At the Bar with Olivia Harewood
The Bar Loves Olivia Harewood
Olivia, Olivia, Olivia – it is soooooooooo good to have you at the bar. What do you like to drink?
I like to drink coffee! I drink it constantly. I never know what to order at a bar. I'm open to suggestions.
Oh...I'm sure the bar patrons can help you with that. And speaking of the patrons, tell us a few things about yourself.
I'm from Pasadena,California, but I also lived in Canada for three years as a teenager. I went to all girls school from age twelve to eighteen. I majored in cultural anthropology, which I loved and still love and think about everyday. My current favorite TV show is RuPaul's Drag Race.
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.
You talk a lot about your mom on stage. Is that stuff true or just partially true?
That stuff is true. My mom is hilarious. And she hates how I dress.
Why DO you wear that sweater all the time?
I get really cold on stage! I almost always wear a sweater, and that one is my favorite.
Do you really live with your mom?
I really do.
Ain't nothin' wrong with that. How does she feel about your career choice?
She's very supportive! My whole family has been amazing. They come to almost all my shows.
That is so cool! Does it ever make it awkward to curse or do dirty jokes?
My material is generally clean and I don't curse a lot, but when I do, my family is cool. I do feel pressure to constantly write new stuff for them so they don't get bored.
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.
Walken for the win!!! "Quirky" indeed! Do you “study” anyone and if so, who are you studying now?
I don't study anyone. I try to just enjoy other comedians and keep my writing process separate.
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!
What are you currently working on?
I just worked on an episode of The Slutty Years, a really fun webseries by Amy Aniobi of ABG, and I'm getting ready to go on a college tour this fall. I'm really excited about that!
Congratulations! So what else in store for the hilarious Olivia Harewood?
I have no idea what's in store! All this has been a big surprise so far, so I just keep trying to roll with it and amuse people as much as possible in the process.
Olivia, it was such a pleasure to have you join us at the bar.
Thanks so much for reaching out! You are awesome.