Stephanie Allynne [Interview]

In our continuing effort to showcase amazing women in show business, you may have noticed a pretty common theme…we love hilarious women. Granted, not all of our subjects have been (or will be) comedians or brilliant minds of the world of comedy specifically, but many have been. And today is no exception. In fact, today we have one of the greats with us! Stephanie Allynne is an improv legend, a brilliant actress, and now a talented writer and filmmaker.

Stephanie is frequently featured and writes for in the wonderful, semi-biographical series from Tig Notaro called One Mississippi, which is an absolutely amazing show that is starting up its 2nd season soon and is not to be missed. She is also a bright shining star in the UCB world, which we will certainly talk about in the words below. So to prevent excessive rambling, and to continue on our wonderful showcase of wonderful people, I present to you, Stephanie Allynne!

When did you first realize you wanted to be involved in the world of comedy? Did you always know you would have a knack for it?

I came to Los Angeles when I was 18 to be an actor and was kind of blindsided when I fell in love with Improv. UCB really lured me in. I was shocked when I saw how real and grounded their improv was. I couldn’t believe the place existed. I had always been funny, not in the class clown way, more in the whisper a funny comment to the person sitting next to me way. I’m still that way I think.

We have been fortunate enough to get some words from a few of your fellow UCB alum, and we always like to ask what it has been like to be a part of such an amazing creative force? And what is the ultimate takeaway for you from your time with the UCB?

I love UCB, and yes it is “an amazing creative force.” I’ve spent almost a decade now with that theater and it has drastically shaped my career and personal life. My improv background strongly informs my acting, writing, and directing. The ultimate takeaway from UCB is a deep appreciation for listening and staying present.

In what seems like a very short time, from an outsider’s perspective at least, you have married and become a mother of two, so congratulations! That being said, has your perspective on the world and your work changed at all since you began this new chapter of your life? Have you noticed any differences in yourself?

Thank you. And from an insider’s perspective, I would absolutely agree. I never thought I would be married with two kids by the time I was 30, but, hey, here we are and all is dreamy. Seeing the pure love and innate joy that my sons have makes me only want to be surrounded by love and joy in the world and my work.

I know it is a very “hush hush” set up…but, IMDb is informing me that you will be featured in Showtime’s continuation of the legendary series Twin Peaks. Without divulging too much, what can you tell us about your experience on this project? Even the most vague details! Did catering provide “damn fine coffee’?

I have been sworn to secrecy, but my love for David Lynch is through the roof and it was nothing short of electrifying to see him work.

A very specific film that you have worked on that I would like to ask about is our new friend Henry Phillip’s Punching Henry. You are a part of a very elite cast of comedians and brilliant actors in this truly wonderful film including the likes of Doug Stanhope, Clifton Collins Jr., your life mate Tig Notaro, and many more. So what was it like for you to jump into the follow up vehicle for the cult classic known as Punching the Clown?

Well first of all, I love Punching the Clown and Henry Phillips, so I was thrilled to be in Punching Henry. When I think about that movie all I think about is doing that “sex scene” with Henry. I love the awkwardness of that scene and I love the awkwardness of shooting a sex scene. Plus he’s a friend, Tig was there watching on the monitor, and I was topless. And I got paid for that, and then I paid taxes out of that money… some elementary school has crayons because of that scene. Life, what a place.

In 2016, you released your directorial debut with the short known as The Fun Company. How did this project come about? And what led you to getting behind the camera on it?

The Fun Company is based on my time at The Groundlings. I had so much anger and rage after performing there and I didn’t know where to put it. I decided to write about it, so I wrote the short just to get it all out of my head. Then I loved the script and wanted to actually make it. I really wanted to star in it and it felt like something I had to direct myself. It was very personal and I wanted full control. Directing has always interested me, but I naively thought that to direct I needed a camera and to know how to work software and hard-drives. That’s what was stopping me from directing for about 7 years. I finally learned that all I needed was a DP.

What does the future hold for you? Anything you would like to share with our readers?

We are about to start shooting season 2 of One Mississippi, which will air in the fall on Amazon. Tig and I wrote the first two episodes and this season explores our love story. The show is somewhat fictionalized, but it has been fun to revisit the genesis of our love.

What was the last thing that made you smile?

My family. And the final episode of Big Little Lies.

About rontrembathiii
write. write. write.

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