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An Ingénue of the Highest Order: Being Madeline Coghlan

An Ingénue of the Highest Order: Being Madeline Coghlan

By Stacey Gualandi

The No. 1 rule in improvisation is “ don’ t negate” : Whatever is thrown at you, just accept it and keep going. And that’ s just what up-and-coming actress Madeleine Coghlan is doing, both personally and professionally.

“ I’ m such a perfectionist! I like everything planned out and I like knowing what’ s going to happen, and in improv, you can’ t have any of that,” says the 20-year-old Groundlings student performer. “ It goes so against my nature completely.”

But opting out of college for a career in Hollywood—where one has very little control—is paying off for her quickly. She has come a long way in a relatively short amount of time. “ I was doing jenky bar improv just a year ago, and asking the crowd, ‘ Is everyone awake?’” says Coghlan. Cut to now: she just starred as a psychotic killer (yes…killer!) in the horror anthology film Holidays; graced the red carpet at the Tribeca Film Festival; and signed a variety show deal with Radio Disney. Brava!

This quick starter, who has been a vegan cook since her early teens, says being more open to new ideas is freeing, although she does say “ no” every once in a while. (“ Driving recently, my Dad and I were deciding what music to listen to. He said, ‘ Selena Gomez,’ and I said nope!” ) But the best advice she’ s received since starting her career comes directly from her parents. “ They said ‘ worry about yourself. Don’ t focus on what everyone else is doing.’” Now, Coghlan says she’ ll keep taking more chances by saying yes, even if she thinks it may not be perfect.

[…] Continue reading on Page 24-25

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