Production


Cast’n Couch© Biography

Jeff has worked on extensive video productions throughout the Northeastern United States.  A “Jack” of all trades, Jeff also brings his love of music and performance art to ‘The Cast’N Couch.


Barbara Stolarik 


Cast’n Couch Biography

Barbara is a seasoned professional who began acting and singing on stage in the 8th grade. She

continued on to study and perform throughout high school and college. A highlight of her career was

portraying Morgan Le Fay in the Nation Tour of Magic Tree House: The Musical. Barbara has numerous musical and theatrical performances under her belt, including singing under the direction of the late Skitch Henderson at Carnegie Hall. Barbara is a teacher/administrator at private, state-approved, special education facility in Stamford, CT, and holds a Master’s and certification in Special Education, as well as a certification and B.A. in English, and the designation of Intermediate Administrator.  She currently is on the board of AspenDream Productions 




Jimmy Valentin

Lighting, Grip, Boom, Camera, PA

Cast’n Couch Biography

Jimmy has been studying video production for the last three years. He interned with a few companies to expand his knowledge in the video realm. Jimmy plans to expand his horizon even more in college, at Central Connecticut State University.

Carissa Wages

Website Administration

Cast’n Couch Biography

Carissa has her degree in Theatre Arts from Hollins University and a certificate in broadcasting from the Connecticut School of Broadcasting. She is currently the Marketing and Communications manager for Malai Kitchen in Dallas/Fort Worth. Carissa is excited to have been invited to help with this [exciting] television concept and looks forward to seeing it take off!

Chris Swetzes

Technology and Crew

Cast’n Couch Biography

Chris is a 3 time children’s cancer survivor.  He joined “Cancer Survivors Who Can” last year and along with the ‘Cast’n Couch’ he brings his talents to the film “the No Where Man”.  Chris is a rising prodigy in the world of film.