Austen fancies herself a misdirect– she doesn’t like boxes, so she’s always trying to bust out of them. This is how after 30 years in entertainment she became a semi-retired quadruple threat who really wanted to be a character actor but instead became an inspirational speaker, part-time ninja, and plant lady who now does T99 improv to satisfy her character actor dreams. In her “Everything is Fine. No News Here” life, you can find her and her husband dealing with their 425 (read: 4) polite but snarky children and their two dogs, two fish, two shrimp, and one snail. One of the dogs is a yellow lab named Blue that only has three legs. She’s also a has-been history making beauty queen as the first black woman to win Mrs. America. She’s got big thoughts, big dreams, and usually really big hair. 

When she grows up she hopes she and her best friend Jilian, who introduced her to T99 and is also a company member, have an improv show called PhiliRock. Austen is as random as this bio.