Sarah Pribis is an actor, writer, singer, and host, raised in Philadelphia and currently based in New York City. She made her Broadway debut in Les Miserables while in high school, and graduated from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, with a double major in Theatre & Journalism. She is currently the host of HQ Trivia. How did she end up on The Ellen DeGeneres Show?
Interviewed by Tijana Ibrahimovic
Edited by Lidia Goldberg
Tijana: Hi guys. I’m here with Sarah Pribis and welcome to POP Style TV Sarah, I’m excited to talk to you.
Sarah Pribis: Thank you so much for having me. I’m excited.
Tijana: So you are a host and an actress. I would love to talk to you about the beginning of your career.
Sarah Pribis: So when I was 16, 17, a junior in high school, we were one of the first schools to get the rights to do Les Miserables when it was going off Broadway. And so there were scouts in my audience of my high school performance. They invited me to basically audition for a finale performance of Les Miz before was to leave the Broadway stage, which was going to be the past present and future cast of Le Miz. I was to be the future cast of Les Miz, and I got cast along with some other really recognizable people now like Skylar Aston was another person in that production.
Um, and yeah, I mean, it was, it was magic. My dad drove me up to New York on weekends to rehearse. I did that performance and then ultimately I decided I’m going to go to NYU. I’m going to study at Tisch and I’m going to be a drama major. And that’s what I.
Tijana: How important do you think it is for actors to have more than just acting skill?
Sarah Pribis: Oh, man, I honestly think that hard work and dedication, beats talent sometimes in this industry. Um, because I mean, you need both. Frankly, if the more tools that you have, the more skills that you have, obviously the better. Um, but I think, yeah, it goes far beyond talent. It’s a ruthless industry. You really have to develop thick skin. There’s a lot of rejection. There’s a lot of pounding the pavement. Um, you’re submitting yourself for a long time for auditions every single day.
Tijana: So, tell me about your first big break or first big projects you were, you were really excited about.
Sarah Pribis: So, Hmm. I would say I have a couple different items that stand out to me. Um, the first one was definitely the time I landed myself on the Ellen show. Um, completely accidentally. I basically had submitted myself for a job that was an infomercial. And again, I I’m really of the belief like I’ve never done it before. Let me do it. Why not learn a new skill?
So I submitted myself for an infomercial. Um, the product was advertised as a personal hygiene or cleaning product, and it was called the shinny hinny. And I went to set after being cast, um, basically from a picture, you know, in this situation, they sort of looked at your photos that you had submitted, looked at your video reels and were like, okay, great. You’re booked. We don’t need anything else.
So I show up to set and find out that it’s actually an infomercial for a product called the, my shiney hiney brush that cleans your butthole. Um, and you know, I try to get out of it. I got sort of guilt tripped into doing it. Stayed, did the shoot and just like cross my fingers that no one was ever going to see it. And who found it six months later, by Ellen DeGeneres.
Tijana: So tell me about arriving to LA meeting Ellen and the whole process before your interview, after you were interviewed
Sarah Pribis: I was on a flight and I got there, like when pretty I checked into the hotel went pretty much straight to studio. Um, had one of Ellen’s producers sort of come in and, you know, do a bit of an outline of the segment with me, talk me through what it was going to look like. And like, then I went on for the segment and I did it. It was, I was so nervous, but I just tried to be present for it and enjoy it. Um, she was. I really only interacted with her, you know, on that stage. So I don’t really have any experience outside of the interview, but the interview itself was fantastic. I felt very special while I was there. And like, it was super cool.
She asked me to come back and host cat week, which I don’t know if you can see her right now, but I have a cat. It was a really cool moment. Um, and that’s sort of parlayed into a little bit of a, you know, a hosting career for me because I used that opportunity. I threw that into my reel and I booked HQ Trivia shortly after that.
Tijana: So let’s talk about your hosting jobs. Um, you work for a trivia show? And, uh, and also another app. So tell me about these projects.
Sarah Pribis: Yeah. So, I mean, in terms of hosting, I really got my start and by start, I mean, I guess my platform and notoriety from doing HQ Trivia, which was, uh, an app that was sort of a trivia game show. You played it from your phone a couple of years ago. It was sort of this like viral sensation. I got very lucky. It was a little job that I submitted myself for.
That was nothing at the time it was an app that was still in beta. I remember my first show I hosted, there was probably a hundred people there. That’s it. And within a span of a few months, I hosted the first million player game. And then we grew to upwards of 2 million players per game. So that was just a wild experience.
And then I currently host for a Display, which is a new social media app, which content creators get paid for posting. Um, and it’s a talk show on the platform where I talked to content creators and find out, you know, what inspires them and such. I mean, I’ve also hosted for giants like Amazon, I’ve done their shopping channel basically on Amazon live. Um, I’ve done a thing for Walmart. And then of course, like I have the acting stuff too. I’ve done a number of independent films and, um, a CW show and, um, The Purge on USA network.
Tijana: So let’s talk about, uh, your content, your Instagram, your social media is full of really entertaining, funny sketches.
Sarah Pribis: Thank you so much. I’m really glad that you like it. I love being a creator, you know? One of the things that I realized as an actor and a host, and it’s kind of the general theme for this conversation is you can’t just wait around for jobs to come to you. It just doesn’t happen that way. I mean, maybe it does for some, but it’s the rare few. And so if you love what you do and you want to make things happen, you got to do it yourself most of the time.
Tijana: Fantastic. when did you learn you are funny?
Sarah Pribis: When did I learn I’m funny? You know, I think I still It’s still struggle to believe that I’m funny. Like it still comes as a surprise that people think that I’m funny. Um, which is just a me thing, you know? Um, I think part of that was there were a lot of standup comics doing the hosting jobs that I did. So I always felt that I sort of had to compete with them and right sort of in that vein. Um, but at the end of the day, what I realized is I’m the funniest when I’m just being me and I’m not trying too hard.
Tijana: Awesome. Thank you so much. This was really fun. Uh, I wish you all the success with all your future projects.