Abbi Jacobson is many things. Professionally, she’s a writer, producer, actor, comedian, and illustrator. Best known for “A League of Their Own,” and “Broad City,” both of which she co-created and starred in.
Not professionally, Abbi is a sweet, fun, down-to-earth person we’ve had the pleasure of getting to know here in LA over the last couple of years. Most recently, we often catch her at our coffee shop in Echo Park with our longtime friend / her fiancé, Jodi Balfour.
On a nice sunny day recently, we visited Abbi at her and Jodi’s Silver Lake home for some coffee. Our friend Justin Chung joined as usual to shoot film. Amongst other things, we wanted to learn more about Abbi’s day-to-day as a creative, how she got to where she is today, and how she approaches obstacles.
We hope you enjoy!
I do... sort of. It's pretty simple, and just consists of my partner Jodi or I grinding the beans and making a pour over using our Chemex. Then we either end up sitting on the floor in the kitchen for our morning dog snuggles, or we sit outside on the back patio for some fresh air and talk or read for a bit. Taking that time in the morning (when I can) is so important.
They definitely are, and I'm also simultaneously longing for more concrete rituals. My day-to-day work schedule can shift pretty drastically throughout the year depending on what I'm working on, so it's always changing. But taking that time in the morning always allows me to feel less chaotic and more clear to dive into the day's work, whatever it may be.
Not exactly. I went to art school for college, so visual art was more where I thought I was headed. Then when I moved to New York, I realized I was leaning into totally different creative fields like comedy and performance. But while very different, the inspiration behind whatever I do all sort of comes from the same stuff. So even though I might be in a place I never thought I'd imagine, my process is sort of the same as if I was embarking on a series of drawings — at least at the beginning.
The steps I took to get here... I would say that, mostly, I just became immersed in the comedy scene in New York, and found so many people there in that community that had the same goals and ambitions. Finding people interested in the same thing is such a huge resource and support system. Then I saw so many shows, when I was also performing and writing my own stuff, which helped me really hone in on what my voice sounded like. And then I think it's about the execution and follow through. Having people to hold you accountable. Making things, then trying again and learning each time. It's always an unfolding of what's next and how that thing is informed by the last one.
Knowing when something is finished.
How to step back and see something with fresh eyes.
Knowing when to say no to something.
Staying focused... :)
Looking at the blank sheet of paper, before you begin.
Lately, making things just for me, without thinking about an audience or as part of a larger context, has put the work into a new perspective and made it more specific. It's also allowed me to define what I'm most interested in ... interested in making and interested in saying.
I would say I am bi-coastal! Because of COVID, LA has become more my primary residence.
LA: I love the way you can go for a hike in the morning before work; the art scene, the surprising gems located in mini malls. I love the sunshine and how it gets chilly (but not that cold!).
NY: I love the walkability, the architecture, the people watching. I love the commutes and the food and the museums. The parks, the changing of the seasons. New York fuels me creatively more than any other place on earth, so I don't think I'll ever be able to let go of it.
It felt so incredible to finally have the show out in the world. It's taken a long time to make and to know it's now out there to be found is a great feeling. This ensemble of characters and their stories are ones I haven't really seen before, so it feels really significant to share them and see the response. I love them all, and it's been a real honor to create this world and a space for this kind of representation in a period show.
I have been working on adapting a Lorrie Moore short story into a feature film that would be my directorial debut.
Also my goal in the new year is to find a practice in visual art again. I'm yearning to make things in that way. It's been awhile.
Savoring life’s details through the coffee we drink daily.