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Rising Star Alexandra Kirr: “Let’s start a movement to see people’s value beyond their physical bodies”

I think the movement I would start has already been started, but it has a long way to go. I used to suffer from multiple eating disorders as a ballerina and young woman. Once upon a time, that was viewed as a narcissistic self-induced disease. Now, women and men are starting organizations that expose body […]


I think the movement I would start has already been started, but it has a long way to go. I used to suffer from multiple eating disorders as a ballerina and young woman. Once upon a time, that was viewed as a narcissistic self-induced disease. Now, women and men are starting organizations that expose body dysmorphia and its correlation with irresponsible marketing. They’re also showing the numbers, and unfortunately, body shame affects the majority of the population, not just women. I had the pleasure of hearing a wonderful woman, Jameela Jamil, speak recently on this and she nailed it on the head. Her movement “I Weigh,” which promotes seeing people’s value beyond their physical bodies is brilliant and something I completely stand behind. I’m also involved with Project Heal, which brings both awareness and help to people with eating disorders that may not have the means to help themselves. Whether it be gender, race, or physical appearance, I stand by any motion that stops shame in its tracks.


I had the pleasure of interviewing Alexandra Kirr. Alexandra is a Los Angeles based actress and screenwriter. She is best known for her writing and producing of various award-winning film and digital projects including, Awful Pretty, winner of the Best Female Filmmaker award at Indiefest. Inspired by her own life, Alexandra also created and starred in the Youtube series, Confessions of A Gamer’s Girlfriend, and her other acting credits include: Top Gun: Maverick, All-Star Weekend, The Zach Galifianakis Effect (a short in promotion of his movie Masterminds) and Funny or Die’s Awkward People.


Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

As I kid I was drilled to be disciplined in school and anything else I was involved in which made me somewhat of a perfectionist. I was intelligent, hardworking, and I thought I would end up pursuing something in the scientific fields. I went through a long phase of wanting to be an ethicist until I discovered they are responsible for approving euthanasia in some medical cases, so I said, “NOPE. No thank you.” I don’t want that on my conscience! All the while, I was studying ballet because I just needed more to do on top of maintaining a perfect GPA, playing drums, flute, and piano, and whatever else I chose to do instead of sleeping. However, as my ballet technique improved, it came to a point where I was good enough to go professional, and I decided that’s what I wanted to do. I basically dropped everything to study ballet until I bled… literally. It would have been fine, not lucrative, but fine, except that I got injured (full reconstructive knee surgery) which put me out for almost a year. When I was ready to return, my heart wasn’t in it anymore, so I thought what is the closest thing to ballet that I can do with my life? Oh, acting! I applied to the fine arts program at the University of Nevada Las Vegas and went to school for acting. But guess what? When you arrive in LA with a BA in acting and no business savvy, LA goes, “Cool, how much money do you have? I’ll make you a star and *this* is how you do it!” So after many years of bull and wasting money, I started making my own stuff. I learned how to write and produce from some extremely successful mentors and hope to someday become my own show runner.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?

As with most projects I’ve been involved in, there’s usually some sort of wrap party or premiere, but the craziest one that I’ve ever been to was after I worked one day on the set of a feature film. I prefer not to mention the title of it, even though I’m sure you’ll try to figure it out off of my IMDB. The set itself had a party-like atmosphere, and after shooting all night and wearing heels for what felt like endless takes, I was ready to go home. As I’m leaving, I notice a lot of the lovely lady extras and the primary cast piling into Mercedes vans or town cars heading to a big house up the hill. I uncover that this is the wrap party, and this whole time we’ve been shooting on the producer/main actor’s property. Curious, I think, “why not?” and jump into one of the town cars heading up to the house. It ends up simultaneously being a famous rapper’s birthday party and packed with tons of celebrities, famous athletes, and hot women. This was definitely during the pre-Weisman era. I’m not super shy, so I start talking to people, and when I got bored enough, I decided to see if I could hitch another ride down the hill to my car. Except, as I’m trying to leave, the owner of the house’s assistant stops me and tells me that he had been watching me during the shoot, and I seemed like a naturally “cool chick that would fit in with their crew.” Crew as in entourage, not film crew, to clarify. I know what you’re thinking, because I thought it too. RUN! But the more he talked, the more he seemed like he was simply looking to make a relationship with another decent human being. I naively gave him my number, and he said he’d invite me to other parties they’d have in the future. The next week, he asked me to come over to a small get together at the house, and I said sure. I show up (my boyfriend on speed dial) and rather than a party, we end up watching The Intern (yes, the Robert De Niro/Anne Hathaway one), and I head home. Weirdest night of my life.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

Before I really knew how to produce, or have a team of production people I like to work with, I made this short film that turned out to be a complete disaster! I wrote it with a writing partner, which was another mistake for a different time, and it was a funny sketch about a Yia Yia and her granddaughter. However, not being able to find a decent non-union actor to play an authentic Greek grandmother, we decided to use prosthetics and have my writing partner play Yia Yia. Insert eye roll emoji here! We hired all the wrong people, and she ended up looking more like Freddy Kruger than a grandma! Out of money and so so green as a producer, I thought we could somehow make it work or “fix it in post” HA, but needless to say it was awful. I learned you can’t cut corners for a good product. Even if you’re able to get favors, don’t keep asking until it becomes disrespectful. You need to pay people for their work, simple as that.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

I have a few projects in development, but I can’t really say that one is more exciting than the other. I love developing new content and exploring different genres. I’ve been fortunate enough to not be pegged into one genre as an actress or a screenwriter. I’ve written everything from horror to comedy, and I enjoy them all. For the first time, I’m working with two writing partners on a female driven action comedy. One of the producers, who is also one of the name actors, brought me the project because she was sick of being type cast as the adorable girlfriend when she felt like an internal badass. She pitched me the idea, and here we are making a feature film called The Job with an amazing production team behind it. It’s amazing how many people are ready to jump on board to a project with a female lead now. I’m all about female driven content, especially when we can break stereotypes.

Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?

The most interesting story I have is probably how I met my boyfriend. When I first moved to LA, I had no clue what I was doing and definitely no industry experience. Acting classes had used up most of my savings, and I needed a job. Searching Craigslist, as one does, I see this nanny position. I’ve always been great with kids, so sure? I meet up with the family, who happen to live a few blocks from me, and find out that the mother is a well known producer and the father is an editor. Well, I got the job and so much more. At their daughter’s seventh birthday, I met their oldest son, and we were forced to spend hours together taking souvenir photos for all the little party attendees. That led to our first date and the rest is history. My boyfriend loves to tell people he snagged the babysitter, but I mean, he’s not lying! Personally, they are my family. Professionally, I would not be where I am without any of them. My parents are not in the industry at all. My mom is a retired school teacher, and my dad is an architect. Although they give me all the love and support a girl can ask for, it’s nice to have grown up (in my 20s) with a family so astute with industry knowledge.

A much shorter and more hilarious story was when I was in my early 20s and trying to get more set experience. My boyfriend is a cinematographer and offered to “hire” me for PA and grip work on some of his music videos. We were shooting a Vic Mensa video in Chicago on a gun range, and there was this part of the video where images fly back and forth into frame. This was not done digitally. This was me, running back and forth in the dark background, putting the images on a pulley system! Thank the Lord the bullet holes were done in post, because if I was being shot at simultaneously I might have lost it! Anyway, as we’re getting on the plane to fly back to LA, I walk through the scanner and practically get pummeled by TSA. They pat me, search me, and freak out, persisting that I have a gun. I plead with them saying I don’t, but they don’t believe me. Finally, nearly missing my flight, we figure out that I have gunpowder on my boots from the gun range and it was all just a big misunderstanding. My boyfriend laughed from the sidelines during the whole thing.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

Social media can be your best friend and your worst enemy. I recommend two things. Follow all of the industry people that you want to work with and your personal friends, and UNFOLLOW everything else. It will eat up your time and eat away at your psyche comparing yourself to the people and the things you don’t have. Ain’t nobody got time for that in this industry!

Also, stop listening to all these people that give you the secrets to booking a job. There are no secrets. There is hardwork, professionalism, and persistence, with the additional skill sets that can be useful, but you can ask your working friends what those are! DO NOT spend $400 for a class on this stuff. It’s a waste of your time and money. I do recommend some casting director workshops to personally see how each CD ticks, but be selective. If you don’t look like the kids on Riverdale, you know what I mean, you might not want to spend time trying to see that casting director. Again, SAVE YOUR MONEY.

Best advice? Stop taking advice from other people and focus on what lights you up. I guarantee it will eventually light someone else up too, and you’ll be so much happier in the process.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I think the movement I would start has already been started, but it has a long way to go. I used to suffer from multiple eating disorders as a ballerina and young woman. Once upon a time, that was viewed as a narcissistic self-induced disease. Now, women and men are starting organizations that expose body dysmorphia and its correlation with irresponsible marketing. They’re also showing the numbers, and unfortunately, body shame affects the majority of the population, not just women. I had the pleasure of hearing a wonderful woman, Jameela Jamil, speak recently on this and she nailed it on the head. Her movement “I Weigh,” which promotes seeing people’s value beyond their physical bodies is brilliant and something I completely stand behind. I’m also involved with Project Heal, which brings both awareness and help to people with eating disorders that may not have the means to help themselves. Whether it be gender, race, or physical appearance, I stand by any motion that stops shame in its tracks.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

1. Get into an acting class that knows about the business. Out of college, which sorry, doesn’t prepare you for the acting business, I spent years in scene study classes that knew nothing about getting work in this industry. You know the HBO show, Barry? Yeah, don’t do that. Get on camera, learn how to audition, and know how to control your voice and technical mechanisms organically. If your class doesn’t teach that, get out! It’s not called show creativity or show art, it’s called show business.

2. Make your own content! Everyone will tell you this now, and they will also tell you how “easy it is.” It’s really not. You need to invest in your professional materials. Sure, you can take your iPhone and shoot a monologue with terrible sound in front of an Ariana Grande poster on your wall. Or my favorite, two people on a couch talking because that’s never been done before (again insert eye roll), but no one’s going to hire you from that! Save your money, invest in a good sound operator, hire a DP and maybe a production designer, and get someone to write you some good content. When you’re starting out, take the time to meet people also trying to build their portfolios, you might get discounted rates or favors. Either way, make it look good. I always hear the question, do I need to have a professional reel/headshot when I’m starting out? The answer is another question: do you want to be considered as a professional or not? It doesn’t mean you need a network name in the bottom right corner. It means you need quality footage that shows your essence.

PS. I don’t own an Ariana Grande poster, nor am I judging you if you do.

3. Know what your essence is. I’m not quirky, but during the years of the Zooey Deschanel “adorkable” era, I tried so hard to be. Guess what? Never booked a thing. Not because I’m a bad actor, but because that’s not my essence. Could I still play a dork? Of course! I would just play a dork the way Alexandra Kirr is dorky. Same goes for sadness. My neutral is slightly sad, so if I’m playing a sad character, I never focus on the sadness because I can trust it will naturally come through on its own. When breaking down a script, there are technical and organic elements to a character that you must stay true to, but everything else is just you. That’s where casting directors start to say, “that actor really brought something special to the character.” Know who YOU are.

4. Talk to people! It’s not who you know in the industry, it’s who knows you. Make relationships with people and keep them up. LA is known for flaky, disinterested people. Don’t be that person! Same thing goes for cold emails, postcards, etc. None of them will be as effective if you don’t take the time to get to know these people. Eighty percent of them have social media and it’s not private. Don’t bombard them, but you sure as hell better be liking their baby pictures, because the first chance you get to have a meeting with them and they say, “have we met before?” your hard double tapping work has paid off! Steve Martin said it best, “The lucky ball bounces on every head in Hollywood. The successful people are the ones who were ready when they got tapped.”

5. Piggy backing off of talking to people… have a network. I never want you practice an audition alone ever again! If you’re a writer, never pitch a script before you’ve had a trusted group of people read it. You may get some second chances, but people’s time is expensive, and they generally aren’t willing to give you a discount twice. Your network’s time is funded by their support and love for you and vice versa, so use it! Find your tribe and hold on to them. This can be a very solitary business, but it doesn’t have to be. Nobody who’s successful did it alone. If they say they did, they’re lying.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“God gives you more of what you already have.” You may not believe in God, so substitute it with the Universe, Buddha, or whatever else you believe in. This is more about mindset than religion. If you are trying to get a job, you are going to get more of trying to get a job. If you repeatedly believe the job is yours you’re going to get more jobs. It’s the truest realization I know. When I was able to go into a meeting/audition with the idea that I’ve done the work and don’t need anything from them other than to make a new relationship and show them who I am, my game was changed for the better.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

There are SO MANY people! I’ve tried not to name a lot of names in this interview, as I don’t like to tell other people’s stories, but I will say that meeting Sosie Bacon was probably one of the most pivotal moments in my career. I was teaching ballet barre fitness at a studio in downtown LA, and Sosie was working the front desk. She was going over lines for an audition, and we were chatting about the hardships of being an actress. She said that I needed to go to Lesly Kahn, an acting school that changed her life. I was weary because of my past experience with LA acting classes, but this was someone I trusted enough to try it out. After getting into the Lesly Kahn ongoing program, where I still study, I finally understood how this business worked as an actor and what was expected of me. I noticed a significant improvement in the character development of my writing as well. Lesly and her proteges changed my world!

Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this. 🙂

Donald Glover. The man has my IDEAL career, sans rapping because nobody wants to see me do that.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

Instagram @alexkirrthegirl

Twitter (sometimes I’m funny) @alexkirrthegirl

Facebook facebook.com/alexkirrthegirl

Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational!

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