Interview with Olivia Harewood, an excerpt

Those of you who watch Awkward Black Girl will remember Olivia Harewood as "Leslie", the crazy bitch from Jay's anger management group. Those of you follow the career of David So will recognize her from his channel as well. This weekend she was kind enough to grant me an interview.

How did you get into standup comedy? How long have you been a comedian?

I started doing comedy in college. I ran into a friend at the bank one day, and she told me to sign up for a drama class she was in called Intro to Sketch Comedy because there were very few girls taking it. I loved the class, and I did more sketch and improv comedy after that. I started doing stand up about a year and a half ago out of morbid curiosity. I had been writing and performing comedy for years, but I wanted to see if I could make jokes work in that format.

Did comedy transition into acting or were you doing both the whole time?

I was into acting before I got into comedy. I basically saw myself as a dramatic actor before comedy took over my mind.

What are your comedic influences? Who are your acting influences?

I watched I Love Lucy and The Simpsons obsessively as a kid. My friends and I could recite whole scenes to each other between classes, so I definitely internalized a lot of that. Lucille Ball is a huge influence. I also really like quirky actors like Christopher Walken and Mary Louise Parker.

How did you get involved with Awkward Black Girl and comedian David So?

I went to college with Issa, Tracy, and Amy of ABG. Tracy texted me one day and asked if I could come film a scene for their webseries, and I thought, "This will be fun!" I had no idea it would turn into a big deal. It's awesome that it caught on. I got involved with David So through an awesome mutual friend I met working on a short film. It was basically the same deal. She was like, "I know this guy, he needs a comedian. Want to come over tomorrow?" I had no clue he was so popular!

Read full interview At the Bar.

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