What Happens at The Abbey, Marissa Chykirda, E!

Q&A with E! Entertainment What Happens at The Abbey star, Marissa.

What Happens at The Abbey has viewers on the edge of their seats every Monday at 20:55 on E! Entertainment (124), whether they're watching on the telly or live streaming on DStv Now on a smartphone. 

But what's it really like being at the famous West Hollywood, California nightclub, The Abbey?


We chat to Marissa Chykirda about the show and some of her favourite moments, see what she has to say:

What have you learned while on the show?

You really must stand up and stay true to yourself. It is hard to do, and everyone has an opinion here, whether it’s about the show or just in general about LA or life. Everyone has a strong opinion about who you should be, what you should be doing, how you should act. Honestly, just stay true to yourself, because that will take you furthest in life, wherever that is. It can be hard at times but stick to who you want to be, what you want to represent, what you believe in, and of course, there is a lot of temptation.


Can you describe your most unforgettable night at The Abbey?

To be truthful, I have two unforgettable nights. My first night, even if it wasn’t on camera, was when my mom came in to visit and we had so much fun that night. You don’t see it on the show but Heidi Montag ended up performing a single she’s coming out with.

The second memorable night was again with my mom, sister and my brother. They came to The Abbey and we had such a great time. I was happy that when I am at work, I always have fun and I am always laughing. It is like we are working real hard for sure, but we are also having a great time doing it, and I think for my family to see that and be a part of that was special to me.

What’s the three most important things to you in life? i.e. family, partner, travel, etc.

Family is number one, whether that is blood or friends that become family. Health is super important to me and being a good person. I believe in karma so, I think what goes around comes around, and I believe you have to be a good person and nice to people. Just be nice, because you don’t know what that person is going through.


What makes you happy? What puts a smile on your face?

On a normal day, the weather in LA makes me happy, that’s for sure! It’s just sunny here all the time and I think that is nice. My friends and my job make me happy. Being busy keeps me happy. I love being busy, I hate being home and sitting down. I need to get out of the house. If I feel like I am not being busy or doing something, I feel unproductive, so I must always keep busy.


How did you know The Abbey was for you? During your first few shifts was there an “aha” moment?

As I was training – you have a few days of training – I think for a couple of days I felt really off. I felt that I don’t know anyone and I am not connecting. You know, they are such a tight-knit group and they are very like, “no outsiders”, and I didn’t know how I was going to make friends. I think I had this one moment where someone was training me, I think one of the guys, and a song came on (Carly Rae Jepsen - Call Me Maybe) and we just started singing, dancing, joking around. Ever since that moment I was like, “Okay, I am going to make friends here, I am going to have a good time and it’s going to be okay.”


Whose opinion do you trust the most/matters to you the most of your friends at work?

Lawrence, for sure. Lawrence will shoot me straight, 100%. He does not sugar coat. He doesn’t try to make you feel better. If something is wrong, he is going to tell you. He has been a huge support for me. He does a lot of event planning and with that he always thinks of me, because he knows that I want to be a host. If there is a red-carpet event, he will call me up and ask if I can host it. He is so thoughtful.


For anyone who hasn’t been to The Abbey or watched the show, what do you think makes it a must-go-to place or a must-watch show?

It so much fun and so much energy. You are going to laugh and cry. You are going to be like, “OMG! WTF!” You are going to be like, “Why are you doing that?” and you are going to enjoy the ride. I think, because there are so many cast members, you will be able to relate and identify with at least one person on the show. There are so many different types of people on the show that are part of The Abbey and you are going to be able to find your place.


There’s been mention of a potential love story between you and Kyle. What do you think are the upsides and downsides of dating/being in a relationship with a colleague?

I guess, if you guys are having a bad day and you must work together, the last person you want to see is that person (laughs). So, that can be awkward. Like okay so, I want to go to work and not talk to you, and now I must see you and get drinks from you and work with you... it’s horrible sometimes.


What is it like to work in an environment where the ladies aren’t the only eye candy in demand? Is there competition with the lads?

There are so many beautiful men and so many of those men are not interested in me, and I am like, “Why?” There is definitely a huge competition and there is no denying it. It’s all about who you interact with. A lot of people such as writers, producers, executives, casting directors and agents are coming into The Abbey and some of them (the servers) are like, “How can I be best friends with that person?” and there is a lot of that going on. But the people who are more successful are the people that are cool and are really themselves. You can easily tell who is putting on an act. It’s obvious, and that is the biggest competition.


What’s the best part and the most difficult part of being a server at The Abbey?

The best part is that you have friends there. You go to work and you know that you are going to laugh that day. We all know each other’s lives, so that is a great part, it’s like, “How did your date go? How did your audition go?”

The worst part about the job is when it’s packed out – which is often – and we are all running around and hoping for the best, and that the night ends and everyone is happy.

It gets so crowded and you get so overwhelmed. One moment we’re joking around, laughing and having a good time, and the next thing we are like, “Did you go to table 12? Table 12 is sitting there,” and then it’s like, “Oh God, I need to get there.”

I don’t think people realise how huge The Abbey is. I mean it is a massive place. Sometimes you do a light jog to the next table like, “Oh man I got to move it!”