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Interview: Lyric Lewis Attending to LARRY GROUNDLINGS DDS, Her New Projects & Mom-ing

The Groundlings latest Friday/Saturday night show LARRY GROUNDLINGS DDS opens September 30th.

Interview: Lyric Lewis Attending to LARRY GROUNDLINGS DDS, Her New Projects & Mom-ing

The Groundlings latest Friday/Saturday night show LARRY GROUNDLINGS DDS opens September 30, 2022 (with previews already started). Deanna Oliver directs Lyric Lewis the hilarious cast of Alex Bonifer, Lauren Burns, Sam DeSurra, Julian Gant, Lyric Lewis, Emily Pendergast, Jay Renshaw and Leonard Robinson. I managed to catch a few moments with Lyric between her writing, clowning and mom-ing.

Thank you for taking the time for this interview, Lyric!

You are in the next Main Company show Larry Groundlings DDS. Have you lost count of how many shows you've performed on The Groundlings stage?

I've totally lost count at this point! Between the sketch, improv and indie shows I've done, it's all a sweet, sweet, funny blur. In the best way.

What originally brought you into The Groundings universe in 2008?

Well, I auditioned to start classes at The Groundlings in 2008, and what initially brought me in was the hard-core emphasis on sketch and improv, from a character POV. I'd graduated from SU, (Syracuse University) in 2007 and during my senior year I legit researched everybody that I looked up to and that inspired me, when it came to comedy. I always knew comedy was what I wanted to do, and with each person I looked into: Cheri Oteri, Jennifer Coolidge, Maya Rudolph, and so on and so on, they all had one thing in common, they were Groundlings. And so, I looked into The Groundlings, decided to take my chances in L.A. and the rest is history! I saw The Groundlings as a sort of grad school, if you will? I figured if I'm going to sharpen my comedic chops with anybody, why not the best? Oh, and THE WOMEN, past and present... Hellooooooo G LADIES!

Interview: Lyric Lewis Attending to LARRY GROUNDLINGS DDS, Her New Projects & Mom-ing Can you relate all the various steps you took to achieve Main Company status?

Well, besides the steps we all took back then: Basic, Intermediate, Advanced, Lab and then Sunday Company, honestly the biggest thing I did that I think helped me the most, was to see the program and everything for what it was. A program with no guarantees. I always tell my basic students to take their "rose-colored glasses off" when it comes to the theater and the main company, and for me that's what I did, and it helped. I spent my years as a student focusing on myself versus who the main company was. It really helped me focus on my classes, and my growth as an artist and to take nothing personal, because comedy is subjective. And people watching at The Grove, haha.

What your favorite sketch that you wrote?

It would have to be a tie between two sketches. One called "Take One" a Halloween treat for all you scare lovers, like myself. And another called "Who's Mad," a social commentary sketch I wrote about the "outrage" of Ariel in the new live action The Little Mermaid being black. Mind you, I wrote this in 2019... and people are still mad... about a fictional movie... about a fictional being... that doesn't exist... (sigh! LOL).

Interview: Lyric Lewis Attending to LARRY GROUNDLINGS DDS, Her New Projects & Mom-ing What's your favorite sketch a fellow Groundling wrote?

This is TOUGH! I honestly don't think I can say?!?!?!?! I can't, I'm sorry! But some of my favorites are ones where I'm in the booth doing VO for a sketch, because I still get to be in it, but out of sight so I still get my chuckles in! But I've cried from laughter during MANY of other people's sketches on that stage. I won't let myself out right laugh, so it's just silent crying, large tears rolling down my cheeks, mid-sketch.

What's your secret for not breaking character when a sketch partner really lands the laugh?

What tends to help the most is I'll look at the booth or the band. if I look at anybody else from the cast, I would probably lose it all the way.

What's the most unexpected audience reaction you've witnessed from The Groundlings stage?

HA! Okay, so there was a song in a show called "The Story" and it was so long, insane but the most fun you could imagine. At one point, we point to people in the audience and sing to them but one night it went left? A man at first was enjoying this but the longer the song went on, the madder he got and by the end he stood up in his seat and was yelling at us to stop singing. We still had a ways to go in the song, so he didn't get his request met, but it was so insane to see and experience! You could tell he was like "This song is too much" and we're like, "We know! That's the point, my dude!" It was great.

Interview: Lyric Lewis Attending to LARRY GROUNDLINGS DDS, Her New Projects & Mom-ing When did you start teaching at The Groundlings School?

In 2016 :-)

Is there a specific tenet that you always pass on to your improv students?

Yup. "Take off your rose-colored glasses." When it comes to the theater and the Main Company. Don't let "Getting into the Main Company '' be your goal, let becoming the best improviser and sketch writer/performer YOU can, be the goal.

You were teasingly nicknamed 'motormouth' in your New Orleans upbringing. Anyone call you that now?

No, but they could.! You can tell from the sketches that I write, mama loves to talk. Hahaha!

What did you do to keep creatively sane during the lockdown? Have a new baby perhaps?

Interview: Lyric Lewis Attending to LARRY GROUNDLINGS DDS, Her New Projects & Mom-ing Ha!!! Well, what's funny with mentioning baby is that she actually was a huge part of staying creative during lockdown. I've always been a bookworm and have loved to simply devour books since I was a little kid and so I spent so much time reading chapter books and all sorts of books to Stevie Jade, FULL OUT... CHARACTER VOICES and all, the whole time, and it really was a low-key performance for me, haha. And she loved it! We still do it now, (bedtime routine is LONG y'all!). I also still wrote a ton and going back to work last year helped so much. :-)

Have you mastered juggling mommy time with Groundlings and acting gig time?

Honestly, yes and no. I don't think you ever truly "master it" because it's always changing and the babies change and grow, and our careers change and grow, but it's working right now... and I'm loving it.

Interview: Lyric Lewis Attending to LARRY GROUNDLINGS DDS, Her New Projects & Mom-ing What's in the near future for Lyric Lewis?

Ooooo, I'm just going to claim all the good stuff! Developing my own projects, writing my own projects, clowning and acting a damn fool in my and other people's projects and, most importantly, Mom-ing. :-)

Thank you again, Lyric! Glad I finally got the chance to interview you after seeing you kill it in soooo many shows?

For tickets to the live performances of Larry Groundlings DDS through November 19, 2022, click on the button below:




From This Author - Gil Kaan

      Gil Kaan, a former Managing Editor of the now-defunct Genre magazine, has had the privilege of photographing and interviewing some major divas of film, television, and stage in... (read more about this author)


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