Cape Town – The hot new E! series What Happens at The Abbey follows the lives of the employees who work at L.A. hot spot.
The Abbey is one of the hottest gay bars in America and the perfect spot for guests seeking the ultimate nightlife experience.
The sexy staff bring loads of drama as they juggle work, making it in Hollywood, and their love lives.
WATCH THE TRAILER HERE:
One of the cast members 23-year-old Marissa Chykirda is the newbie at the Abbey. She just moved to L.A. from Long Island. Channel24 had a quick chat with Marissa about the show and her romance with co-star Kyle.
What can viewers expect from the show?
The show is packed with a lot of action. I will say it’s very hardcore – it’s sexy, glamourous, beautiful, and also really funny – which I think is very unexpected. Everyone is so quick with their words – together as a group we have tons of one-liners – those quick words can be funny, but also be a start to a lot of drama, for sure.
You are from Long Island and you a newbie at the Abbey, how did you get the role?
Honestly, it was just luck – I needed a job. I came to LA without telling my mom and I gave myself ten days to find a job. If I didn’t have things figured out in ten days, I was going to go home. So, in those ten days I found an apartment. Asked the locals around for advice, who were like, “Oh, try and get a job in West Hollywood. The Abbey is a great place.” Oddly enough, in LA, part of your resume is your headshot. You hand in your headshot along with your actual waitressing or bartending skills. That was a shock to me, because in Long Island in New York, you only have to hand in your working resume.
What were some of the challenges you faced while filming and how did you overcome them?
I guess the first challenge definitely had to be the cameras. I remember my first day so vividly – I feel like I will never forget my first day of filming. They are just like, “Okay, go!” You’re living your life, but there are ten people watching you and you feel a bit weird and don’t know what to do. Everyone kept saying you will forget the cameras are there, and I am like, “How is that possible? I’m never going to forget that they are there.” But truthfully, you do forget. You do just kind of tune or block them out, and that was really weird for me, but you do get over it, which I never believed at first.
Is there anyone in the cast that you have built a relationship with, excluding Kyle?
I think I’ve built a very close relationship with Chelsea who is always very motherly. Brandi as well, and Elizabeth and Kim, who are really their own duo and best friends, but I sometimes feel that I’m the third musketeer to them.
Who was the one celebrity that visited the Abbey that had you fan-girling hard?
Just recently Laverne Cox from Orange is the New Black came in and I wanted to totally fan-girl out, but I did keep my cool, because I already got in trouble when Tori Spelling and Heidi Montag came in. I was like, “I’ve got to keep my cool”, but deep down I wanted to be like, “OMG, I am obsessed with you and everything you stand for.”
With the relationship between you and Kyle blooming, does it add pressure having to play it out in front of the cameras?
In the beginning, like I said with all the cameras it was awkward, but then you are just living your life and going through the motions, and all the crew is watching me go through them. I’m sure they were cringing at some moments and I’m sure they were rooting for me at some moments as well. But I mean, I don’t know, you just kind of live your life.
Were there parts where you wanted to keep the relationship private or were there parts that you were reluctant to show, if I could put it like that?
I would say, yes. I think during the taping of the show, you learn that you are very vulnerable, and you are not only vulnerable with Kyle or who you are with, but vulnerable with everybody, and that was very difficult. I was like, “Okay, I wish me and Kyle can do this relationship outside,” but it just happened, and I think that the cool part about it was that we learnt how to develop our relationship genuinely on camera. Off camera, we are always texting and calling each other and would go out. So, on camera it was much more genuine and there was a real relationship there.
Is there pressure when the cameras are on to put on more drama?
For me personally, I did not feel that pressure. I think if you feel that pressure when the cameras are on, you can see certain individuals, who maybe are no longer part of the show, they do a switch. You can tell instantly that they are not genuine. So, when the cameras come on, you have to act normal. Sometimes you are like, “This is really boring,” but when we watch it back, it is like, “That was pretty intense.” But you don’t think that way in the moment. You are just living your life, things are happening, and you are reacting.
What Happens at The Abbey will premiere on E! (DStv 124) on Monday, 31 July at 20:00.