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This Is Chrissy Eaden

Have you seen the show This Is Us? I haven’t. I hear it’s good and gives you lots of tears and has a diverse cast and all sorts of spectacular feel-good TV vibes. It seems great!

But one thing has been getting in the way of my watching it: Chrissy Metz, the actress playing Kate Pearson, one of the show’s main characters. There is no animus or ill will toward Metz as I’m only familiar with her acting work from American Horror Story: Freak Show: I mostly have a minor weirdness with her because her name isn’t Chrissy Metz. That’s a stage name – and I know this from a very “Los Angeles is a small town!” story.

I moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting and writing but, because of a lack of life cushion to devote myself to craft, I worked full time as an assistant in reality television. It was fairly awful. But! I did learn a lot, met many people, and used the experience to build the life and work I have today. As I exited reality television, I decided to push focus to acting and steal away any help I could get from my connections “in the industry” which included a handful of agency connects via assistants and direct interactions. One of them was an agent with Don Buchwald and Associates who was always very kind and who actually connected me with another agent to help me get work work. Her name was Chrissy Eaden.

Eaden was an extremely nice, funny woman who worked in the children’s department while also managing commercial actors. She was great! Super honest and super down to earth about life and “the biz.” She, too, was a substantial woman. Eaden and I didn’t get to work together and, outside of a thank you email I sent, I never heard from her again…until I took a one man show class in 2011 that Chrissy was also in. We had a not-that-awkward reintroduction, as two adults hoping to develop their craft instead of two people trying to break Hollywood by playing each other. Her email was essentially “funnylady” plus numbers at Hotmail.

Flash to 2017 and Chrissy is a major Hollywood star on NBC’s biggest drama. This is huge! I wondered for some time if this Chrissy was the Chrissy I knew and, of course, it is – and I’m not the only one who has found this peculiar.

In the initial Deadline.com announcement that a “Chrissy Metz” would be cast in a Dan Fogelman NBC show, people were very supportive. But, near the bottom of the comments, other people shared my confusion – to a salty extreme.

• on Dec 10, 2015 12:00 pm
Wait… This is Chrissy Eaden. She is an agent. Isn’t that like insider trading?

• on Dec 10, 2015 1:58 pm
Great. There are over 100,000 actors in the industry… And now we have to compete with our reps too.

It was bizarre for anyone who has worked in this town in any capacity. Agents jump to acting too? Is that insider trading? May the best person win, sure, but this was a surprise (and truly an accomplishment in gaming the system to succeed).

If you’re still curious if Chrissy Eaden and Chrissy Metz are the same person, I have more receipts. First, the last name “Eaden” is television actress Chrissy Metz’s ex-husband’s last name. There was also a talent agent Twitter linked to the name while another Chrissy Eaden observed a few acting workshops. Most obviously, a Myspace belonging to “Chrissy Metz-Eaden” confirms what I already knew.

And, of course, plugging in her “funnylady” email address into Facebook suggests the most conclusive answer possible.

What does this all mean? That “Chrissy Metz”‘s real name is Chrissy Eaden and I have a direct line to an NBC star. The oddity of “Is this that person I met a few times?” has been eliminated and she is slid into a pile of names of people you once knew who now are on television. Such is LA life adjacent to entertainment.

Less obviously, Metz’s success is a lesson for all working adults slaving away toward a goal: you gotta keep that hustle alive, no matter how near or far you are from that which you want to be. I didn’t know Metz well during her time at Buchwald or in our weeks together in class but she was obviously busting her ass, as myself and many others have done. There are many ceilings in every industry but she broke through so many, hitting one of the most coveted jackpots in the world by working within the system. My parents and so many other parents suggested that a path as such could really, truly exist but I never believed them: this story is proof.

Here’s to you, Chrissy Eaden. Keep on keeping on.

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