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Jill Connor / The Westerly Sun
Jill Connor / The Westerly Sun Lori Okoney-Brown sits in her favorite seat that she said is Lori Okoney-Brown sits in her favorite seat that she said is

In The Easy Chair: Lori Okoney-Brown


AGE 42.

OCCUPATION Bartender at the Hard Rock Café and CEO of Ghetto Girl Productions, my Westerly-based theater company.

RESIDENCE Westerly.

RIGHT NOW I’M IN THE MIDDLE OF Directing “Steel Magnolias,” which opens at the Norwich Arts Center on April 24.

BORN, RAISED & GREW UP IN Westerly.

FAVORITE WAY TO SPEND MY TIME On the beach with Lo, Pru and Debbie.

PROUDEST ACCOMPLISHMENT Opening night of the first show I directed. There was a standing ovation. I’m not sure it gets much better than that.

WHAT I’D LIKE TO BE REMEMBERED FOR My passion for the things I love.

ON MY BUCKET LIST To walk a red carpet and spend two weeks in Australia and/or Italy.

ALWAYS IN MY POCKET Chapstick and cellphone.

WHAT I WANTED TO BE WHEN I GREW UP An actress.

PERSON WHO HAS INFLUENCED ME THE MOST My mother, Marion Clark. I could paint the walls and she would scream from the mountaintops that I’m the most talented person on the planet. Her pride fuels me ... and she’s quite funny.

FAVORITE AUTHOR I love a good Jackie Collins book while sitting on the beach.

LAST BOOK READ “Steel Magnolias,” by Robert Harling.

FAVORITE SONG “I’m Every Woman,” by Whitney Houston. I’ll throw it on and just dance; doesn’t matter where I am or who I’m with, you just can’t help but move.

FAVORITE MOVIE “The Color Purple.” My sister and I quote from it almost daily.

FAVORITE TV SHOW “Scandal.”

FAVORITE PET Stella Woo, my sweet Shih Tzu.

FAVORITE MEAL Anything with shrimp and “bread ‘n’ butta.”

AMOUNT OF TIME I SPEND A DAY ON FACEBOOK Far too much. I’m probably a great candidate for a Facebook support group.

TRAIT I MOST ADMIRE Loyalty.

PET PEEVE When people chew with their mouths open. Ew. I know what you’re eating because I’m sitting with you. I need not see it after it leaves the plate.

FAVORITE QUOTATION If you want something you’ve never had before, then you must do something you’ve never done before.

MY FAVORITE THING ABOUT OUR LITTLE CORNER OF THE WORLD Summertime. I don’t mind the tourists or the traffic, just get me to Weekapaug or get me some black raspberry ice cream from St. Clair Annex.

CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT My besties, my mama, my kid, chapstick and mascara.

LITTLE-KNOWN FACT ABOUT ME I talk to myself ... a lot.

BEST ADVICE I EVER RECEIVED Look past the pain and recognize the lesson.

ADVICE I BEST LIKE TO GIVE Choose you. Once you’ve taken care of yourself, you can do anything for somebody else.

IF I RULED THE WORLD I WOULD I’m not sure there is enough space to write it all.

IF I WON THE LOTTERY, THE FIRST THING I WOULD DO IS Buy an enormous piece of land and build houses for all my loves. We’d all live there together so I could see them everyday. Then I’d pick local people and pay off all of their debts.

I DRIVE A 2008 Silver Audi A3.

I WISH I DROVE A Range Rover.

ALWAYS IN MY FRIDGE Creamer and OJ.

IF I COULD HAVE DINNER AND A CONVERSATION WITH ANYONE IN THE WORLD I WOULD CHOOSE Oprah, my mother, Meryl Streep and my closest friends, but they’d have to keep pinching me so I could make sure it was really true.

— Interview conducted and edited by Nancy Burns-Fusaro.



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