Five Friday Questions with Pilar O’Connell

Pilar O’Connell is an actor from Santa Fe who moved here in 2009 to attend Cornish. You may have seen her recently at Annex Theatre, Theater Schmeater, the Icicle Creek New Play Festival and Forward Flux. Next month she’ll be in Christmastown by Wayne Rawley at Seattle Public Theatre and making her debut as a playwright with Snowglobed at West of Lenin. In March she’ll be in Luna Gale at Seattle Rep. O’Connell joined me for this week’s edition of Five Friday Questions.

What’s the best performance you’ve seen lately?

Larry David as Bernie Sanders on last weekend’s Saturday Night Live. He was funny and nuanced in all the right ways. I kept forgetting it was Larry David. I read somewhere that maybe people think it was Sanders playing himself as a joke. It was genius. Alec Baldwin as Jim Webb was pretty funny in that sketch too. 

What’s the best meal in Seattle?

Food is awesome. I love it. Seattle has a lot of amazing food. My favorite meal in Seattle isn’t available anymore but I am going to tell you about it anyway. I have a friend who is the former head chef at Restaurant Roux in Fremont. We are both obsessed with New Mexican green chile. You should try some—it will change your life. Anyway, he had huevos rancheros with red and green chile on the brunch menu. It was like biting into my hometown. Chili is life. 

What music gets you pumped up? What do you listen to when you’re sad?

Lately I have been really digging the new Dr. Dre album, specifically the song “Genocide” featuring Kendrick Lamar. I love him. Really I will listen to any Kendrick track to get myself pumped up.

Childish Gambino’s “Bonfire” or “ The Longest Text Message Ever” too. Also, if you were to throw on “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” by Whitney, I would be down for anything.

When I am sad I listen to a lot of Bon Iver. A Lot. The song “Skinny Love” has gotten me through some weird bouts of the blues. 

What’s the most crucial element of any production?

The most crucial element is that in the end everybody is on the same page, in the same play. You can take tons of different roads to get there, just make sure you end up in the same place. If you’re not on the same page the story doesn’t get told. Our job is simply to tell the stories with honesty and a little spice. 

What’s the best advice anyone’s ever given you about working in theatre?

You are your own advocate and the advocate of your character. Take care of those people. Fail, get up fail again, enjoy it. Life is short; do what you love and don’t be afraid to fall down stairs.