Naomi Grossman from 'American Horror Story' Reveals Lessons from Her Master Class

Last year,  "American Horror Story" fan-favorite Naomi Grossman was invited to Northwestern University to teach aspiring actors the lessons she learned about building an actor's life in Hollywood. In this week's episode of "How I Broke Into," Naomi shares the specific pointers she provided--twenty years after she sat as a student listening to Ethan Hawke deliver his own visiting artist lecture--but she shares so much more than advice. 

Naomi Grossman is best known for her portrayal of the fan-favorite, “Pepper” on FX’s American Horror Story. Previously, Naomi wrote, produced, and starred in her second hit solo show, Carnival Knowledge:  Love, Lust, and other Human Oddities, which enjoyed a twice-extended, sold-out run and rave reviews (“Recommended” by LA Weekly).  It was then reprised at the world-famous fringe theatre festival in Edinburgh, Scotland, where it received more critical praise (4 stars: The Scotsman, Broadway Baby, Fringe Review) and a transfer to London’s West End (Leicester Square Theatre).  It later went on to have a successful run Off-Off Broadway. Naomi’s first solo show, Girl in Argentine Landscape, also received critical acclaim (LA Weekly, “Pick of the Week”) and earned her an LA Weekly Theatre Award nomination for best solo performance.  Naomi toured with Girl to Chicago's Single File Festival, the Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival, the New York International Fringe Festival, and screened a subtitled video-version on the big screen in Argentina. A former member of the esteemed Groundlings Sunday Company, as well as alumna of Improv Olympic, Naomi has written, produced, and starred in numerous comedic shorts under her “Red Meat Entertainment” banner, which have screened at the LA Comedy Shorts Film Festival, the TriMedia Film Festival, the Connecticut Film Festival, the Dam Short Film Festival, the Faux Film Festival, the Los Angeles Comedy Festival, the Wet Your Pants Comedy Film Festival, the Action On Film International Festival, and the Hollywood Reel Independent Film Festival.  Naomi also made a cameo in the feature film,Table for Three. A graduate of theatre from Northwestern University, Naomi has acted in several of Chicago’s illustrious, long-running, cult comedies: Cannibal Cheerleaders on Crack and Shannen Doherty Shoots a Porno at the Torso Theatre, as well as Attack of the Killer B’s and White Trash Wedding and a Funeral at the Factory Theatre.

Notes from the "How I Broke Into" show:

Naomi started acting and comedy with KidSkits in Denver

Started LA quest for acting success by reading Backstage West.

Los Angeles is not a theatre town.

She recommends going to Paley Center for Media, watch solo shows by John Leguizamo, Eric Bogosian, Lily Tomlin, Spalding Gray.

Here are Naomi's book recommendations:

The Luck Factor - Dr. Richard Wiseman
The Secret - Rhonda Byrne
Ask and It Is Given  - Esther and Jerry Hicks
You Are a Badass - Jen Sincero
There's No Business Like Soul Business - Derek Rydall
Failing Forward - John C. Maxwell
A Year in Van Nuys - Sandra Tsing Loh

Recommendation from Michael Prywes:

Essentialism - Greg McKeown

A-ha moment: "I'm not acting. I'm a professional mailer. If these people won't cast me, I'll cast myself."
Naomi's biggest mistakes: "Waiting for success to come to me. And not getting jobs that used my brain."
How Naomi plans her day: "LISTS!"

Naomi shares a treasure trove of information, advice, and emotional experiences. She talks about her darkest days, and the time she realized she "arrived."

This podcast hosted by New York attorney Michael Prywes was sponsored by Prywes Schwartz, PLLC, a law firm devoted to artists and entrepreneurs.

This podcast may contain attorney advertising. Prior results do not guarantee future outcomes.