Kirsten Vangsness

Filling the Art Well Versus the Commerce Well

Kirsten Vangsness

Kirsten Vangsness 1920 960 Alyshia Ochse

Kirsten Vangsness has been widely known as the bespectacled-brainy-tech-kitten Penelope Garcia on the CBS hit drama “Criminal Minds” (and its spin-off “Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior” and “Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders”). She has long been a fan favorite, beloved for her vibrant personality and quirky style. Most recently “Criminal Minds” was re-imagined for Paramount+ and picked up for its second season on the streamer, making that a grand total of 17 seasons and counting for the iconic series. Kirsten has been a staple in homes across the world for over 18 years. Alongside starring in the series, she has co-written five episodes for the procedural series, including the series finale, alongside showrunner Erica Messer.

Kirsten was selected to present her one-woman show, “MESS,” and ensemble production of “Cleo, Theo and Wu” on the international stage at the prestigious 2019 Edinburgh Festival Fringe as part of her FEMPIRE series. Her collection of shows cultivate power within the feminine self on a stage, and empower others to find their light and create opportunities for all women to shine.

She has enjoyed a long and varied career, which includes being a longtime member and former president of Hollywood’s Theatre of Note’s Artistic Board. Her stage work has garnered the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Natalie Schafer Award for best emerging comic actress, the 15 Minutes of Fem Best Actress Award, and a Garland Award for best actress for the West Coast premiere of Neil LaBute’s Fat Pig at the Geffen Playhouse.

Kirsten is originally from Porterville, CA and graduated from California State University, Fullerton. She currently resides in Los Angeles, and can currently be seen weekly on her Youtube show: Kirsten’s Agenda.


  • Criminal Minds
  • Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders
  • Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior
  • Stuck
  • Dave Made a Maze
  • Kill Me, Deadly
  • Diani & Devine Meet the Apocalypse
  • The Chicago 8
  • LAX
  • Phil of the Future


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Los Angeles-based actress, bestselling author, host of That One Audition podcast, entrepreneur, & mother.



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