I hope that you enjoy this interview with Kylie Sparks, one of the stars of Squaresville, as much as I did. She’s a really, really funny woman. We’ve had many a chat on twitter and they were fantastic.
Getting to Know Kylie
For those of us who don’t know much about you, tell me a little bit about yourself.
Hi! My name is Kylie Sparks and I play Esther on “Squaresville.” I was born and raised in Tulsa, OK, but have been living in Los Angeles since I was about 17 (I started coming out here part-time when I was 13) and steadily working as an actor ever since, including during college (I graduated from USC). I have two dogs, love fashion, writing, music (both singing and listening to it!), travelling, and just generally having a good time.
How did you get started in acting?
I always credit my second grade teacher, Susan Sullivan, because she cast me in my first play-a simple retelling of Snow White for the Second Grade Fairy Tale Tea Day and I played the Wicked Queen. It was love at first sight for me, and I began training in Tulsa at a performing arts studio, Theatre Arts, in musical theatre, dance, voice, and acting (on top of the 1200 other extracurriculars I participated in) as well as doing theatre around town. I was 13 when my mother and I decided to try auditioning in Los Angeles, and was in LA part-time while still going to school in Tulsa. I ultimately began homeschooling and tested out of High School when I was 16 and booked my first professional job, the IFC Films feature “Pizza.”
What are some of the shows and films that you were in?
Besides “Pizza,” where I was the female lead opposite Ethan Embry and a whole ensemble of incredible actors, I’ve recurred on ABC’s “Complete Savages” and “Desperate Housewives,” as well as guest starring on such shows as “Bones,” “Melissa & Joey,” “ER,” and “Greek,” among other shows and have worked in commercials, stage, and other new media series. I recently worked on my second feature, an indie college-football-slacker comedy called “Mr. Intangibles” that should be out in 2013.
What were some of your favorite projects and why?
I really can’t pick a favorite because I have been so spoiled in my career that every job has been absolutely incredible and I learn so much from each of them. If I HAD to choose, it’s a three-way tie between Complete Savages, ER, and Squaresville. I started watching ER from the VERY beginning at 7 years old (my mom was a huge fan of George Clooney, and I don’t blame her!), and 10 years later I was a guest lead on one of my favorite shows, so it was a dream come true and I got to work with some of the best actors on television that I had been watching for years. Squaresville has been our “little engine that could” that when we shoot the show, we are a family, and while we are shooting a ridiculous amount of work each day, I come home exhausted but happy and just excited about the whole thing even if there are times where I personally feel frustrated or anxious about how I did that day, I just know the next day I get to see my friends again. The same is for Complete Savages-it was my first television job, I had three lines in the pilot but they treated me like I was one of the stars of the show and when the series was picked up, they kept asking me back and every time I stepped onto the set, I felt like I was home. I had a whole family of people who just loved their job and fought for it tooth and nail and always had my back 100%.
If you weren’t acting, what would you be doing as a career?
Acting has been the only job I’ve ever known and I’m not sure what I would do as an alternate. I think I’d probably go back to school for journalism or producing to learn how to be a film producer or an agent or a music journalist, but I’m hoping that’s not the case (although at some point I do want to write and develop my own projects to produce down the road.)
Dream project and why?
There are so many people I want to work with that I admire and that I met that as long as I get to keep working, that’s my ultimate dream. I hope someday I get to be in a film adaptation of a book or two that I love (or the film adaptations of musicals I’m obsessed with since I started in musical theatre) just because it would be extra-special to me.
If you could work with any actor/actress living or dead, who would be and why?
Well, besides Bradley Cooper (who I LOOOOOOOVE. This is not new information, haha!) I want to work with Marion Cotillard. She is absolutely flawless and incredible in everything she does and she just seems like the nicest person on the planet who just does her job and doesn’t get sucked into all the hoopla. And I think if I could go back in time, I’d love to work with Danny Kaye, Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, Doris Day, and Rosemary Clooney. White Christmas is one of my favorite films ever, and I LOVE Doris Day in Pillow Talk. It’s such an adorable classic.
Tips for beginning actors?
Tenacity. Keep going. It’s hard, but to survive, you have to keep going and work hard every day. It gets tough (believe me, I know and still experience it), but the pay off is so worth it. At the same time, do not take this whole game seriously. That will kill your spirit (and your career) in the long run, because you have to have something else you love that will distract you during the hard times.
Tips for people who want to create their own web series?
I’m very new to the web space, but what I’ve learned is that if you have an idea and a camera, just do it. Write it out. Shoot it, whether you have a point-and-shoot camera (or even an iPhone) and a few friends or a professional camera with a boom and grips and a crew of a bajillion, as long as you just do it and you do the best job you can, there’s room for everyone.
Tips for surviving auditions?
Don’t let the mind games win. Just go in, be prepared, but have fun and be nice to everyone. Learning HOW to audition is also necessary, so be in class to learn how to audition so you can get the job.
Quick fire questions
Coke or Pepsi?
Diet both (I have a serious addiction to diet soda!)
Cats or dogs?
Summer or winter?
Hugs or kisses?
Fame or fortune?
Which is worse: speaking in front of a crowd or writing a paper?
This is gonna sound so weird coming from me, but speaking in front of a crowd. NERVEWRACKING.
Time travel to: the past or the future?
probably the future.
Celebrity magazine or newspaper?
celebrity mag (you can always get the news online!)
oh MAN this question hurts me…tie between “On the Road” by Jack Kerouac, Tina Fey’s “Bossypants,” anything by Nick Hornby, Joe Meno’s “Hairstyles of the Damned,” and one of the most haunting memoirs I’ve ever read, “Wasted” by Marya Hornbacher.
Blue, Black, and Silver.
Next week, we have the final part to Kylie’s interview and then we have the final two interviews with the other star, Mary Kate Wiles.