Tyla Abercrumbie, Actor and writer

39 // Actor and writer *
From: Austin
Lives in: Andersonville
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Abercrumbie’s recent credits include In Darfur at TimeLine and The Piano Lesson at Court, as well as episodes of Detroit 1-8-7 and The Chicago Code.

Were you bitten by the acting bug early? “My sisters would let me carry on, writing and performing short stories and poems, but I didn’t take a drama class until Columbia. I grew up in a poor family, so we worked, my sisters and I. High school just meant we were of age to get a job. But when I got to college, I thought, If I’m going to pay for school, I’m going to do what I want.”

And what do you want now? “I want to play Medea. So badly. What I’m drawn to as an actor are the mental states women go through trying to be wives, mothers, and friends and all the psychological buttons that pushes.”

On her scooter: “I ride a scooter. It’s sea-foam green. I’ve got the vintage goggles, the scarf. When I ride up next to people on motorcycles, even though I’m on a toy compared with them, I can see why they love those bikes. You feel so empowered, so free. Not that my hair doesn’t say it already, but there’s something about it that says, ‘I’m a nonconformist.’ Plus, it’s a great investment. One gallon of gas goes all week. I put my Yorkies [Tobi and Buffy] in a bag and throw it over my shoulder and just go.”

On guys: “I pick guys I think are confident, but there’s a very fine line between confident and arrogant, and I always end up on the wrong side of it. A guy should be confident and self-reliant. He can’t be driving his mama’s car, but he can be on a scooter. Also tall. If my soul mate comes in a five-foot-four package, he’ll slip right into the friend zone. Tall. Make sure you put that in there.”

On L.A. vs. Chicago: “When I first went out to L.A., every day I woke up and was like, ‘The sun’s out! I’ve got to go outside!’ But after about two weeks, I was like, ‘Ah. The sun’s out. It’s always there. I can sleep in.’ These days, though, actors are getting a lot more work in Chicago. I don’t know if it’s because Obama came out of Chicago or because the Blagojevich craziness came out of Chicago, but we’ve got a lot of political dramas coming here.” —J.W.


* interested in women   * interested in men

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