SB: What inspired you to get into acting?
KEG: HA! I love this question, because I truly feel I came onto the planet already inspired to head in the direction of an entertainment career. Sometimes I half-jokingly answer that question with, “I started acting in the womb…” (and the home movies of me hamming it up as a toddler definitely support this claim). If I had to narrow it down, I would say it was a combo of three things that inspired me to act: 1. my immersion in a high school debate event called Humorous Interpretation, 2. the unexpected shower of support from my college classmates after a senior talent show, and 3. spending a year in film school, behind the camera. Here’s a tidbit about each of those informing factors…
Humorous Interpretation (H.I. for short) is part of the high school debate world, in a sub-category called Individual Events…along with things like Original Oratory and Extemporaneous Speaking. H.I. is basically a 10-minute one-person show. Each performer memorizes a piece from a published work, and changes their voice and body position and facial expressions to become every character in the piece. Competition ranges from local to national, and that’s how I spent a juicy chunk of my high school years. I was blessed to take home a cornucopia of trophies, regionally and nationally. I still didn’t equate that to a career in acting, though–so I went to college, and got a degree in Economics. At my college senior talent show, I performed an H.I. piece rewritten for my classmates, from the play ADAPTATION by Mike Nichols and Elaine May. After I left the stage, they gave me a standing ovation. I was stunned. I came back onto the stage and tried to absorb it…right then, I heard my spirit say “Let’s do THIS!” I still had zero idea about how I was going to pursue things, or when. Next, I went to graduate film school in England…where I froze my booty off, ate lots of fish-and-chips, produced radio drama with the BBC, and figured out I wanted to try “in front” of camera. When I came back to the states I took my first acting class, joined an improv troupe called “Mental Floss” (for those hard to reach crevices of the mind :), and was off-and-running.
SB: What are your three favorite horror films of all time?
KEG: DELICIOUS question. I tend to like horror that has an element of the psychological involved…things like SECRET WINDOW, IDENTITY and THE OTHERS…and I’m also a huge fan of supernatural-scary flix, like WHAT LIES BENEATH and THE SIXTH SENSE. I saw the original POLTERGEIST 17 times–in the theater.
SB: What is the funniest thing that ever happened on set?
KEG: In an awesome coincidence, I have a project in post-production now that answers that question superbly. I was honored to film the female lead in an independent feature comedy called A FREE BIRD. I play TAMMY, southern hurricane-in-a-jar. She’s the emotional glue of the story, and keeps all the wacky men in the film anchored in reality. We shot on location in-and-around Atlanta, Georgia…in the summer. I was very sassy going into the shoot, because I grew up in South Florida and thought I knew aaaaall about how to handle summer heat. Wrong, wrong, hilariously WRONG. The first day I shot, we were on-location in an adorable house…and the temperature was 98 degrees before they turned on the set lighting. We had to keep the A/C off, so the sound could be recorded “clean.” My very first day, I promptly got heat sick! There are actual photos of me sticking my head in the kitchen freezer to cool off…as well photos of me wandering around for the entire rest of the shoot with HUGE bags of frozen peas on my head. HUH-larious. The R-rated trailer for the film has been released, and I’ll include that link below.
Hmmm…now that I’m thinking about it, there was another incident that may top that one, or at least ties it: I was shooting a film, on location, in a remote area. (The entire cast and crew were with me, so I felt secure.) In the middle of talking with the director about a scene, a local man wandered through our set…wearing nothing but a thong and combat boots, and carrying a rifle. So, that was “funny-scary.” Fary. Or Scunny.
SB: You star in ‘Magic City’ on the Starz network. Tell us about your role and
what the show is about.
KEG: I play FLORENCE, a tough-smart-sassy New York dame who’s long-time executive assistant to series lead Jeffrey Dean Morgan. Jeffrey Dean plays IKE EVANS, owner of this fictitious Miami Beach glitzy-gorgeous hotel called The Miramar Playa (based on places like the Fontainebleau and the Eden Roc). Flo and Ike have a great relationship; she’s very protective of her boss and his family. The show is set in 1959 on Miami Beach–in fact the pilot opens on New Year’s Eve 1958/1959. It was such a powerfully alchemical time, and series creator Mitch Glazer captures it beautifully. Frank Sinatra and his Rat Pack were royalty. Gambling and prostitution were large-and-in-charge. All the celebs of the day wanted to play/stay on Miami Beach, and it was the dream destination for the average American family. Labor battles were heating up, civil right battles were brewing. All of this “shifting” is seen through Ike’s eyes, and through and the events that take place at the Miramar Playa. In order to keep his grand hotel dreams alive, Ike makes a deal with mob boss Ben Diamond (Danny Huston). His wife Vera (Olga Kurylenko) and his three kids have no idea how hard he’s working to break that tie. Season one has eight episodes, and I was blessed to work on all eight. Season two goes into production this summer, in South Florida.
SB: You star in ‘Vegan 101,’ the award-winning web series, with Eric Roberts. Tell me about that project and when and where we can see upcoming episodes.
KEG: That web series was such a delight to film, and creator Joanne Rose was a dream to work with. Joanne is a long-time vegan, and decided she wanted to create programming that would be entertaining and educational, centered around the World of the Vegan. She felt (and I agree!) that a heaping dose of comedy helps people remember a message. Actor Eric Roberts is also a long-time vegan, and was really delightful to work with, and hilarious on set. In season two, I’m the “Black-Belt Fan”: if you translate the passion of a sports fan who paints their body in team colors and has foam fingers and foam hats and flags and bumper stickers all over their car…I’m that kind of fan for Eric’s character. Joanne allowed me to improvise a lot of what wound up making it into the final cuts of the webisode, and the shirt you see me wearing was my own creation (no spoilers, you’ll have to watch it, LOL!). I brought Joanne the idea, and she loved it. To work with a writer/producer who is that collaborative was just delicious. I was a vegan for a year, and must admit I am inspired to move back in that direction after being around the Vegan 101 gang. I’m honored that Joanne is writing a role for me in season 3, and am so excited to film the next adventure with her (planned for this summer). Upcoming episodes will be posted on the web as soon as they’re completed…fans can check the Vegan 101 site on YouTube.
SB: Do you have anything to say to your fans?
KEG: Yes…THANK YOU. Truly! I absolutely could not do what I do without the support of my amazing fans. You all ROCK. Along with the gift of being in MAGIC CITY has come the gift of having more interaction with my fabulous fans online and in person…and I’m recognized when I’m out-and-about. It’s a new level of visibility for me as an actress, and a new level of interaction. I’m blown away by how blessed I am to have such delicious fans. Let me say it again. THANK YOU. :)
SB: Where can we see more of you online?
KEG: Here are some links…
I was thrilled to do an interview with MoreHorror.com recently:
Click the link for the R-rated trailer for the indie comedy feature A FREE BIRD, in which I play female lead TAMMY:
Another extremely fun interview, with L.A. Talk Radio’s Sheena Metal:
http://www.latalkradio.com/Sheena.php (Click FRIDAY MAY 18th)
My IMDb page has photos and several videos posted, including improvised comedy and animation voice reels:
(…and, I was included on an IMDb list of “Ten Actresses to Watch in 2012″–such an honor. Here’s that link…)
I welcome questions and comments on my Facebook Fan Page, and stop by there often:
Folks are also invited to contact me through Twitter:
My website is being redesigned over the summer, and you can find goodies there even during construction:
THANK YOU for the great questions. And thanks to all your fab readers for…reading! :)