An interview with Colleen McGuinness, Betabrand model and comedy writer for “30 Rock” and “About A Boy.”
Tell us about yourself. Who are you? What about your career are you most proud of so far?
I’m an Irish-Korean hybrid from Long Island, NY. I have the most Irish name ever invented and I don’t look Irish at all. So telling people my last name was like telling my first joke. The first thing I ever did was write and direct a comedic short. It got me an agent and a job. I’m proud of myself for actually writing something, whereas up until then, I just kept saying I wanted to write.
When did you first know you were funny? Can you recall the moment and how it made you feel? Why did you choose to pursue comedy as your career?
When I was ten, I did an acting workshop at the local high school. We were asked to demonstrate what not to do at an audition, and I had to be “too loud.” So I got up on stage and yelled “MY NAME IS COLLEEN MCGUINNESS AND I’M GOING TO SING ‘RAINDROPS ON ROSES,” and then I screamed the whole song. The auditorium went crazy with laughter. I’ve been chasing that high ever since.
What does it mean to be a funny woman in your personal life? and in showbusiness?
In my personal life… Before I got engaged, I used to go on a lot of Internet dates and when the guys found out I wrote comedy, they would immediately start spewing out jokes. It was exhausting for everyone. I don’t ever want someone to feel like they have to be funny around me. I’m not judging people I meet in that way. I’m only judging you if you make me pay six dollars or more to see you perform.
What is your greatest daily challenge? Reward?
What was your experience wearing Betabrand?
What advice would you give to anyone seeking to find their own path – career, or otherwise?
I think it’s important to “go where it’s warm.” In other words, stick with people you click with, creatively and personally. Go for the job that feels right in your gut. A job can be challenging, sure, but that’s different from experiencing true misery or endless roadblocks. You should go with the flow. It’ll take you where you’re supposed to be.
What are you passionate about outside of comedy? What do you do on your free time?
I play tennis, I go to the movies constantly, and I love games. But mostly, I’m doing boring things like “reading,” “dinners with friends,” and “Netflix.” I totally believe in that theory of “make your life simple so your art can be complex.” In my 20’s, I wanted my life to be like the best parties in “Boogie Nights.” But now I love staying home. Also I just got engaged so now I have to plan a stupid wedding.
Tell us how you really feel about Rubber Chickens.
They’re not as cutting edge as they used to be, but I think all birds are funny.
You can follow Colleen on Twitter: @mcguinnesscoll
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