Adventures of Possibility

#3: The Art of Laughter with Amy Goddard

She knew what all smart women knew: Laughter made you live better and longer. -Gail Parent

Shakespeare said, ‘With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come.’ My next guest, actress-writer-producer Amy Goddard, has tapped into this philosophy and uses it to her advantage. Her web series Another Day With You has earned it’s laugh lines by the personal material she’s mined over the years.  Noticing the humor in every day living is what keeps her spirit young and heart more vibrant than ever. We discuss the roads of hurt and humor that led to her current projects, and wherever she’s standing in life, she naturally tends to find the funny. It’s what makes her unique and delightful to be around.

TIME SEGMENTS

1:11 – Her challenges and insights of caring for her elderly father

5:22 – How her personal life provided writing material for her professional life

6:00 – How she provided support to her son and his autism spectrum diagnosis

8:35 – What she did when getting back to work as an actress after 9 years

12:21 – Her question, What is it in this world that I notice?

12:42 – Noticing her long marriage and process for writing about it

13:40 – Owning her writing next to her husband’s Emmy nominated writing success

15:53 – The lunch date with friend and Actor Bob Clendenen

17:09 – Landing her show Another Day With You on Elizabeth Bank’s WhoHaHa channel

20:49 – Audio of Another Day With You Trailer

22:00 – Her years married, where she met her husband, and their life together

23:23 – Her voice as a woman is heard at home, but not in current culture

25:47 – The only books she plans to read for a year

26:37 – The importance of lifting women up on a personal and professional level

27:36 – Her view on toxic masculinity and vision for her boys

29:08 – Her work on The Nice Guys movie and behind the scenes with Ryan Gosling

34:11 – The funny character descriptions of roles she reads for

35:45 – Why she starts playing Words with Friends with college-bound son

39:07 – The phrase she remembers from her Mother, who died when she was 15

40:35 – The mindset that works and how she chooses to view the world

43:15 – The three happy & funny words she comes up with for a story

WHERE YOU CAN FIND AMY:

READ THE TRANSCRIPT

To read a transcript of this episode click here and you’ll be taken directly to that section of the page.

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Amy and I would love to connect with you in the comments.  What do you naturally mine for in life?  In 3 words, share a funny or uplifting story.

Be one of the bold people, making big changes, living brighter lives…We’re cheering for you!

Click here to be taken directly to the comment section at the bottom of the page.

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TRANSCRIPT:

I’m Kris Adams and this is life.  Welcome to the Adventures of Possibility Podcast, episode number 3.

We all stumble and fall in life.  It’s the choice to stand up again that holds the key from turning adversity into possibility.  Join me on the journey, so that you get inspired to stand tall too.

This episode is brought to you today by whatever inspires you.

KRIS  My guest today is Amy Goddard. Actress, Writer, Producer, and woman who’s like a fine wine, enhancing the flavor of creative and humorous qualities over time.  Hi Amy!

AMY  Oh my gosh, you should’ve given me warning for that amazing introduction. Now I’m blushing.

KRIS  (LAUGHS)

AMY  Hi Kris.  I’m so happy to be talking with you today.

KRIS  I’m so happy you’re here today.  Well, let’s dive right in.  We’re both at an age where taking care of our aging parents has its challenges, and you’ve been taking care of your father’s well being.  How’s your well being and sanity holding up through it?

AMY  Oh my gosh, that’s such a great question. Well, I’ll be completely honest with you. In the beginning of this next chapter of taking care of my Dad, which I’ve been in for about a year, as he has dementia and his needs are changing and his living situation is changing and his ability for him to care for himself. His bills and things like that is diminishing on his part and I’ve taken over all of that.  I was not doing a good job of taking care of myself, at all, because I didn’t know how to take care of myself when someone in my family was having a crisis. Because I went to what I have always gone to, which is, oh my God, drop everything and fix this.  But I really now have seen that this past year with my father has been really great, and perhaps it’s the culminating opportunity for me to drop the old programming of fix it and learn how to respond from the authenticity of who I am, and where I am, and what is truly right for me, and right in these circumstances.  What happened with my Dad is that he was, he had been living with a girlfriend, a partner, I call her, because he has been living with her for quite a long time, over ten years, and one day she called me and said, “I put your father in assisted living, and now he has to move to California with you.”  I went into that mode I was talking about to you before, there’s the oh my God, well I guess now this is all mine and I have to fix it.

KRIS  hmmm

AMY  And I don’t have a particular close relationship with my father.  My father and I love each other, but I do accept the limitations and the most important question I discovered and then have been continuing to answer, is what is actually mine to do?

KRIS  Yes, wow

AMY  Right? What’s really mine to do? Not what’s old programming, what’s somebody else’s expectation, not what is societies expectation, not is what’s coming from my panic and a need to control things

KRIS  hmmm

AMY  But what in these circumstances is actually mine to do?  And it’s been a very powerful question for me.

KRIS  Bravo, that is not an easy one.

AMY  It’s not.  It’s on-going.

KRIS  It is, and yet, over time, I feel getting older has actually help equip me with choosing those moments and recognizing the difference between the fix-it, because I’ve been a fix-it person too.

AMY  Many empathic, and genuinely kind. Because we have a lot of positive qualities, we fixers. Right?  We’re empathic, we’re sensitive.  We actually care.

KRIS  (LAUGHS) Yeah.

AMY  These are good things.

KRIS  These are good things.  Amy and I postponed our interview until now, because I was faced with one of those moments with my Mom, and I had to call you, and let you know she had taken a fall and she needed to go into… she…it was over the night, and she woke up in the morning.  She was kind of uncomfortable, and she called me.  I took her in, and when the Doctor came in to examine her, he asked how we were related, and she said, Mother and Daughter.  I’m the Mother.

AMY  (LAUGHS)

KRIS  We all laughed. And she’s taught me to lighten up, and not take life so seriously, and it’s helped me in the transition, to help her in this transition.

AMY  Aw, yes, umhmm

KRIS  Anyway, I know that’s something in our personal lives we’re dealing with, and in your work life though, you… I want to talk about, you created a web series called, ‘Another Day With You,’ which landed a Women in Film Honoree for your work.  Would it be accurate to say, while raising your two sons, you might have been under the radar for acting roles, yet gained a wealth of personal material to write about?

AMY  That is exactly accurate to say.  And I, in fact, chose to step back and not work as an actress, for several years while I was raising my sons while they were young, and as you know Kris my youngest son is on the autism spectrum, and shortly after we had got his diagnosis, I went back to school and got teaching certification from UCLA.  I live in Los Angeles, so local here, to really be his point person.  I made that choice to do that.  It really is like a job, beyond the Mothering parts, working with autism itself is like a job, and but I was equipped for that job.  As a young actress, I was just the worst waitress, just awful.  I tried to work at an office as a temp, I just didn’t belong there at that time, but I really enjoyed working with children and so I was a preschool teacher for many years.  I would preschool in the morning and then go and run my theater at night. And when I was young and had tons and tons of energy that worked great.  When we received this diagnosis and there’s a lot that can be done.  The question is who is going to do it and who is the best person to do it? The best person to do it for our family, for me, for my skills, for my willingness, and my even desire to do it.  That best person was in our house, and that best person, was me. So that became, really, my job.  Again, not the Mothering part of it, although, that is a job, as we all know.

KRIS  Yes

AMY  But really doing the behavioral, therapeutic aspects of working with my sons autism, was what I focused on for many years, until my son went into a school that has a program for kids on the spectrum.  It’s a neuro-typical school with deep commitment to diversity, and their diversity commitment includes having a program for kids on the spectrum.  It’s and incredible school in Santa Monica.  It’s really the only one in the country, that has a program like this. And when that program became available for him, and there were going to be people to help him with the tasks that he needed help with, all the way through the school day, time really did open up for me, and that’s when I went back to work as an actress.

KRIS  Yeah, and I’ve see the two of you together and you really are inspiring, he’s thriving.

AMY  He’s amazing. He inspires me every day.  He’s an amazing, amazing person

KRIS  Walk us through when you did start to get back into the creative side of your acting and writing.  Walk us through the inspiration for writing  Another Day With You.  How did it come about?

AMY  Well, when I first decided to go back to work, I hadn’t done…I think it had been almost, probably nine years since I had done a television show, or a play, (Laughing) and things had changed a lot in that time, mostly because of technology. So, I didn’t have and wasn’t up to date with my toolbox, and the first thing I realized, I needed to do…and in fact, I was even asking myself the question, ‘Is this still real for me?’ Because sometimes when you step away from work that you did when you were young, it stays with you, sometimes it’s because a genuine part of who you are, and sometimes it’s because you’re holding onto something that is really time to let go, and I wasn’t clear about that.  I didn’t know.  So, what I decided to do was go back into a class, and when I went back into that class, and I started working on scenes, I was like, oh yes, this is it. This is my home.  This is where I belong.  This is so wonderful.  So, I went back into class, but I will say, when I tell the brief story, that’s what I say, ‘Oh, I went back into class.’  I was terrified.  I was terrified to audition for the class, because we had to audition.  I was terrified I was going to be by far the oldest person in there. Because here I am in Los Angeles, surrounded by all these young actors, and I was absolutely terrified.  So, I had to get over that hurdle.  Then had to go into class, oh God, I was shaking like a leaf that day in the class.  I remember so clearly.  And most of the people were, much younger than I was, but not everybody.  And the teacher was about my age, and then I said, ok it’s time to step out and start auditioning.  I have no current material to show for a reel.  So I decided, well you know you’re in sort of a quandary because you need current material, but you can’t get current material, because you don’t have any current material, but you need current material (LAUGHS) so it’s just that circle, so I decided to make my own material.  So again when I say that, that sounds very simple, but it actually wasn’t.  I realize there were so many components to saying yes to writing my own material, and creating my own show.  One of them was the courage to go back into class and what that really meant was, to push myself to see where I was, but it also meant to be with an active, vibrant group of people who were talking thinking and working in this way that I wanted to work, and their youth had so many wonderful qualities, one of them is they just sort of have this, oh the hell with it attitude, you know we can do it, that old, I’ve got a barn and I’ve got a costumes.  Well, God bless the young twenty something actors, because they do all think that, and that of course was infectious, and so I realized how essential it was for me to be in that vibrant community.  To get my juices flowing again, and to have me thinking in a ‘yes I can’ sort of way.  So that was really essential, and then I said okay ‘I want to create my own material.’  And something, because I had been activated, because I had been made vibrant, I mean I’m a noticer anyway, as most creative people are, I

KRIS  Yes

AMY  I know you are a definite noticer, you’re such a visual person, and you’re a writer, photographer.  You know we are, we notice things, so if you want to create your own material and you don’t know where to start, whatever your material is, the best place to start, is to ask yourself, ‘what is it in this world that I notice?’  Because what you notice, is the thing that is, one of the things that is most true for you and what you notice can become just an absolute treasure chest of material for you to make your own work.  Well, what I was noticing was that I had been married to my husband for a looong time.

KRIS  (LAUGHS)

AMY  My husband and I had been together at that point for over 25 years.

KRIS  Wow

AMY  We were together when we were 20.  We met when we were 20, and we have a very funny relationship, you know, we really know each other, there are no secrets there, and you know as long married people are, and so what I noticed was that, for me, there was a lot of funny stuff about my marriage and things that happened in conversations and I started to write them down, they started to vibrate in me as source.

KRIS  Yes

AMY  And so I paid attention to them and then I honored them with writing them down, and then I had to also jump a hurdle, and this is, there’s sort of like two levels of hurdles I had to jump.  There’s the level of what are the actual steps you took to make this web series happen? And what are the emotional steps you had to take to say yes to your own work?

KRIS  Hmmm

AMY  And this hurdle came up because my husband is a writer, and my husband is a very successful writer.  He’s an Emmy nominated writer for television and he’s written films too, and he’s known as a writer, and for me, it was hard for me to say, (HUSHED VOICE) I’m also a writer.

KRIS  (LAUGHS)

AMY  You know, that was hard.

KRIS  Yeah

AMY  So I had to get over that, I had to say, Yes! I’m also a writer.  I had been writing all my life, but I didn’t have, let’s call it the proof, put quotes around that, or the check, put quotes around that, or whatever, you know, stands for legitimacy.  My husband’s legitimate, and I’m also a little writer on the side, so I had to get over that. So then I began to write episodes.  My episodes were short, they’re five to seven minutes, and I began to write funny things down.  I knew I was writing for myself because I was wanting to create material that I would film for myself to be in my fresh reel, as I said.  Then I said, you know what, I really do want to film these, I need people to help me, and I need to spend some money, (MAKES SOUND) so I two giant hurdles. I had to ask for help, anyone else not good at that?

KRIS  mmhmm

AMY  And then I had to say, I’m gonna take some of our family capital, the vast majority of which I did not earn, and I’m going to spend it making a web series. Oh my God, that was really hard for me to do.

KRIS  Yeah

AMY  Because I had to say, I trust myself enough, my work is valuable enough, I’m gonna spend this money on it.  That was really hard, yeah it was a hard thing to say.  And then, I said okay I’m gonna do that, but I said okay in my head, but really in the way back of my mind that this was ever gonna happen because there were so many other steps that needed to happen, you know, before any money got laid out.

KRIS  Yeah

AMY  So then I went to the wonderful actor Bob Clendenin, who eventually ended up playing my husband.  He’s an old friend of mine, I said, who I hadn’t seen in quite a long time, and I took him out to lunch, and I said, I’m making a web series, and I’d like you to play my husb… and he said, yes! And I said wait a minute (LAUGHS) I was shocked, I said, wait I haven’t even finished my sentence, rude.  And then secondly, no I’m just kidding

KRIS  (LAUGHS)

AMY  No you have to read this, you know, I would be so nervous, but I knew, it felt very important for me, that it didn’t come just from friendship, that it came from him saying, it’s worth his time to do this material

KRIS  Yes

AMY  It was important to me to make it professional, as professional as I could all the way through.  It just felt like a type of honoring, so I wanted to do it, so I said here I brought you these scripts, I gave them to him, and he called me that afternoon, and said yes. (LAUGHS)

KRIS  (LAUGHS)

AMY  But I was fine about that, as soon as he had read it.  And then.. I’m sorry, I’ve been talking a lot, do you have a question in there?

KRIS  I love it Amy, this is so you.

AMY  (LAUGHS)

KRIS  This is so beautiful, well yes.  That journey of yours, I know it was not an easy one to take, and it was such a personal milestone for you to get on board with, and then enroll others in all of it and I’m so happy you saw it through because now, WhoHaHa, co-founded by actress Elizabeth Banks, spotlights and supports women in comedy and the online platform states, they want to honor Who the women are behind the HaHa, it’s a place that amplifies female voices by center women in front of the camera, behind the scenes and in the audience, and Another Day with You found it’s place there. And tell us a little more about that. How did that happen?

AMY  It did, it found it’s place there. I had, they take open submissions and I had, after the show was all created and we had been through a year of film festivals, and as you mentioned, in that lovely introduction, we had been honored by Women in Film, which was really a, that was a professional organization here in Los Angeles, although it’s national and international for women in the entertainment industry, and that really felt like a yes moment to me, that really took me to the next step of that and after that happened, I submitted to WhoHaHa, and I didn’t hear anything from them, and then one day, I was watching something on the channel and I said, you know what, I’m submitting again, (LAUGHS) maybe it got lost, I don’t know

KRIS  Yeah, yeah

AMY  Maybe I was possessed in that moment, so I submitted again, and in January of this year, that mush have been in the fall of last year, I got an email from them saying that they loved the show, and they would like to support it and they would like to show it, and we went back and forth for awhile, when it would come one, etc., and that was great, and then when we got to the day that it was going to be launched, I went on the site and oh my gosh Kris, if it wasn’t right at the top of their page in their banner, and I had no idea that they were going to give it such a big push, I was so, I was just thrilled, I was so honored, these women over there are so great, and it was stuck up on their banner for several weeks, and it went to another online site called Daily Motion, that is sort of an aggregator, and they do like Best of the Week of this, and it was really amazing and that’s been running up there all summer and Another Day With You is on WhoHaHa, and it will remain on WhoHaHa, and then a couple of weeks ago Elizabeth Banks did an Instagram story about the show, and said the name of my show, and said my name! (LAUGHTER)

KRIS  (LAUGHS) I love it

AMY  And I started screaming, just a little tiny fan girl scream, because I was just, I mean I just couldn’t believe that, you know, this idea from a funny conversation I had with my husband, all the yeses I had to say to myself, all the incredible help I got from this team of people who helped me make this show, all the way up to Elizabeth Banks, who’s work as an actress, as a director, and as a producer, I don’t know if people know what a powerhouse producer she is, what a supporter of women, it was just, it was amazing, it was amazing, amazing for me

KRIS  Yes

AMY  And, I’m so grateful, and I just feel like, you know, you say yes, and then the Universe says yes, and then you say yes again, and the Universe yes, and it’s just, I’m basking in the sacred Holiness of it, it’s amazing.

KRIS  (LAUGHS) Yes, and let’s have a listen

(ANOTHER DAY WITH YOU TRAILER PLAYS)

(KNOCK ON DOOR)

Hey, you crazy again?

I’m suffering.  You have no idea

Well, I have some idea

(MUSIC PLAYS)

Surprise

I know what you’re doing, you are little ladying me

(MUSIC PLAYS)

When we got married, I knew that one day, you would have a beard

Even if that’s true, you should not say it out loud, get out

(MUSIC PLAYS)

Crash, Oh s**t, that was totally my fault

Don’t, don’t claim fault

(MUSIC PLAYS)

He’s not listening to me

Her idea don’t make no sense

(MUSIC PLAYS)

Ah, what do I owe you?

40 and 50

(MUSIC PLAYS)

Keep the change

I’m going crazy, I’m up, I’m down. I’m dying for sex, and then the thought of it just…makes me sick.

We all love you, you’re just scaring the hell out of us right now.

KRIS  (LAUGHS) So funny. You mentioned be married to a producer and screenwriter, and amazing guy

AMY  He is, the best

KRIS  So, how many years have you been, is it 20.. how many years have you been married?

AMY  I know right (LAUGHS)

KRIS  More than that

AMY  Sometimes I ask him as a test

KRIS  (LAUGHS)

AMY  If I want something— no I’m just kidding.  We met when we were juniors in college.  We met on a drama program in England.  We were 20 and we’re both 52 now. So we’ve been together, oh my god, we’ve been together for 32 years

KRIS  Wow

AMY  And next year is our 25th wedding anniversary, yes that’s actually true

KRIS  Amazing, congratulations

AMY  Isn’t that amazing, thank you

KRIS  I imagine it’s not always easy

AMY  Nope

KRIS  Especially being the only female, surrounded by 3 males in your family.

AMY  All my life right, all my life. Well my Mom died when I was 15, and the rest is all my life, just surrounded by males, but I told you this funny story, we got a female cat to try to bring some more female energy into this house, and of course she’s a nut (LAUGHS) she’s just absolute psycho

KRIS  (LAUGHS)

AMY  (LAUGHS) So, it didn’t have the intended effect, but surrounded by boys

KRIS  It makes sense though to offset with humor in the hardships and, so how do you maintain you voice as a woman, and also honor one another’s individuality?

AMY  Oh my gosh, you mean for myself and then the males in the house?

KRIS  Yeah

AMY  Oh, that’s such an interesting question, you know, I, let me say that I am very appreciative of that question because it’s actually something that I’ve been struggling with recently and it’s not because of all the males in the house, in my house.  I do feel like my house is very balanced, but I feel like there’s a lot of a particular kind of male energy going on in the culture.  I feel like I’m actually not all that great in hearing it.  No I don’t wanna say all that great.  I’m not listening as deeply and as respectfully to my own voice as a woman, and I’m not, I haven’t been offered by the culture enough women’s voices.  This is the thing for me that has come out since this election, and all of the things that are going on with me too movement.  What I am realizing is how much of my input has been male input.  The things that I love in my life, the art, literature, you know, these are the things, these are the things I hold to, and so much of them, all my life, in all my art history classes and all my literature classes, the vast majority of these voices, is the vast majority of the creative work, and so the vast majority of the perspective has been male.  And I’ve been, I’ve realized honestly what I feel is, I feel cheated

KRIS  Yeah

AMY  I feel cheated of all these women’s.. no this is gonna make me sad.  I feel cheated of these women’s voices, and so, but I’m grateful for that, see it’s like a big giant spotlight, it’s glaring

KRIS  Yes

AMY  It’s glaring, it’s ugly, it’s harsh, it’s really hard to look at, but I’m grateful for it, now what I feel my job is for myself is to just, I am just gathering, and sucking in, and feeding on these women’s voices.  I was very kindly invited into a book group, and I’ve been wanting to go into a book group, so I went to the book group and the first book was by this Patrick Melrose book, I don’t know if you know that, they made it into a Showtime series.  I mean it is like an intense book, the writer is quite a good writer, but my God, the hyper-masculinity of it. I sat through this book group, I went home and I said I can’t do it, and I said to my friend the next day, I can’t be in your book group, I have to only read women’s voices, I’m only going to be reading women’s voices, at least for the next year.

KRIS  Yeah

AMY  This has become really important to me

KRIS  I’m with you on that, I love that commitment that you’re giving yourself and others, other women in the world that need that dedication right now too, and

AMY  Yeah, we have to hold, we have to lift each other up, we have to, and not just on a personal level, no matter that’s so important, we have to honor the work of, you know, we have to honor women’s work and it just simply doesn’t get as much attention, it doesn’t get as much respect.  You can go through, you know, the New York Times on a Sunday, whatever sort of cultural aggregator you want look at, and you’ll see, you’ll see the unequal coverage and so, and I’m going to take responsibility for that in my life.  That’s what I’m, that’s part of what I’m, the commitment I’m making to grow into the possibilities that I see from what’s going on.

KRIS  Yes, and it’s really growing into that and I love how you phrase that. It’s growing into that and even though things are in such turmoil right now, and they have been for quite a long time, yet just not brought to the spotlight like you said

AMY  Yeah, I agree

KRIS  And it’s about honoring the voice of women without tearing down men to do it.

AMY  Exactly, oh my god no. I love men

KRIS  Yes

AMY  I love men

KRIS  Me too, I know

AMY  Right, we love men

KRIS  We love men, and yet, you know, there’s that part of such unbalanced opportunity, or just being.

AMY  Yeah

KRIS  Unbalanced being

AMY  Unbalanced being, that’s such a good way to say it.  And it’s unbalanced for everyone right.

KRIS  Yes

AMY  I mean, I firmly believe they, oh I’m so resistant to kind of catchy phrases, but the thing is, this, you know this concept of toxic masculinity, toxic masculinity is bad for everyone, toxic masculinity is a jail for men.

KRIS  Yes

AMY  Toxic masculinity is a prison for my boys. I don’t want my boys to grow up thinking that they have to be this certain way, tough, and you know, violent, hold all the power, because there isn’t enough

KRIS  Exactly

AMY  And you know secretly fearful, which is why you want to hold all the power. I don’t want that for my children.  I want a truly just and equitable world for everyone.  That’s what I want.  Is that too much to ask? (LAUGHS)

KRIS  (LAUGHS) No, I don’t think so

AMY  You know, right?!

KRIS  Well, so let’s talk about some of your work and your training.  You had a lot of theater work from Sarah Lawrence College, and London theater, to the Fountainhead theater in Los Angeles.  Tell us about, (LAUGHS) tell us about the scene in the Nice Guys movie.  Did you ever imagine

AMY  Oh my gosh

KRIS  That you’d be playing a Nun character in a Film with Ryan Gosling?

AMY  No, well

KRIS  Speaking of men at this point?

AMY  No, oh my god, what a dream, you can’t even know.  I did imagine I was playing a Nun.  Believe it or not, that was not my first Nun. I mean

KRIS  Really?

AMY  If you look at my face and see me in a habit, yeah.  I mean, you know, my Irish grandparents were dancing a jig.

KRIS  (LAUGHS)

AMY  This is I’m sure someone way back when had some fantasy that somebody would go into the convent, so I wasn’t surprised that I was gonna be playing a Nun, but you know what’s amazing about this story Kris.  What I had done is I had auditioned for another movie, I wanted this one too, I had auditioned for Magic Mike 2

KRIS  ooohhh

AMY  You know with that Channing Tatum

KRIS  (LAUGHS)

AMY  Oh yi yi,.. Did we mention we love men? So, I had auditioned for that movie, and I got a call back for that movie, and that call back was in Atlanta.  And at that time I was working in that area of the country, I had local housing, and so I was able to work, that I was paying rent on, so I was able to work as a local.  So I actually flew to Atlanta to go to the call back for Magic Mike 2, and while I was there, I said to my agent in that area, I would really like to meet some other people, um just have some general meetings, and she managed to get me one meeting, and when I walked in, and she said, she saw a credit on my resume, and she said, oh I know this show, this is Massett and Zinman, that’s my husband and his writing partner, I said yeah, that’s my husband.  And she said, oh you’re kidding, I remember him from a long time ago, she had worked on another show, and so we had that nice personal connection, and I said, look, I’m just getting back into work, I’ll do, I’m really willing to do any legitimate part and she said really, would you be willing to do one line, and I said absolutely, I would do one line and she said, well I’m casting The Nice Guys, can you go today and read for this part? And I said YES, I will go today.

KRIS  (LAUGHS)

AMY  And I left her office and I just got into a cab, you know, I didn’t know where I was going, I went to this basement where this guy had a setup for, to do self taping, and the casting people had sent me the script, and I looked down Kris, and the line was, Tell me, are you willing to see God?  So I said that line, you know a couple ways (LAUGHS)  How many different ways can you say that line? And then a couple weeks later I got that part, and I flew back to Atlanta, a couple months later.  And it was the first night of shooting, which I didn’t know.  You never know when that’s going to be, and the scene was me dressed as a Nun and Ryan Gosling, who was drunk and hungover in a wheel chair, and I was pushing him out of the hospital and in his, he’s just so, the sweetest and nicest, it was so awesome, but in his um… well I shouldn’t say this, well I will just say that in his acting, his hands were like roaming over my face because he was trying to stabilize himself because he was hungover

KRIS  Yeah

AMY  So, I was like, I cannot, I cannot talk (LAUGHS)

KRIS  (LAUGHS)

AMY  How and I supposed to say this? I’m two inches from Ryan Goslings face, he’s running his, oh my God, his finger just went in my mouth, I can’t talk

KRIS  (LAUGHS)

AMY  And it was first night of filming, everyone was nervous, it was big time Director, you know, Joel Silver was there, the Producer, I mean, oh my God, but I was able to, thankfully, get the line out, it made it into the movie, but what I found out was a month later a friend of mine wrote on facebook and she posted this picture and there was a picture of us in US Magazine of me and Ryan Gosling.  I looked horrible (LAUGHS) but I didn’t care.

KRIS  (LAUGHS)

AMY  I didn’t even care because, of course it was a closed set, no pictures allowed, but, you know, somebody broke the rules and sold them, so we were in US Magazine and all over some tabloid in the UK, I can’t even remember what it was. Some big tabloid in the UK, I’m not even kidding, six or seven pictures of us

KRIS  Really?

AMY  Yeah

KRIS  Oh how funny

AMY  I found them online, mhmm. Yes I found them online, I’m wearing a beige Nun’s habit, I just don’t know if I could look worse, but, there it was, and we were in the movie and when that movie premiered, it premiered at the Mann’s Chinese Theater on Hollywood Boulevard, I mean, my God, you know, like that’s was a big dream

KRIS  That was

AMY  That was a big, little girl, dream

KRIS  Exactly

AMY  There it was, that was me

KRIS  Share about the parts you were offered, that you’re offered now vs when you were younger

AMY  Oh, well the most fun thing is to read the character descriptions.  I get a lot of, things like, used to be pretty, tired, worn, beaten down by life (LAUGHS)

KRIS  (LAUGHS)

AMY  (LAUGHS) I mean, thank God I can laugh about it, I can’t tell you how many things, you know, I get a lot of things like, she used to be the toast of the town (LAUGHS) now she’s, you know, she can’t get out of bed, I mean it’s just

KRIS  (LAUGHS)

AMY  (LAUGHS)  This is what’s available for 52 year old women I guess, I don’t know. No, I did, I played a Doctor recently on an internet show, so I do get a lot of sort of professional people, but I do detectives I’ve played, as I’ve said several Nuns

KRIS  Yeah

AMY  But I do get, yeah the character descriptions, and of course, they’re all written by some, you know, 23 year old casting assistant

KRIS  Who has some idea, stereotype

AMY  Oh my God, the number of things I’ve seen that say, you know, Grandmother, 35 to 65 (LAUGHS)

KRIS  (LAUGHS)

AMY  (LAUGHS) I swear.  I’m like, Really?  There’s no difference in your young mind between 35 and 65

KRIS  Right

AMY  Oh, it’s so funny

KRIS  Ohh so funny… Well your oldest son went away to college this year

AMY  mhmm, he just went back for his Sophomore year yesterday

KRIS  Oh wow

AMY  I’m so glad we weren’t talking yesterday because I would of been, I was upset yesterday

KRIS  mmm

AMY  Yeah

KRIS  Well, and share about, do you still play Words with Friends, game with him

AMY  You know, we haven’t started yet, this year, and it’s going to be interesting to see, if he starts it.  Last year I wanted some way to stay in touch with him, that felt really comfortable for him.  I basically wanted a way to stay in touch with him that didn’t express to him my anxiety about him being 2500 miles away, cause he’s in New York, and also that would be light-hearted and fun, and so I suggested, Hey, do you want to play, oh and also would be, you know technological, because this is what they do, so I said, do you want to play Words with Friends, and he was really into it, and it was, it wound up being a really really great way to stay very lightly in touch last year

KRIS  Yeah, yeah

AMY  And we played, we had an ongoing game, only very occasionally, maybe 2 or 3 times used it to try to gauge if he was back in his dorm room by 2 or 3 in the morning, which I know is totally wrong

KRIS  (LAUGHS)

AMY  But I did do that a couple of times.  So, I would like, wait to fill in my word, or to answer a little chat that we had going in the game.  So it was, I mean, I don’t know where he was when he was filling out Words with Friends, of course, but I could tell myself that

KRIS  Yeah

AMY  He at least, you know, wasn’t passed out because he had just filled in a word, (LAUGHS) so not that he would necessarily do that anyway

KRIS  Nice work (LAUGHS) yeah

AMY  But I’m just being honest. I’m gonna wait and see, I would love to play it again it’s fun anyway, I’m gonna wait and see if he fills in a word.  He went back to school yesterday, but he doesn’t actually go in until tomorrow, so, so we’ll see.  And the nice thing is I really am okay either way, because it was a wonderful way to get through that transition of that first year.  You know, you think, oh my God, this is terrible and things will never be the same, and it felt like an amputation to let him go, but now, he’s been home all summer and now this sort of, feels like the new normal, and it really is okay, it really, really is okay.

KRIS  Yeah, the other night I was eating a new gluten free, vegan veggie burger, and Simone tried it, and I got this dramatic scrunched up face and icky response and I said my favorite go to line of yours, Hey, don’t yuck on my yum

AMY  (LAUGHS)

KRIS  (LAUGHS)

AMY  Well, I mentioned I was a pre-school teacher for a long time, right?

KRIS  We both laughed, oh that line

AMY  Did she laugh?..

KRIS  Oh, yes, it always gets a laugh.  It’s such a good diffuser for us

AMY  Yeah

KRIS  So thank you for that, and you seem to have such fun banter with your family, you’re so imaginative and creative. Taking things back, what was it like growing up for you?  Was there a lot of laughter in your house?

AMY  You know, I do remember a lot of laughter, I do remember a lot of laughter, I will say and I know that my Mom who I mentioned to you, she died when I was 15, but she did have sort of a motto which I took as my own, which was, there’s got to be some humor in this somewhere.

KRIS  Oh, I love it

AMY  Yeah and I remember her saying that and, you know, we, so I think that was the overriding attitude, and it’s my, I recognize that it’s my natural way, I’m a bubbly optimistic person, but I also recognize that it’s my choice to look for the humor, to see things, to try your best to see things that way, to look for the gift, there’s always a gift, there’s always a gift in any situation, or as

KRIS  Yes

AMY  Right, so what does, or what Reverend Michael might say, or a lot from Agape might say, or a lot of people say, in all things, gratitude, not for all things, but in all things

KRIS  mhmm

AMY  And, it’s a mindset, but it works.  Look the way I look at it is, we are telling ourselves a story anyway, we are making it up, so choose the things that serve you, and if you can, choose the things that make you laugh, I mean, why not.

KRIS  Exactly, I love that

AMY  We’re all making it up anyway

KRIS  Yes, that is such a great way to live life and, you know, especially when those things come at us and like you were saying about your Mom and then having to cope after all of that, and that phrase she said stayed with you

AMY  It did

KRIS  And, it’s brought you to where you’re at now with all of your work.  I can imagine how that infused into your work, and

AMY  Yeah, it absolutely does.  Look for the funny

KRIS  And truth is funny

AMY  It is

KRIS  There’s humor in truth

AMY  Yeah, there really is, well you are that way too, aren’t you.  Looking for… you look for the beauty, you look for the beauty.  I think you look for the funny too but, do you think that’s true, you look for the beauty.

KRIS  Yeah, aesthetics are, it must be because it soothes my sort of inner crazy or chaos, you know I have to have those soothing environments, and you know if the funny comes, great, I don’t know, I think I try too hard sometimes, so there’s no funny, but

AMY  Well, I’ve known you for a long time and I know how you have always made your environments beautiful and that is very, very true and authentic to who you are, but you also always find the beauty in your situations, and in your stories, I mean that’s what I know of you, you always, you mine them, you know, we mine them, so I mine them and I find the things that’s funny, but you mine them, and you find, and it’s not like it’s mutually exclusive, it’s just maybe you know what stands out for each individual person, but you find the beautiful poignancy of things, I think, and you help me see clearly through things because of that gift you have to do that

KRIS  mmhm, thank you that’s beautiful… and you help me to laugh through it all

AMY  (LAUGHS)  See get yourself some friends who with something stands out for each of them

KRIS  (LAUGHS) Okay, so in three words, share a happy story

AMY  (PAUSE) I am okay… (LAUGHS)

KRIS  Yes you are

AMY  Is that good enough?

KRIS  Yes, of course

AMY  (LAUGHS) I don’t know, that’s just what came out. Oh my gosh

KRIS  (LAUGHS)

AMY  Are there gonna be more of these, because I’ve had no warning

KRIS  Okay, well let’s see, let’s try another one

AMY  (LAUGHS)

KRIS  How about share a funny story in three words

AMY  Oh my gosh, okay… It was moldy

KRIS  (LAUGHS)

AMY  (LAUGHS)

KRIS  I love it, we could start something

AMY  Oh this is a great exercise, Kris, this is a great exercise.  You know what, seriously, these are great writing prompts

KRIS  Yeah

AMY  What great writing prompts, come on

KRIS  Yes

AMY  Yes, this is my funny first line… it was moldy, blech, eeucch

KRIS  (LAUGHS) aww Amy, you are such a kind-hearted, brilliant and beautiful soul, and your humor always brings a smile to my heart and life.  Thank you so much for being here today

AMY  Oh, it’s been my pleasure, always to talk to you and thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to share my story, I’m grateful for it, and for you.

(MUSIC PLAYING)

KRIS  If you like this episode, then please, share the love, leave a comment, or write a review, and subscribe too.  I thank you.  Go to krisadams.life for more of life’s inspirations.  From my heart to yours, sending all good things.

 

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