from Comedy to the CIA

CIA FAQ

Top SecretHow did you get into the CIA:
Crazy as it sounds, I answered an online job ad.  My mom is a total spy novel fanatic and thought if I worked at the CIA she could live out all of her spy fantasies.

How do I get a job at the CIA:
Visit the CIA website at www.CIA.gov.  The CIA is looking for talented, ethnically diverse intelligent men and women.  If you speak a difficult second language and have lived overseas, the CIA may be interested.

Have you ever killed anyone:
No. The only killing I did was on stage and related to comedy.

Do spies sleep with agents:
No.  At the end of the day it’s a government job. The CIA does not want it’s officers using sexual tactics to recruit assets as it eliminates the element of control, which is crucial in a spy/asset relationship. In other words, ignore those movies.

What does the CIA Headquarters look like:
Surprisingly the CIA looks like the set of “The Office.” Think bland, boring and filled with discount furniture. And yes many people look like Dwight Schrute, which makes dating a huge challenge.

Can I get into the CIA if I’ve done drugs:
(If I had a nickel for every time I’ve been asked this question!!!) The CIA understands that this generation has experimented with pot.  If your drug use is minimal and you’re honest during the polygraph, it shouldn’t take you out of job contention. If you’re partying with Lindsay Lohan and your friends call you “Dazed and Confused,” you should probably rethink your application.

How is the CIA different than the FBI:
The FBI is a law enforcement agency with a domestic mission. The CIA’s mission is to gather intelligence to further National Security Objectives. (That’s fancy speak for steal secrets overseas.)

What’s your favorite spy movie and TV show:
I love all the Bourne movies, Homeland and The Americans.  I can’t say that all of these movies/shows are accurate but they are fun to watch.

When you worked at The CIA, were you allowed to tell people:
No, which was really challenging.  The only people who knew were my parents and brother. When I left the CIA I finally told my Grandma and she was thrilled that she could finally tell her Temple Sisterhood what her granddaughter did for a living.  Apparently, spy trumps doctor.

Were you ever scared while you worked at the CIA:
When you’re working in the field, a sense of self-preservation takes over and doesn’t allow you to be scared in the moment. The fear would hinder your effectiveness.  However, once I got home from some assignments I would breathe deep sighs of relief.

Can the CIA really hear everything I’m saying on the phone:
The NSA is charged with electronic surveillance, but they’re not concerned with where you’re making dinner reservations.  NSA collects trillions of tons of data and they are concerned with much bigger issues.

What do you want people to know about the CIA:
The CIA is filled with some of the most intelligent dedicated and talented individuals.  Unfortunately, the public usually hears about the CIA’s failures and not their successes due to the nature of the clandestine business.

What’s a spy vs operations officer and what’s an asset vs agent:
Because of the proliferation of spy movies and TV shows, spy terminology gets misused. CIA Operations Officers recruit foreign assets overseas.  The word “agent” really isn’t used. The foreign assets are spies working for the CIA.  However, other countries view CIA officers as spies when they are working on their soil.  Confusing, I know.

Can you talk about your time at the CIA:
I can share my opinions. However, if I write something for publication I have to submit the content to the CIA Publication Review Board for their approval.

Are you still really in The CIA:
:-) No, but I do miss all of those government holidays!