There’s an excitement to Janet Varney’s voice that’s infectious. As we connect by phone mid-morning, Janet’s enthusiasm and friendly demeanor are certainly reflective of someone who’s in the running for an Emmy. But as she thoughtfully explains, the road to her successful career in comedy almost didn’t happen.
What motivated you to move back to acting after pursuing a career in interior design?
I would say I didn’t have a strong sense of anything else that I could or would do growing up, other than performing or somehow being involved in the entertainment business. When I made the decision to move to San Francisco, I had already abandoned the idea of making a living off anything performative and had developed an appreciation for things like architecture and people making their own furniture. Around that same time, I started performing sketch comedy for fun because I was cajoled into it by three of my friends from SF State who wanted to form a sketch group. I was sort of backing into performing comedy, which continued all the way until I moved to Los Angeles.
Is there anything from interior design that influences the way you create content?
I don’t know that I’ve taken anything from that world other than any type of project management – and that’s what I was, a project manager – can be crossed over into production of another sort. Because I founded and produced a comedy festival where we’re managing our own budgets and are adapting year to year as we grow, those are elements on a more practical level that have become invaluable to me working on the production end of show business.
As a performer, certainly some of those skills are handy, but I can’t …
Author: Stephen Laddin / High Times