Jiavani Linayao attends the LA premiere of Netflix's "Between Two Ferns: The Movie" at ArcLight Hollywood on September 16, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)

About Jiavani Linayao
Age32 Years
BirthFebruary 3, 1987 Bremerhaven, Germany
GenderFemale
SiblingsTiffany Waldren
ParentsSteve Waldren, Feli Waldren
AddressSan Diego, California
CountryUnited States
JobActor
AlumniAmerican Academy of Dramatic Arts, Emerald Ridge High School
Movies, ShowsBetween Two Ferns: The Movie
EthnicityFilipino, African-American

Zach Galfianakis’ mock talk show is now a feature-length film. Between Two Ferns: The Movie premieres on Netflix on September 20, and it’s worth noting that Galfianakis’ trusty film crew is equally entertaining. The open improvisation makes this film hilariously novel, thanks to improv pros like Jiavani Linayao, who is this parody talk show’s boom operator. If you haven’t checked her out already, our Jiavani Linayao wiki has everything on this talented artist.

Jiavani Linayao Has Filipino Heritage

Jiavani Linayao Waldren was born on February 3, 1987 in Bremerhaven, Germany. She grew up in Hawaii and Washington state, and currently lives in San Diego, California.

Linayao and her sister, Tiffany, were born to Feli Waldren and Steven Waldren. They have Filipino and African-American heritage from their parents.

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Jiavani takes pride in her rich blended culture as a pansexual woman of color. Most of her performance work relates to her background and being a queer woman.

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Also among the many dance forms she has learned, she also knows the Filipino folk dance of Tinikling.

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Linayao’s Father Appeared in NCIS: New Orleans

Steven Waldren, Jiavani’s dad, is also an actor who has mostly worked on short films. His biggest credit to date has been an uncredited role in the CBS show NCIS: New Orleans.

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Since 2016, he’s regularly appeared as Officer Roy in the long-running series. And he’s got a few behind-the-scenes pictures on his Instagram to give us a glimpse of his work.

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Linayao Performs Musical Theater and Comedy Improv

After graduating from Emerald Ridge High School in Puyallup, Washington, Linayao studied acting at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Los Angeles. She has since been actively performing musical improv and other comedy forms in L.A., especially with the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater.

She’s particularly known for her shows like Baby Wants Candy: The Improvised Musical, Asian AF, Gaysian AF, Shamilton: An American Musical, Thrones! The Musical Parody, and Voldemort the Musical. She’s also an improv coach and is extremely popular with her teams.

A performing artist with SAG-AFTRA since 2018, Linayao has appeared in short films and a few TV shows, including sketches for BuzzFeed and Funny or Die. Between Two Ferns: The Movie is her biggest on-screen work to date, and it might be right up her alley.

The stars of the mock-parody show revealed there was no concrete script for the movie. The cast instead improvised most of the movie.

“There were the bones of a script and then we got to play around a lot, which was nice,” Linayao said. The celebrity guests weren’t given a script to follow, either, which made for one of Linayao’s favorite celebrity interactions in the show with MCU and MIB: International star Tessa Thompson.

“We’re improvising and my character gets hit on by celebrities a lot and she likes to turn them down,” Linayao described. “We hadn’t told Tessa Thompson about that. She made eyes at me during [her] scene and I totally froze. That’s what’s supposed to happen to my character, but because I wasn’t expecting it and because it was Tessa Thompson, I was like…I short circuited. I had nothing to say. I think I just walked away.”

Don’t miss this improv queen when Between Two Ferns: The Movie premieres on Netflix on September 20.

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