What is one thing you can’t live without?
A: Burt’s Bees lip balm – preferably coconut & pear or mango. I’m 100% addicted, but I feel great about it because it is Leaping Bunny certified and they collect their used product containers and give you pre-paid postage to send back to them for recycling. It’s a dang dream!
Why is it important for women to support women?
A: If you don’t feel it’s imperative to support everyone just because it’s the kind thing to do… then I guess I would say that providing support for other women and those who identify as women in working relationships, organizations, communities, legislatively and the global economy just makes sense. Study after study shows that as women in countries have more education and economic empowerment, overall economic growth improves. The McKinsey Global Institute estimated that closing the gender gap in the workforce could add $28B to the global GDP. Not only is it important for women to support women, but we need to be intersectional in our support. As women we do not experience the same privileges and hardships, so we have to be aware and inclusive when we support. For example, when we talk about the wage gap between men and women, we need to be aware that the gap is not the same for everyone: white non-Hispanic women may make 77% of what white men earn, black women earn 61% Hispanic or Latina women make 53% and Native American women make 58%.
If you could spend the day with anyone living or dead, who would it be and why?
A: Right now, at this moment in time, I would love to spend time with my Grammy. She’s 108 and will turn 109 this June, if she survives this pandemic. She survived the last one 100 years ago. She is the only person I want to talk to in this wild time – she has so much perspective and experience and I always feel calmer after speaking with her. Because of her age, her hearing aids don’t always work, and phone calls aren’t guaranteed to work. She can’t have visitors, so I can’t Facetime with her when my Mom visits. It’s one of the sad side effects of the changing landscape we live in, and when we’re allowed to travel, I will visit her immediately. Hopefully not too long after her birthday.
What has been the most rewarding project of your career?
A: This past year and a half I’ve been fortunate to work on Bless This Mess on ABC. I have so much fun with all of the people I work with, in front of and behind the camera. I’ve made new friends and it is truly a wonderful family feeling there. I learned how to knit from my friend Nancy Lenehan, we had a game night with a few of the cast members and I miss everyone so much! Getting to work with legends and people I admire and meet and make friends with so many wonderful people makes it the most rewarding.
When were you happiest?
A: Oh… before Safer-At-Home.
What is the worst job you’ve done?
A: Now do you mean something I’ve personally executed terribly or what is my least favorite experience working? I’m not going to put myself on blast, so I’ll answer the latter. I learned I’m not the best at working with the general public when I had a summer job leasing apartments to college students. Wow. I’m not great at interfacing with the public. I appreciate those who do it well and enjoy it! Because it is not a skill I bring to the table. I get easily frustrated with people who don’t read and follow directions and make me work harder because they didn’t want to waste their time.
Where is one place in the world you would love to visit next?
A: It’s so interesting – thinking about travel right now during the pandemic is very interesting. I used to travel for work all the time, and I love traveling and do not stress about it like some people do. Post COVID-19, I’m not sure how willing I will be to just hop on a plane and travel anywhere. I think it will likely be longer trips when I do go, not just weekend getaways. I’ll definitely hit Hawaii and Paris again, when I feel safe and have the money to do it right.
How do you relax?
A: Lately I’ve been opening TikTok and just laughing at videos during this crazy time. If the weather is nice in LA – not too hot, then I love to sit on the deck with my dog Zoey. I nap in my lounge chair in the shade while she keeps watch (naps).
What is your daily skincare routine?
A: I don’t do much! I use a cream cleanser morning and night, and then a few times a week I use Skin Soil from KLUR to exfoliate. The woman who created this line is so cool – but this product I love especially! Instead of having to buy an entire new exfoliating product for your skin to get used to (I have very sensitive skin), I just add this product to the cleanser I already use and my face doesn’t mind it at all. I also use Beboe Therapies serum daily to keep my skin from reacting to sun, impurities and air pollution. I get red at the drop of a hat, literally if the wind blows or if I put on new jewelry. It makes such a difference! I also love relaxing with their face mask at the end of a long day. I can just hear my skin sigh in relief.
What is your most cherished beauty product?
A: Probably my eyelash extensions. I’m really missing them right now!
Favorite accessory and why?
A: This may shock you but I’m not super into fashion! I hate wearing socks and I love to go barefoot, I always have my hair up and I wear my jeans out until the tailor tells me I can’t patch them anymore. I don’t put a lot of time into what I wear because I’m usually headed to set where my clothes are already picked out for me, and then when I’m done working, I just love putting on comfy clothes to get home. I do love this necklace that my best friend gave me – a citrine pendant. I try to work it into a lot of the things I appear in. Does that count?
What is your favorite high-end brand to splurge on?
A: I’m really not your girl! I love to buy Leaping Bunny certified products, and I try to buy responsibly, researching as much as I can before I make a selection based on location of manufacturing, ingredients, fair-trade and fair-wage – by the time I’m done researching, there are usually one or two options for what I need.
What is the biggest misconception about your profession?
A: It’s not fun to be an actor most days! That’s why I love my job on Bless This Mess. When you work as a day player, you show up on a new set every time you work for a day or a week, and you have to learn where everything is, all the new names of the crew and cast and production, and be the new guy over and over. Early calls, freezing cold or high heat, lots of waiting and downtime in remote locations – doesn’t it sound incredibly glamorous!?
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
A: I don’t think you can print them here.
What trait do you most admire in others?
A: Setting boundaries in a calm and loving way.
Who would play you in the film of your life?
A: ME! Can I get that audition?
How would you like to be remembered?
A: As kind, thoughtful, loving and generous. And funny – no, hilarious.
How does improv help you to relieve stress?
A: You have to let go of preconceived notions and expectations, so it’s a wonderful way to truly be in the moment. Creating something out of nothing with others is a joyful experience for me.
Can you talk about your role on Bless This Mess and what it is like working with Dax Shepard and Lake Bell?
A: It’s everything I mentioned above, and then some! I truly love my job and can’t believe the friends I’ve made and laughing I’ve done. I’m so fortunate to have been on that set even just one day.
What led you and Misty Stinnett to create the Go Help Yourself: A Comedy Self-help Podcast to Make Life Suck Less?
A: Misty called me in August of 2018 and asked if I liked self-help, because she wanted to start a podcast. I told her I hate it, but with more curse words. “If you want to have a dissenting view, it might make for an interesting premise,” I told her. She said she’d think about it and call me back. A few days later she did, thought the premise would be cool this way, and we started brainstorming almost immediately and recording within weeks. Each week, we review a popular self-help book. We share the main points of the book through both a comedic and critical lens, laughing our way through the best and worst advice. We read the books so that you don’t have to; instead, you can go on with your busy life while still getting the perspective-altering self-help advice you’ve been craving. If you love what you’re hearing, you’ll know reading the book is worth your time. And if you hate the book, you’ll know you can say “thank you, next” with no regret.
Do you have a favorite movie that you can always count on to make you laugh?
A: I’m more into TV at the moment, so I’ll say Veep and Bob’s Burgers give me at least one big hearty laugh per episode. Even when I re-watch!
What advice can you give to someone to help overcome stage-fright?
A: It’s natural and normal. Seasoned professionals don’t have a lack of anxiety and fear, they are just better at channeling it into excitement and anticipation. I work with a lot of people to improve their stage presence when they pitch or present, and it’s just grinding out the execution without quitting on it, even in rehearsal. And when things go wrong, who cares? The expectation of perfection from ourselves isn’t fair or real – we don’t even impose that on other presenters.