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S2 030: Ahna O’Reilly

S2 030: Ahna O’Reilly 750 750 Alyshia Ochse

Kismet and a Work Ethic to Back It Up

Ahna O’Reilly is an American actress from Northern California but also grew up all over France and Washington State. She attended USC for one year as an English major before she dropped out to pursue acting and never looked back.

Ahna forayed her great love of literature onto the screen starring in an adaptation of Steinback’s IN DUBIOUS BATTLE, and two Faulkner adaptions, AS I LAY DYING, and THE SOUND AND THE FURY. She has also graced the Off-Broadway stage in THE LONG SHRIFT at the Rattlestick Theater and THE ROBBER BRIDEGROOM, which won three Lucile Lortel Awards, including Outstanding Revival.

Appeared in nearly 50 films to date, including such marquee films as FRUITVALE STATION, MARHSHALL, JOBS, and BOMBSHELL, Ahna is perhaps best known for her breakout role in THE HELP, for which she won a Screen Actor’s Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.

She is currently starring in Apple TV’s THE MORNING SHOW.



“I was really driven by how much I LOVED Elizabeth (my character) — I loved the book, I loved the dialect, I just loved it so fiercely!”

“You do realize how different it is; what we think something is going to do for us, and the reality.”

“What makes you an interesting actor in the long run is the life you live.”



  • WRITER: Nicole Steinwedell
  • SOUND DESIGN: Zachary Jameson
  • WEBSITE & GRAPHICS: Chase Jennings
  • ASSISTANT: Elle Powell
  • SOCIAL OUTREACH: Bebe Katsenes

087: Russell Hornsby

087: Russell Hornsby 1500 750 Alyshia Ochse

Today we have a fascinating conversation with actor, Russell Hornsby—from Grimm, Seven Seconds, and The Hate You Give—as well as FENCES, both on Broadway and in the film, his career is full of valuable lessons he’s learned.

After twenty years in the industry, he shares how a long-term career was not a given reality for him, but rather something he’s had to fight for every step of the way. His advice is equal parts inspiration and tough love, so whether you’re just starting out or are a few years in, he’s got some healthy perspective about being honest with yourself, doing the work, and putting everything you have on the line for your art.

Russell Hornsby is an American theater, television, and film actor. He is known for his roles as Edward “Eddie” Sutton on ABC Family’s Lincoln Heights, as Luke on the HBO drama In Treatment, as Detective Hank Griffin on the NBC series Grimm, and as Lyons in the movie Fences.

After finishing his studies at Oxford, Hornsby moved to New York City and was subsequently cast in leading roles in Off Broadway productions of To Kill a Mockingbird (as Atticus Finch), Joe Louis Blues, and Six Degrees of Separation (as Paul). In the late 1990s, he decided to move to Los Angeles in order to transition into television and film. He has appeared in several different television productions including appearing in recurring roles in Haunted as Detective Marcus Bradshaw and Gideon’s Crossing as Chief Resident Dr. Aaron Boise. His other television credits include Grey’s Anatomy, Law & Order, and In Justice among others. He also played running back Leon Taylor in ESPN’s drama series Playmakers. On the big screen, he has appeared in such films as After the Sunset, Big Fat Liar, Get Rich or Die Tryin’, Keep the Faith, Baby, Meet the Parents, and Stuck among others. In 2000, Hornsby appeared in the Off-Broadway production of Jitney for which he won a Drama Desk Award and an Obie Award.

He starred in the NBC fantasy drama Grimm from 2011 to 2017. In 2018, he played Isaiah Butler in the Netflix crime drama Seven Seconds. That same year, Hornsby joined the cast of the movie Creed II.

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“Know why you’re going into this, know why you’re doing it, because the industry doesn’t need you. They don’t care. You can’t do this for the moment or think you’re going to get rich, because it’s hard.”

“Not what are you WILLING to do, what are you GOING to do to stay in the game?”


077: Amanda Warren

077: Amanda Warren 1500 750 Alyshia Ochse

Today we’re chatting with actress, Amanda Warren, whose incredible artistry is matched by her wisdom, insight, and extraordinarily grounded and compassionate energy. She has established herself with a resume that is not only lengthy, but loaded with some of TV and Film’s most respected projects in recent years. From her work with Martin McDonagh and Darren Aronofsky to Denzel Washington, Francis McDormand, and beyond, her work ethic and craftsmanship has earned her the respect of her peers and gained the attention of artists across the industry.

She shares how she works on set, what she’s learned from working with world-class artists, and how she stays focused on her own journey—putting in the work, one step at a time.


IG: @amandawarrenofficial


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“We do not need to adhere to this ‘stuggling artist’ theory anymore. This is your craft, this is your talent, you are giving of yourself and your tools. I’m going to give you my energy and pay you to see it…”

“You do the work at home so you can play on the day. If you do the work at home, you can do everything 7000 different ways to Sunday.”

“There’s a lot of money that goes into telling stories, expecially with the screen work, and time is money. It is so valuable, expecially these days. People need to know that they are trusting you with not only the story, but the money that they’re going to put into this.”

“There are quality rejections–quality ‘no’s.’ Just because it doesn’t work out for you then, doesn’t mean it doesn’t work out later.”

“What makes those great people so great at what they do…what makes them great craftspeople is that they work with their scene partners, they are never above their scene partner.”

“We’re in the business of saving lives…it’s an escape for people. Don’t think about the business, just bring them with you. Help them escape, help them stop thinking about business.”


064: Keesha Sharp

064: Keesha Sharp 1500 750 Alyshia Ochse

Award-nominated actress, writer, and director Keesha Sharp sheds light on the courage it takes to break the rules and go after what you want, how fear choked her voice out of musically performing, fighting expectations and results, deciding when to change agents and how facing fear ultimately will open up the blessings.  This conversation connects the dots about showing up for your craft 100% of the time and how you never know what job might land you the ticket for the next big job.

In 2019, Keesha not only returns to the screen as Trish Murtaugh in the international hit series “Lethal Weapon” for FOX, but also introduces her directorial skills to the show, which premiered its third season on September 25, 2018.  Combining action and drama with friendship and humor, season three of “Lethal Weapon” follows Detectives Roger Murtaugh (Damon Wayans) and the newly introduced Wesley Cole (Seann William Scott) as they combat crime in Los Angeles.  Sharp shines as Trish, a district attorney, mother, and devoted wife and confidante to Roger.  Sharp was nominated for Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series at the 2017 NAACP Image Awards for her work on the show.

On the film front, Sharp was also most recently seen starring opposite Chadwick Boseman, Josh Gad, Kate Hudson, and Sterling K. Brown in “Marshall”.  The film follows the story of Thurgood Marshall (Boseman), the first African-American Supreme Court Justice, as he battles through one of his career-defining cases.  Sharp’s standout work as Buster Marshall earned her a third NAACP Image Award nomination in the Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture category.  Additionally, Sharp is currently shopping an Eartha Kitt biopic, set to head into production in 2019.  Having been compared to the icon since her early theater days and dubbed by many reviewers as a “young Eartha Kitt,” Sharp will portray Kitt in the leading role of a film that promises iconic songs, compelling childhood stories, and triumph through political blacklisting, all told through salacious details.

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



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