Because I loooove it. I love replicating humans and their stories, and I love when you can jump into someone else’s skin and story. And I love getting comedic timing right. It’s like finishing a puzzle, everything fits and it’s awesome.
How did you make you first break into the industry?
First break was getting to do Quick Draw for Hulu, but it started my senior year at UCSB’s BFA acting program. John Lehr and Nancy Hower (creators of 10 Items or Less) did a little improvisation seminar for my class, and they reached out to my teacher for my information after it (and at the same time, I e-mailed them asking if they ever had room for a PA or someone to get them coffee, I would love to do that for them). They brought me in for a couple of reels for pilots they were pitching, and one of them was for Quick Draw (I actually play Lavinia in that reel). I got the call that the show had been picked up, and they were wondering if I’d be interested in playing Pearl Starr and of course I said yes, yes, YES.
What do you bring to the film set?
Literally/physically, usually a book, a good game on my phone, and an extra charger, and pyjama pants (with those sport-injury heat pads to put on my body if it’s cold). But I try to bring a quiet focus, and a readiness to get some work done.
Your most insane day at work?
Aw man. I did this project the first year I was in LA. I got paid $500 for a week’s work and I was STOKED. It was this kind of an artsy-indie project and it was super low budget, but the story was really interesting to me.
One night, we were doing a night shoot somewhere in the mountains past Santa Clarita, I think. We park on the side of the road where this field is…and it’s fenced off, with a “No Trespassing” sign. I remember asking, “so we can shoot here right? We got permits?” and I got a wavering “yeeeaaaaah”. Also, in this location? Zero phone service. Empty gun shells on the ground. And we only saw one car passing us. So total horror story beginning.
We start shooting some stuff, and about an hour or so in, we see these lights coming down the hill…and we realize pretty quick they’re police cars. Total panic. Everyone jumps out of the “trespassing” area, someone turns off the lights, and we cram into our cars. 5 or 6 police cars block the road and a dozen police officers with automatic riffles come out, pointed at us.
“Come out of the vehicles with your hands up” they said through the loudspeaker. I came out with the rest of the cast and crew and we were put on our knees with our hands behind our heads and I probably peed myself a little. One of the officers says, “Someone said you guys were shooting down here. You guys been shooting guns?” Everyone chimed in with a “no, no oh my god, no just shooting a movie”. The officers had a moment where they kind of looked at each other and realized the mistake that had been made. They let us get up. One officer had to tell me to put my hands down, because I really wanted to make sure they knew I was totally not gonna shoot someone.
The police go on their way, and are at the top of the hill again disappearing into the night, we start to relax…and then this pick up comes by. Slooooowly. These two guys peer out the window…and then they fire a gun in the air, twice, and speed off. I pee my pants again and we all get behind cars, and as soon as they’re gone, we shove the equipment into the trunks and speed off. We shot the rest of what we need in front of a green screen.
SO GET YOUR PERMITS Y’ALL.
Most interesting person you’ve ever met?
Oh man. There are a lot of “interesting” people in LA. You meet a lot of people that make you go, “WHAAAAT.” but in terms of like someone who is fascinating to me, my grandmother was definitely that: she went through a lot of obstacles and hardship in her life, including the Nazi resistance in France. I wrote and produced a play about her, but it didn’t do her justice. She was the epitome of quiet strength.
Have you any hidden talents?
Hidden talents…well, I have double-jointed shoulders. It’s pretty gross and people usually don’t ask me to show them more than once.
Ultimate dream role?
A superhero or bad-ass lady with some sort of power or psychic/wizardtastic abilities. I think that would be so cool to sink your teeth into. I’ve always wanted to play Poison Ivy, I think she has a great story arc. Or X-23 or Rogue from X-men. Maybe I can use my double jointed shoulder and do some crazy behind-the-back shot, I know that could really add to a movie.
Person you’d like to meet?
Kristen Wiig. Or Tina Fey. And beg them to let me be their coffee girl.
Currently working on a lot of sketch stuff at the Upright Citizens Brigade theatre in Los Angeles, and writing a pilot I’m tinkering out now that I may just make into a web series because I’m antsy and can’t wait for someone else to decide to do my work.
Any pearls of wisdom for upcoming talent?
DO EVERYTHING. Any chance you get to act, do it. Unless you feel like it’s demeaning in anyway, then drop that shit. But 90% of the projects I’ve done are people I know, I’ve worked with before, or I’ve met on a project.