Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Interview: Actress Kylie Sparks

By: Crystal Clemons

CC:  So, first of all how are you doing? Any cool stuff happening in your life now? Have you been working on any projects we should know about?

KS: I am doing awesome! I’m  getting ready to start shooting the first season of the webseries “Squaresville,” which will be online sometime early next year.  We shot the first batch of minisodes last year and we’re kicking into high gear, so definitely check their twitter (@L7sville) and facebook (Squaresville) for updates!

CC:  Can you tell us a little about the Bargainista Diaries? ( I love the posts and have actually gotten some good ideas and tips from them even though I'm not a local)  

KS: Aw, I’m glad you like it!  Bargainista Diaries started by accident, really.  While I was at USC, my friends and I would always hunt for the latest restaurants and bars to hang out at, as well as indulging in our fashionista pursuits and seeing shows at the major theaters in town.  However, when you’re in college, you also pick up the knack for finding deals and bargains to save money but still have a great time, and I just started collecting these resources along the way and spread the word when people would ask me what to do on a Saturday night.  A friend told me I should write a book about it, but I figured a blog would be better since you can update it whenever you feel inspired or you find that great new thing

CC: What is your favorite stuff to sing? What type/s of music do you like and do you play an instrument?

What do you write? Where has been your favorite place to travel so far, and where would you LOVE to go?

KS: Well, when I’m in my car I obviously pretend I’m Lady Gaga, but my true passion is singing Musical Theatre, Standards, Jazz, and 60’s girl group material.  Contemporarily speaking, I find that I connect to Adele and Amy Winehouse; those two are my musical inspirations and they’re the reasons why I began to sing more than just showtunes and songs from the Prohibition era! 

I really love all types of music though (I’m even starting to get into Country, and I was NEVER a big country girl even though I’m from Oklahoma!) and I played trumpet for 3 years in the School Jazz Band as well as dabbling with piano off and on.  I wish I could write songs, I’ve tried but that isn’t my thing, but I mostly write for fun.  I have ideas for screenplays and shows that I would love to develop and produce, so who knows what’ll happen?

My absolute all-time favorite place in the world is Paris.  I’ve been able to go three times, and the last time I went I was actually an exchange student and lived in a city north of Paris called Amiens.  I went to school and got to explore all of Northern France, and I’ve been able to go to the south of France and Monaco as well.  My dream in life is to backpack literally from Portugal to Prague and solely take trains.  The book that will always make my heart skip a beat is Frommer’s Europe by Rail guide and I just want to be able to take a few months and ride around in a train car seeing all of Europe.  I want to go to Australia and New Zealand too….basically I would just like to do my own form of The Amazing Race!

CC: What would surprise your fans to learn about you?

KS: I’m a politico.  I think my parents rubbed off on me on that one; I mean who decides to take Political Philosophy and Law, Politics, and Public Policy in college for fun and enjoys writing a 12-page case study on the Supreme Court policy of election decisions?  That would be me!  Although I like being current on politics, my mom really is the armchair activist-she has over 1200 twitter followers based on her passion and investment in government and politics, and my dad is an attorney who truly LIVES for law and helping the little guy take on the big guns.  It really inspires me.

CC: What inspired you to get into acting?

 KS: It’s really funny, but I wasn’t planning on being an actor; it was something I did for fun as a kid and only when I started going out to Los Angeles I wanted it to be my career. I wanted to be a Pediatrician and an Olympic Swimmer when I was younger.   I was a science nerd and I was on a competitive swim team for several years, but I always did plays in school and around Tulsa and took dance, voice, acting and musical theatre 

 CC: What advice to you have for people trying to break into the entertainment industry, and what do you know now that you wish you would have known when you began your career?

KS: Everyone has their own path, and shortcuts will only hurt you in the long run.  It’s been hard work, but being able to say I am proud of everything I’ve done because I did the work and I know I’ve given it my best is all I can ask for.  It’s hard, but it can be the most rewarding thing you will ever do.  And you have to have a life outside of the business, even if it’s just another aspect of the business, otherwise you will go bonkers.  It also helps having a wonderful support system of people who will take you out for cheesecake when you have a bad day or buy you a round when you get that big fish, and as they support you, you in turn support them and pay it forward.  It keeps you grounded and it’s so important, not just in this business but in life in general!

CC: I have to mention your role as Cara Ethyl in the super-hilarious and awesome film Pizza: What did it feel like landing that part, and were you anxious about portraying such an honest, yet, um, painfully dorky character?

KS: Cara-Ethyl….where do I begin?  I actually had auditioned for it while I was attending a summer theatre program at UCLA, and the night after my first audition for it I tripped and fell in a pothole and I required four stitches in my forehead. When I found out I booked it I was so excited-to be given the chance to have my first professional job be a lead in a movie with a character that is so human and someone we can relate to at some point or another was a dream come true, and I thank Mark Christopher, the director/writer/awesome human, as well as everyone at InDigEnt (including the late, great Gary Winick) and Process for giving me the opportunity to start my career.  I will always be so grateful to them.

CC: Were you similar to Cara Ethyl and how much of her was you (in acting)?

KS: I really can relate with Cara-Ethyl.  She really tells it like it is, even though it may get her in over her head sometimes, and I liked the fact that she’s not someone you like 100% of the time because it makes her human.  I think we all have a quality of being the underdog, or feeling like you’re the odd man out and I could definitely relate to that.  I will say though that Mark, Ethan and I did two weeks of rehearsals before we began shooting and I discovered that I was actually a lot different from Cara-Ethyl than what I originally thought; she really has her heart on her sleeve and I tend to be loud yet reserved, if that makes sense.  I learned so much about myself as an actor and a person from her though!

CC: Per my pal and Times-Beach boss' demand I must ask you what it was like to work with, and kiss, Ethan Embry. (We all at TB have an on-screen crush on him) Also, what was it like working with such veteran actors like Julie Hagerty, and the others?

KS: When I found out Ethan was attached to Pizza and I had to do a screen test with him, I was SO nervous because I was a HUGE fan of his.  He is an AWESOME actor.  He really was locked in on every take, the most professional guy, really cool…he made that experience really fun.  I learned so much from him.  And the kiss….that was, for lack of a better term, epic.  I mean, it was my first kiss ever, so to be able to say my first kiss was with Ethan Embry is pretty rad!  The rest of the cast (Julie, Joey Kern, Alexis Dzeina, Nikki M. James, Michael Roman, Judah Friedlander, Julia Kay, Jesse McCartney, Miriam Shor, etc) was amazing and it’s so surreal realizing that I got to work with all of these wonderful people.  I’m still friends with Michael and Julia to this day, and I’ve bumped into the rest of the cast from time to time.  I’ve been so fortunate to be able to work with amazing actors who are also some of the nicest people on the planet, from the cast of Pizza to my family of Complete Savages, and even doing guest spots and meeting heroes of mine, I just feel so lucky and I’ve learned something from every single person I’ve worked with.

CC:  How did your life change after you landed your on-screen roles? Did your friends and family treat you any differently?

KS: If anything, my location changed.  My friends and family are so wonderful and they keep me grounded, and having them around gives me a constant reality check.

CC: When you die, (pardon the morbidness) what mark do you want to have left on the world?

KS: This is a really good question!  I think I want people to remember me as someone who did the work and did the right thing, even if I’m not perfect.

CC: Where can your fans keep updated on you and your career? (Facebook, etc. )

The Bargainista Diaries:

My website is coming soon, I swear!