Lowlives is a new online series created by Mitzi Akaha and John Hein.

John and Mitzi by Chad Moore

Mitzi and John co-wrote, co-directed and co-starred in Lowlives, a melancholy comedy about a couple in New York leading unfulfilling lives made fuller diagnosing everyone else’s emptiness. Each episode takes on a topic that is very much relatable to all of us. From being better friends than partners, job(s) unfulfillment, day to day mood swings to codependency, etc.

We sat down with the pair and discussed who they are on screen, what is each episode about and what future holds for the couple.


Tell me about John and Mitzi.

John and Mitzi are two late-twenty-somethings living in New York who don’t know what they want to be when they grow up. They’ve been together for three years and have relaxed into a very comfortable relationship. John makes money by modeling but doesn’t exactly find it fulfilling while Mitzi finds it hard to be taken seriously in the fine art world as an illustrator and, consequently, does odd jobs to pay her half of rent.

They like watching Manhattan but argue over whether Woody Allen is a good guy or not.

John thinks having heroes is childish and Mitzi enjoys the playful nature of Yayoi Kusama’s dots.

How come you did not change your names?


Does being an actor serve as a sort of escapism from reality?

Yes, but also a way to magnify the absurdity of reality. The show is loosely based on our lives or those of people we know, so getting to be actors in our own world allowed us to think about what events and conversations stood out, both significant and mundane. And then make fun of them.

As Mitzi and John, are you more interested in telling stories or telling the truth?

We don’t care to recreate our lives as they’ve happened. We want to tell stories, but that comes with telling the truth. For Lowlives, we want people to find how they relate and be able to laugh at themselves.

Do you think that the filmmaker or actor has to live his films or roles, to really be successful?

For us, it helps to have been in comparable situations, especially for writing this show. But there are a million different ways to get there, and as long as you get there, it doesn’t matter how.

Do John and Mitzi ever get married, to each other?

Neither the writers nor the characters are ready to answer this question.

They like to talk about other people and their relationships, how do they feel when people talk about them and their relationship?

They’re happy when people talk about their relationship, until the person says something they shouldn’t have.

When you are together for a long time, and you go to the toilet (to pee) do you leave your door open?

A crack.

Looking at them talking about dips, I somehow get a feeling they are better off as friends than as partners. What is the deal?

John: I find that all of my relationships become a glorified friendship, which is why none of them have lasted as long as this fictitious one in the show.

Mitzi: Any partner who can sustain a conversation about something as mundane as dip is worth keeping around.

John, who says alrighty?

I do, regularly.

Mitzi and John both struggle with their careers in this episode. Do you think they could still be together if one was super successful and the other one way behind? I feel like them both struggling at the same time makes them feel better about each other.

At the core level, John and Mitzi are set in their ways enough that no success would change them. They find it easy to be jealous of everyone else but never think to be jealous of other. They’re on the same team.

Why is there always food, especially with you John?

I love food. Food is funny. We wrote all of the show while eating.

Career struggle continues in this ep. but at this point, it does not bring them closer, it makes the gap even bigger. There is a lot of distance between them, what is the future for them? Is this the begging of the end?

This episode was less about their careers and more about the effect people can have on each other. When Mitzi comes home in a celebratory mood, John’s negative feelings about himself bring both of them down. We thought it was interesting that the opposite rarely occurs.


Interview: Katja Horvat

Photo: Chad Moore

12.11.2017 | Kategorie Serie | Tags , , , , ,