Everyone has heard the saying: "when life gives you lemons, make lemonade". It’s used to encourage optimism and a positive can-do attitude in the face of adversity or misfortune.

Well, actress and creator Hesley Harps is turning this concept into liquid comedy gold with her new web series Live It Up Lemonade. The series comes as a continuation of her long-running one-woman live show, picking up right where her crack-pot sales training alter-ego Rhonda left off – in jail.

Originally from Georgia, Hesley has become a recurring sketch comedian on TBS show Conan. She has also appeared on This Is Us, New Girl, Adam Ruins Everything, The Adam Carolla Show, Funny or Die Presents and is seen in video sketches regularly on FunnyOrDie.com and CollegeHumor.com.

To find out more about Live It Up Lemonade, I recently caught up with Hesley Harps:

Explain to us your new web series Live It Up Lemonade.

HESLEY HARPS: Live It Up Lemonade follows Rhonda, a recently incarcerated lemonade saleswoman, as she shares her tricks of the trade with her lemonade franchise owners, even though she’s behind bars. Unfortunately for Rhonda, there's a lot of madness to her methods so things don't often go according to plan. After the mysterious death of a trainee at one of her seminars, she was sent to prison but still managed to smuggle in a cell phone to continue her work through a bootleg app.

Why did you want to create this project?

HH: This project was inspired my day job at the time, working as a brand ambassador (basically a grocery store sample lady) for a huge brand. I met almost a hundred people every time I worked an event and was blown away by the insanity I witnessed on a daily basis; shoplifting, fights, crazy conspiracy theories. I knew I had to do something with all that wackiness that was hiding in plain sight.

I began to wonder, if you do this job long enough, do you become one of those people shouting at a display in a grocery store? I wanted to create a show that explored the reality behind what seems like a pretty simple gig and play with the bizarre truth of what it’s actually like. You're told you're going to be handing out samples to yoga moms but you're just as likely to have someone rake all of the products off your table and scream, “F#$k granola!”

Any message you hope fans will take away or is this one just for fun?

HH: I hope that people will be inspired to make their own work. As a performer, if there is a specific kind of character you want to play, sometimes the best move is to create it yourself, instead of waiting on someone else to develop a project with your dream role. Be the strange you want to see in the world.

Best thing you discovered about yourself from creating it? And, any bad things?

HH: I was excited to discover that I've grown a lot since I first landed in LA. I would definitely describe myself as a perfectionist and we all know that things in production and post-production don't often go exactly according to plan. In the past, I think the twists and turns of working on a project like this would have really bothered me, but I've learned over time that these happy accidents are what gives a project life.

We have to ask – have you ever been in jail?

HH: Let me says this: Have I been to jail? No. Should I have been to jail? Probably.

So, what’s next for both you and the series?

HH: I’ve had so much fun with Rhonda and I’m not quite ready to say goodbye to the character yet, so I’m working on a 30 minute pilot that may or may not follow her life as a fugitive from the law. I’m also writing a feature about an Instagram Cat Murder Mystery, because the truth is meowt there. I’m also trying to stop using terrible puns in interviews, but that may be a bigger challenge than I first thought.

Thanks, Hesley -- and keep turning lemons into laughs!

Watch Live It Up Lemonade at: www.LiveItUpLemonade.com
Keep up with Hesley Harps at: www.HesleyHarps.com

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