• April 15, 2021

Chelsey Crisp Interview

Chelsey Crisp

Chelsey Crisp is an american actor who work I came across and liked. So read on find out what she doing and has been up to. 


1) What has been your favorite role to date?
to kick it off with the hard-hitting questions, Chris! Wow, this is
hard to choose. I’m going to go way back in the history books for this
one and say Sandy in “Grease” at my high school. I think I learned
everything I needed to know about a life in this business during that
show (though I didn’t know it at the time.) First, hard work reaps great
rewards. Second, acting makes a weird kid seem cool. Third, don’t date
anyone in the show with you. Fourth, poodle skirts aren’t for everyone.
Fifth, sticky tape on a halter top IS for everyone. Sixth, get ahold of
the practice track and use it so your solo doesn’t play in a key you
never knew existed. Seventh, always practice a stage slap before a
show. Eighth, my family will sit through anything and pretend to love
it. And finally, you lose a few people when you get a
lead role, but never any real friends. All in all, I walked away from
that show with a goal in life and I’m lucky enough to be working on it
2) What do you do to prepare for a role?
really depends on the project, but I usually start with research. I
like to know as much as I can about the project itself (who poured their
heart into this & why?) and then I dissect what’s on the page.  I
study everything from the large scale setting to the intricate
psychology of the character.  If that sounds like a but much, it
probably is; but I like to have a solid knowledge base to make character
choices from. Without that, I’m limited to assumptions and I don’t find
that I do my best work that way. 

3) Any techniques to remember lines?
wish I had a magical clue to help actors with this, but unfortunately I
don’t! When I research, I pull every lead from the lines, so I tend to
learn them quickly because of that. For me, it’s really about spending
the time picking and pulling the words apart; asking “why does this
person speak this way?” I geek out over dialects & vernacular, so
that feeds into it too. I think it’s so important for actors to remember
that writers labor over their words; they chose each one so
carefully.  I feel that the first step of an actor’s work is to respect
that and make sure those words are learned & performed verbatim.

4) How did you get involved with the film Reconciliation?
didn’t know anyone on this production before-hand, so I auditioned. 
When I first read the script, I suspected the writer was from Phoenix,
which is where I grew up.  It wasn’t necessarily set there, but I could
tell from some of the geographical descriptions that it was home &
that made me feel very connected to it.  As I kept reading and learning
more about the subject matter, I became even more emotionally involved. 
By the time I went to the last audition and met the director (Chad
Ahrendt), I knew I was in trouble! I usually don’t like to get that
attached to a project because you just never know what will & won’t
work out.  I met Eric Nenninger a few minutes before we went in to
audition together and after a quick chat we realized we’d gone through
the same acting program and had a lot of
teachers in common. That gave us a nice short-hand before going into
the room and the audition went smashingly.  The casting director was
sweet & supportive, Chad was really clear in his direction and Eric
was just dynamite. I was pretty happy when the call came that that would
be the team!
5) Did you enjoy working on the film?
loved it. As the movie itself is, the filming process was intense. We
shot it in two weeks and you have to have a magnificently dedicated crew
helmed by a really focused director to pull that off. Fortunately, we
did. Everyone on this film put everything they had into it and it’s won
so many awards now that it shows! I’m really proud of everyone on this
project; it was hard won. 

6) How has the internet helped with your career?
casting happens online now, so that’s pretty key, but the options for
marketing, networking and content creation are endless.  From what I
understand, my agent uses my website to promote me more than he does any
of the online casting sites, so that’s a big part of my marketing. For
me personally, the internet is the easiest way to stay in touch with
people I’ve worked with. I always prefer in-person interactions, but
being able to stay up to date on Twitter and FB is amazing.  I had a
pretty big reality check this week when my email account was hacked and I
was virtually unable to run my business for a few days. It’s
unbelievable how much of our work is online now!
7) Do you think it’s a useful tool?
I think the biggest change the internet has brought along is how easy
it is to produce and launch content.  With the availability of cameras
and online platforms, there’s no excuse anymore for not releasing
self-produced material. That’s changed the access level that
up-and-comers from all walks of production have to the industry.  Like
everything, there’s an up and down side to that reality, but in general,
if you have something to say, you can now find people who want to hear

8) What don’t you like about Hollywood?
traffic. Cliche, I know, but it’s only getting worse. Everything else
I’m used to now. You can hate this city or you can love it, but it’s
your choice. It’s not a tangible thing; it’s what you make of it. Of
course I’ve had my moments of being “too this” for a part or “not enough
that” for a different one, and those experiences are layered with
crazy-making confusion. However, I chose this business & I’m in it
for the long haul. It’s my responsibility to cope with and make the most
of the parts of the industry that are less than cuddly. 

9) How is theater different to you compared to screen work?
immediacy of theatre is a high unto itself.  On stage, you have an
extra character – the audience. You feel their energy, their laughs,
their tears and you work with that to create a full experience that’s
different every night. You have to create the whole world to live and
breathe within two hours.  On set, it’s the opposite; you are a part of a
world that will never be on camera. There are technical considerations
to every second of your performance, down to which one of your scene
mate’s eyes you look into. Coming from a theater background, that takes
some getting used to. At first, it felt insanely limiting &
constrictive to be married to every single choice you make from the
first take. Once I adjusted to it and truly understood it, it was one of
the most liberating “a-ha!” moments I’ve ever had as an
actor. On-camera acting has the freedom and beauty of thought; you can
simply think something and it’ll read.  Plus, the process goes on
without you and you get re-visit it later after the magic of post
production. You get to be a part of the process and the audience.

10) Who have you enjoyed working with the most?
I feel like you’re asking me to pick my favorite child! (I don’t have
kids, but you get the idea…) I actually just worked on a project that I
can’t really talk about yet and the cast & crew from it are my
favorite people on the planet right now. When it’s announced in a few
months, let’s do a follow-up interview & I’ll answer this better 🙂
11) What is on your stereo at the moment?
Marc Broussard, but if we’re going to be honest here, I listen to a LOT
of talk radio (I’m a nerd); my main staples are POTUS politics and NPR.
I also love podcasts and a few of my favorites are WTF with Marc Maron (http://www.wtfpod.com/), Making It with Riki Lindhome(http://makingitriki.libsyn.com/) and and Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me (http://www.npr.org/programs/wait-wait-dont-tell-me/) These podcasts make all those hours
spent in traffic fly by! The first two offer great insight into Hollywood, so hopefully you guys will enjoy them.

12) What movies you have seen lately you have really enjoyed?
going to fully derail this question and go with a TV show; I am
addicted to Breaking Bad on AMC! It’s the most brilliantly
written/acted/directed/edited show I’ve ever seen and it’s stealing my
life away. I started it very late in the game (about 3 weeks ago) and
I’m working my way thought it in utter awe.  If you are reading this
right now and you want to skip the rest of my interview to go watch it
IMMEDIATELY, I won’t blame you.
13) What are your favorite movies?
Rouge, Little Miss Sunshine, Garden State, Sideways, The Descendants,
the list could go on forever. I absolutely love films that handle real
world circumstances with levity, heart and their own unique tone. This
question may be easier to answer by saying favorite directors: Alexander
Payne, Baz Lurhmann, the Coen Brothers, Joss Whedon, etc. Also, I’m a
comedy nerd; sometimes I just want to laugh out loud and I keep an eye
on anything from powerhouses Adam McKay, Will Ferrell, Judd Apatow &
Ben Stiller for that. 

14) What is next for you?
My main focus right now is with my all-female improv troupe Duchess Riot (www.duchessriot.com)
These ladies just rock my world. We recently did a show at the Comedy
Central Stage in Hollywood & we’re prepping for another one. We’re
also developing some online content, so I can make good on all of my
soap-boxing from question #7 🙂 

15). Who would you most like to work with?
Whedon, hands down.  Even with the huge success of his many TV series, I
always felt like he was underestimated and I’m SO happy that this
summer cemented him as a force to be reckoned with! Thanks to The
Avengers, people really got to experience his storytelling (visually
& verbally) and his wicked sense of humor.  I think he is so gifted
and I’d love to work with him, especially because he writes such strong,
layered females roles. Who wouldn’t want to dive into one of those?!


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