A.P. Bio follows the journey of Harvard professor Jack Griffin (Glenn Howerton) after he loses the job of his dreams. Forced to teach high school, Griffin decides to use his new circumstances to his advantage. With a classroom full of bright biology students, he begins to concoct a plan to get the job he believes is rightfully his.
Lyric Lewis plays Stef, one of Griffin’s colleagues at his new school. We had a chance to sit down and chat with her about her character, as well as some of her background in improv.
As someone who hasn’t watched the show, can you give me (and anyone else who might be in my shoes) a quick rundown of your character Stef?
Sure! So Stef is one of the three teachers at Jack’s (Glenn Howerton) new school, that helps him navigate this new life, while reminding him just exactly who’s boss. Clue, it ain’t him! Stef is definitely a feisty, sassy, take-charge type of woman and teacher. She always has a side scheme/job going on for herself, dresses to the NINES and loves being a teacher.
Congratulations on a second season – what are you most looking forward to?
I am looking forward to seeing just what Stef and her ladies get into this year. Maybe some homes? Seeing them in the streets more, even though they do have a ball in the teachers lounge! And also maybe seeing Stef on a date or two!
3. You have an extensive improv background. Can you tell me a little bit about what got you started with improv?
Well, I grew up watching sketch shows—In Living Color, MAD TV, SNL, All That, just all the jams—and from a little nugget age, I knew that I wanted to make people laugh. I always wanted to be an actress, so my mother made sure I went to a school big on drama, and I ended up at Syracuse University getting my B.F.A in Acting.
While there, we had a sub one day that did a little intro for us into clown acting??? It pretty much was like a super early form of improv, and after that one day, I figured I needed more of this! So I started researching comedians that I loved: Jennifer Coolidge, Cheri Oteri, Will Ferrell and many others, and they all were Main co members of The Groundlings. I literally told myself, if I want a career like them, I have to train like them and Viola, I’m taking improv classes.
When you’re filmingA.P. Bio do you get a chance to utilize your improv skills often, or do you typically end up sticking to the script?
Oh, the improv skills are utilized CONSTANTLY.
I’ve always been a fan of improv. I went to graduate school for social work and we spent a whole session in my clinical class doing improv and realizing how the skills of improv are actually helpful and can be generalized to every day life (particularly in counseling in my case). How do you view improv in every day life?
It’s so integral in my everyday life at this point, it’s cool. Even as far as other auditions, it’s just so helpful. Improv teaches you how to “go with the flow”, and I think in all senses. It teaches you to be more flexible, how to negotiate better, listen, read a room and the vibe there quicker and just keeps you on your toes. Living in LA, you need all the “go with the flow”-ness you can get!
This is going to be a completely nerdy question on my part, but have you ever played Dungeons & Dragons? I ask because I’ve recently gotten into it and it has definitely challenged my improv skills more than I thought it would. It is an interesting exercise in acting skills for people who are generally not actors!
You know what, I have not! But I imagine it would be amazing for that; any type of role playing game is my jam though! I am still waiting to learn to play a new game I have “The Thing”. Yes, based off the Carpenter movie, but maybe after I crack this, I’ll take a peek!
Finally, when you’re not filming or doing other work are there any shows you like to sit down and watch?
I feel like yes and no! Ha! There’s so much on TV, it’s hard to keep up! But some of my faves are: Insecure on HBO, The First 48 on A&E, Better Call Saul, anything food related AND the new season of Making a Murderer whenever it drops!
Our thanks to Lyric for sitting down to answer some questions for us! Keep an eye out for her on A.P. Bio season two!