Published by

Laura Bell Bundy

{courtesy Marbaloo Marketing}

My insanely talented friend Laura Bell Bundy was kind enough to take a break from being a television/Broadway/movie star and creator of the online modern-day variety show Skits-O-Frenic to chat with me about The Business, life and ladyhood. I initially met her through Tony, who worked with her on Hart of Dixie and an upcoming Lifetime Christmas movie. Much to the thrill of my teenage-Broadway-obsessed self (I saw her in Legally Blonde and Hairspray), she asked me to write for the channel, which is created by and run by ALL WOMEN. So badass. (The pieces I wrote are coming soon!) I love the message she’s sending to women in Hollywood: If you’re making your own material, no one can tell you “no.” Read on to see why I am more obsessed with her than ever…

What was the impetus behind creating this channel, Skits-O-Frenic?

My co-creators, Tiffany and Brooke Engen, and I have always been obsessed with classic variety shows and sketch comedy shows — The Carol Burnett Show, Hee Haw, Laugh In, SNL, In Living Color. They had music, dance, sentimentality and comedy. Plus, they just looked like they were having so much fun! We modeled our set of skills off of these types of performers. But these show formats do not necessarily appeal to the audiences of today. The younger generations are getting their laughs in smaller and smaller doses in short form digital sketches on YouTube, Vine, etc. We wanted to create a platform for the variety of entertainment we love — surprising uses of music, dancing, comedy and drama — folks could easily access online in those bite-sized doses… For now.

Also, as a musician, it really allows me to go nuts. I have jazz versions of heavy metal songs with “Throwback Betty,” and bluegrass versions of pop songs with “Smokin Bluegrass,” and then we mash up hip hop and country for our segment “Mashville”… and no label is telling me that it can’t sell. It’s just for the love and pure joy of making music.

Skits-O-Frenic

{Smokin Bluegrass’ Stitches}

What can we expect to see on Skits-O-Frenic?

Skits-O-Frenic’s diagnosis is “The uncontrollable urge to burst into song, dance, dramatic, scene or comedic sketch”… So you will be seeing one short form sketch in one of the categories of music, dance, comedy and/or drama every week.

Skits-O-Frenic

{Shooting What The Duck?}

How did you get started in “The Biz?”

I came out of the womb singing “Tomorrrow, tomorrow, I love ya, tomorrow!”

Actually, it’s a funny story. My mom entered me into a local pageant at 5 in Lexington, KY. I ended up winning, and then winning the state title and THEN winning the national title of Miss Pee Wee Hemisphere, where I won a new car. Who gives a car to a five year old? Really? My mom was like “We’ll take the money!” From that, we got an opportunity to go to NYC for us to be featured on The Phil Donahue Show. It ended up being this horrible experience where child psychologists were there telling the moms they were using their kids, etc., and the audience wasn’t too kind, either. I just thought I was going to parade around like a princess… “Wah, wah.”

The best part that came out of it was that it got us to NYC, I got signed by Ford Modeling Agency and we went to see my first Broadway Show… Starlight Express. I started coming to NYC in the summers only to do modeling and commercials, but what I really loved was being a theater geek and studying with great singing and dancing teachers while I was there.

Skits-O-Frenic

{Jeep Blondes}

Most exciting “pinch me” moment of your career?

I’m fortunate to constantly be feeling like I should be pinching myself, but there are two standouts… Truly just being able to make money doing my hobby is unbelievable. But… Seeing a billboard of myself go up in Times Square for Legally Blonde — talk about surreal. And performing my song “Giddy On Up” in the ACM Awards, and having Reba introduce me. I was also pretty much hanging from the ceiling in a horse shoe when the number started, so not only was I pinching myself, I was also about to shit myself.

Skits-O-Frenic

{Behind the scenes on What The Duck?}

Best piece of career advice you’ve ever received?

Well, my dad always told me that “ASK” was the most powerful three letter word and it’s served me well throughout my career… And life.

Skits-O-Frenic

{NamaStacy}

Advice for aspiring female comedians, or women in Hollywood?

Don’t hold back. You have a point of view for a reason, don’t shy away from expressing it because it may not be “lady like”… Say the the stuff you say when you’re alone with your friends on stage and in your work. That’s the gold. Let the weakness and pain in life inspire you… Looking back, it’s almost always funny. Ladies, go for the art, not the fame or the the perfection. Imperfection is much cooler, plus it actually spells “Im Perfection”

Skits-O-Frenic

{Shooting Stitches}

You’re a multi-multi-multi-hyphenate. You’re an actress, singer, dancer, writer, producer, director, bag designer… Just listing all the hats you wear makes me stressed out! How do you balance it all?

I have no idea. I struggle with having career ADD for sure. But Skitso is allowing me to funnel all those interests into one platform and express myself in numorous ways for one common goal. It’s also all just making art, and I have had to learn additional trades like producing and directing to see through my larger visions.

I’ve also found that certain days I’m more an actress, then the next day I am more a producer, then the next is I’m A Musician day… It’s like wearing your Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday panties. I just call mine Bundies Undies. :)

Skits-O-Frenic

{Behind the scenes on What The Duck?}

Favorite sketch of all time?

Carol Burnett coming down the stairs in that curtain rod imitating Scarlett O’Hara! I also loved this really old SNL commercial called “Jewish Jeans,” which was a parody of “Jordache Jeans.”

Skits-O-Frenic

{Repeat Offenders}

What’s your dream role? Could be on Broadway. Or a remake. Or a type of character you’d just really, really, really love to play!

I’d love to do the life story of Doris Day. I also love “Lola” in Damn Yankees, and “Mama Rose” — that story speaks to me for deep seated reasons.

Skits-O-Frenic

{Stitches}

If you didn’t have any one of the 10+ careers listed above and you lived in an alternate, Hollywood-less reality, what would your dream job be?

I would either be a nutritionist or psychologist/therapist. I’m obsessed with the way our body reacts to what we put into it, as well as mental and spiritual health.

Skits-O-Frenic

{What The Duck?}

Aside from Skits-O, what are you working on? Where can we look for you next?

I will be in the upcoming Recovery Road on ABC Family as a recurring character and can be seen guest starring on CBS’ Angel from Hell and TBS’ new Tribeca created by Steve & Nancy Carell.

I’m very much in a development year, though, with a few film projects, a TV show I’m writing based on part of my upbringing and an original Broadway show.

Lifetime

{And here we are in Vancouver a few months ago, when Laura Bell and Tony were shooting their Lifetime Christmas movie and I was a groupie on set.}

Thank you so much for chatting with me, Laura Bell!! If you haven’t seen it yet, here is Skits-O-Frenic’s first sketch:

And you can (and SHOULD) watch the rest here!