It was about three and half years ago when I first witnessed Amy Anderson perform. She came into the small hole in the wall bar in Marshall, Minnesota and won the crowd over through her quick wit and great humor. Ever since then, I have been a big fan of hers. I still have the “I failed Math” t-shirt she autographed for me that day, although I don’t think it fits me anymore.
Through time I have still remained in contact with her, thanks to Myspace. I can’t even estimate how many people she has come across in her time has a comic, but the fact that she still remembers me and where we met, means a lot.
Amy has been labeled the “skinny Margaret Cho and the heterosexual Ellen.” You can catch her on Comedy Central’s “Premium Blend, hear her on both XM and Sirius Satellite’s Comedy Channels, or go to her myspace (myspace.com/amyandersoncomic) page and check out her video “The Sweatshop” (also available on youtube) which is a spoof of the hit TV Show “The Office” . She also has other videos there that will help you get familiar with her comedy.
On June 27-28 Amy will be coming back home to Minnesota to perform at Illusion Theater (www.illusiontheater.org for tickets and show information) in downtown Minneapolis. When I noticed that she was going to be back in town I figured it was time to share Amy’s talents with the rest of our Hmoodle readers. Amy was gracious enough to take time to talk to me about coming home to perform, life as a comic, the new of life of being a mom, and other fun topics. This is just glimpse of what you’ll see if you attend one of her performances.
Hmoodle: First off I want to thank you for taking the time out of the schedule to do this for us. We greatly appreciate it.
Amy: Always a thrill to be online! Thanks for having me… do I get to be on the “girls” section of Hmoodle.com?
Hmoodle: I don’t know if our “girls” section can contain you.
Amy: I know… I was totally kidding. I’m so NOT one of those girls. Several years ago, I was up for a role as a happy ending massage parlor girl in a short film (which actually went to Sundance) and the director called me and said he couldn’t give me the part because I didn’t look slutty enough. However, if you ever add a MILF section, well then, I’m in like Flynn.
Hmoodle: Before we get going, why don’t you give our readers some background information about yourself?
Amy: Well, once upon a time, I was born in Korea. Crazy, huh? Really true, and then I was adopted by a fabulous white family in Minnesota and was raised in the SW suburbs of Minneapolis. I got a degree in classical music and started acting and doing comedy (both improv and stand up) in 1997. I moved to Los Angeles in 2001 and haven’t looked back. I LOVE Cali!
Hmoodle: How did you decide that a career in comedy was something you wanted to pursue? When did you start?
Amy: I started in elementary school. I got sent to the principal’s office daily for being a smart-mouth brat, but I didn’t care because I loved the attention I got from making people laugh. Anyone in show business who says they don’t do it for the attention is a big liar!
Hmoodle: How did your friends and family respond?
Amy: They’re always known me as a funny person, so most people were not surprised and my parents have always been really supportive. They’re not like some Asian parents who want their kids of have “real” careers, like become doctors and lawyers. They’re groovy white parents who just didn’t care if I starved to death and had no money to support them in their old age.
Hmoodle: Does your family come to your shows and are they able to a laugh at themselves when used for material?
Amy: They do come to the shows when I’m in Minnesota, which, unfortunately, is not that often. So it’s a really cool treat to have them there. They have a good sense of humor or at least they act like they do and they’re all plotting something against me behind my back as revenge. Either way, they’re always really supportive.
Hmoodle: Do you remember your first performance? How did it go?
Amy: Yup! It was St Patrick’s Day, 1997 at the ACME Comedy club in Minneapolis. I did three minutes and it actually went really well. I’ll never forget that Nick Swardson came up to me afterwards and said, “You were really funny” and it meant the world to me because I really admired his work – even back then when we were just young pups.
Hmoodle: Any other young comedians your remember coming up with
Amy: Well, I don’t know that any of us are young anymore (ahhh!) but there are so many amazing comedians out of Minnesota. There’s Nick, of course, Jackie Kashian, Maria Bamford, Greg Fideler (writes for The Soup) and lots of others. And not from Minnesota, but Dat Phan is a great friend of mine and once upon a time I used to hang out with Eva Longoria… ahhh those were the days.
Hmoodle: Was it difficult to be an Asian woman trying to be a comedienne? Recently there are tons of Asian comedians who have found success, i.e. Dat Phan winning “Last Comic Standing”, Bobby Lee as a cast member on “MadTV”, Henry Cho’s special on Comedy Central seems to get good airplay, and Margaret Cho has been a mainstay for years, but it couldn’t have been easy at first.
Amy: Pat Morita, Margaret Cho and Henry Cho really paved the way for a lot of us and I know Bobby and am very good friends with Dat. I think being a minority in any career field is tough, but if you just view your minority status (female, Asian, etc) as a road block, then that’s just what it will be. The longer I’m in this business, the more I just focus on being me. Not being Asian or female or an adoptee, etc, but just be Amy Anderson. I’m the only person who is going to say what I’m going to say and say it the way I want to say it. I think that’s pretty cool and that’s what’s authentic. I think comedy has to be authentic to be good.
Hmoodle: I know you perform at places all over such as colleges, comedy clubs, theaters, etc. I know performing at a college can’t always be the easiest thing to do…so how do you adapt going from place to place?
Amy: After doing it for so many years, it’s not even anything I think about much anymore. I just get there and do the job. Sometimes it’s really great and an awesome venue and the crowd is great and sometimes… it really blows, for whatever reason. That’s part of the excitement of being a comedian – you just never know.
Hmoodle: Any interestting/funny road stories you can share with us?
Amy: Well, as a woman, the interesting stories tend not to be so funny. I think guy comedians tend to have better road stories because they’re not worrying about being raped and attacked by weird audience members after their shows. I actually had a problem with one of the guys in the audience at the show you booked me at back in southwest Minnesota. He wasn’t a student at the school, he was in town visiting some friends and I thought he was going to follow me to me car when I left. CREEEEPY! One does have to be careful out there… but funny stories? Hmmmm… another guy came up to me in the bar after a show in IL and told me he wanted to murder his father and held a steak knife to his throat sort of demonstrating how he would do it and the really cool thing is that he was staying in the hotel where I was staying! Now THAT’S funny!
Hmoodle: It’s been about four years since I’ve last seen you perform, what have you been up to since then?
Amy: Oh Ryan! My goodness… I got into a serious relationship, had a baby, dumped the fella, became a single mom, and in my spare time I’ve been doing stand up comedy and acting on TV and in commercials! Actually, life has been really good and amazing for me. All that stuff is true, but as they say, “it’s all good” and it really is. I love being a mom – lots of great, new material – and comedy and acting continues to pay the bills, so I can’t complain.
Hmoodle: I noticed that your daughter made an appearance in the Office Spoof called “The Sweat Shop”…can we expect to see more appearances for her in the future? Maybe your take on “the Landlord”—she’s adorable by the way.
Amy: That would be awesome to pit those two against each other. My girl is skinny, but she’s tough! She’s such a little tom boy, like me! I love it! I have no doubt she could take the Landlord to SCHOOL! She actually has a couple agents, but it’s something that I thought could be some savings money for her future and she won’t even remember it because she’s still a baby. It’s nothing I would push or to do when she’s older.
Hmoodle: Alright, so you’ll be performing here in Minneapolis on June 27-28 at Illusion Theater, which isn’t your typical comedy club. Can you give our readers some information about these appearances?
Amy: These shows are very special to me. It’s an hour long, headliner performance of just me doing stand up comedy. I will have musical openers both night, but it’s an evening of stand up comedy with Amy. I’ll have lots of new material and some stuff that has been tweaked and refined. I’m also planning to tape the shows for a DVD which I’m hoping to get commercial distribution for later in the year or early 2009. I’ll keep you posted!
Hmoodle: Must be nice to come back to Minnesota once in awhile.
Amy: It’s really nice because my parents and one of my brothers lives here. My little nephew, David, is a riot and my daughter loves playing with him. I have many friends here too since I grew up here my whole childhood, so it’s always a blast to get together with them. Especially since many of them have children now as well. We throw our kids together and watch them bonk heads.
Hmoodle: I’m sure it will be a great time. Thank you so much for doing this for us and I look forward to seeing you perform next weekend!
Amy: Thank you so much! Look forward to seeing everyone there!
If you are looking for something other than bar hopping, night clubbing, or watching reruns then you should definitely take the time to check out one of Amy’s performances. She definitely won’t let you down!
For ticket information you can go to:
528 Hennepin Ave
Minneapolis MN 55403
(612)- 339- 4944
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