Glennis McMurray FnS Interview – Gabriella Giarrano

 

Funny Woman Glennis McMurray

Photo Elizabeth Griffin

When it comes to making fart jokes with a pretty smile on your face, few do it better than funny woman Glennis Mcmurray. With a gorgeous voice, quick wit, and talent for hilarious poop jokes, Glennis is a force to be reckoned with. Recently FnS got to pick her brain about her beginnings in NY, work with improv and voice over, and where she is headed.

- I Eat Pandas became quite the success, how did that experience get started? Has it helped your personal career?


I Eat Pandas came together for the Upright Citizen Brigade’s 3-on-3 competition.  Travis Ploeger put together a team which included Eliza Skinner and myself and we came in 2nd place overall in the competition.  UCB offered us a run and the rest was history.  I Eat Pandas has certainly opened a lot of doors.  Eliza, Frank Spitznagel (our pianist after Travis moved to DC) and I got an off-Broadway run and started working with the lovely ladies of WET Productions (www.wetweb.org).  I got an audition, and eventually the pilot, for The Electric Company because a few of the guys from Freestyle Love Supreme saw one of our Pandas shows in Providence, RI and they were helping to create the show.

- You’ve done voice over work, improv, professional acting, what would you say is the genre you most enjoy?

 That’s hard to say!  I originally moved to New York to pursue a career in musical theatre so there will always be a part of me that loves singing on stage, but I’ve grown so fond of voice overs lately.  I am so in my element in that booth!  I love how it opens up this whole world of acting where I can play anything from a little girl to a Pop Tart to a dish sponge.  Lately I’ve been taking on more producing and I’m really enjoying that as well.  Do I have to pick just one?  I love everything I do! 

- What’s involved in preparing for your various types of performances?

It really depends.  If it’s a voice over job all I really need to do is get a lot of sleep and wake up early enough to get the “morning” out of my voice.  I also have to restrict my coffee intake because then I read to quickly and no one can understand me.  For anything on stage or that requires me to memorize someone else’s words I have to practice until I’m blue in the face.  I hate feeling unsure of my material so I become something of a perfectionist with it.  I also warm up vocally using these exercises I bought on iTunes called Voice Lesson To Go!  I haven’t gotten to the point where I’m warming up on the train, yet.  I don’t think anyone needs to hear that.  Sometimes, if I’m feeling unsure before a performance or audition, I’ll listen to a song to get myself pumped.  Either “I Was Meant For The Stage” by the Decemberists or “Eye of The Tiger” by Survivor.

- You have made a change from blonde to brunette. Is this part of a change in preferred character attributes?

I honestly just needed a change!  I grew up with a hairdresser for a mother so I was constantly changing my color or getting really awful perms.  It was just something I was used to and I had been blonde for something like 6 years.  You can’t change your hair color every other month when you spend $500 on head shots that are supposed to represent you.  I’m naturally a brunette, though lighter than my current color, so I just went dark brown and I love it.  I haven’t noticed a change in casting yet – I’ll let you know if I get called in for Jersey Shore 2.

- Were you a theater nerd? What inspired you to move to NY?

I was involved in theatre all through high school, but I kind of floated around social groups.  I think I made the mistake of really wanting to be popular in high school and I ended up missing out on forming strong bonds with the theater kids.  I do look back on high school theatre as one of the best experiences of my life.  We had an amazing director, Mona Wood Paterson, who challenged us and helped me prepare for the real world more than I probably realized at the time.  As far as New York goes, I honestly thought it was the easy route.  I hated high school and had so-so grades so I couldn’t imagine 4 more years of academics.  My brilliant idea was to move to New York directly after high school.  I did apply to a few colleges to appease the folks, but New York just seemed right.  I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone else though – it was rough – but I can’t imagine living anywhere else and I love that I feel like I’ve conquered the big NYC!

- What favorite comedians, improv groups, etc are you watching?

Wow, this is tough!  I love and admire so many people whom I’m also friends with.  Locally, I absolutely adore the comedy of my Dream Role co-producers Katina Corrao and Sara Jo Allocco.  They keep me in stitches daily.  I, of course, adore Matt McCarthy (in more ways than one) and I love Adira Amram, Becky Yamamoto, Mindy Raf, Carla Rhodes, Anya Garrett, Jaime Lee, Ann Carr, Pete Holmes, Oren Brimmer, Jay Bois, Baron Vaughn, Vince Avrill, Jess Popp, MC Chris & Chris Sullivan, just to name a few.  On a larger scale I love Maria Bamford, Amy Poehler & Tina Fey (naturally), Artemis Pebdani & Mary Elizabeth Ellis.  Artemis and Mary Elizabeth are on “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” and I saw their show at UCB, “Mother May I Dance With Mary Jane’s Fist” and sort of peed myself a little watching them.  I am a huge fan of strong women in comedy.  I hope I didn’t leave anyone out.  You!  Strong woman!  I adore you, too!!

- The tone of your videos is often juvenile, while still being adult and even enticing at times. Did this tone find you, or was it a conscious choice?

What can I say?  I’m a sucker for a fart joke.  It definitely wasn’t a choice – I just do what makes me laugh for the most part.  I do find that I gravitate toward playing kids, but they are always very mature for their age and know way more than they should.  I think that’s just me – I am the oldest of 2 girls and was raised solely by my mom for the most part.  I know that kid who has to grow up too fast – that’s probably where the mix comes from.

- What new projects can we look for?

Dream Role, which I produce with Katina Corrao & Sara Jo Allocco, has a monthly run at 92Y Tribeca .  This month we scored Stephanie D’Abruzzo (who originated the role of Kate Monster in Avenue Q) for the show and had a nice big house despite the weather.  Our production team, Thrilled by Three, is working on expanding beyond benefit shows (A Night for Dotty) and Dream Role so we just recently shot the first of many comedy shorts under the Thrilled by Three brand.  This particular one was done for Sound Lounge, a voice over casting house, and will be featured on their website. (http://www.soundlounge.com/)  I also run a once-monthly stand-up show in Williamsburg at Legion bar with my two pals Becky Yamamoto & Mindy Raf, and I have a sketch group with the lovely and hilarious Stephen Ruddy, Kate Tellers & Marcy Girt.  I am constantly scheming, plotting and planning on world domination so you can probably expect even more from me very soon!

You can find Glennis online at http://www.glennismcmurray.com, http://dreamrole.net, http://supercream.wordpress.com, and follow her on twitter at http://twitter.com/glennypenny.

For your viewing pleasure, here is footage from Glennis’ October performance with Dream Role, where she sings Skid Row:

Gabriella Giarrano is a freelance writer and stand-up enthusiast with an addiction to used books that borders on clinical.
She is currently working within the Atlanta comedy community to promote and support local talent and events. Follow her on twitter at
http://twitter.com/pantsoff.

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  1. Glennis McMurray FnS Interview by Gabriella Giarrano…

    Interview with Funny Woman Glennis McMurray on Funny not Slutty – Gabriella Giarrano…

  2. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by john galt, Gabriella Giarrano. Gabriella Giarrano said: This month's interview for @FunnyNotSlutty is with Glennis Mcmurray !! (@glennypenny ) http://funnynotslutty.com/?p=177#more-177 [...]

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