Today we’d like to introduce you to Lizzy McGroder.
Lizzy, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I grew up in Phoenix, Arizona, then attended Occidental College. I graduated with a BA in media arts, with an emphasis on screenwriting. I had a great experience at Oxy, it was a school that encouraged individuality and I felt I came into my own here. After graduating, I was signed by a modeling agency and took a little different direction. Work was consistent at first, but I never felt satisfied by it. Sure, it was fun at times but felt empty for me. I never felt like the people in the modeling world were my people. Around the same time, on a whim, I auditioned for the Groundlings. I had no intention of pursuing comedy or even acting at the time, but I was desperate for an outlet to get creative, be goofy, and yes, make new friends, because, after graduation, people leave (WHAAT?? I know). Groundlings felt so true to me, I felt in my element there. As the years went by, I slowly made my way through the program, accumulating in entering and passing their higher course, writing lab. Groundlings offered me a community. The people I met at the school are some of my best friends today. People that I work and create with. From my experience at the school, I gained the confidence to pursue my idea of “Middle School Talent Show”, a live sketch show set in the world of a 2003 middle school talent show. The show was wildly successful, and after 3 years since the original live show, with the help of friends, were able to turn it into a series.
Has it been a smooth road?
There’s a crap ton of rejection, dismissal in this industry. Every day, I fight thoughts of comparing myself to others or battling insecurities. I believe your early 20s include a lot of self-doubts, am I on the right path? What am I doing? Am I making a difference?
After I graduated from Oxy, I started to experience bad anxiety and panic attacks. I didn’t share this with anyone for years, because I didn’t know what it was. I felt silly expressing what I felt as if it would come off as me being weak or something. Finally, when it got so bad I wasn’t able to board an airplane, I knew I had to reach out for help. I confided in my family and was met with love and support. I got help from there and learned how to control the panic, and even developed a sense of humor around it, which I feel takes away some of its power.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Lizzy McGroder story. Tell us more about the business.
Middle School Talent Show is a project I have been working on for the past three years. The idea came from my Middle School themed birthday party, that also included a talent show. From that, I developed a live sketch show. The sketches were disguised as “acts in the talent show”, and actors played 2003 middle schoolers, teachers, and parents. We did several shows, then finally last year developed the premise into a series. I am one of the most nostalgic humans, so I wanted to capture that 2000s era, as well as the painful, awkward, magical years of middle school. I have worked with kids all my life and there is something so unique about that age. Everything carries so much weight. Our series is special because it follows these characters that not only do you recognize, but you feel for, you relate to. They have these human experiences and relationships that resonate with people. I am so proud of what we created!
- Website: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdAc5tsZKUB6dft23XJ8U5g?view_as=subscriber
- Phone: 602-499-5698
- Email: LMcGroder8@gmail.com
- Instagram: instagram.com/middleschooltalentshow
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MiddleSchoolTalentShow/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/MiddleSchoolTS