Today we’d like to introduce you to Leah Knauer.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Leah. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
When I was six years old, I played Virgin Mary in my church’s Christmas play and I’ve wanted to be an actress ever since. I begged my parents for me to drop out of high school to move to LA, but they wanted me to be “educated” or some shit. I went to the University of Colorado at Boulder, which was #1 Party School at the time (all thanks to me). I left after nine months to go to rehab – or what I like to call my “grad school.” While at the time, it felt like the worst thing to ever happen to me, it was the catalyst to me finally getting to move to Los Angeles to pursue my dreams. Once in LA, I was bored of waiting for acting auditions so I started doing stand-up, improv, and basically, anything else that got me stage-time/attention. I love attention. Do I still have yours?
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Following your dreams is not easy. It takes sacrifice, hard work, and a LOT of blind faith. I’ve had many comics – all men – tell me straight to my face that I’m not going to make it because I’m “too cute” and “girls aren’t funny.” I don’t remember who said this to me because they’re unsuccessful talentless hacks who don’t have a VoyageLA article about them. Each time that I accomplish a new feat, or defy some asshole’s low expectations of me, or make it through hardship, I’m able to look back and think ‘If I got through that, I can make it through this.’ Except for Lord of the Rings movies – I’m sorry, I just can’t make it through those.
Please tell us about your work.
I am an actress/writer/artist that specializes in all things witchy, female empowerment, sparkles, and naughty puns. I have a podcast at The Comedy Store called “Basic Witches” that I’m very proud of, hosted with my soul sista, Rachel Laforest. We talk about all things spirituality, self-care, manifestation, and witchy. I also have a company called “Bitchin’ Cross-Stitchin'” where I make the custom and snarky cross-stitches. I’m proud that all my projects mean something to me and are filled with love and good intentions.
Who have you been inspired by?
Despite sounding like a stereotype, the biggest inspiration in my life has been the character Elle Woods from ‘Legally Blonde.’ She’s unapologetically herself, has a good heart, surpasses people’s low expectations of her with grace and dignity, and has a bomb fashion sense. Elle Woods taught me to believe in myself and look fine AF while doing it.
Other (real-life) women that have inspired me are Oprah Winfrey, Regena “Mama Gena” Thomashauer, Hilary Duff, Anne Frank, my great-grandmother Lena, and my close girlfriends. All of these women are bold, vulnerable, and thirsty for positive change.
- Custom Cross-Stitch – $80
- Website: www.leahknauer.com
- Email: LeahKnauer@gmail.com
- Instagram: @LeahKnauer, @BasicWitchesPod, @BitchinCrossStitchin
- Twitter: @LeahKnauer
Lucas Markman Photography, Wyoh Lee Schneider Photography, Claude Charles Photography