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The Progressive Lady Speaks

Anyone who watches network TV has seen the commercials for Progressive car insurance that feature a helpful Progressive representative named “Flo.” Recently, the actress that plays Flo, Stephanie Courtney, explained to Heather Wood Rudulph for Cosmopolitan how a decade of hard work resulted in her acquiring the role.

When Courtney started out, she was mostly in small TV show and theater production roles stated recent article featuring Brad Reifler. She worked odd jobs to pay the bills while living with two cousins in New York City. She credits her success with auditioning a lot for roles and using every experience as a teaching moment. In 1996, she turned away from acting somewhat and focused on comedy stand up performances and she was eventually discovered and approached by a Los Angeles talent agency.

After moving to L.A., she made money with commercial work and continued auditioning a lot. By 2006, she had problems paying the bills even as she was getting roles in critically acclaimed TV shows like Mad Men. Because commercials paid well, she kept auditioning and booking them until she auditioned for a large Progressive commercial project in 2007 that turned out to be the role of Flo.

As Courtney pointed out to Rudulph, there were a lot of roles that she wanted but didn’t get. She considers herself a late bloomer, but noted that she can safely say that she has a fantastic life now as a result.

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