Tara Jean O'Brien

Actor. Writer. Rad Chick.

News! News! News!

Standup in Reno, San Diego, and Burbank… Oh, my!

I'm looking forward to some fun shows coming up this month! I'll be heading back to one of my hometowns--Reno, NV--to do a couple of shows with the hilarious Sarah Colonna (& will be re-living ...

Isa Pitch Finalist!

I'm incredibly excited to be a finalist for the ISA pitch competition with my 30-minute pilot, "The Golden Weavers"!!! Here's the announcement. Though this is great news, I am excited that the program is going ...

Book signing – tips for your last year on earth

We were greeted with the nicest day in ages in sunny Burbank! Thanks to all who came out. We've been overwhelmed by the love and support! If you haven't purchased your copy yet, do so ...

Upcoming Shows


Write. Right?

Current Projects Available for Submission

I attended Corey Mandell's professional screenwriting workshops and cannot recommend them enough!

The Nest 30-minute, single-camera, comedy pilot (pilot and series bible available). Logline: After the death of her mother, a 13-year-old girl is left to live with her grandparents in Palm Desert and ends up running their failing, but infamous seniors nightclub, The Nest.

Placed in the quarterfinals of the PAGE Awards and a semi-finalist in the InRoads Fellowship 2019.

Caught in the Act: 30-min, single-camera, one-location, comedy pilot (pilot and series bible available). Logline: When a nearly-famous actor gets shot on stage for real, his co-stars, director, stage manager, and a critic are embroiled in a “whodunit” style murder mystery leaving them to cope with their greatest fear—dying before becoming famous themselves.

Anchors Away: 30-minute, single-camera, comedy pilot. Written/produced with the wildly talented Gia Mora. It was in the Hollywood Reel Independent Film Festival and the LA Lift Off Film Festival. We were honored to be in both! Check out the sizzle!


Check out some articles I've written for legitimate outlets. Who knew?!



Older Projects

(Age is just a number, people.)

The Onion - Former headline contributor.

Samsung Internet Web Series - Created for the Sochi Winter Olympics about the Jamaican bobsled team. They took down the episodes, but rest assured, it was a real hoot!

After the Fall: A Hollywood Hills Tragedy - Feature-length film script and Internet web series. Won a Screenplay award! Watch the trailer!

Outsourced - Internet web series. It was in this festival...

Pretty Dumb Luck - Internet/TV series with my amazing podcast co-host, Tina-Louise Eckert. Episode outlines available...and awesome.

Follow @tartarsauce1

(mostly bad jokes)

Twitter feed is not available at the moment.

I Wrote This Because I Don't Have an Assistant

Tara bio1024_1

Born in Sacramento and raised in Reno and Las Vegas, I'm a lover of leopard print and the sweet sound of quarters sloshing into plastic buckets. Jackpot, baby. I moved between those cities 16 times by the time I was in high school, not because we were being chased by the mob, but because my mom was a tad crazy and my dad sold casinos.  (I believe this is how most Charlotte Bronte novels begin.)

I went to Reno High School (coming up with names is one of Nevada's greatest strengths) and was an overachiever; I did every possible extracurricular activity in hopes of getting scholarships so I could get the hell out of Reno.  My hard work paid off and I headed to the University of Southern California on a hefty scholarship and earned a dual degree in Theatre and Political Science—the perfect union of majors to work for The Daily Show… or a restaurant.

I also attended the British American Drama Academy in London where I studied Shakespearean acting in a conservatory setting.  One of my chain-smoking, terrifying, and Juilliard trained acting professors, laughed himself to tears due to a rather bold choice I made while playing the 'Nurse' in Romeo and Juliet.  He said I had the, “gift of wit.”  That is still the best compliment I’ve ever received, aside from Florence Henderson saying I was, “sooo skinny.”

After graduation, I doubled down on my, "gift of wit," by attending improvisation and sketch comedy classes at iO West and the Groundlings. I also acted in theater productions… a lot of theater productions. I was a founding member of Unknown Theater; a non-profit group that raised $90,000 before we even had a space. We received numerous glowing reviews, putting us on track to compete with full-Equity theaters and rekindle the mostly hit-and-miss Los Angeles theater community.  Unfortunately, the theater did not remain on that path.  That experience showed me the true value of teamwork, ensemble, and the most valuable lesson of all: letting go.

I was on the house sketch teams, The Cover Up and Drug Money, at iO West, as well as improv groups Hey Neighbor and Blank Label. I'm currently on a house long form improv team at Second City, Brother Bradley and a house sketch team at The Ruby, The Volcano, and the house improv team a Flappers comedy club in Burbank. I've done hundreds and hundreds of shows over the years and only one audience member puked in the aisle. #winning

Born from this improv experience came, VOMIT!. We were a two-woman comedy band and became regulars at the Improv and Laugh Factory and most important of all, got a development deal to pitch our own TV show.  It was an amazing and fantastic training ground for how television gets created.

I decided to explore some of that other-side-of-the-camera learning I gained while we were pitching VOMIT. I previously worked as a personal assistant for a few celebrities, so I understood pain and suffering; I quickly understood how this skill is a natural fit for production. Making film and television below the line involves long hours, lots of energy, and mad organizational skills.  In addition to being SAG-AFTRA, I also became a Teamster. That has generally been pretty weird.

I’ve had my head blown off in Rubber, been bitchy and creepy on General Hospital, been in black and white on Teachers, been everything from lingerie clad to an angry Trump supporter on Conan O'Brien, and can't wait to do all of that again and again, but bigger, faster, and funnier.

Tara Jean O'Brien Headshot
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