Cue & A: #BLESSED Anonymous Internet Sensation Annoying Actor Friend Tells All!

News   Cue & A: #BLESSED Anonymous Internet Sensation Annoying Actor Friend Tells All! Twitter sensation and acclaimed author Annoying Actor Friend (@Actor_Friend), one of this year's nominees for a Shorty Award honoring the best of social media, fills out Playbill.com's questionnaire of random facts, backstage trivia and pop-culture tidbits.

Annoying Actor Friend
Annoying Actor Friend

Annoying Actor Friend began as a parody Twitter account (@Actor_Friend) spoofing social media behavior and later went on to publish "#SOBLESSED," a satirical tell-all describing the life of the modern-day actor in New York City. "#SOBLESSED" became the Amazon #1 best-selling theatre book on its first day of sale.

The mysterious AAF opens up to Playbill.com!

 

Full given name: Ashley Marie Smith and/or Corey Michael Cooper
Where you were born/where you were raised:

I was born in a ditch in West Virginia. Ran away from home at ten.

Spent the 90s squatting in a guest room in Tovah Feldshuh's penthouse.

Zodiac Sign: Aries with Gemini undertones
What your parents did/do for a living: Paying for my BFA program was a full-time job for them, but they are really happy now, and support me in everything I do.
Siblings: I'm an only child, but I briefly had a twin that we used for when I worked in Film/TV as a kid.
Who were you main mentors/inspirations when first starting out? My mom first introduced me to theatre through her passion for it, and then once I chose this career path, my inspiration became whoever I am going to be in ten years.
Who inspires you the most currently? Krysta Rodriguez. krystacouture.com. Check it out if you haven't. Ana Vargas don't give a shit about cancer.
Current audition song/monologue:

I don't think I've done a monologue since college, and I mostly just do the material I'm given for a specific audition. However, my favorite audition song right now is whatever the actor going in after me is going to do, but better.

Also, "Meadowlark."

Special skills: Passive aggressive bragging, screlting, favoriting but not retweeting, asking unemployed friends what they are working on, being physically fit at all times — even during the holidays, and juggling.
Something you're REALLY bad at: I'm actually pretty terrible at performing in general, but that doesn't really seem to matter.
First Broadway show you ever saw: Rebecca
If you could go back in time and catch any show, what would it be? I've been in pretty much every show, but I guess the original production of My Fair Lady or Glory Days.
Current show other than your own you have been recommending to friends: Cabaret at Studio 54. I don't feel comfortable when Cabaret is not at Studio 54, and I'll be recommending it even after it closes.
Favorite showtune(s) of all time: Eww, gross. I hate musical theatre IRL.
Some favorite modern musicals: Certainly not Hamilton, because my odds of getting into the original cast were better than that stupid lottery.
Some favorite classic musicals: How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying and Bye Bye Birdie. That kind of satire is on another worldly level.
Your personal vocal idols, living or dead: Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks and Andy Mientus.
Broadway or screen stars of the past you would most have loved to perform with: Lucille Ball, Robin Williams and Andy Mientus.
The one performance – attended - that you will never forget: Meryl Streep as Andy Mientus in Mother Courage.
Music that makes you cry, any genre: Anything with a well executed key change.
MAC or PC? lol what's a PC?...um, I'm a Millennial?
Most played song on your iPod: My vocal warmups.
Most-visited websites: Playbill and Twitter, duh.
Favorite Tweeters: Laura Benanti, Alex Wyse, Jeff Heimbrock, Chelsea Nachman, Mara Wilson and everyone she retweets.
Last book you read: Billy Crystal's "Still Follin' 'Em." It was the audiobook, and it was amazing, but have you listened to my audiobook?
Must-see TV show(s): "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" and reruns of "Smash" on my iPad, wait what, who said that?
Last good movie you saw: My head says "Birdman," but my heart says "Boyhood," and my publicist says "The Last Five Years."
Some films you consider classics: "All About Eve" and "Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit"
Performer you would drop everything to go see: Nene Leakes
Pop culture guilty pleasure: Still feeling guilty over that time I got "Smash" canceled.
Three favorite cities: New York City, Manhattan and The Big Apple
Favorite sport/team/player:  Richard Sherman, because he wrote the score to "Mary Poppins" and is also a kickass cornerback for the Seahawks. 
First CD/Tape/LP you owned: I don't know what you're talking about. Do you mean album I downloaded? Well it certainly wasn't Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat starring Donny Osmond, I can tell you that!
First stage kiss: West Side Story in high school. I played Glad Hand.
Favorite or most memorable onstage role as a child/teenager: It was in The Sound of Music, and I'm not telling you which role, but I can confirm it was not in "The Sound of Music Live!"
Moment you knew you wanted to perform for a living: I was insanely jealous of another kid, and that's when I knew I was born to be an actor.
Favorite pre-/post- show meal: I haven't eaten since 1997.
Favorite liquid refreshment: Hail to the Kale from Juice Generation. I'm just kidding, gin martini.
Pre-show rituals or warm-ups: None. I woke up like this.
Most challenging role you have ever played: I've played a lot of great characters in my life, but the most challenging has been the role of myself, starring Me.
Worst flubbed line/missed cue/onstage mishap: The worst mishap I've been witness of, happened offstage in the audience, where an old woman crapped herself during a matinee. I was that good.
Worst costume ever: Neither William Ivey Long, Gregg Barnes, nor My Mom's Halloween Costumes have ever failed me, but I was a waiter once and that costume sucked.
Craziest audition story: I'm actually trying to think of an audition story that isn't crazy, because the entire sport is anything but normal. I guess I'll go with having to take my clothes off.
What advice do you have when it comes to audition prep? Don't over think it. Be disciplined, but not neurotic. Sing "Meadowlark."
A few of the roles you're dying to play: Whatever Laura Osnes passes on.
Something about you that surprises people: When I tell someone my identity.
Something you are incredibly proud of: 

Using social media to get people passionate about Equity and starting the movement that led to the reversal of the Broadway League's decision not to dim the lights for Joan Rivers.

And also, being nominated for a Shorty Award because it's about the craft, you know?

Something you're embarrassed to admit: I drunk direct messaged Ben Vereen once. 
Career you would want if not a performer:  A writer.
Three things you can't live without: Social media, Ricola, alcohol.
"I'll never understand why..." The good shows die young.
Words of advice for aspiring performers: Don't.
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