Everyone has a dream. We all grew up wanting to be firefighters or doctors or artists, but how many of us actually followed those paths? For most of us, our dreams become a distant thought as we take the more practical route – and there is nothing wrong with that. However, there is something to be said for those who actively pursue their dreams. And there is even more to be said for someone who pursued their dreams not once, but twice.
This person is Laura Orrico. Growing up in the west suburbs of Chicago, Laura dreamed of one day being an actress and making the world laugh. She would put on her own Saturday Night Live style skits in her backyard for family, and credits her parents to providing her with a sharp sense of humor. After Laura’s father passed away when Laura was 9, she and her mom, Sandy, who has been battling MS since Laura was 3, were left to support one another, and became a dynamic duo that is just as strong today as it was then.
Laura was admittedly shy all throughout middle school and high school, but found a way to break out of her shell after attending Columbia College in Chicago. She began taking classes at The Second City, and honed her comedic talents into something she could showcase in front of others. Laura moved to Los Angeles in her early twenties in search of acting work. She would go on to work on shows such as: CSI: Miami, The King of Queens, and was a series regular on Frank TV on TBS, among other memorable roles. She quickly built up her resume, guest starring on some of the most popular television shows at the time. She also became popular online, as a plethora of comedy videos she created went viral. She also starred in this hit viral video directed by David Zucker, director of Airplane!
Throughout her time in Los Angeles, Laura was motivated by the support of her boyfriend-turned-husband, Ryan Cosgrove, who she met through mutual friends. Ryan was working in the entertainment industry as graphic designer, and worked on big shows and movies, like Revenge and The Polar Express. Sadly, Ryan was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor in 2007, which led he and Laura to eventually move back to their hometown of Chicago to be near family. Ryan passed away in 2015, leaving Laura to figure out what her next steps would be. Aside from acting, she had always had a passion and interest for business, so she toyed with the idea of starting her own company. This thought led to her successful PR firm, Laura Orrico Public Relations. Now in its third year, Laura Orrico PR is a boutique firm based in Chicago with high-profile clients across the country, ranging from celebrities to authors to politicians to business owners to large organizations, and even talented up-and-comers.
Laura took all of the knowledge regarding public relations that she learned during her time in Los Angeles, and was able to turn that knowledge into a successful business. Dream #2? Accomplished. Laura still acts as a hobby, and was recently on the CBS sitcom Kevin Can Wait. She also frequently appears on Chicago’s WGN Morning News in comedy skits produced by Jeff Hoover. The Tidbit had the opportunity to talk to Laura as part of the 3 Tidbits series.
The Tidbit: What (movie/actor,etc) inspired you to get into acting?
Laura Orrico: John Ritter! I grew up watching Three’s Company as a kid, before I fully understood the jokes, and found it hilarious back then, due to John Ritter’s physical comedy skills. And, as an adult, I enjoy it even more now that I get the jokes!
TT: What has been your favorite acting moment?
LO: Working in front of a live studio audience on a Warner Bros. sound stage. I had a small role on Just Shoot Me! and hearing the laughter from the audience was so fun and rewarding. To be honest, so many of my favorite acting moments come from the sitcom world, including a recent appearance on CBS’s Kevin Can Wait, which was recorded on a sound stage in New York, where I got to act alongside Kevin James and Leah Remini. Oh! And, one time early in my career in L.A., I got to run lines with Jack Nicholson, that was pretty surreal.
TT: What’s the best piece of advice anyone has ever given you?
LO: Somebody once told me that when you get a high paying gig – whether it’s a TV show, film role, or commercial – budget your money well. And, don’t let it go to your head too much because you never know when the next gig will be. So my advice from what I have learned, is to save your money and budget well, because this industry is a roller coaster.