We had the good fortune of connecting with Olivia Oreskovich and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Olivia, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
Pursuing a career in the arts never felt like a choice to me; it truly felt like destiny. I have always enjoyed storytelling, performing, and making people laugh! As an actor, I am able to access a deep sense of vulnerability and creativity within a role. I love reading scripts with complex characters and strong stories that allow me to explore a new world or point of view with my fellow cast members and director.
As an improviser, I believe my ability to “yes and” to a scene partner’s suggestion has built its way into how I interact with others outside of scene work. I truly enjoy connecting with people and learning about their stories, passions, and way of life. I think this is what really inspired me to create my podcast, Kombuchat.
I’m so grateful that my career is doing what I love!
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
From a young age I became involved in the performing arts, starting as a poinsettia in The Nutcracker ballet. I gravitated to different types of dance, and soon became involved in local theatre productions. I have always found the stage to be my second home. As I continued to grow, so did my love for performance. I’m from a small city in Colorado, so while I had access to community theatre as a youth, I always knew that I wanted to pursue a career in a city with even more opportunity like Los Angeles.
Attending Loyola Marymount University for my undergraduate education was a dream come true. I still remember opening my acceptance letter and crying with my parents. Luckily, they have supported me every step of the way.
I was able to explore a range of characters at LMU from ‘Nick Bottom’ in A Midsummer Night’s Dream to ‘Wendla Bergman’ in Spring Awakening, to ‘Marianne’ in Tartuffe, and many others. I am grateful I was able to work with so many of our department directors in telling these stories.
I was also a part of LMU’s improv team, Laser Squad Bravo. I took improv classes at Upright Citizens Brigade to learn as much as I could about improvisation and performed weekly with Laser Squad Bravo at LMU.
While our industry as performers has been limited during the past year, I have continued to tell stories: I started a podcast called Kombuchat, began taking scene study classes at Berg Studios, and am in the process of workshopping a play with a fellow LMU alum.
As the industry begins to reawaken in the dawn of the pandemic-related closures, I am eager to return to live theatre and film sets! I am excited at the prospects of continuing to sharpen my skills, explore characters, and help tell stories that need to be told.
I am as eager as I first was to be onstage, to grow alongside my creative pursuits here in the city of stars, and I am grateful that my destiny and love for the arts align.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I love showing people around LA because there is so much to do! I’ll break it down into categories, in case people are searching for certain suggestions. Food: My favorite restaurant is The Kettle, in Manhattan Beach. Their food is the best! As a vegan, there are so many spots I want to shoutout. Gracias Madre, Sage, Thai Vegan, Cena Vegan, and Monty’s (which is basically vegan In-N-Out).
Destinations: I love comedy, so I would definitely take a friend to any Upright Citizens Brigade show for improv, or The Comedy Store for stand-up. Abbot Kinney is always a fun street to window shop or to grab ice cream from at Salt & Straw. In terms of museums, LACMA, The Broad, and The Getty are must-sees for anyone visiting LA. I love watching plays at The Getty Villa, Culver City’s Kirk Douglas Theatre, and of course at LMU! I’d also stop by Melrose Trading post to support local vendors and artists!
Photo Spots: We all want to get some pictures for the ‘gram out of our trips, so here is my list of picture-perfect-photo-opps: Lake Hollywood Park (perfect view of the Hollywood sign), Venice Boardwalk Sign (wait for the lights to turn red at Pacific Ave & Windward Ave because it is a four-way-stop light and you can grab pictures directly under the sign), The Love Wall at Abbot Kinney (this one isn’t so secretive but always cute)!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would love to give a shout out to the students and faculty of Loyola Marymount University’s Theatre Arts Department. LMU gave me a foundation to build upon in my creative pursuit; I learned history and technique, enjoying every minute of my classes! My study abroad experiences in Germany and Croatia were a conservatory-style training with courses in Brechtian technique, Stannislavski, maskwork, stilts, movement, and maybe most importantly, learning how to really create together as an ensemble. I left that semester feeling more confident in my self-expression than I ever had before.
Finishing my time at LMU, I reflected not just upon what I had learned in my courses, but on the relationships I had formed with my peers, my castmates, and my professors. I credit my success as a student and my fearlessness as a performer to all of the professors I had, and my fellow fearless cast members.
I’d also love to give a shoutout to my family for their love, support, and attendance at all of my shows!
Hannah Oreskovich Josh La Cour