The 30-minute, semi-scripted reality show spoof is an eight-part comedy series that follows seven real estate agents as they navigate the cutthroat nature of high-end real estate in Los Angeles.
Maughan graduated from University of San Diego High School before going on to train with The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre and The Second City in L.A. Here’s what she had to say about her newest role.
Peninsula Beacon: Tell me about the role you play as Victoria King on “Bajillion Dollar Propertie$.”
Mandell Maughan: Victoria King could be described as the villain of the show. That being said, I think what makes her entertaining is her continual attempt and failure at being a successful villain. Our creator describes her quite accurately as a “bully with daddy issues.” She is overly confident and highly insecure.
But what I love about Victoria is her blind confidence. She could be wrong a million times and still believe with absolute confidence that she’s always right. There’s something so funny to me about that kind of blind faith in herself. Later in the season you’ll start to see how her relationship with her father has really shaped who she is and why she acts the way she does.
PB: Since the show is semi-scripted, how much of it is improvisation?
MM: Our writers are incredible. They have written the plot lines, scenarios and ideas. Before shooting a scene, we’re given an outline with ideas of dialogue and direction for the scene. After that, it’s up to the actors. They’ve given us a lot of freedom. Most of the dialogue is improvised. The producers are also particularly patient in letting us have 25 minutes of improvising before eventually getting to the point of the scene. To say our job is fun is an understatement!
PB: Have you had any other acting or stand-up comedy gigs, or will this be your first on-screen appearance?
MM: I’ve been acting in L.A. for several years. Before moving to LA, I received my bachelor’s degree in professional acting training from the University of Arizona. Since arriving in L.A., I have guest-starred in several TV shows such as “The Ex List,” “Sean Saves the World,” “The Millers,” “House of Lies” and “Undateable.”
PB: How much did you have to learn about real estate before filming the show?
MM: I definitely did quite a bit of research. Knowing that we would be improvising for so much of the show, I needed to be familiar with the vocabulary and terms. I read “Real Estate for Dummies,” watched “Million Dollar Listing” and other shows on HGTV. My brother works for Rodeo Realty in Beverly Hills, so I was able to pick his brain and sit in on his open houses. That was extremely helpful.
PB: Did you take theater or acting classes while living in San Diego?
MM: I did community theater in high school. I was also part of the San Diego Children’s Choir and the American Ballet when I was younger. Somehow I was always doing something on stage. Even if that stage was my family room with my dad’s 40-pound VHS recorder.
PB: How did growing up in Point Loma influence your acting career?
MM: I grew up in a very strong Portuguese community in Point Loma. A community that still exists today. My great-grandfathers came to San Diego and were founders of the American tuna industry. I was fortunate to be raised and immersed in my culture.
In 2001, I won the title of Miss Cabrillo. It was a wonderful opportunity to use my voice and love for the stage while honoring the Portuguese community.
PB: What do you most look forward to doing when you’re back in town?
MM: I travel to San Diego as often as possible. I love San Diego! When I’m there I visit with my mother, father and sister who still live in the city. I like to relax, go to my favorite restaurants, enjoy the beaches, and walk around La Jolla with my pug. Sometimes just taking a nap at my mother’s house can be the most needed and appreciated break from L.A.
For more information about streaming comedy channel Seeso, visit seeso.com.