On the Couch with Ingrid Garner

Ingrid Garner with her Grandmother EleanorWho is Ingrid Garner?
I am a Los Angeles-native actress who primarily tours the one-women show Eleanor’s Story: An American Girl In Hitler’s Germany – based on my grandmother’s autobiography. I have a BA in Theatre from California State University, Fullerton.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
Before I did theatre, I was in an agriculture program for three years, studying animal husbandry, and I absolutely loved it, it’s fascinating stuff. I imagine that if I hadn’t auditioned for any plays during that time, I would be raising sheep on a farm by now.

Who inspires you and why?
Women in comedy. That may seem strange since I do quite the opposite for a living, but I love comedy more than anything. I get to meet and experience a lot of hilarious women on the road, who do stand-up, on television and especially in theatre. In many of the performances I’ve seen recently, women are harnessing comedy, in what is still a male dominated industry and world, to cast light on challenging issues that are affecting our gender, as well as our species. I think it takes significant skill and artistry to be honest about dark and difficult topics while making them accessible to an audience through laughter.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Making a difference seems such an unfathomable task at times, but I do feel that creating gender equality politically, socially, and economically would make a tremendous, positive difference in the world.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
This is an honest answer, I swear I am not trying to pander, but Australia is my favorite place to visit. The people are so friendly, the nature is lovely, the architecture is unique and stunning. I would say especially, though, since I am a huge animal lover, that Australia has incredible wildlife parks, with close-up animal encounters.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
Well, I live 10 minutes away from Disneyland in Southern California, so that’s usually the most attractive option for guests.

What are you currently reading?
I Must Say: My Life As A Humble Comedy Legend by Martin Short

What are you currently listening to?
I listen to a lot of comedy podcasts, WTF with Marc Maron, Comedy Bang Bang, Professor Blastoff, as well as individual comedians on Pandora.

Happiness is?
My guess is that happiness is being pleased and content in a given moment. I am a happy person mostly, but I know many peers who exist in the same conditions as I do and are generally not happy. Perhaps happiness is a chemical reaction.

What does the future hold for you?
My hope is to keep touring Eleanor’s Story. I think it is such a valuable story and I enjoy performing it for as many people as I can. It is going to be touring the California coast soon, Canada in July, and Edinburgh in August. I have a new children’s show, The Great Steed of Bells for those too young for Eleanor’s Story, which features international folktales and I look forward to doing a more light-hearted show for a change of pace.

Ingrid will be performing Eleanor’s Story: An American Girl In Hitler’s Germany at Chapel Off Chapel in a limited season from 15 March 2016. For more information, visit: www.chapeloffchapel.com.au or www.eleanorsstory.com for details.

Image: Ingrid Garner with her Grandmother Eleanor (supplied)