We had the good fortune of connecting with Ronni Saxon and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Ronni, we’d love to start by asking you about lessons learned. Is there a lesson you can share with us?
Enjoy. The. Process.

Working in entertainment creates such wonderful opportunities to follow your passions without constricting you to one specific career label. The other edge of that sword? There isn’t always a clear trajectory to follow towards your goals. If there was a guide for “How to Succeed as a Multi-Hyphenate in Entertainment (While Really Trying),” I’d buy a signed copy. Instead, the industry I’ve always gravitated towards is something that I have learned to navigate in stride and, because of that, am now able to enjoy more every day.

After moving to Los Angeles from Minnesota (oh, yah…Minne-soooo-ta), I worked at “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” for six seasons. With a daytime talk show production schedule, I had a regimented routine for a long time. I thrived off of that. Once I resigned from the show and began pursuing a career in front of the camera, my routine and mindset were forced to shift drastically. Having a daily production meeting with yourself isn’t nearly as stimulating as one would think. Transitioning from the consistency of working a steady job in TV production to the unpredictability of being a performer/writer via acting, standup comedy, improv, and music was pretty daunting at first. Over time though, I’ve learned to revel in what I now see as endless possibilities. This might sound cheesy, but it’s such a gift to be able to pursue what makes your heart happy.

Working in an industry that is already full of so many what-ifs (and just as much judgement and rejection – yay!), can make enjoyment a tricky thing. What if I never “make it”? What does “making it” even look like? If I do “make it,” then what? Whenever I start to go down that inevitable rabbit hole, I’m able to alleviate so much pressure by choosing to focus on the present, taking each experience in stride, and learning to fully appreciate what’s right in front of me – whether good or bad. Embracing the unknown has made a wonderful impact on who I am both personally and professionally. While I am well aware that every day isn’t sunshine and rainbows (no matter how much I’d love for it to be, mermaids and unicorns included), I also know that our time here can go by quickly. So, we might as well do our best to enjoy as much of it as we can.

At this point in my life, being able to be open and available to any and all opportunities has allowed me to continue to explore, learn and grow while forging new relationships with every unique experience. Rather than dwell on the negatives, I “yes, and” as much as I can. With all of that in mind, please don’t let my seemingly polished answer fool you. It’s been a journey for me to get to this headspace. Like so many creatives, I can be my own worst enemy. But, I’m also a midwestern perpetual optimist whose favorite color is glitter. So, there’s balance in there somewhere. In an industry that has so many variables out of our control, what we can control is how we react to things. Our mindsets, our moods, our resilience. We are the main characters in our stories. Wherever they may take us, let’s make the best of them.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Hi, I’m Ronni and I am an entertainment hybrid. A multi-hyphenate, if you will. Nowadays, there are lots of hats on this hook, and there’s always room for more. I’m an actor, a comedian, an improviser, a writer, a singer, and a producer. I might’ve missed one, but you get the picture. While pursuing a career in entertainment might not be easy, creating and performing make me light up!

I always knew I wanted to work in entertainment. As a kid, this started in the Twin Cities doing a decent amount of commercial and voice over work and, eventually, a feature film. While studying broadcast journalism and cinema in college, I ventured out to Los Angeles and learned from the best during internships at Comedy Central and John Wells Productions. Following graduation, I was fortunate enough to start as a production assistant at “Ellen,” where I worked my way up to being a Digital Producer (and won two Daytime Emmys in the process) before resigning after six seasons. Upon some self-reflection, I decided to dip my toe back into the performing pool. It was the best decision I’ve made in a long time!

Covid really put a damper on so much of the magic that makes my eyes twinkle. At the same time, it was such a gift to be able to use that time creatively. In the thick of early pandemic craziness, a passion project came to fruition. I’m part of a new music group called Reign or Shine. We recently released our first single, “Better Luck Next Time,” and are gearing up to drop our second. We’re slowly gaining a global streaming audience, and are thrilled to continue sharing our sound! Check us out on your favorite streaming platform!

Things are starting to pick back up again! Live shows are happening, in-person classes are back and you get to see people’s mouths on a regular basis. Most recently, I’ve been expanding my horizons by studying acting techniques and musical theater with teachers like Jason Alexander, I’m continuing my improv exploration at The Groundlings School with teachers like Phyllis Katz., and so much more. While I’ve always been appreciative to learn, hone, and perform, the pandemic has amplified that to the nth degree. I didn’t realize how much I missed that feeling!

My passion for all things behind the camera continues to burn strong, as I merge my skillset and experiences together with those that are bringing me on stage and in front of the camera. I can’t wait to see where my love and pursuit of this crazy career path takes me next!

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Wow! We’re finally getting back out in the world! My list is constantly growing, but a visit from an out-of-towner would probably include a fun combo of the following:

Yummy Spots…

The Apple Pan – Always order the hickory burger with cheese and extra crispy fries

Aroma Coffee & Tea – Cozy and delicious, day and night

Butcher’s Daughter – Great spot in Venice for brunch or dinner

Canter’s – Iconic. Open 24 hours. Ruebens and hamantaschens – done

Castaway – Gorgeous views. Grab a seat on the patio just before sunset

Gjelina/GTA – Westside staples

Home – There’s no place like it…

Joan’s – Always order the Chinese Chicken Salad

Pace – Intimate candlelit spot for special occasions in the middle of Laurel Canyon

Pitfire – Delicious pizza in pink boxes and scrumptious salads

Scopa – One of my all-time favorites for dinner

Sidecar Doughnuts – Get your LA doughnut fix. The GF options are especially tasty!

Superba – Any time of day, any of their locations are, well, superb

Sweet Laurel Bakery – First got hooked from their cookbook. Love their too-cute brick and mortar

Sweet Lady Jane – Slice of the classic triple berry cake. Chef’s kiss!

Urthe caffe – Large hot chocolate (almond milk, please) with whipped cream. And don’t forget the tomato rice soup

Places to See/Things to Do…

The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures – A must-see

Beach Day – There’s an entire coastline, choose a beach less-traveled

Cinespia at Hollywood Forever – Pack that picnic and watch a movie in the middle of a star-filled cemetery. Welcome to LA.

Comedy Store / The Improv / Laugh Factory / etc. – No explanation needed.

Disneyland & Universal Studios – Duh.

Dodgers Game – Yay sports!

First Friday on Abbot Kinney – Food trucks and great shops on “The Coolest Block in America”

The Getty / The Getty Villa – The art, the grounds. Check out both

Groundlings – From student shows to main company performances, the improv and sketch shows here will make your face hurt from laughter

The Greek / The Hollywood Bowl – Gorgeous venues with live performances? Count me in!

Hiking – Runyon’s great, but I try to opt for connecting with nature (aka walking uphill while breathing heavily) at a spot in the Valley or near the Palisades.

Largo – Live comedy and music galore in an intimate venue

Melrose Trading Post / Rose Bowl Flea Market – Peruse and people watch

Palm Springs (Day Trip) – Stop at Hadley’s for date shakes and Sherman’s Deli before and after getting your tan on in PS

Tramp Stamp Granny’s – This was on my list for the longest time and I can’t wait to go back!

Yucaipa (Day Trip) – In the fall, take a drive for leaves that change color, apple picking, and the fruitiest wine you’ve ever tasted

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I wouldn’t be who and where I am today without my family. Words will never truly be able to express how grateful I am for the support, guidance, and love I’ve been surrounded by from my parents, Milice and Jim, and my brother, Tucker, and the many others with whom I share a family tree. No matter how many unexpected plot twists I’ve faced along the way, my family has remained the constant I can always rely on. I’m so incredibly thankful for the relationship we have and that technology allows us to feel like we’re never too far apart, even though I no longer live in the midwest. My parents took a big swing listening to a six-year-old who once said she wanted to be an actor. It’s been quite the journey since then.

I’ve learned and grown so much over the years, especially since moving to the west coast, and I owe so much of that to the relationships I’ve forged along the way. Co-workers, collaborators, and classmates have become family. Teachers have become mentors and friends. Each individual I’ve encountered has left an indelible mark on my journey. I’m so thankful for every single one of these relationships and for all of those yet to come. I will continue to be an ever-changing culmination of all of the people and experiences that have touched my life. I’m thrilled because the next chapter of my adventure is just getting started. Thank you to all of you who make me laugh, challenge and encourage me, continue to root for me on this wild ride, and make my heart oh so happy.

Website: https://ronnisaxon.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/glitteronni/

Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/ronni-saxon

Other: https://reignorshinemusic.com/ https://www.instagram.com/reignorshine_music    https://www.facebook.com/ReignOrShineMusic

Image Credits
Bradford Rogne

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.