Angela visits NCU

Angela Kinsey of “The Office” visits NU, discusses female representation in media

By Kate Win and Samuel Kim, news staff

Angela Kinsey, clad in a striped black and white sweater, skinny jeans and beige boots, strode onto the stage at Blackman Auditorium Tuesday night. As she eased into her chair, she realized it was too far from the table in front of her.

“Short girl probs [problems],” she said as she laughed and scooted her chair closer to the table.

The event, hosted by the Council for University Programs, started at 7 p.m., but students were already lined up at the entrance by 6 p.m. They chatted among themselves and anticipated the chance to see Kinsey, who played Angela Martin on NBC’s “The Office.”

“I know [of] Angela from The Office…I’m really excited to see her,” fifth-year psychology major Devon Carleton said.

As soon as the doors opened, people rushed into the rows and completely filled the auditorium within minutes. Once the lights dimmed and Kinsey appeared on stage, many audience members cheered and straightened up in their seats.

Media and screen studies assistant teaching professor Kristopher Cannon moderated the discussion.

Kinsey began by saying that she didn’t find herself too similar to the character she played in “The Office,” Angela Martin.

“I don’t think I’m that much like my character, except I do have two cats…and basically I love animals,” Kinsey said.

However, one way Kinsey said she is similar to her character is that she often has a bored expression on her face, even when she is feeling happy.

“I have a total resting [expletive] face all the time. And I’ll be incredibly happy. I was in Vegas at a wedding and I was in the elevator and I guess I was doing this,” she said, as she demonstrated a bored, angry expression. “This elderly man got in and said, ‘Oh it’s going to be okay.’ And I saw my face in the mirrored walls of the elevator and I’m like, ‘Oh,’ and that’s my happy face now, I guess.”

Kinsey was amiable throughout the talk, as demonstrated by her eagerness to answer all the questions students had to ask.

One student, during the question and answer period after her talk, asked Kinsey which character other than Angela she would like to play in “The Office”.

“I would love, love to play Creed,” Kinsey said. “I mean, talk about the best non-sequiturs and the whole scene can be going on and there’s nothing more fun as an actor than being the person who just cruises through, drops the magic and cruises out, with just one line.”

Kinsey also spoke about some of her fondest memories of the show.

“I loved acting with Jenna [Fischer],” she said, referring to the actress who played Pam, the receptionist. “There would be so many moments where we would try so hard not to laugh, but then we would look at each other and burst out laughing. One time, we had to reshoot a scene a bunch of times because Jenna and I could not stop laughing.”

Many students were pleasantly surprised by Kinsey’s warm demeanor, which contrasts sharply with the character she plays in the show.

“Tonight, I learned that Angela is a very caring and respectful person,” said Lana Lamar, a fourth-year communication studies and media and screen studies combined major. “It was also so different watching her smile and laugh the whole time, and hearing her keep cracking jokes. She never did those things in ‘The Office’ so I enjoyed seeing who she really is.”

Though Kinsey kept the audience smiling and laughing the whole night with behind-the-scenes stories and interesting details about the rest of the cast, she also made sure to address more serious issues. One such topic was women’s roles and representations in the media and film industry.

“As far as what’s happening in Hollywood where women are stepping forward as writers and directors, we just had our first cinematographer ever nominated for an Oscar,” Kinsey said, referring to Rachel Morrison and her movie “Mudbound.”

Kinsey said women like Morrison and Mindy Kaling — another actor on “The Office” and writer of “The Mindy Project” — are so empowering.

“There were many times when you would walk into a writers’ room and it would be all men and maybe one gal, and that is definitely changing,” Kinsey said.

One attendee, second-year theatre major Somaiya Rowland, said she was inspired by Kinsey emboldening more women to write.

“I am a theatre major and do a fair bit of writing on my own, so it was amazing to hear her views on it,” Rowland said. “I think that fear of being seen as the [expletive] makes a lot of women squelch their creativity, and I love that she just had us demand involvement and challenge ourselves.”

Toward the end of her talk, Kinsey said to the attendees, “Don’t take no. And why not you?”

Rowland was among many students who were encouraged by this.

“Angela telling us we need to ask ourselves ‘why not me’ was such an inspiring way to build confidence and forward momentum,” she said.

Before Kinsey left the stage, she gave some behind-the-screen information about the season five episode, “Stress Relief.” In one scene, Angela Martin clutches her cat, Bandit, while the office is on fire. All the employees are running around, and when another employee, Oscar, climbs up into the ceiling, Angela Martin shrieks, “Save Bandit!” and tosses the cat into the ceiling.

“The crew told me, ‘You’re going to take the cat, swing it back, and when you get up [to a certain point], you’re going to stop,” Kinsey said.

Kinsey said that right after this, she was to move out of the frame, so a stunt double could gently put the cat into the ceiling. Someone was hiding up in the rafters to catch the cat, while another person with a fake cat was going to throw it out the other side.

To make sure nothing went wrong with the scene, Kinsey said the cast “rehearsed [it] like a choreographed dance” to get it in one take, and that “everyone was screaming and running,” but also having a great deal of fun.

Unfortunately, things didn’t go as planned.

“The stunt double tosses the cat up, and it… it comes out the other side — the real cat,” Kinsey said. “I don’t know if the guy missed it, I really don’t know. Then, the dude up in there with the fake cat throws that down the other side too. So, two cats came out, and it was total mayhem.”

The producers cut the part where the fake cat fell out, and audience members were both mortified and amused to realize that it was the real cat accidentally falling out of the ceiling.

Some audience members said this was their favorite part of the night.

“I’ve always wondered if the cat in the ‘Save Bandit’ scene was real, and now I know that it was a real cat that fell out of the ceiling,” Lamar said.

The conversation with Kinsey was both greatly entertaining for attendees and very inspirational, empowering them to follow their passions and dreams despite difficulties.

“It was a wonderful opportunity to hear and active artist speak on her experiences,” Rowland said. “It was also such a bonding experience for those of us in the audience to relive and appreciate a show we all love so much.”

In the Bustle Booth With Angela

From Bustle:

When celebrities hang out with Bustle editors, we want to give them the chance to leave their mark. Literally. So we hand them a pen, a piece of paper, a few questions, and ask them to get creative. The rest is up to them. This time, Haters Back Off star Angela Kinsey is leaving her mark in the Bustle Booth.

Angela Kinsey loves the kind of comedy that makes you recoil in discomfort. She first made a name for herself as Angela Martin, Dunder Mifflin’s severe, cat-loving accountant, on The Office. Now, Kinsey can be seen in the second season of Haters Back Off as Bethany, the mother of Miranda Sings. The Netflix adaptation of Colleen Ballinger’s fame-hungry YouTube persona can be as painfully funny and hilariously painful as Kinsey’s first big TV success. And though the actor couldn’t be more personable in real life, she takes some pleasure in throwing an audience off their game.

“I find [Haters Back Off ] is the type of comedy that I love, which is the cringey comedy,” Kinsey says. “Where you’re laughing and then you’re like, “I’m uncomfortable,” and then you’re like, ‘Oh my god, I might cry. What’s happening?’ And then you laugh.”

Like Angela, Bethany has some domineering personality traits, but Kinsey’s goal as a performer is never to let those more prominent characteristics totally define her characters. So though Miranda’s mother in the series appears meek and desperate to be loved, there’s much more to her than that.

“[Characters] have to be real people,” the actor says. “I have to make them real. And what I mean by that is, like Angela Martin — she wasn’t just the bitch. I don’t paint her with one broad stroke. She was also shy, she was also nervous, anxious, she wanted better for herself in life but maybe that’s where she was, so she had disappointment. She was also suspicious of people and not trusting and fearful.”

Kinsey tried to explore the same depths with Bethany, who, despite her issues, “can still have fun” and “still flirt with a man, even if it’s awkward,” the actor says. And discovering this character started with Kinsey zeroing in on one big point of overlap in their lives.

“I’m a mom now, and that filters how I look at life and how I look at characters,” she says. “And Bethany is a mom, and she’s a single mom and that was relatable to me because I was a single mom for a long time. And she has kind of lost herself in her kids, I think that’s really relatable to moms. We can lose ourselves in our children. You have to look at yourself sometimes and say, ‘Wait, where am I in this?'”

And while it’s not particularly common to, say, fake an illness to get a date, Bethany is one of the more down-to-Earth characters in Haters Back Off. Kinsey, who got her start in improv comedy, does get to have her “little moments” of determined humor. (“Emily, you know very well what a bag of salami is,” was an ad-lib, she says.) But otherwise, she looks at Bethany as part of the foundation for Haters Back Off to be as bonkers as it sometimes needs to be.

“I think about characters like Pam [from The Office] that were very honest. And that allowed the Michael Scott craziness or the Dwight or the bigger characters, because you have the ones that ground everybody,” she says, drawing a comparison to Bethany. “There are more real moments that pull it down, kind of get it back grounded a little. And then give it permission to go crazy. Because I feel like your audience is like, ‘You know what? Suck me in with the grounded stuff and I’ll go with you to the crazy place, because I buy it.'”

It’s no surprise that someone with an affinity for both Looney Tunes and Veep star Julia Louis-Dreyfus has strong opinions about the art of comedy. Keep reading to find out what else Angela Kinsey is loving these days. – Source

Angela chats about “Blacked Out”

Angela and her husband, Josh, sat down to chat with Roselyn Sanchez about “Blacked Out,” a short film written by Angela and directed by Andrés Anglade. The short film will be showing at Puerto Rico’s Rincón International Film Festival on Sunday, April 2.

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About “Blacked Out”:

A she said/he said recounting of a city-wide blackout in Los Angeles. For her it was a romantic night that brought people together. For him the night had danger at every turn.

Click here to find out more about the Rincón International Film Festival and to purchase tickets for “Blacked Out.”

16 Most Underrated Performances of 2016

Thrillist named Angela’s performance in “Haters Back Off” as one of the 16 Most Underrated Performances of 2016! 

Fans of The Office must have been thrilled when they learned that their beloved Angela was going to have a more front-seat role in Colleen Ballinger’s maiden Netflix voyage. As Bethany, Kinsey plays Miranda Sings’ single mom who sports a new hair color, works at a grocery store, and complains about fake ailments. Armed with a not-so-subtle wrist brace, the actress nails her poignant part as a flawed parent, one who wants to be the No. 1 Mirfanda of all time, but who does all the wrong things at all the wrong times. Kinsey shines in her ability to elicit genuine laughter and sadness; she deserves more of these sizable opportunities to do so – Source

Netflix Renews ‘Haters Back Off!’ for Season 2

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Netflix has ordered a second season of “Haters Back Off,” based on popular YouTube personality Colleen Ballinger’s oddball character Miranda Sings, for premiere in 2017.

The series stars Ballinger as Miranda Sings, Steve Little as Miranda’s overly confident and utterly misguided Uncle Jim, Angela Kinsey as Miranda’s mom, Bethany, Erik Stocklin, as Miranda’s neighbor and best friend, Patrick, and Francesca Reale as Miranda’s sister, Emily. – Source