"I don't want to live in a world where I could say to my daughter, 'There used to be turtles that swam in the ocean,'" says actress Angela Kinsey about her involvement in a new series of public service announcements for the nonprofit Oceana. Kinsey, who appears as the uptight cat-loving Angela in The Office, spent much of her childhood in Indonesia. "We didn't go to the park," she recalls, "the ocean was my park." So it makes sense that she would join her friend, actress Rachael Harris, in the Getting Sea Turtles Off the Hook campaign.
After attending an Oceana event with Harris, Angela says, "I got the wake-up call that no one is policing our oceans. I wondered, how can I do anything? What really can I do to make things better? There are some perks to being a celebrity. My job is to be funny once in a while, but it's my responsibility to make good use of it." So Kinsey and Harris ended up in the Rivera Maya in Mexico where they were able to swim with green and loggerhead sea turtles.
"I had never been that close to a sea turtle before," she says with wonder. "I knew that you leave them be. This is their world we're visiting. It was amazing to watch them. A few were so big and majestic and graceful. They maintain the coral reef where the little fish live, and then the big fish eat the little fish. Everything works together." She also learned that though sea turtles have been swimming in the world's oceans for over 100 million years, they are now at risk of extinction due to human actions. Threats to sea turtles include coastal development along nesting beaches, pollution, fishing and climate change.
Angela Kinsey urges all Americans to take a few simple actions to help protect sea turtles:
"Cut down on your use of plastic shopping bags because many end up in the ocean. If you're at a beach where there are sea turtles, just let them be. And don't throw trash out on the street near coastlines. Pick it up!"
As passionate as she is about the turtles, Kinsey is equally passionate about her role as a mother to 2-1/2 year old Isabel. "Parenthood is such a lesson in self-sacrifice," she reflects. "Your life revolves around your child. How can I get her dressed and out the door and still put my hair up in a ponytail so I don't look crazy?" She laughs as she recalls a call from a friend who urgently wanted to relate a story about meeting with a producer: "I picked up the phone and said, 'I love you and know you think the meeting is important. But I'm giving Isabel a bath and she just pooped in the tub. So I'll have to call you back.'"
Kinsey also muses about what will happen in The Office when Steve Carell (Michael Scott) leaves at the end of this season. "Well I did throw my name in the hat. I'd be glad to be the new boss," she laughs. "Seriously, though, if I had my way, they would promote from within. Maybe Andy or Stanley or Dwight. Then that person would end up being even worse than Michael Scott at managing the office." But she admits that she and producer Mindy Kaling are terrible at keeping secrets and likely will be the last to know about the change in casting.
Angela Kinsey sounds happy about all the facets of her life -- work, family and humanitarian. And it may all come together in the near future when she hopes to take her daughter to see Indonesia and experience the culture that made a huge impact on her. In preparation, she is teaching Isabel to count to 10 in Indonesian and talks about the kindness of the people there. "It would be a full circle moment to take my daughter there," says Angela, "I could rediscover my own childhood."