[00:00:02] Speaker A: Sleeve's. Senior Pickleball report is brought to you by TNC network. Get ready for an exciting episode of People of Pickleball with Mike Sliva. We're about to dive deep into conversations with influential figures from the world of Pickleball, so let's get it going.
[00:00:26] Speaker B: Okay, folks, today we have a very interesting interview with Carol Ann DeMarco and Seth Chitwood of the upcoming, hopefully on a streaming platform near you series called Pickleball is Life. Deal with it. It is a series that is a comedy series about the trials and tribulations of all things pickleball, and it is mainly made by women. So before we get to that, if you like our content, consider subscribing to the channel. Check out all the links in the descriptions. For shoes and paddles discounts, check out our newsletter subscription as well, and obviously our merch page. All right, let's get to that interview with Carol Ann and Seth.
Okay, we have Carol Ann Marco, Seth Chitwood from Pickleball is Life. Deal with It, a mockumentary that we hope to see in the very near future. Welcome to the Senior Pickleball Report. Both of you.
[00:01:27] Speaker A: Thank you, Mike. It's nice to be here. Thanks for having us.
[00:01:30] Speaker B: Absolutely.
So I always start off and Caroline, since you are the creator, this is basically your baby. You're in it. You're the executive producer. Let's talk about really how this goofy wiffle ball game that has taken over the planet has also taken over your life so much as that you're creating, obviously, something for us to view. So talk about how it first came to you.
[00:01:58] Speaker A: Sure.
Well, most stories begin with during COVID and in this case, I was in New York City paying a fortune for my apartment and worked. The world was at a standstill, so I had a seasonal home in Cape May, New Jersey. I've been part of the Cape May community, either myself or my family, for over 30 years. And I decided when my lease was up in New York during COVID In the fall, I came to Cape May, and my younger brother, who is much more athletic and younger and a huge tennis player, started talking to me about pickleball and true form. I said to him, isn't that a sport that old people play? And he chastised me and corrected me and know affronted. And he said, no.
So that's how the word came into my realm. And just sitting here in Cape May, which is beautiful, but quiet, during it was during COVID I had heard that there was a woman who had a pickleball court in her backyard, which blew my mind. And I took my first lesson, and it was with three other ladies who had recently retired because teachers and social workers sure. And we were addicted. The four of us had our group lessons. I was just like, wow, I can hit this ball. I can't keep score, but I know what I'm doing.
[00:03:30] Speaker B: Yeah, there's a lot of numbers involved. It's a math.
[00:03:33] Speaker A: Oh my gosh. It amazes me now, having played a couple of years, looking back as to how befuddled I was over the scoring. Am I 01:00 a.m.? I two, where does three come?
[00:03:45] Speaker B: Yeah, right on.
[00:03:48] Speaker A: I was hooked. We played every day. And as the saying goes, I saw one of your podcast interviews, Mike, where the woman invented a shirt that said one more game and it was for us. We get at eight, we meet at eight, we play till noon. And the four of us just stayed in our own court. There were empty courts, brand new. And one more, just one more miggy, just one more, Gina.
And I would go to the courts and I'd just practice my serve by myself. And my twelve balls I'd serve and then I'd get them all and I'd serve to the other side of the court. And I just was beginning of my journey in loving the game. But then the people, the community, this pickleball community, were and are amazing. And to me it didn't matter. Your age, your level of athleticism, your economic background, none of that mattered. You had a paddle, you walked onto the court and you were welcomed. And I thought, gosh, if the world was one big pickleball court, things accomplish. And so that was the start of my journey with pickleball.
[00:04:59] Speaker B: Yeah, I mean, you've hit it right on the head. I think when I talk to people who don't play and they see it from the outside and I'm not going to argue with them, it does look a little goofy. I mean, a bunch of people whacking around a whiffle ball and we're like cheering each other on and yelling and it's a tiny little court, but it is more about the people.
Although there is something you mentioned really early when you started the first time you hit that ball and that feeling and it stays in and you're like I think everybody sort of instantly goes, I could be really good at this.
And it's one of those things. And you are I think that's the thing you've mentioned it, it's inclusive, it's very diverse. We generally just talk about pickleball, which is what a relief sometimes. And at the end of the day, we just kind of hang out and laugh at some of the goofy things that happen and we walk away, hopefully not injured from playing that one more game.
[00:05:57] Speaker A: Yeah, I've been there too. And you say something funny, Mike, in all areas of my life, in all different careers, and mostly being an actor, though, we find at some point in our life there is something you're worrying about, whether it's your kids, your grandkids, your job, your retirement, your money, whatever it is. And I found that I love watching TV, I love baking, I love reading books, but football and walking onto that court, it was really the 2 hours or 3 hours or however long I was playing, my mind completely was focused on getting that dink that serve, getting that ball in, laughing at something that had happened. It really took over my mental health and was abused. And that was another thing that I really became aware of that was just such a wonderful gift in life.
[00:06:55] Speaker B: Yeah. And maybe that is the thing that maybe goes unsaid a little bit because we talk about the communal aspect and how it's an easy game to kind of pick up. But at the end of the day, in the world we live in, with all the distractions and things coming and trying to quiet our mind to a singular thing, I do think there's a lot of validity in that for me as well. Because you step on that court and the rest of the world sort of goes away and you're out there with your friends and you're just trying to get that damn little thing over the net again.
[00:07:30] Speaker A: That's great.
[00:07:32] Speaker B: So it's one thing, obviously, the millions, and now tens of millions of people who have come and played this game to fall in love with it, quote, unquote, get addicted to it. It's another thing, though, to create some art from it and create a project that it's no small task what you're taking on anybody that's ever worked in theater or film or video production.
This is not some sort of easy thing. So what drove you? Obviously, you're an actress. I get that. But taking on something and becoming sort of putting all the hats on in a lot of sense, no offense to Seth here, but what drove that? Like, I'm going to create some piece of art that I'm going to put out into the world.
[00:08:21] Speaker A: Yeah, it's interesting. I look back and I think it was the perfect storm because I had been a longtime actress in TV and film and theater, but I had like a 15 year hiatus where I decided to step away from acting and be a stay at home mom. My husband at the time was working. I was privileged enough to be able to do that. And when my youngest left for college, I was divorced then at the time. And I never will forget being in Fredericksburg, Virginia, and looking around this big house and thinking, oh, gosh, now what?
[00:09:04] Speaker B: Right?
[00:09:05] Speaker A: And I thought, could I? Yeah. And just took some boxes, packed up, left my house and moved to New York City and resumed my acting career that I had walked away from because I had lived up in New York in my youth and young.
I had a lot of success in TV and film, and I was coming as a different person, being of a certain age at that point. And I just really fell in love with it again. And then COVID hit and so the big square back to square one. And I was in Cape May, New Jersey, and I had always wanted know, we say these days, if someone's not going to put you in their big movie or their big TV series, you got to write it. And I thought, hmm, could I combined my love for Pickable, my passion for acting and create this TV series?
[00:10:05] Speaker B: Yeah.
[00:10:06] Speaker A: I had been working with a colleague, Leanne West, who comes in as a co executive producer, an actress. And we were working on something know, just kind of playing around with some ideas. And I was playing and learning Pickleball here. And I started writing a few scenes. The one that inspired me was I was talking to my younger brother Nick, because we would strategize he was in Virginia, and we would strategize over the phone, the pacing and what happened on the court today. So I said, Nicholas, I beat two men today. My partner and I, we pickled them and he's like, wow. And he said, how old were they? I said, 83 and 86. And that doesn't matter when they came back and they creamed me the next game.
[00:10:52] Speaker B: Exactly.
That happens in this sport.
[00:10:56] Speaker A: It does. And I thought, how funny this is. And that's where that mockumentary bent an angle.
Like you said, I hit the ball once and I'm like, wow, I can go pro.
[00:11:08] Speaker B: Yeah, right, exactly.
[00:11:10] Speaker A: And how I'm appearing to the outside world. And so after writing a few scenes, I said, Leanne, we have to pivot. I have to see this to fruition. And so in year it's about two years, and different teams, production teams, we weren't really getting a fit creatively. And then I met Seth Chitwood, who was producing another short film I happened to be in up in Long Island. And I said, Hi, Seth. Nice to meet you. Caroline DeMarco. I'm in need of a producer. I have this great Pickleball scene idea, and his head's flaming all over the place with fires he's trying to put out. And he's like, all right, call me next week.
And that became our journey together. And with Seth on board, he was able to hire a production crew to come to Cape May. We housed them, I cooked, we fed them, we entertained them, and we had a wonderful four day shoot. Now we have these two amazing episodes about Pickball's life dill with it, with just a whole different mishmash of characters and some great Clint Too that had read the script and fell in love with the project being completely independent and independently funded and came aboard.
[00:12:31] Speaker C: Are you looking to stay up to date on the latest Pickleball news and tips? Look no further than the sleeve Senior Pickleball Report newsletter. Get the scoop on the sport, learn how to stay healthy while playing, and find out about upcoming tournaments. Subscribe now to get all the Pickleball info you need.
[00:12:50] Speaker B: Hey, if you're looking for very, very comfortable court shoes in fact, the most comfortable court shoes I've ever worn and I've worn a lot of them over the years playing different sports. Try Fitville. We have a link in the description that gets you $20 off your purchase.
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Right on. Seth, you there?
[00:13:30] Speaker D: Yes, I'm here.
[00:13:32] Speaker B: So I just have a quick question. Obviously, when somebody comes to you with that sort of enthusiasm and I don't know how aware know I don't know where Pickleball was in your life, in your world, had you heard of it? Was it on your radar? Fill me in a little bit when this happened.
[00:13:51] Speaker D: Yeah, so she was right. I was in Long Island at a closed down diner trying to shoot a nighttime scene in the middle of the day with Peter Garrity and our lead, Michelle Maza. And I'm, like, running around doing a million things, packing out my car because we had to move to another location. And she comes walking over after laying this waitress and being like, I'm doing this pickle off thing and you should help me with it. And I literally was like, flames on the side of my face, like in Clue and being like, oh, my God, just get away from me.
[00:14:18] Speaker B: But great.
[00:14:18] Speaker D: It's a great idea. Awesome.
[00:14:19] Speaker B: Yeah.
[00:14:20] Speaker D: I'm just so glad that she wasn't insulted by that because anyone else would be like, what a jerk and walk away. So I'm glad that she knew. Set etiquette was that judge someone in the middle of a production. But yeah, my mom, who is in a gated community, she plays Pickleball. And so I had known about it. And I'm in Barrington, Rhode Island, where pickleball is kind of growing here. I work for a USA Today affiliate out of New Bedford, Massachusetts, in the South Coast, and Pickleball has really grown there, so I've been kind of reporting on it. Over there, they've had two indoor courts open up. They've had outdoor courts. So there's a huge pickleball league down there. As I knew about it, but I had never played. I really thought that I would be pulled into any kind of Pickleball project beyond just driving by and being like, oh, that's kind of cool, what they're doing over there. Sure. Also, as I learned more on the project, realizing, I thought, oh, that's for old people. I'm too young for that. I'm only 32.
[00:15:24] Speaker B: My whole life in front of me.
[00:15:27] Speaker D: Right.
That is like chess. Like, I'm not ready to do that in the park yet.
As I've learned this project more, I've discovered that obviously there's, like, 17 year olds crushing it and making, like, million campaigns. But, yeah, I fell in love with it immediately. And what I really fell in love with it beyond just Pickleball, which, of course, is at the core is what it's about, but is really the heart of the community of Cape May and what it means to connect on a Pickleball court. That everybody just has a positive takeaway from their experience. When they're on the court, there's just such community connection.
Their social lives change just how they just are when they play that game.
At the heart of this story is really what that's about, is that these women are looking for that second or even third act in their lives, and they gone on the Pickleball court as this vehicle vessel to help them rejuvenate their lives. And that's what really appealed me to the project. I really love coming of age stories, especially women empowerment stories. It's a lot of projects.
And so when I saw what Carolyn was doing, I pickleball or no pickleball, the idea behind the tone, the theme, was definitely something that appealed to me. And then throughout the last few months, I've been immersed in Pickleball. And that's all.
[00:16:56] Speaker B: Yes.
Welcome to the cult.
[00:16:59] Speaker A: We converted another one, Mike.
[00:17:02] Speaker D: I have nothing bad against it, just that it's on waking second now, but I'm happy to be right on.
[00:17:11] Speaker B: Yeah, I mean, I would argue, and I don't think this seems pretty obvious, that what you're doing is sort of on really the beginning of the wave, because Pickleball has obviously picked up some steam. It's been around since 1965, but COVID hits, it explodes. But it takes a while for the media to create narratives and documentaries and stories. And you're one of the early ones that is going to be out there for what? I would argue for a lot of content that's about to come in the next few years. I can't see why it wouldn't. There's so many stories, so many things that haven't even been touched because there's really not a lot out there. A reality show or two with that, but nobody's doing a drama. There hasn't been a major documentary out there. So talk about you're kind of at the forefront here. And it's one of those things that maybe not a lot of people in the industry are aware of quite yet, the movement of this sport and how it actually can create content for, obviously, the film industry and television and beyond. So talk a little bit about sort of being right up front and being one of the pioneers starting to do this.
[00:18:20] Speaker A: Yeah, you touched on the stories.
I think when we look at platforms, pickleball courts are coming everywhere. And there's restaurant pickleballs. I just saw there's boozy pickleball, there's tournaments, there's different beach towns, there's different states, there's Florida malls. Yeah, the malls, right.
The indoor stadiums that are being built. It's just such, I think, a phenomena, and it's not going away. And I think it has longevity and the stories.
So you have this platform where all people of all different personalities and as we talked about, different backgrounds are coming and united with this sport.
What always struck me is the breast cancer survivors. So we wear pink on Wednesdays in support of that. Or there was a woman who lost her son. Tragically, she's an older woman, he was an older son, and her therapist said to her, is there anything in counseling her that you love or love to do or love to sit and watch? And she said, I love pickleball. He said, well, then go out and pick a paddle up and go and play. And I came here knowing really literally a handful of seasonal people. My neighbor here raising my girls at the time, and I'll tell you, Mike, now it's 100 plus people that are friends, that are acquaintances. We socialize on the cart, off the cart, and this group of 2030 badass women and men came aboard as production assistants with no pay because we had a budget. And I think sharing these stories and these people and who we are on a platform like movies and TV is just going to inspire. That's what I want to do. I want to inspire young, old, to get off the couch, pick up a paddle, to play, to socialize, to get that second act, whatever your dreams are, or something that was tucked away in a box.
And I think the media has this opportunity for us to explore and to kind of share that with the world.
[00:21:04] Speaker B: Right.
[00:21:07] Speaker A: I love that idea. And I think there's all different ways, as I said, for your relationship with pickleball, whether it's competition, whether it's becoming a pro, whether it's recreation, whether it's socialization and just something to do on Saturday and Sunday mornings or after work.
I don't know if that answers your question, but it does.
[00:21:32] Speaker B: Yeah, for sure.
[00:21:34] Speaker A: Yeah. That's what excites me about this idea the most.
[00:21:42] Speaker B: Yeah. I mean, you're a storyteller. That's what you do. That's what you do. And you've been doing it for a very long time, and now it's cool. You're putting your own voice into something that you're creating from scratch, and you've collected a bunch of people that are in on it, on a sport that's red hot. And I always tell people whether or not things like pro pickleball stick around or not, there's tens of millions of people that don't even know there's pro pickleball playing this game. So it's a game that keeps growing, and it lasts because you can just see as soon as you introduce it to probably nine out of ten people in my life, they're like, they're still playing and they're still enjoying it, and then they're doing other things like you're doing. You're creating art. Some people are creating a business from it. Some people are trying to make it to a pro level, like you mentioned. So I do think it is inspirational, and you're just on one of those inspirational tracks that I think, being a film and TV fan myself, that I'm super excited to see it. So where are we in the process and where do you hope it goes from here?
[00:22:50] Speaker A: Well, we have two episodes done.
A couple of ideas we have are putting into film festivals to kind of get some excitement and some awareness around this in the TV and film industries we would love. Our ultimate goal is to share this with as many people as we can, and that would be on a streaming platform.
And that streaming platform will be determined. It might be someplace big like Netflix or Hulu, or it could be someplace small or even the tennis platform. I think it can translate into so many different, you know, like Fox has its own genre, but I think with this mockumentary, when you see it, there's message, there's heart, there's Pickleball, there's Cape May. So it has so many beautiful elements and fun elements that I think it can go many different places. The other thing we're considering is looking for an investor, somebody that loves pickleball or somebody that loves the industry, and we're ready to go and complete the next make this an eight or ten episode. Season one, because we think it has a lot of legs and we have ideas for season two, three and four and beyond with our characters and additional characters. So that's where we are. That's what we're thinking. And it's a feel good project for me.
And I still get to play.
[00:24:28] Speaker B: Yeah, which is great, right? Minus you get to write, you get to play, you get to act, you get to do it. All right, so how can people support the is there a way people can support the project?
[00:24:39] Speaker A: Yeah, Mike, that would be great. I think creating an awareness when we do shop it around is our best bet. And so we have a link WW Pippaballislifeseries.com.
[00:24:55] Speaker B: It'll be in the description of this video.
[00:24:57] Speaker A: Yes. Great. And going to that brings them to our Facebook page where they can see teasers that we've taken from the pilot and get a little glimpse of what the pilot is about. If they can like the page, follow the page, that would be.
[00:25:16] Speaker B: Super mean. I can't wait till it gets out. I can't imagine it's not going to get out there because people are I do a lot of Facebook and Twitter stuff via Pickleball, and people are asking all the time for actual pickleball content. That is beyond watching the matches at the pro level. And people are asking, is there anything coming out as far as a documentary, is there any movies coming out? Are there any television reality shows? And like I mentioned earlier, they're all starting to just kind of seep in. And I think yours is one of those that's unique. I have not heard anything like it. So it sounds like it's a can't miss to me. So I hope folks support it, spread the word, get it out there. And once it hits share it and love it, obviously.
[00:26:04] Speaker A: Yes. Well, thank you, Mike. And maybe when it gets out there, I can come back and we can talk about it.
[00:26:12] Speaker B: Absolutely.
[00:26:12] Speaker A: I'd love to have your response.
[00:26:15] Speaker B: I'd love to have you back on. And maybe I could be an extra and you can just body bag me with a ball.
I'm pretty easy to hit.
[00:26:25] Speaker A: Well, yeah, we have that more right on.
[00:26:28] Speaker B: Well, Caroline DeMarco, Seth Chitwood, both creating Art, Pickleball Is Life Deal With It, coming soon somewhere, and we will keep you posted as we find out things and we will share them on our channel as well and hopefully catch up sometime down the road, hopefully in the next calendar year and see where it's at. So thank you for your time and really looking forward to it.
[00:26:52] Speaker A: Thanks, Mike. Keep playing.
[00:26:54] Speaker B: Hope you enjoyed our interview with Carol Ann and Seth from Pickleball Is Life. Deal with it. You can support them below with the links in the description. And at the end of the day, you know what to do.
[00:27:04] Speaker D: Hey, eight, let's pickle.