From Aspiring Actress to Television Star
Ellie details her journey from a childhood in St. Louis (where she directed and starred in her family holiday pageant) to finding her comedic calling in the world of improv to eventually landing a role on The Office and then starring in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Ellie shares the most notable memories, mentors, challenges, and triumphs of her onscreen career thus far. With hilarious honesty that leaves any audience inspired, Ellie also shares lessons on pursuing your dreams as well as insight into the creative process.
A Balancing Act
Over the span of two years, Ellie juggled her acting career, writing her book My Squirrel Days, and having a child. In engaging conversations, she shares candid stories from this chaotic time and explains how she stays positive and productive in even the most overwhelming of moments.
Ellie Kemper is an actress and writer originally from St. Louis, MO. She attended Princeton University as an undergraduate. Ellie was a member of the field hockey team during her freshman year at college, when the team placed second in the NCAA Division One National Championship. After leaving the field hockey team, where she mostly sat on the bench and provided water for her teammates who were actually tired and sweaty from playing on the field instead of sitting on the bench, she joined the campus' improvisation group, Quipfire!, and its musical theater group, Triangle. After graduating, she spent a year at Oxford University pursuing graduate studies in English Literature. Upon moving to New York, Ellie studied improvisation at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre and the People's Improv Theater. She also interned for a year at Late Night with Conan O'Brien, appearing in sketches on the show. She has appeared in many television commercials, hawking items from Mega M&M's to Citibank to Caltrate. Ellie was a contributing writer for The Onion while living in New York. She is also a contributor to the literary journal, McSweeney's.
As an actress, she got her big break when she landed the role of Erin Hannon on the American version of The Office. She played Erin for the last four seasons of the show. She has also appeared in the films Bridesmaids, 21 Jump Street, Laggies, and Sex Tape.
Ellie played Kimmy Schmidt in the Netflix comedy Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. The show was created by Tina Fey and Robert Carlock. She also voices the character, "Crackle," in the Disney animated series, Sofia the First.