Casey Wilson and Danielle Schneider are rebranding their B*tch Sesh podcast: 'We're looking forward to seeing it in the Smithsonian'
Casey Wilson and Danielle Schneider's Bravo-centric podcast B*tch Sesh began in what they refer to as "the nook," a corner kitchen table in Wilson's Hollywood home they would retreat to for post-Real Housewives viewing recording sessions. Now, nearly six years later, they've recorded 240 episodes and counting, toured the country for sold-out live shows, and left the original nook behind for more luxurious podcasting digs. But, one thing has remained the same: the show's cover art. To what the hosts describe as the dismay of their fans, loved ones, and glam squads, B*tch Sesh has held onto its signature branding — caricature-style drawings of Schneider and Wilson — even through several unfortunate Earwolf-commissioned artist renderings that portrayed Schneider in a manner that she likens to "a meth'ed out scarecrow person." But now, as they emerge from the pandemic, the two podcasting stars knew it was time for a change.
Looking to make a big splash, Schneider and Wilson teamed up with a creative team of stylist, makeup artist, and videographers to the stars for a brand new B*tch Sesh campaign. They debuted the artwork at last night's live show, and now EW is revealing it to the masses — with an extra behind-the-scenes video. Styling was done by Thomas Christos Kikis, with makeup by Melissa Hernandez and hair by Clayton Hawkins. The still art was shot by Sarah Pardini, and the video was shot by DP/A Camera Operator Mikey Jechort and B Camera Operator Luke Balls, with Aaron Nestor providing graphics and Adam Daroff, a bona fide Housewives editor, cutting it all together.
Here, Wilson and Schneider discuss this long-overdue leap of creative faith and the fame and fortune they hope it brings to the podcast.
The artwork for this podcast has been an emotional roller coaster for all involved — where are both of you on that journey, currently?
Schneider: Like any trauma, you carry it with you every day. I hope I don't pass it on as generational trauma to my daughter and her daughters and the daughters to come! I have not gotten over it yet.
Wilson: Danielle has been remarkably brave in the face of having been drawn by two separate artists in the manner she was. If you're getting a boardwalk caricature done and you don't like it you can tell yourself, that's just one person's vision of me. But unfortunately in Danielle's case that happened twice. And even more unfortunate is the fact that I look great.
Schneider: The bottom line was that we couldn't let a cartoon represent us any longer. We needed to use our own faces.
What was the catalyst for deciding that now was the time?
Wilson: I was doing the EW cover shoot for my book, actually, and Clayton Hawkins was doing my hair. He works with the Olivia Rodrigos of the world and he told me he was disappointed and distraught by our social media footprint. He said we had many more fans out there than we had, quote, captured. He wanted us to elevate ourselves. We're not afraid to accept feedback and we wanted to rise to the challenge.
Schneider: I think the results speak for themselves. Now, did we make ourselves look like this? No. We had many, many professionals help.
Tell us about everything that went into this shoot.
Wilson: Melissa Hernandez, our makeup artist, was an integral part of this transformation. Of course we had Clayton [Hawkins] doing our hair. And we were very blessed by this garbage fire. A friend of my husband's is a pyro[technics] guy who created this fire in my backyard.
Schneider: Everything on this shoot is real except for our Photoshopping.
Wilson: The cherry on top was that we had an actual Real Housewives editor edit the video. You can feel his touch.
Schneider: Meeting Adam, the editor, was kismet. We were looking for a really good editor — I of course did try to save on it at first but Casey said no.
Wilson: Well, your generation is so used to saving, because of the Depression.
Schneider: The Depression was hard for us. But my husband, Matt Besser, put us in touch with Adam and he was available. I feel like God was watching us there.
How would you describe the creative vision — what was on the mood board, if you will?
Wilson: It was sort of Housewives glamour meets dumpster fire, with an elevated look. We look angry and judgmental and dead inside, which felt just right. We're in head-to-toe fashions straight from the Housewives wardrobes, I'm in very bright Versace and Danielle is in Valentino. We had an amazing stylist, Thomas Christos Kikis, who does Gabrielle Union among others. He listens to our podcast and had DM'd me, and I just boldly reached out to him and said, buddy, we need you. Sadly, he was busy that day because it was the Met Ball, but he made time and we got on a Zoom and did it from across the seas.
How do you see this new branding elevating the podcast even further?
Schneider: This is such a timeless photo, this is going to be like that photo of the soldier kissing the girl after World War II.
Wilson: We'll have to take your word for that, Danielle. I'm excited personally, because being from Washington, D.C., I look forward to seeing it in the Smithsonian as often as I want over the years. I think the original should hang there. It feels like something of beauty and importance in this world.
Schneider: I know we're both blessed to have children, but this is my legacy.
Speaking of photo shoots, EW first covered B*tch Sesh in 2016, with a photo shoot in the original nook — you posed with your then-signature Whispering Angel rosé. Can we get an update on whether you're still off the Angel?
Wilson: That shoot really put us on the map. But as far as Whispering Angel, you can break this news that unfortunately it is absolutely dead to us. We always promoted the wine with no hashtag-ad attached to it; we just loved it. There was an article in the Wall Street Journal about this huge jump in sales they had and it really seemed like it was traced back to our podcast. We reached out to Whispering Angel to maybe partner and they simply said, we've gotten all we need from you.
Schneider: I think they did offer us a bottle of wine. One tiny bottle. We've moved on to pinker pastures, if you will.
Are you willing to go on record to share your new rosé of choice? Or are you simply taking anything that isn't Whispering Angel at this point?
Wilson: I've actually moved on to orange-r pastures. I love a skin contact wine. It was so upsetting what happened with Whispering Angel that I think rosé has been ruined for me.
Schneider: I'm still drinking, on occasion, a Miraval. You know, just toasting to Angelina and Brad. They might no longer be with us as a couple, but I can toast the fruits of their labor.
You're also announcing your first live shows since the pandemic, what can you tell us about that mini tour?
Schneider: I keep laughing about this topic of the generational divide, because Clayton would be so mad right now. He has said that I have to stop referring to myself as the older generation. He's like, dude, you guys are cool, you need to flourish in the light you were meant to be in. And in this case, we're so excited to go on tour and see our audience in real life. We've been doing these online shows which were honestly a lifesaver during the pandemic, it is so special to connect with our audience in that way, but we've also missed the face-to-face.
Wilson: If we're doing a live show, we're not just getting onstage and doing the podcst. Although some people might prefer that. But we're singing and dancing. We're really kind of old-timey, like bringing a trunk into town and doing a full-blown show. But we're so excited to be at Town Hall in New York and to go to Boston, too.
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