photo cred.- Kristyna Archer (click photo for link)

What is your name?


What is your dream role? Why?

Dream role? Any role where I get fully invested in the story and character. I'd love to be in an epic fantasy, sci-fi, or smart horror film. But since I'm a comedian it would probably be playing a best friend or douchey co-worker.

What is the MOST special of all of your special skills?

I've always had an ear for voices, characters, and accents. It's a skill I built up doing prank phone calls as a teenager. Then I started answering telemarketing calls as old woman or creepy kids. Some people collect stamps or bad relationships... I collect voices and characters.

What was your first big performance opportunity? Tell us about it.

I moved to LA and within a couple months had a guest star on Parks and Recreation. It was a scene with the entire cast, out to dinner at a restaurant. I got to improvise with Aubrey Plaza, Chris Pratt, Aziz Ansari, Amy Poehler, and the rest of the cast. When I made them laugh and we had to cut because the cameraman cracked up, I was in heaven. I've been chasing that high ever since.

What role are you completely inappropriate for that you perform superbly in your shower and car?

The annoying club-hopping woman in LA.

Favorite dance shoe?

Converse All Stars (high tops).

Do you have any sort of ritual before an audition?

I meditate the morning of the audition and keep checking in all day up until I walk in the session.

Where did you train in theatre? How has that affected you?

A bit at Northeastern University then with Deena Levy, Bob Luke in NYC and at UCB and The Second City. I'm really happy with my experience, I was conscious not to drink the Kool Aid at any one place so I would be able to have my own individual process.

Favorite musical?

The Book of Mormon. I've auditioned twice and had a good friend who played Elder Cunningham on Broadway for the last six years. The challenge of delivering jokes with physical comedy while singing is so wildly difficult. It's my favorite because I respect the workhorse actors performing and making it look so effortless.

Favorite straight play?

Samuel D. Hunter’s The Whale. I keep coming back to it year and after year. I saw Shuler Hensley's stunning performance and it's haunted me ever since. As for why, well, I've struggled with weight loss/gain/loss (shout out to Oprah) my entire life. I call it "The Battle of The Bulge". The personal struggle of the main character is so eloquently articulated. So many times in plays, it's some exterior force or event that's pushing against the story. In The Whale, it's such a deeply interior force that causes all the conflict and struggle, plus anyone can look and see the morbid obesity of (Charlie) The Whale and see the prison he's built. Funny, painful, and so damn good.

Favorite book?

I Thought My Father Was God by Paul Auster. Great collection of short (true) stories.

Do you have any performers that you admire or look up to? Why?

I admire everyone who was in Parks and Recreation; so much comedy talent was under one roof. I look up to Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart. I saw them do Godot and No Man's Land in rep. They were so giddy and you could tell they just love performing so much. They're such amazing examples for how to perform,  how to push yourself, and how to do brilliant work at any age.

Who is your favorite non-theatre music artist?

Ben Folds. With or without The Five, the guy is a genius.

What keeps you sane offstage?

Meditation, hiking, and writing... and any dog that crosses my path.

Worst thing about auditioning?

Waiting... awkward banter... traffic.

Theatre is: 

Humanity's saving grace.

Where can people find out more about you online?


Instagram: @helloevanobrien




photo cred.- O. B.
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