Emily Lappi


Time in Greater OC: 20+ Years

Neighborhood: Long Beach

Hometown: Rancho Santa Margarita

What are you currently working on?

During the pandemic, I have been working on creating online theatre that breaks down the mental health stigma, promotes equality, and opens the eyes of our younger generation who are learning to use their voices for good.

What's been inspiring you recently?

What has been inspiring to me lately, is that art always finds a way! This is such a scary time for our industry, and every day I see art still being created! More specifically, I have loved the way our OC artist community has come together to support one another. I truly feel like I have a family.

Tell us a story from your childhood that illuminates who you are as an artist.

When I was little, my mom would always play the musical RENT in the car wherever we went. I learned the entire soundtrack by heart (while my mom covered my ears for the inappropriate parts!) and begged my mom endlessly to let me see it. Well, eventually she caved! I remember sitting in the theatre, watching the show, and thinking, “This is what I want to do for the rest of my life.” The energy of the cast, the energy of the audience, and the way my heart swelled when the show began gave me a feeling I never want to forget. I was so inspired. That was when I realized I wanted to inspire people. This is why I do it.

Who are or were your theatrical heroes?

My theatrical heroes are Idina Menzel, Annaleigh Ashford, Jessica Vosk, Heidi Blickenstaff, Anthony Rapp, Adam Pascal, and Lin Manuel-Miranda. As you can see, most of my heroes are hilarious, strong women!

What kind of theatre excites you?

The kind of theatre that excites me is theatre that makes you a different person than who you were when you entered the theatre. As an actor, I can’t tell you how amazing it feels when someone pulls me aside after a show and says, “You said everything I’ve been too scared to say up there on that stage. You have given me the courage to stand up for myself.”

What's the craziest thing you have ever needed to do for theatre?

Oh gosh where do I even start?! Some of the craziest things I have ever had to do for theatre include: throwing my body against a wall, learning to use a real gun with blanks, immersive theatre at an earthquake plate testing facility, stripping down to my underwear, swimming in a jacuzzi onstage, playing a post-apocalyptic mouse who sings Britney Spears... the list goes on and on!

Outside of a theatre, what's your favorite hot spot in Orange County?

My favorite hot spot in Orange County is anywhere that serves Prosecco and French fries, with live music I can dance to!

What surprises you the most about your role in the theatre community?

What surprises me most about my role in the theatre community is that I have made life long friendships. I am still in contact with so many people in this community—you never feel alone.

What advice do you have for theatre artists just starting out in Orange County?

The advice I would give artists just starting out in Orange County is don’t limit yourself. Say yes to every opportunity and take every opportunity as a learning opportunity.

Go ahead, promote your things...


When this pandemic is over, you can see me as Jinx at the dinner theatre comedy show Teatro Martini in Buena Park!

I am also an acting coach and I am always accepting new students. Click my website to reach out!

Emily Lappi