Today we’d like to introduce you to Christie Griffin.
Christie, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Ahh, how I came to be an actor? By force at first, I guess. I was always incredibly shy as a kid. Whenever any sort of performance was required for school, I hid behind my bangs in the back. When my family moved to America for the first time from Scotland, I came out of my shell a bit, but never enough to be on stage.
Then back in Scotland my drama teacher Ms. Smith forced me to audition for the school musical ‘Oliver!’. I quickly became obsessed with the movie; quietly singing the songs to myself in my room so no one would hear. Somehow, (with the help of some bandages around my developing chest) I beat out all the boys for the title role, and from then on out I was a Theatre kid. After the show ended, my family moved back to the states for the 2nd time, and Theatre was my way to fit in. Although I was training outside of school, in addition to doing shows, I never thought about pursuing acting professionally. I’d be a business major in college, and acting would be my hobby: I was a sensible 15-year-old. It wasn’t until I saw all my friends auditioning for programs that I realized that acting was where my heart was. I sobbed on the bed to my mum about what a mistake I’d made applying to college as a business major. “Well why did you do that if it wasn’t what you wanted?” she asked. Well, because I thought that was what I was supposed to do. I’d always done what I thought I was supposed to do.
Listening to what I truly wanted was difficult for me and still is to this day; because it’s often not the easiest option. I decided to reject all my college offers and do a year at community college before transferring to USC for acting my sophomore year. I’ve now graduated and I’m doing the thing: Auditioning, writing and performing with my sketch group Elephant Department, and trying my best to listen to myself when I’m not quite sure what I really, truly desire.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
There have been many potholes in my road, but that’s life. I don’t think it would be as fun or rewarding if it was smooth though. Keeping a positive and healthy attitude can be difficult and need to be practiced everyday. I think as an actor, social media can make it hard to remain present in your own journey. Sometimes, it feels like everyone is doing more than you, and it’s important to remind yourself that it’s a highlight reel. Of course people aren’t going to post their downfalls, that’s just the nature of the beast. So making sure I’m not comparing myself to anyone else is something I constantly need to check in on. There is no one way to do this job, and I just have to be proud of my own progress without comparison.
We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I am currently one of seven members of the sketch comedy group, Elephant Department, which was formed while I was at USC. Over the course of this past year, we wrote and performed three original sold-out shows, which we’ve now selected our best work from and are looking to produce in the new year. I’m really proud of how we’ve grown as writers this year. Most of us have no formal writing training, and it’s amazing to look back and see how we’ve each developed a distinct style of sketch. That’s what I love most about us; The group isn’t one overbearing voice, it’s all of our voices mushed into one magical, funny, roller coaster of a show.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
A positive attitude! I know it sounds so cheesy, but we really have to look for the good in everything. It’s the only way to maintain sanity in the uncertainty of this life.
- Website: www.christiegriffinacts.com
- Instagram: christie_griffin and @elephantdepartment
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ElephantDepartment/
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