Today we’d like to introduce you to Paige Elson.
So, before we jump into specific questions about what you do, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Hi, I am an actress and writer based out of Los Angeles. My love for creating stories started when I was a kid. My mom and I LOVED television and movies. I was an only child, raised by a single mother, and we found enjoyment watching great stories. We loved dramas, but we especially loved to laugh and feel good with comedies. I found myself always creating stories without realizing that it was something I could pursue in the future. My cousins and I would always film movies during the holidays on my uncle’s camcorder and then play them for the family before the night was over. I also used to write little books at home, usually about cute animals, with drawings in them. These were just fun things I did to express myself. It wasn’t until a little later I realized I actually wanted to pursue acting and writing. I was a competitive gymnast as a kid, so I was too distracted by trying to go to the Olympics to be worrying about Hollywood. It wasn’t until I quit gymnastics and did my first play–Annie Jr. The Musical–that I traded in my Olympic dreams for my next realistic goal: Hollywood baby! I fell in love with the stage immediately and it reignited the joy I felt when I was creating stories with my cousins. That was also the time I learned about improv and I became more heavily obsessed with comedy. I continued to do theater in high school and went on to receive my BA in Theater with an emphasis in Acting from Pepperdine University. I started taking improv class at UCB in my senior year at Pepperdine. I fell in love with UCB right away and it felt like a perfect fit. It was such a fun and refreshing place to express myself in different ways and it really helped me hone in on my comedic voice. I ended up completing their sketch program too. I went on to join an indie improv team named KNIFESTAB! and eventually made it onto UCB house teams. You can currently see me performing with Mess Hall team Aunt Becky and writing for Maude sketch team Hail Mary.
Has it been a smooth road and what advice do you have for other young women?
Pursuing this career was not a smooth road, but I never let that stop me. When I told my family I wanted to be a theater major, they all thought I was insane. Then, they saw me act in some plays and thought “okay, maybe she’s got some talent.” So, I went on to study acting like I wanted which was amazing but was by no means easy. At the end of the day, art is subjective and you’re always going to meet someone who thinks you should be making art THEIR way and not YOUR way. While I was at Pepperdine, I learned to make my own opportunities when I felt I wasn’t being seen or heard. It can also be hard to feel seen and heard at a giant theater like UCB where everyone is trying to get on stage. It’s even harder to feel seen and heard in the entertainment industry as a whole. When you’re not feeling seen or heard, you can’t be afraid to create your own opportunities and chase your dreams. The biggest thing I’ve learned is that people will always try to tell you “no” and try to control or set parameters on your goals. You have to have a clear vision of what you want and don’t let people try to tear away at that. I think if you stay grounded and true to your artistic integrity, you can achieve anything you want! As long as the thing you want isn’t “fame and fortune.” I don’t know what to tell you about that one. We can’t all be Rihanna. Also, save your money. The one thing they don’t tell you about being an actor is that it’s an extremely expensive lifestyle.
What do you do, what do you specialize in, what are you known for, etc. What are you most proud of? What sets you apart from others?
I specialize in comedy! More specifically, I love writing sketch comedy and doing improv. Nothing feels more satisfying to me than making people laugh. Currently, you can see my sketches with my UCB Maude team Hail Mary every second Wednesday of the month at UCB Sunset at 8:30 PM. I’m working on some other projects at the moment and hopefully, you’ll see my writing in other places soon! I think what sets me apart is my comedic voice. I’m a biracial woman from Stockton, California. This gave me a very unique upbringing and I have strong opinions in my real life that always bleed into my writing. I feel my comedy always has a message. Sometimes, it’s a very dumb message, but it’s a message nonetheless! You can also see me being smart and dumb with Mess Hall team Aunt Becky every other Sunday at 7:00 PM in the UCB Inner Sanctum.
What’s the most important piece of advice you could give to a young woman just starting her career?
It’s really important to know who you are before you let the world try to tell you who to be. You need a strong sense of self in this business. It’s important to be flexible and open to feedback with your work, but it all starts with being grounded in who you are.
- Website: www.paigeelson.com
- Instagram: @paigeelson
- Twitter: @paigeelson
- Other: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNV42XP6-LyINsNMfPrbBOg/featured?view_as=subscriber
Khalil Slim (very first photo)