We had the good fortune of connecting with Kristen Lundberg and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kristen, how do you think about risk?
I loved taking risks since I was a kid because it was an exciting way to break up the mundane Ohio life. Taking risks pulls you into the present. When I attended iO in Chicago, I learned my favorite Del Close quote “follow the fear”. I followed the fear of “making it in comedy” all the way out to California and now I live a vibrant life that I’m proud of and that is authentic.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Before the pandemic I was a stand up comedian who played violin. Since stand up took such a big hit in the pandemic, my art shifted more to comedic commercial acting and film. I would say that’s something I’m very proud about because while a lot of my stand up comedy friends took a huge hit and had to leave Los Angeles, I’ve been able to rake in a bunch of commercial and film work that’s been good for my comedy career. I feel very fortunate to have some form of comedy working for me even though it’s not stand up right at this moment. I got to this point by practicing stand up and commercial acting simultaneously for over a decade, I took many classes (clowning, improv, acting, commercial) and sank in a lot of time at open mics. When I lived in Chicago I did about 7-10 open mics a week for four years. It was not easy, much of the time it was blizzarding or extremely cold. But I had to do that to become the best comedian I could be. A lesson I learned is that even though I don’t do stand up very much anymore, the confidence I gained from the repetition is unparalleled by any amount of training. Experience is the greatest teacher. I’m grateful I had stand up so that I can walk into audition rooms for these expensive commercials and have the courage to deliver the goods.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If my bff came by, I’d say let’s go to Beverly Hills, I know about 5 different places we can sit and watch the sunset. We would do yoga stretches outside the car, then I would take them to my favorite Astro Burger on Melrose and Gower. We’d shove our faces with a couple of Mother Nature sandwiches (cumber, carrot, lettuce, tomato, mayo and hummus) and wash em down with a couple Orangina’s (french orange soda) and we would go to Chateau Marmont for a quiet drink at their hotel bar. After asking everyone where they got their outfits, we would strut down west Melrose Ave where they have the expensive stuff and act as if we’re too disappointed in the quality to buy anything. Then we would walk over to the Improv and watch 5 minutes of someone’s set and then leave. Before they go back home, I’d make sure we went to Larchmont Wine and Cheese for one of their deli sandwiches. The bougieness of Larchmomt without the extravagant price tag.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Shoutout to Mr. Byers, my fifth grade English teacher for making us roast each other as writing assignments and always encouraging us to be funny. I witnessed the value of comedy first hand in his class. Also shoutout to my therapist in Cincinnati who helped me make my move to Chicago so that I could become a more serious comedian 🙂