Around Ambler Spotlight | HQ Host Sarah Pribis

This week, had a chance to talk to Sarah Pribis, an Ambler native and a regular host on the wildly popular trivia craze, HQ.  Sarah talked to us about her many claims-to-fame and her favorite things to do in and around Ambler.

If you aren’t already playing HQ Trivia like the rest of us, it is a trivia game app that is broadcast live twice a day from your phone.  HQ boasts over one million live viewers, with games taking place every day at 3 and 9pm. The game that aired at Super Bowl half time had a record number of over two million viewers.  The app sends a notification that lights up your phone and reminds people it’s time to play.  In each game, players have ten seconds to answer 12 questions.  If a player gets a question wrong, they’re eliminated and the players that answer all 12 correctly, split the lump sum with the other winners, with earnings transferred to their PayPal accounts. HQ rotates between four hosts, Scott Rogowsky is the main host, and Sarah is one of the three other regular hosts.

Photo courtesy: Sarah Pribis

Sarah grew up in a very musical family, where everyone played an instrument. She told us that she loved growing up in Ambler.  Things like being able to walk to school, and play roller-hockey in her cul-de-sac with her two younger brothers, still bring back many warm memories for her.  Her mother is an Art teacher at Upper Dublin High School and an integral part of the PSEA Art Show.  Sarah made it known right off the bat, that she is a “HUGE Rita’s Water Ice Fan” and that Philly’s Phamous cheese steaks are way better than Jim’s and Dalessandro”s!  She makes it a point to get to both spots every time she’s home for a visit.

Photo courtesy: Sarah Pribis

In 2004, Sarah graduated from Wissahickon High School and also played Cosette in Les Miserables, which was the musical that year.  Wissahickon was one of the first high schools to have the rights to produce Les Mis at the time of the Broadway show’s end of it’s original run.   Lucky for Sarah,  and because Wissahickon was one of the select high schools performing Les Mis, there were scouts in the audience and she was chosen to perform in a series of special performances on Broadway with a that incorporated a cast of the original, current and high school actors.  Sarah sights this experience on Broadway as one of the pivotal things that pushed her to go to school for theater.  Sarah went on to study theater and journalism at NYU and after graduating, stayed in New York City where she currently lives and works.

Photo courtesy: Sarah Pribis

Being booked on The Ellen Show is what gave Sarah’s career real momentum, and what got her to Ellen in the first place, was a memorable infomercial and a witty Facebook post. While working various jobs in New York City, Sarah self-submitted her bio to all the acting and hosting job posts she could find. One job hired her from just her headshot, and was for an infomercial about a “cleaning product”.  Little did she realize when she arrived on set, the product’s name…Shiney Hiney, which was spelled incorrectly in the job description.  Realizing the mistake, she had thoughts of backing out, but because the infomercial was so tastefully filmed, she ended up staying.

Sarah said that 6 months after filming, Ellen DeGeneres found the informercial and played it for Kristen Bell and then on her next show for Kate Hudson. Ellen posted the clip to the show’s Facebook page where Sarah saw it and wrote a comment underneath that got Ellen’s attention.  The following day, while at her bartending job, Sarah got a call from Ellen’s producer inviting her to the show as a guest.  The Ellen segment with Sarah was called, “Ellen meets Miss Shiney Hiney“- here is the clip:

After appearing on Ellen, Sarah honed her acting and sketch comedy skills through many auditions, jobs and workshops until she auditioned for HQ last summer while the app was still in Beta testing mode, with only around 100 viewers participating, and was immediately hired. She is now a regular host for HQ and her experience with improv, quick off-the-cuff commentary and sketch comedy has paid off.

Sarah told us that each host arrives to the studio in SOHO and has only 30 minutes to see the questions and prepare their comments and jokes. And, if technology fails during the game, which is sometimes does, she has to think on her toes and riff until the game is restored.  She considers this a valuable learning experience for her craft. When reviewing the 12 questions, Sarah tells us that her goal is to always make the answers relatable to her audience, even if they are difficult.  Her tip to winning: Play with a group!

After talking with Sarah for a little while, it became very clear that this charming, charismatic Ambler girl is going to big places.  We also can’t wait to spot her eating Rita’s this spring!