PUNK’D was one of my favorite episodes to edit, purely because of how great Miya (Anika) and Jordan (Cole) were in the booth together. They brought that teenage awkwardness that is so, so prevalent that both makes you want to tear your skin off from second hand embarrassment and root for them to get past that awkwardness and fall in love. There’s nothing I love more than the Young Adult genre, and this is one of those reasons. While Anika’s definitely dealing with the biggest thing that could happen to her (dude, you’ve got super powers) everything that happens when you’re a teenager is just as deep as the next thing. In her free time, she’s blowing things up with her mind and keeping it a secret, but a crush is still enough to make her freak out and focus on that and nothing else. I wanted to give Anika a moment to be a teenager and let something like a boy liking her be the biggest moment in her life, even when everything else going on might literally be life and death. The best and worst thing about being a teenager? Everything feels like it’s life and death, whether it is or not. I wanted to play with the dynamic change that comes when you add a romance in between a connected, deep best friend relationship — and how maybe, your best friend knows what’s best for you, even when you don’t. Lauren played that so well, and brought such a derision to Bailey’s lines about Cole that I couldn’t hold back laughter in the studio. The thing about bringing actors in on your work? They find small moments that you wouldn’t even think about on the page. 

One of the best parts about this episode was getting Miya and Jordan back together again. Both of them worked with me on my play last year, and they’re versatile and caring, but also two of our biggest jokers in the cast. Their chemistry together is so much about them being on the same page and having fun with each other — being around them during rehearsal or recording is just a joy, because they can’t help but have fun with each other.