Famous Alumnae: Angela Kinsey

You probably recognize Angela Kinsey from her Emmy Award-winning role as Angela Martin in your favorite show to binge-watch on Netflix, NBC’s hit sitcom The Office. But before she became a famous actress, Angela Kinsey was a Chi Omega (Theta Kappa Chapter) at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. Angela graduated from Baylor University in 1994 with a Bachelor of Creative Arts Degree in English. 

Born in Lafayette, Louisiana on June 25, 1971, Angela moved to Jakarta, Indonesia with her family when she was only two years old. For 12 years of her life, Angela learned English and Indonesian at the Jakarta International School. After moving back to the states with her family at age 14, she participated in drama and was in many plays. Ever since childhood, Angela wanted to perform. She told her mom when she was 4 years old that she wanted to be the next Carol Burnett, and from there, her parents knew that she would be an actress. 

Angela chose to go to Baylor University after going on a tour with a friend in high school. Taking her mom’s advice, she chose a private school because it might have been harder for her to go to a big state school after growing up in Indonesia. After seeing how much fun her friends were having in Greek life, Angela decided to pledge Chi Omega. What initially drew Angela in was the aspect of community service and giving back to the community as an organization. And while there were many service organizations on campus to choose from, Angela was drawn in by the way the Chi Omegas were unique. They were, according to Angela, the trendsetters; rather than a group of one type of girl, Chi Omegas were unique, motivated, and leadership focused. They weren’t followers of anything. “I felt like I was joining a group of women who were smart and who were going to do things with their lives,” Angela says about her decision to join Chi Omega. 

While Angela was in college, she was the total pledge class clown. With her background in comedy, she was the girl that can’t keep her giggles to herself. Before she was cracking us up on The Office, she was making her sisters laugh during recruitment skits, and sometimes during serious events. Angela recalled, in her 2011 interview with The Eleusis of Chi Omega, she got a bad case of the giggles during a pledge ceremony, and all 30 sisters couldn’t stop laughing. Angela was probably the girl cracking jokes during chapter. She was also involved in the Chi Omega intramural softball team, and her favorite thing about sorority life was the community service. During her time at Baylor, Angela specifically remembers working with Habitat for Humanity with her sisters, as well as volunteering at local nursing homes and retirement centers, reading and singing for the patients. “It wasn’t just socials and mixers,” Angela says when talking about the community service. 

Even still, Angela keeps up with a few of her sisters in her pledge class. She admits to having an owl magnet on her refrigerator, and still has her favorite item from her time in college: her Chi Omega sweatshirt. Even though it’s old and a little worn down, Angela has kept it because it reminds her of college and how she wore it all the time, since classrooms were always cold. While reminiscing on her experiences of Greek life, Angela thinks of her daughter, Isabel. She often wonders if Isabel will follow in her footsteps and become a Chi Omega too, but isn’t pressuring her. She just wants her to have as many wonderful experiences as she did. 

When Angela graduated from Baylor, she moved to Los Angeles and started auditioning as well as writing comedy sketches. Like most actors experience, starting out was pretty tough. She worked odd jobs while auditioning and performing in improv shows; one of the jobs she worked was answering phones for a company called 1-800-DENTIST, which gave her a lot of experience to draw on later when acting on The Office. After college, Angela worked as an intern for Late Night with Conan O’Brien. In 2005, she auditioned for the role of Pam Beesly on a new sitcom called The Office. She didn’t get the part because they saw her as “too feisty” to play Pam, but a few months later was called in again to audition for the role of a judgmental accountant that was unnamed, and got the part. 

Angela, like 3 of her costars Oscar Nunez, Phyllis Smith, and Creed Bratton, shares a first name with her character, Angela Martin. Her character, however, is nothing like her. In real life, Angela is outgoing and spontaneous, but her character Angela is very strict, no-nonsense, and judgmental of her coworkers. During the show, she had a MySpace page called “accountinglady” which she wrote in the style of her character Angela Martin. The set of The Office was a fully functioning office, so the computers and phones worked. She often would IM her costar BJ Novak, who played Ryan Howard, and do personal things like check her email and pay her bills. Though real Angela and fictional Angela don’t have a whole lot in common, one of the interests they do share is cats. Fictional Angela has a nanny-cam for her multiple cats so she can keep an eye on them while at work, and at one point kept her cat Bandit in a filing cabinet at work. Real-life Angela is a cat owner and supports the philanthropic organization Alley Cat Allies, which is a nonprofit organization that seeks to protect and improve the lives of cats. 

After appearing in 9 seasons and winning 2 Screen Actors Guild Awards alongside her costars, Angela is living in LA with her daughter Isabel and is currently starring in the Netflix Original Series Haters Back Off. In August 2016, Angela got engaged to her boyfriend and announced the engagement on her Instagram. 

 

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