On the first episode of What Happens at The Abbey, we learned that Marissa Chykirda was the newest to the Abbey crew. In fact, she had just started working at the establishment a couple of weeks before filming and was still pretty new to the LA area.
So this week we sat down with Marissa to talk about her move to Los Angeles and all things Abbey.
Check out her Q&A below:
So the first episode of What Happens at The Abbey just aired. How are you feeling?
Amazing, we all worked so hard on this for a year! So for me, i felt FINALLY I get to show everyone what I have been up to since leaving home.
I am so excited to see everyone’s response to the show.
So far, I have been receiving a lot of love, especially from the East Coasters.
So, you moved from Long Island to Los Angeles. In the ﬁrst episode, you mentioned that it was a pretty big deal that you made the move. What made you make such a bold decision? And when you got out to LA, were you able to turn to anyone for help or advice?
It was a huge deal, I come from a pretty traditional family and it is an unspoken rule that you live at home until marriage. No one in the family ever moved far away, my grandparents and aunt literally lived 3 houses down from us.
Moving 3,000 miles away on a hope and a dream was not looked highly upon. It was go to college and get a job, a path that follows a proven formula. I never felt I wanted to follow that formula though. I was very smart in school, in advanced classes and felt conditioned to go to Stony Brook University for nursing, even though I wanted to go away to school. In my mind though, since I was a child was to be part of entertainment. At 19, I took my ﬁrst acting class and was hooked.
I was always curious to what Los Angeles would be like and felt compelled to go. I actually went to San Diego ﬁrst as my best friend’s husband was stationed there from the Marines. After that, I was like I am moving! I knew it was a bold move but also knew I would always question and resent not going and giving it try.
With that, what would be the best piece of advice you could give to anyone looking to make the same move you made?
I have A LOT!
STAY TRUE TO YOURSELF! Do not try to be someone you are not, there is only one YOU and be kind to yourself and others.
SAVE YOUR MONEY! Do not come out here with nothing saved. I have seen too many people living in cars and ultimately becoming desperate for cash and selling themselves short or even going back home.
I waitressed and lived at home and did not buy myself the latest designer shoes or go out every weekend with friends because I was willing to sacriﬁce for the bigger picture.
BE MENTALLY PREPARED TO GO HOME. I was mentally prepared for it not to work out and go back home. If my dream did not work out like I thought, I was still proud of myself for being independent and going after something I believed even if no one else did.
DO NOT LOOK FOR OTHERS FOR APPROVAL. If I listened to my parents I never would be where I am today. They support me now but it wasn’t always like that. I know they want the best for me but sometimes you have to trust your gut, even when it is hard.
DO NOT TRUST EVERYONE! I have been scammed and lied to. Not everyone cares about you like they want you to believe.
After your move, was there ever a point when you feared that you may have made the wrong decision?
It is really hard to be by yourself and on your own going after really just a dream with a pray.
I questioned myself and my path especially because I was looking for approval from my family in which they did not give me. So everyday ﬁghting that battle was hard but it gets easier as you start becoming stronger as a person and staying true to yourself.
How did your family and friends react when they found out you were going to be on a reality show?
Mostly confused ha!
My mom and my best friend (the same one who helped me move to LA) were very excited though for the opportunity.
I believe I saw your mom on the red carpet with you at the season premier, how has she adapted to the change? Would you consider her your number one supporter?
Mom was there, she would not have missed it. She is a huge part of my life, and a huge part in episode 2 PLUS it was Mother’s Day! I talked to her today and she half jokingly said,
“no one recognized me…yet!”
My mom is deﬁnitely a huge supporter and support system for me. We have a really close relationship, some would say too close but it works for us. I am so blessed and grateful to be able to count on her and know she always has my best interest at heart and will tell me the truth.
My life is very different now and she is learning to go with it. My life and schedule is always changing and at a very fast pace. She now writes it down on her calendar so she remembers what I am up to. She sees how busy I am and always makes sure I am okay.
I love when she is in town, she is super helpful. Weather it be cooking, cleaning, laundry, organizing, shopping, running errands with me, she does it all! I am so appreciative of it.
In the ﬁrst episode, Kyle deﬁnitely shows major interest in you. But you seem to be aware of his game. Is there a juicy plot line we should all expect?
Kyle is super hot, has a great smile, and a great game 😉
I love how Kyle’s family is super tight and supportive.
My grandma would always say, go for the guy who likes you, not the guy you like. I mean, you have to like him but grandma just meant don’t chase the guy. If a guy really likes you he will do anything to get you.
Everyone on the show has said that working at The Abbey opens up so many career opportunities. So far, they seem to be spot on. What are you hoping to do after the show? What kind of career moves are you hoping to make?
I really hope to start hosting ASAP!
My dream has always been to be a talk show host or part of a talk show panel. I would love to have a balance of fun conversation and also conversations that are important to have. I love talking to people and learning about their story, life, and view on the world, it is such an eye opener and it’s great to have people feel so comfortable with you that they want to reveal their true selves.
I am a huge non-ﬁction book reader, my last book was, Dangerous Odds, by Marisa Lankester, it was amazing. I actually wrote her as a fan and she responded and oddly enough we have kept in touch. It would be awesome to be able to even interview her.
I would love to start co-hosting segments or red carpets in hopes that will eventually segway into bigger hosting jobs.
Where do you see yourself professionally in the next 5 years?
A professional host on a daytime talk show. I would want to provide a genuine aspect to television where people can easily relate and feel comfortable to just be them. I love pop culture, fashion, lifestyle, DIYs, so I need a show that will do it ALL!
What Happens At The Abbey aires every Sunday at 10pm EST. Why should we keep tuning in?
It is expectedly sexy but unexpectedly funny.
Everyone is so comical in their own way, it is hysterical.
Even though we all have a lot of fun together, each of us individually is going through their own unique journey in life and finding their own path to take. We are all so different so I think someone watching could easily identify or relate to one of us.
There is a ton of celebrities and entertainment power house who walk through the Abbey doors regularly and you will see how that plays out as we serve them and then work for them.