In this exclusive interview for I Am Entertainment Magazine, comedy duo Garfunkel and Oates share how they got started in entertainment and what fans can expect from them in the upcoming year.
Please tell us where you’re both individually from and what inspired you to pursue a career in entertainment?
Riki: I’m from Portville, NY and Kate’s from Pennsylvania. We both have been writing, creating, and performing for most of our lives.
Kate: Yea, we had similar upbringings in a sense of performing in school plays. We both ended up moving out to LA and getting involved in stage plays. We booked some commercials and things of that nature, and ironically, we both attended the same music camp when we were about 10 years old and just figured that out about 2 years ago.
What was your first professional acting gig and how did those opportunities come about?
Riki: In 2002, I was on this sitcom called TITUS that Fox put out. That came about as a result of me attending a casting director’s workshop.
Kate: My first job was a commercial for Moviefone where I ate a candy bar for thirty seconds. It was a close up of my face just eating a candy bar. [laughs]
Speaking of commercials, we just recently saw you on a commercial.
Kate: Yea, a Starburst commercial. It’s actually been out for about 5 years, but it has resurfaced.
For those who aren’t familiar with Garfunkel and Oates, please share how the duo started and what’s currently going on with you guys?
Riki: We met in the lobby of Upright Citizens Brigade. We realized we had the same interest in musical comedy. From there it (G&O) sort of evolved over the years. Now we’re trying to write new material and work on our HBO show.
How did the HBO deal come about and what can we expect from the show?
Kate: We put together a pitch and took it to all the networks, HBO was the first one to say yes. Basically, it’s a show about our lives in Los Angeles, living as YouTube musicians. [laughs]
Riki: We’re in the development stages of the project and once the script is finalized then we’ll get into casting.
Have you been approached by any record labels?
Kate: We have been, but we decided to do it on our own. We released our album, “All Over Your Face”, on our own. The nature of the record industry today is very D.I.Y. oriented and it’s possible to record your album by yourself and get it up on iTunes.
Riki: We also figured that since we’re doing a TV show it would be less complicated if we owned our songs out right.
What advice would you give to the aspiring actors who are trying to get their break?
Riki: If your career is not going the way you want it to, the best thing you can do is make your own material. We’re a testament to that and it’s opened so many doors for us. You have a platform for your talent unlike ever before.
Kate: I get asked this all the time and my answer is always the same; make quality material and put it on YouTube. I personally feel that I wouldn’t have the career that I do right now if it wasn’t for YouTube. It’s an amazing tool and I think most people don’t really utilize it. Basically use the Internet. [laughs]
From your released material, what is your favorite song?
Riki: My favorite song is the “Handjob” song.
Kate: It’s a toss up between “Handjob” and “Me, You and Steve.”
What other projects are you currently working on?
Riki: I was recently on an episode of UNITED STATES OF TARA (Season 3, Episode 5 – Dr. Hatteras’ Miracle Elixir). I also did a couple of episodes of a new series on HBO called ENLIGHTENED. It should be airing pretty soon.
Kate: I’m recurring on Fox TV series called RAISING HOPE as Shelley.
What instruments do you play and what’s your favorite brand?
Riki: I have two guitars, one is a Fender and one is a Martin.
Kate: I play the Martin SO Ukulele and it’s mainly because I’m from where their factory is located in Nazareth, Pennsylvania. I have hometown pride with using Martin guitars.
Every industry needs improvement, so in your opinion what aspect of the film industry needs the most improvement?
Kate: There needs to be more roles for women and minorities, I mean, it’s overdue. Things are getting a little better but we still need to keep moving forward.
Riki: I think this is pretty obvious to people because when you turn on your TV, who do you see? People aren’t seeing the faces of America, there’s not much diversity.