YBY ep 228: Autumn Simmons doesn’t let anything hold her back from her Quirky dreams!

This week on Yes But Why, I talk to Autumn Simmons, creator, writer, producer and star of the sitcom web series, The Quirk Chronicles.

comedy web seriesAutumn Simmons is a writer, director, and performer from Philadelphia. She is the creator and star of the sitcom web series, The Quirk Chronicles. She hosts the weekly podcast, The Quirk of the Day. She writes The Quirk Blog. Autumn has a book coming out called, “I Quirky Girl.” Oh and also, she is debuting a forthcoming fragrance called Quirky Girl.  Autumn is a creative go-getter. She creates project after project, adding to her Quirky brand.podcast

In our chat, Autumn talks about creating her own storytelling projects. We talk about Autumn’s creative path, experimenting with music before she landed on comedy. Autumn talks about her overflowing font of ideas. She says she often has lots of writing projects going at once.

We talk about weird teachers, Barbie Doll videos and one woman shows. Autumn was a really great guest. She is a fun person to talk to. Ever the quirky girl and always on brand.

Support Autumn by going to thequirkchronicles.com. That’s the place where you can find her comedy web series, The Quirk Chronicles, as well as links to her podcast, The Quirk of the Day. And, as soon as they are available, that is where you can get Autumn’s forthcoming memoir-essay, I, Quirky Girl, and the fragrance, Quirky Girl. And keep your eyes out for Autumn; I’m sure there will be more Quirky content coming soon!

Yes But Why Podcast is a proud member of the HC Universal Network family of podcasts. Download the FREE HC Universal Network app for Android and iDevices or visit us at HCUniversalNetwork.com and join the fun.

This episode of Yes But Why podcast is sponsored by audible – get your FREE audiobook download and your 30 day free trial at http://www.audibletrial.com/YESBUTWHY

This episode of Yes But Why is also sponsored by PodcastCadet.com. Swing on by PodcastCadet.com to get help for all your podcasting needs! Go to PodcastCadet.com and put in offer code YBY20 to get 20% off your first consultation!


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(production notes: recorded phone call with Rodecaster at the home studio on 7/20/2020)







TRANSCRIPT by Otter.ai

HOST  00:00

Hello, Yes But Why listeners, this is your host, Amy Jordan.   Welcome to episode 228 of Yes But Why Podcast, my talk with comedian and writer, Autumn Simmons.   But first, let’s talk about these sweet sweet sponsors.   This episode of Yes But Why podcast is sponsored by audible. You can get your FREE audiobook download and your 30 day free trial at audibletrial.com/YESBUTWHY.   Audible is available for your iPhone, Android, or Kindle. Download your free audiobook today at audibletrial.com/YESBUTWHY.  This episode of Yes But Why is also sponsored by my company, PodcastCadet.com.   Podcast Cadet is dedicated to helping you build your podcast. We will connect you to the resources you’ll need to get better and better with each and every episode.   Swing on by PodcastCadet.com to get help for all your podcasting needs! Let us know you heard about us from Yes But Why and you’ll get 20% off the workshop or service you buy!   This week on Yes But Why, I talk to Autumn Simmons, writer, director, and performer from Philadelphia.  Autumn is the creator and star of the sitcom web series, The Quirk Chronicles as well as the host of the weekly podcast, The Quirk of the Day.   Listen in as we talk about funny teachers, Barbie Doll videos and one woman shows. Autumn was such a fun person to talk to. Support her by going to thequirkchronicles.com for all of her Quirky content!  I now present: yes but why episode 228 : Autumn Simmons doesn’t let anything hold her back from her Quirky dreams!  I’m Amy Jordan, and this is yes, but why podcast? Yeah.


GUEST  02:19

I was 13 and I was in drama club. And I was starring in our black history play and I had the opportunity to portray Tina Turner in a segment we had a feature within it was kind of like this. Going back in time where we were reliving the Cotton Club and we had certain acts that really wouldn’t have been in the Cotton Club but they were there and so Tina, Tina minus Ike with the iChat so we didn’t have I which was good. I had this opportunity to, to do Proud Mary and to perform pantomine and drama club, which was a really amazing I had two chances to perform. We rehearsed a lot and initially my acting coach, our drama coach, she didn’t feel that this was the proper role for me. I still had something to prove, you know, it was kind of like are you sure you can do this because I was even though I had like a aspects of an extroverted personality, I could also be introverted as well. And I had to really prove that I could do this performance and embody this character because it wasn’t so long that the movie was love got to do with it, starring Angela Bassett portraying Tina Turner had come out a couple years before and so at my high school, it was kind of like the type of audience It was almost like going before the Apollo where it’s like you had to be on point and if you weren’t, the crowd was gonna let you know. And so the first time we performed, it was for the the PTA in the auditorium where we had lunch and I remember this I want to share this with you Amy how there is a young lady I was friends with I thought she no record. She’s not a bad person or anything, by the way, but interesting enough her name. Her name was Elizabeth Taylor. So but she wasn’t D Elizabeth Taylor. When she saw me performing, she actually started laughing at me, not with me, but laughing at me because I don’t for some reason. It was funny to her, but I couldn’t allow her to distract me or allow me to come out of character. But it surprised me because it was like, wow, why are you doing that while I’m performing. So I had to maintain my composure stay in character and get through the performance. And the criticism or feedback I received for my drama coach, at the end of the performance was that my energy had dropped a bit I needed to maintain my energy particularly for the following performance which was going to be even bigger, which was in front of Have the entire school in the gymnasium. So needless to say, I did that performance and I was much more confident. And I was surprised how, after performing in the official Black History play, I didn’t expect the feedback I was going to get from my peers and even some members of the staff I had a German teacher, a teacher who taught German. I attended a high school that was a foreign language program for. For students. It was a foreign language magnet program for students who sought to study foreign languages. And I used to study Spanish all throughout high school and in my senior year, I studied Latin. So this period in high school I was in eighth grade. And so it’s kind of interesting. I’ll talk about that later why my high school began in eighth grade. It’s kind of like waysides story, but not as freaky but so I had this


HOST  05:56

I went to a school that started in seventh. So I understand


GUEST  05:59

so you Understand, I didn’t have the middle school experience. So I’m eight through 12. So I had the German teacher comes up to me and she’s aperture performance few days or less than a couple of weeks. She’s trying to recruit me. She said, Hey, would you like to take German? You know, I, I saw you perform in the plane. And I thought you did a really excellent job. And I just want to let you know that if you’re interested in pursuing or studying German, I would love to have you in my class. And that was like one of the most amazing compliments I received coming from an elder. And I had to let her know that I was already studying Spanish, but that was nice. And then I had I had fans. I had an upperclassman named Leslie, who became a fan and it was interesting, he had a crush and so he would see me after school, you hear the groove of play Tina, and you know, I would get that and, you know, people were talking a little bit about that for a minute and whatnot and but then at the flip side, you also get the flip of a You know, people praising you, because I had this, this persona that wasn’t real people, sometimes they forget that you’re portraying a character. And so I remember one day I came to class or came to school and he saw me and he was critiquing my hair. And he felt like, my hair wasn’t as you know, I guess polished as it should have been the previous day. And I’m like, reading it. Like, I don’t even know you, Leslie back off. Like, I appreciate the compliment. But do you come on? Let’s not, let’s not take it a little too far. But the fandom hood, okay, you know, but it’s just kind of like you get a taste of booth where if you have people that are gonna like, rah, rah salute, you’re also going to hate and you know, a little bit in between and just kind of comes with the territory. And yeah, but it was it was a good experience in what ended up happening unexpectedly. For me. I won an award and drama club for that performance, best pantomime. And I had no idea I was going to receive that honor. And it was weird. I was so shocked that I received the honor Same drama coach who didn’t feel that I was up to par or perhaps prepared for that role. She said, Well, you don’t seem to be so thrilled with your award. I am I was like, What did me do? I was very grateful. But I didn’t. It’s just people’s expectations. It was just kind of interesting. I was just kind of in the moment, but I was very much I had gratitude that I had won the award, but I didn’t know what she wanted me to do, which maybe show more drama. I don’t know, the irony.


HOST  08:28

Well, I think the hardest thing about like, when you’re working on theatre with like, you know, teens and whatnot, is that they’re super awkward all the time. Like they could be having the best day of their lives and they still look like somebody, somebody, there’s a weird smell and they don’t know where it is. And like everyone’s around them, like I had, I taught a summer camp with like, seventh, eighth and ninth graders and there was one girl who like I If I if you had been like, just shaylee How does she feel about the camp of like, Oh my god, she hates every minute of it. She’s having the worst day of her life. At the end of the camp, I get a letter from her mom who’s like, she love dead best days. Oh my God, I’ve never seen her so happy when she came home. I’m like, Are you kidding me? Right? So you just don’t know. I mean, she looked at your face. And it was the poor teen who was caught in a weird situation and she was like, your face doesn’t make give you what I want, you know? Oh, it’s tough to be in that scenario. And she put you in such a weird spot. I’m all like, Are they here? I win. You know.


GUEST  09:41

I was happy I won. And that made me feel good. Um, maybe or no, yeah. I don’t know what more to say about that. But you know, it is what it is. It was a good memory and a good experience. Nonetheless, though,


HOST  09:52

plus an interesting point of view that you had of the moment you know, like all these getting all this attention. And like how some of it was like attention where you’re like, yeah, okay, cool. I like this. This is cool. And sometimes it was like, okay, that’s great that you are interested in me, but all of your thoughts don’t need to come out of your mouth gently. I feel like that’s, like we were talking about earlier, like, when you start performing or putting yourself out there, people think that that means Oh, you’re allowed to now, you know, judge me based on everything and you’re like, No, no, um, if you’d like to say you liked or disliked that particular show, I did good. That is your right enjoy that or don’t enjoy it, whatever you like, but the rest of my life. Nope, not too much. Nope, can’t do it. You know, like, oh, man, people are funny, and it’s interesting are very funny. To to you in that moment. You know what I mean? Like you were able to see that.


GUEST  10:53

Yeah, I was able to see it, but it wasn’t my first time. I had another similar experience before I finished Elementary School in seventh grade where I wrote a speech and I was one of the few in my class to be chosen to recite the speech during commencement. And I had a teacher who always had this like this love hate relationship with since second grade and also has in my book I quirky girl forthcoming Tony Tony. And she was like a hater. I had his teacher, my mother used to go back and forth this woman and I had her several times in elementary school and it seemed, I remember, okay, I had this opportunity to recite the speech and she wanted to change how I recited the speech and had me sound like a Baptist minister. And I didn’t want to sound that way. And it was kind of like she did this with this other young lady who’s more introverted than myself. And so I trusted my own sense of style on how I wanted to deliver my speech as long as I was speaking clearly and you know, taking my time to speak properly. Didn’t see what the problem was. But she wanted me to make the speech. It was titled where do we go from here? She wanted me to make this speech really dramatic and, you know, sound as if like, I’m like the lady Jesse Jackson and all this other it was just it was extra. And I was like, I’m here to do the speech. I’m gonna do it well, but I’m not trying. We’re not at church. Please stop. There’s like when you’re in the the black church, the Baptist churches, very different experience. I think she wanted me to, to go there and bring like the Baptist Church. bring that to the forefront for commencement. And I was just like, okay, Lee, I’m glad I’m leaving. So not to see you anymore. Goodness.


HOST  12:39

politicizing a child’s speech. Goodness.


GUEST  12:42

Yeah. Where do we go from here, hopefully, far away from you. Hopefully that was the title of speech. Where do we go from here? So we’re happy to get out of elementary school to get to high school.


HOST  12:54

Where do we go from here? Well, the state says we have to go to that high school from us. are going to other places, but good luck to the rest of you. Oh, yeah, that’s funny. Yeah, I am. I too went to was your high school like a private high school you said it was a magnet? Was it like a thing where like you took a test and got in? Or did you like pick it yourself? Or did they pick you


GUEST  13:20

know, it wasn’t a private institution is public institution, which it may sound a little interesting. But nonetheless even if it were, well, it was a public institution. It just happened to be a magnet school for foreign languages at the time and all kids from throughout different counties. Well, I should say within the county, within the county would come to this school where they could be from so called like Dunwoody or I’m just trying to think of places I used to live in Georgia outside of Atlanta for like many years and there would be kids from Dunwoody would come And MACNAIR or Columbia, or Southwest, the cab and these were all surrounding schools within the cab county or, you know, little beyond the cab county and they would come to study a foreign language. So no to answer your question. It wasn’t a private institution and I wasn’t selected by them. It’s just happened to be within the school district. I could have gone to another institution where Chris Tucker went to Columbia, as well as Tisha Campbell. I could have gone to that school and that would have been the school that if I had gone there, I would have been on a swim team where we actually had a pool but because we didn’t have a swimming pool at my home school. We had to go to Columbia high identity towers high schools, I don’t care if anybody knows we were towers Titans


HOST  14:47

Go Titans area.


GUEST  14:48

Yeah, the Titans.


HOST  14:51

Know I grew up in Boston and we didn’t have magnet schools, but I also like when I did go to a little Middle School I had some sixth and seventh. And then I was like, yeah, these people are all good. Can I go somewhere else? And there happened to be a private school, like right down the street from my house and my mom was like, you could go there. And I was like, well, let’s go. So that’s, I was I was trying to get away from sort of a bullying vibe, and I found a new new place to go. So I’ve been I’ve heard of the magnet schools in larger cities. And like, I appreciate this idea that they’re like, trying to help students, you know, sort of lean towards the thing that they’re into. I wish that anyone leaned me towards anything in high school, but But yeah, I mean, that’s that sounds super cool. Did like everyone from your high school become like an ambassador or a CIA agent. Like,


GUEST  15:50

it’s funny. That is so funny. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are a few scumbags that did especially the ones that would pop up later years later and see how I’m doing it. wouldn’t be surprised if those ms were agents or not because of the way that they behaved and cooperated with other entities. I wouldn’t be surprised. Hmm,


HOST  16:09

yeah, here you go. be surprised. I just the first thing I thought of with languages was like, What do you need languages for? And I was like, Oh, well, if you’re gonna work international business, who works International Business spies do. Clearly I’m in theater,


GUEST  16:25

this point, but I did take international business as well. And my teacher actually was a woman that reminded me of someone that could have been a cast member on designing women. She was hilarious. He was so hilarious. I love that lady.


HOST  16:40

I really thought you were gonna name a spy show like literally any spy show. I love that you did not that was so onpoint.


GUEST  16:51

Oh, he would give us he would give us free advice. during class. We were learning about different cultures and international business and she would just kind of like Give us this advice that had nothing to do with the lecture. And then she would be like, that’s free information. And that’s free information. He would do that a lot. And she was funny. She told us about this time where she went to London for the first time in the UK. And she got excited because she’s a southern lady. And so she was thinking that when she found out they were going to have biscuits, she said, we’re gonna have biscuits, and they’re like, these little crackers, cookies. And she said, Oh, this biscuits are different here. And I was like, yeah, that was so funny. Because it was so it was so Southern because everyone who’s from the south, whether you’re from like Georgia, or Texas or Louisiana, Mississippi, you know what biscuits are when you know, you know what that means? But if you go over there, this gives me something completely different. I know


HOST  17:48

man, terrible. Code is awful. Man, what are you doing Hand me these cookie. I have to drink him with tea. Why? Why is there so much tea What’s going on? Yeah, I mean, that’s so funny. I love the fact that she like told you that story


GUEST  18:07

is hilarious. It’s such designing women is something a designing women cast member would say early.


HOST  18:16

I like this. I like the idea of imagining this woman coming home and she lives in the house with the four other women and they’re like, how was class? I was terrible. I’m not free information.


GUEST  18:29

Yeah, that is free information. And that’s free. Because when you’re a nurse, that’s free information was hilarious.


HOST  18:39

I wonder how many people like we knew as children who were just like are like teachers or whatnot, who are like, people who wish they could do theater stuff, like we do, but like, never got the opportunity to do it. You know, like no one ever said it was okay for them to do it or they never were like, I’m doing it. And instead they’re like, you know, teaching history to middle school students and all they can do is you know be have extra flair and make them laugh.


GUEST  19:07

Well it reminded me of my history instructor who looked like the orden Bachar, the park corpsman. if I’m pronouncing his name correctly, he looked like him like his brother. And we had another gentleman named Dr. Douglas, who was a teacher and he looked like this man, an actor from a PSA that was to teach children to stay away from drugs. And I was like, What is it with this school? We also had a young lady who looked like Toni Braxton. We had a guy who walked around with like Jesus, and it was like, What is happening here? Like what is going on at the school? Were there all of your teachers young? Some of them I had my first Spanish teacher was actually 22 going on 23 he was from Los Angeles. And he was the youngest teacher I ever had in high school. The youngest But yeah, I had that experience as a eighth grader. Hmm,


HOST  19:57

well, that’s just so weird because like my entire life All of my teachers were like 60s and 70s. Except for one teacher, Miss dalkey. Hope you’re doing well out there, Mr. Lucky. And she was like 21 and we were 18. And it was like, Hey, what’s up? And she taught religion.


GUEST  20:18

Yeah. It was a huge she definitely she definitely was at your prom. He was a chaperone at your prom



for sure. Right.


GUEST  20:25

And she was enjoying it just as much as you guys


HOST  20:28

with us for sure. Yeah. Oh my god. Yeah, it’s just so funny. Like when you think about it later, like when I was a kid we had so my private school did not have theater or any sort of performance like yours did, right? There was no drama coach or whatever. And Senior year we were like, hey, um, we’ve been pretty good for a while. Could you give us a theater teacher for a couple of minutes and they were like, all right, I guess you kids aren’t too bad. Sure, we’ll hire someone and like a week They were like we found you a director she’s gonna put on a play with for us and we’re like, great. They hired this like 19 year old girl who was like, she looked like Cyndi Lauper on the she bop album like she had this huge crinoline and crazy hair. And she made us do these like breathing exercises, you know? And we were like, what the heck is this? Right? And I’m in high school. So I have yet to go to like college acting classes where like the deep breathing and the weird faces are like, hours long. But like, so she’s 19. And she gets us to do this, like French farce. And it’s like, like, I can’t even remember what it was like Ionesco, or something like that. It was so crazy. And I was like, well, we asked for and I mean, what do we expect we were gonna get, but only years later did it truly occurred to me how weird it was that they hired a girl who was like a year old. than us to put on this play this random insane play. I was in a cage on stage for the whole show. It was hilarious. Like, oh my god. What?


GUEST  22:13

Right? Was there a video of this right


HOST  22:16

now? Oh, no, I did find a VHS tape of the first musical I was ever in today because I’m packing we’re moving houses and it was like I found this VHS tape and I was like, do I even have the means to watch this ever again? It’s like like, some incentive usually but um, yeah, that’s interesting. But it was on VHS you mentioned Well no, no, not this particular Not that one. Okay, there I did a musical at the all boys school. So that’s a different that’s a different story altogether. But, but no, this one was just about our super young. I like that you had a bunch of super young teachers sounds like sounds like everyone retired the year. Before you started, and then they were like, Oh no, we need a batch of new teachers. And then it was just like Jesus was available and Toni Braxton was there. And the new is like a few ladies who were like, Listen, I’m in my mid 40s. I’ll stick around and like, I love the I love the story vibe of your high school I’m sure wasn’t even half as exciting as you’re making it seem. But it sounds great. Now I want to watch


GUEST  23:20

it was it was interesting. It was always more interesting when you’re relating it more after the time has gone by. But you think about it. And then when you hear other stories about how other people, you know, when they went to high school, and you remember what yours experience was like, but just to clarify, the Spanish teacher I had, who happened to be 22 going on 23. He was the youngest in high school, but the rest of the teachers were generally within. Well, it depends on what you consider young we had some that were in their 30s which is still when I hit my 30s I realize how young 30 is still it’s not as old You think it is. And then we had some who were like in their 50s or 40s 50s and 60s, but, you know, so we had a variety, but I think I had more younger teachers in elementary school, or at least a healthy mix, you know, more elementary than high school. But yeah, I didn’t want to give the impression that all my teachers were like, really ultra young, because that would be freaky is never the case. But I’m


HOST  24:25

just here for sure. We like everyone left what we need new ones. Oh, my God. That’s so funny. I mean,


GUEST  24:32

that would be a good spin for like a web series though. Or


HOST  24:36

he? Well, yes, yes. I like the idea. It’s like everyone they’re trying to hide, hire new people. And they’re like, do you have a friend who could teach history? I guess, like bringing in their roommates and stuff. Timmy do still need a job. He’s the barista. Anyway, I’ve gone down the web series rabbit hole. I’ve already pitched it. Okay. Back to you, your amazing fun creative life. So, tell me what happens. What did you go to college for? Did you like jump in and do theater stuff? Or were you like, I need to be. I need to be responsible and you have a business degree.


GUEST  25:20

I would just okay when I went away to college, I was still 17 and I was few months away from my 18th birthday. It was very liberating. And I went to a beautiful college and all woman’s college I attended Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia, which is like the world’s first woman’s college, a lot of history and whatnot. And I went thinking I was going to become a Spanish translator or interpreter because I still continued studying Spanish while I was there, and I ended up majoring in communications with a Spanish minor and communications under the film and media track. So as I approached my upper classmen years in undergrad, I began taking a lot of film classes, a lot of film criticism, classes, film theory, that type of thing. But the thing that kind of sucked is that we didn’t have an actual studio or we didn’t actually have, like, classes that taught you how to become a film or tour, you know, like, we want it more than theory. That’s one thing because we gave feedback about when they asked how we enjoyed our curriculum and program. We said, You got a studio for, you know, TV, I mean, we had internships, which was great and valuable. But we felt we should have had that stuff on campus where we could have dabbled into filmmaking while we were students and not just learn about bs theory and read all these books about you know, as great that’s great to have that too, but just to dabble in it and you started to have photography classes. We’d experimenting being in the black room before we had digital photography that would have been awesome to know how to shoot film, maybe cut film, or how that whole process and but nonetheless, I learned a lot about film and filmmaking and just watching a lot of great classic films and having an overall appreciation for film. I think that enriched my, my comprehension and appreciation for just the medium of filmmaking in general.


HOST  27:33

You know, I’ve heard that before that a lot of film programs, you know, they’re there on either side of the aisle, you know, they’re either all hands on, they want you to try everything, turn every knob, figure out how it works. throw you in a room, don’t tell you what it is. You have to figure out what it is, you know, whatever. And then some of them are like, you’re never gonna touch the equipment. What are you talking about? You wanna? Why do you want to look at a camera I read this book about a camera and you’re like, No, no, that’s not actually how learning works. You need to use it and read about it. And they’re like, Yeah, I don’t know. I don’t know what you mean. This is a classic book. Have you heard about it? Like, I definitely want to Well, I don’t know. I mean, my theater education in college was it was like when I decided to be a theater major I all of a sudden got plucked out and brought to like a weird place that was not the same college I like went to so like a so it was like a weird theory thing, but I really I’ve talked to a lot of friends who have different film experiences. And it is crazy in my mind how some school they really do like you think you need both, but they don’t they like their one or the other. It’s never a combined scenario. Did you do a lot of projects like on your own to get your hands on the equipment and like figure out how to like accomplish the task.


GUEST  29:00

Well, I’ll share this, I remember I had an opportunity to get my first video camera back in 2002. And I begin to create or do my own thing, kind of the latter year when I was still a student in my senior year. And unfortunately, there weren’t classes where we could do that. So I begin to create little creative projects on my own that were really goofy and corny, but it was a starting point with beginning to experiment with storytelling, even if it was silly and corny, and it was just kind of interesting. There was one piece that I created called Meredith fantasy where I still had at the age I was still 21 when I completed my program, and I graduated I was 21. And so that summer, I still had like a lot of dolls that I used to have as a kid and I still had this attachment to a lot of The toys that I had including like childhood books and things that I didn’t fully purge until I was like, in my 30s. It was just very strange. We could talk about that another time. But I would use these oligarchies. Yeah, I’ve used these old Barbies that I had. And I still have my Barbie airport from the late 80s. And so I use that as a backdrop to tell a story with the Barbie dolls sitting in the airport. And then I would play like this music, like some jazz music. And I would basically record the dolls and have them move them in different positions and start record and stop recording stop and then cut and splice and you know, all this other stuff with, I could edit, you know, through the actual camera, so to speak, because at this particular time, I didn’t have like an editing software program. And so in some kind of way, I managed to create this little short film that I titled Marionette fantasy I dedicated it to Michael Jackson. No, I never sent it to him. And I was able to put it on like a VHS tape. And it was something I used. And I think I had the audacity to submit it to bill was my target, but I had to test it submit it to temple, when I was trying to get into their film program, I was like dilla, like Philadelphia was a tip of my tongue there moment. And so naturally, I didn’t get accepted into that program, because that program was like, for trying to get an MFA, or an MBA was very competitive, like trying to get into an Ivy League, law school or medical school, the hot lot of high competition, you know, so you really had to, if you’re going to be good and get accepted into that institution in that particular program and department, you had to really have a leg up and undergrad and really start learning films. I was in no position to compete with those students who had already had That experience who returning in like more stellar work? You know, I have a theory,


HOST  32:05

you know, yourself down for your Barbie doll film though. I mean, you made that short film. And there is actually right now a famous Barbie doll film made it was a it was a biopic of the carpenters like the band, the carpenters, but it’s all done under the Barbies. It’s very unusual. I’ve watched it. And so hey, listen, it’s a medium, some amazing Oh tours us, you being one of them. So that college just didn’t know what they were doing. And they they should have accepted you because you know, they would have I would have been able to learn so much more.


GUEST  32:51

Well, thank you for saying that but I don’t feel I was ready. But eventually I did become ready and I had something of more substance and to offer When I did become ready so I was willing to you know, learn and just take it on the chin every Yeah, I got over it I usually for things like when it comes to creativity, I don’t wallow in disappointment when things don’t like pan out the way I expect. Unless it’s like someone committing a federal crime against me or something like that for plagiarism. That’s different and you’re probably really talking about I don’t know, it’s all in the book. It’s all in the book. I creaky girl.


HOST  33:29

Oh, even worse. I was hoping it was hypothetical.


GUEST  33:32

No, it’s it’s real and it gets dark. It’s a dark day. Yeah. Oh, no.


HOST  33:38

Oh, no, let’s stay positive for a moment. Let’s stay positive throughout your film. You’ve found a way to you found a way to educate yourself in film did you continue to make your own projects and you have a bunch of amazing tiny short films that you’re


GUEST  33:57

sure I did. It? Did I dabbled. into songwriting in my early 20s, and I was fortunate enough to hook up with some individuals who I met a gentleman at my job one of my jobs who had a band he sang in a band. He was also a singer and a songwriter. And he grew me and introduced me to one of his associates, who had a recording studio. So I had an opportunity to actually be in a recording studio and to meet other people who had more sophisticated recording studios in my 20s. And to experiment with songwriting though I never became a professional songwriter, I was able to be around like Some legends or some people who were pursuing it professionally and just being able to sit in their studio and grass, whatever it was that they were they wanted to show me or introduce me to, and creating my own stuff at the same time, my own songs that I have a catalog of songs and I went on to meet other individuals who were doing the same thing and I met like some amazing people in Philadelphia who have done some amazing work like legendary. I can drop names if you want, but I don’t have to. That’s up to you. But I don’t have anything negative to say about any of these people just you know, positive things that I experienced while living in Philadelphia in my 20s. And I did answer your question, I continue to, to be creative. I can’t really think of a time or a period where that ceased. I always had some type of outlet now when it got to the point where I decided that going into the music industry would not likely be possible or feasible for me. I had something else to fall back on. I went to graduate school and I eventually earned my MFA in creative writing in poetry. But I later when I came out of the program, I begin to write fiction, but some of what I had written without Also consist of aspects of poetry as well in the work. And so this is you know, I have a another side pen name of things that I published that’s completely different from autumn Simmons. But I begin writing. So it’s just I’ve experimented with different forms of writing from songwriting, writing poetry, writing short stories, writing fiction, writing screenplays, I’ve done a lot of different things. And I began to start having a bit of success with the indie writing an indie publishing. Beginning last year, though, it took a while I was getting my name out there over a decade ago, where I just started to win awards for books, you know, or things that I had books that I had published and whatnot. So it’s not something that happens overnight, especially when you’re not like a household name. It usually takes more time and effort and energy to plug yourself especially when you know, you’re not in certain circles, and so that’s another thing people don’t understand about becoming successful, whatever that means. I know what it means for me, they once they see you arrive at a certain point, they assume that they have all these assumptions and they don’t know what it took for you to get to that point. They don’t know how many rejections you received or how you continue to go on even when other people didn’t understand or other people would attempt to deter you from what it was that you were attempting to do. I had to learn how to be my own cheerleader, even if my certain family members and understand what I was doing. I know we share everything I did have some people who are supportive in my family in addition to like certain friends who were supportive of what I was doing. But then I also experienced those that I was familiar with who didn’t understand and that kind of thing or it was just you had to contend with that. And so in essence, something I still deal with today, but it to me is not as jarring and you know, I’m not as I don’t care as much what people tend to think about what I create, as I’m in the midst of creating and producing what I do, I don’t worry about what other people think. And oh my god, I just create, and I let it come out. And I’m not I’ve never been afraid to try something creatively and didn’t and basically just try it to see what will happen regardless if it’s going to be successful or not. I’ve never been fearful of just try don’t ask for permission to do anything creatively. I just do it.


HOST  38:34

Yeah, sounds like it comes from within you in a way that, you know, a lot of people have to manufacture.


GUEST  38:43

Maybe, I mean, I’m not sure if how, I don’t know. I know. There’s some people, many people every like lots of people are very, very creative. I don’t think that’s an issue. A lot of people are naturally very, very creative, but a lot of people this is the thing, a lot People don’t feel that they can actually make a living with their artwork. And if they do, they’re afraid of the process or what is going to take to get there. And for me, I never got into pursuing artistry, or the different types of art that I create for the sake of becoming famous and rich. You know, that wasn’t part of my mindset where I’m doing this because I want everybody to know my name. And, you know, I want to be famous in my face to be seen. I did it because I really enjoy it because that’s just who I am as an artist is just part of who I am. You know, so for me, if I if I never became a household name, you know, I wasn’t going to, you know, commit suicide over I used to have a friend of mine who actually is he’s a successful painter, and he is from Connecticut, but he lives in New York. And I remember he used to say If you didn’t make it as a painter, he was going to commit suicide as a con. Are you really serious? You’re just saying that he was a well, I’m just saying, I better make it. And so he eventually did make it his work is featured in galleries in different parts of the United States. And I remember he sold his first painting. He sold it for $10,000. Well, you know, yeah, imagine that. Imagine that. And so he had that feeling of like, obviously, that felt like success for him, the fact that he was able to sell a piece for $10,000. And I’ve never been able to sell like a book and Garner that type of money. Sure, but I was happy that that happened for him and that he was able to have that experience where someone valued his work to the point where they say, you know what, I want to I want this piece and I’m willing to pay 10 k for it.


HOST  40:51

You know, the art world is a different kind of world than the theater world for sure. I mean, as far as like, paying X amount for y you know what I mean? Especially when it comes to buying tickets or buying books and whatnot, they’re, you know, 10 thousands a lot, probably not too many is gonna pay. But man, I like the idea that this friend of yours was, you know, you know, really dedicated to the idea saw no other option for their life other than doing that. And you know i i don’t mean to like belittle other people or say that you have like a magical power or something like that but to a certain extent, like the fact that you’ve been sort of creatively dedicated for most of your life and creating projects for yourself. I mean, that’s a lot I don’t I’m not sure what your like current scene is or what kind of people you have around you, but like, in in seems close to me. There’s a lot of people who learn, take classes and then expect other people to like provide them with stage time or something like that. You’re like, no Or like expect people to put them in their shows or in their films, but they won’t like, make their own stuff or create their own projects or pitch their own shows to the theaters. Like, so. There’s different kinds of people that are, you know, creative in their way. Some people like just want to do it for funsies. And then some people want to do it, but they kind of need to be led along the way. And then some people like you said earlier, like, it doesn’t matter whether somebody’s paying me or not. I’m gonna keep doing projects like, you know, I love doing this podcast, some episodes get a lot of Listen, some don’t, you know, but I don’t care because I really love talking to people and I really love exploring, you know, creative concepts, and I really like teaching, sketch comedy and working on projects and, you know, creating shows, I’m gonna keep doing that no matter what happens, you know, and some people they can have, you know drop off? Or they do it when the iron tot and then they leave? You know if there aren’t a bunch of people saying like, Oh my god, you’re amazing. Everything you do is great them they’re out. You know, I mean, I’ve had people who I knew who were like, so talented, so, so talented, and just wasted. Just like never go out. I know,


GUEST  43:27

I know of a family member who is very, very talented that I used to look up to, who attended a performing arts high school, and then this young lady, my older cousin, she could really really sing. And unfortunately, she became discouraged. And you know, a lot of times people think that being successful means you have to become a household name. It doesn’t always mean that there are other ways to be successful and to pursue what you’re doing your passion whether you become a household name or You know, that’s a good thing if that’s what you choose the experience, but if you don’t, there are other ways that you can impact others with your gift and your talent in spite of, you know, not going that route, if that’s what you choose, or you don’t choose to do, you know, so I think it’s important for people to know that you can still be successful whether you go through Hollywood or not.


HOST  44:20

Also, because you just made me think of it when you’re you said, like, other routes of, you know, ways to do stuff. You don’t have to be on stage doing stand up or like singing in an opera to be performing all the time. Be like a tour guide, or like the hostess at a restaurant, you know, like, you’re chatting with people, you’re, you’re leading, you know, there’s, there’s something about you get that same vibe of an audience, you know, without the high stakes of a show. You can live your life and have a job and whatever, but you get that fun time that you enjoy. Like, that’s it Like the bus tour guides, um, maybe not right now but like, maybe a year ago, I legitimately I have a toddler. I just cannot have this job, but I could totally do this job. Because it’s so fun. Because like the idea of being up on a bus and being like, Alright, ladies and gentlemen, you see that house over there? Okay, let me tell you everything about it. I mean, like, that sounds like the best day, in my opinion, you know what I mean? So, there’s lots of ways to express your creativity like it doesn’t have to be if you’re like, there’s no way I could be in a play. Great. Don’t be in a play. No big deal. There are other ways for you to be presentation all for you to be like talking to an audience or whatever. But yeah, you’re so positive. I like it.


GUEST  45:48

Well, also touching back on the theater, there’s also different levels of theater in size, Broadway. You know, you could start with community theater. I had another friend that I met in grad school. She actually had an opportunity To be in a play, and it was beautiful to watch her perform and a play. And she was very proud of the fact that she was able, she always had this niche and ability to perform anyway because even with her poetry, she would commit her poetry to memory and had the ability so when she would perform it, she wasn’t just reading lyrics or just words, or stanzas on a page she was actually performing. And so she had that in her. So for her to be in a play, even when she would have moments where she was, Oh, my God, I have so much I’ve learned, I’ve learned a little script, but she did it. And then when she got on stage, she was a star. You know, it was no denying that she owned that play, and there are memories created, she had pictures and just the fact that people remember that performance. Even if it wasn’t millions of millions of people. It was the idea that she did something she committed to doing something. She stayed the task and she did it. Now, so it’s just, that was just one play. There could be many Other places, there’s so many possibilities. And then there’s, as I said, there’s different levels to theater. There are many types of theater groups one could be a part of, even if it’s if you’re trying to get to Broadway, I’m sure if you really want to get there, you’ll get there. But it’s just the idea. There’s so many other ways because there are so many opportunities for you to grow, and to have other experiences that will prepare you to be where you need to be. As long as you’re you’re ready. And you know, you’re open, and you follow, you know, that kind of where you know, you you should go even if you seem to detour or you kind of make some so called mistakes. There’s nothing wrong with making mistakes. You just don’t want to continue to make the same mistakes over and over again, you know, that type of thing. That’s what I Yeah.


HOST  47:50

Good advice. Good advice. Absolutely. Yeah. I mean, if you’re not learning from your mistakes, you’re not doing it right.


GUEST  47:59

I agree. concur.


HOST  48:01

You know also, what you made me think of when you’re talking about like, if you really want to get to Broadway, you’ll get there. Like, there’s lots of like, legitimately sometimes it’s not the way you think people get where they get, you know, like, there are certain, you know, you think you need to like go to New York and do a bunch of stuff. Actually, you don’t like you need to meet people on when they’re out in the world. And then they’ll go back to like most rez, most residents theaters, like Lord theaters across the country. The main actors in every single play all across the country are actress from New York, not the actors in the town, the actress in the town get to play the fun sidekick and the like weird neighbor and the like guy that walks in and goes, ma’am, he’s dead. But the lead is always New York actors, right. So they, you know, go meet them. They got a connection. They’re back in do it. They’re doing get back in, you know, like making friends and working on stuff, every project you can do is going to get you forward move you towards whatever thing that you want to do. And if you’re as dedicated to it as your friend who was like, I’m going to sell art or it’s the end of my life, then then you can get there. You know, you can push yourself towards whatever thing That being said, to also mirror you’re making mistakes, learning from your mistakes, idea. Sometimes you got to pivot sometimes what you wanted to do five years ago isn’t what you want to do right now. And that’s okay. You don’t have to stay and do this thing. Just because you promised yourself you would. But right now, that’s not what you want to do anymore. Don’t do it. Do some mouse. It’s fine. The work that you did was important and it got you where you needed to go. You know what I mean? Like, Oh, I feel like I’m going down a weird rabbit hole. You’re lovely.


GUEST  49:59

What’s Okay, we can All together, let’s just fall together.


HOST  50:04

Right? Yeah. Yeah, I mean, you know. So for you when you are creating art, what’s your process? How do you like find the projects that you want to focus your time on? Do you have like a million and every day you pick one to focus on or do things nag in your mind until you complete them?


GUEST  50:28

I was very, I love that question is a very interesting question. It’s very interesting question because me being a writer and an artist, and also a performer. There are many facets to my creativity. So for me, it all begins with the writing and I’m blessed to have the ability to write and produce the things that I ultimately perform, with the exception of what I publish in books. So it’s not always Easy to balance everything because usually when you’re a creative person, especially very prolific, you have more ideas than you have time to basically manifest all those ideas. So at some point, you have to pinpoint and decide how far a particular idea is going to go. So for me, let’s use, let’s use writing, for instance, when I’m writing a story, and I know the story is good, and I say, okay, is this worth? Or could this possibly be like a novel? Okay, I know if that’s going to be a novel or now make a decision or like, it’s not going to be a novel could be a novella. And I was like, Oh, it’s a time thing. Then how about a short story? So being able to compartmentalize an idea, and then maybe you might have, oh, this is good for a screenplay. Let’s try that and let’s just go with it and see. So for me, I have experienced situations with projects where other projects have come in. To my mind, and I have put a particular project to the side to work on what was more pressing. And, and I’ve done that and and so there are projects that I’ve been working on that I’ve been working on behind the scenes for years that I’ve yet to put out into the public yet, because I’m not ready to put those projects out because I always have like all these irons in the fire with things that I do. And I’m more speaking of like the novels and novellas and those types of stories. Those are things there’s just like lots of things that are always being tweaked and worked on behind the scenes. But when I began creating my will producing and creating my web series, or the core Chronicles, and I began to think about how I wanted to present it and I remember taking an acting workshop because when I was in a village dimension is when I was an undergrad. Even though I was not in drama club or theater. in undergrad. I did take two actors classes, and I did well in those acting classes, but I wouldn’t consider my acting during that time. Do you have been anything great, but I was a good pupil and a good student. And I had a good rapport with my my drama instructor who had a liking for my personality and what I contributed to his class. And we always had an understanding. And he saw my potential and was able to coach and to encourage the growth where it was. And so I appreciated that and that was good. And even when I went to grad school, I had a chance to take a class called acting for writers. And so we experimented with bit of, excuse me, we experimented with a bit of theater in that class as well. So the theater in the performing has always like, been in the mix. But it’s just to answer your question, finding the time to do it all. Sometimes you you find that You do have to pivot. I’ve done that in the past when I saw with songwriting, that perhaps that wasn’t the way I wanted to go, I had another creative outlet that I could nurture and develop. So I found my writing with fiction incorporating poetry. I found that and I began to connect with other writers and authors who were more successful than myself. And I’ve never been afraid or intimidated to be around people who are more successful than myself so I can learn from them. And I’m okay with being like the small pond or the small fish, or the new kid on the block. I don’t I’m not intimidated by people who are greater than me. You know, it’s just, I like having people to look up to. I’ve always liked that when I was kid. I like having people that I admire and learning from them. You know, that type of thing. Open answering your questions. I’m all over the place. Oh,


HOST  54:56

you’re great. I like this. This is fabulous. My next question was going to be about the project that was your current jam. And that’s the quirk Chronicles, right? And your quirk of the day podcast. And remember, these are a lot of things. They all work in them. Are they related story wise? Or is the quirk thing just your brand right now?


GUEST  55:20

Great question. It’s just my brand. And it just makes sense for me to continue with that, because I’ve been working on the core chronicles the sitcom web series since 2014. And I put a lot into creating it because it’s an independent project and also independently financed by myself as well. And I’ve enjoyed it and I’ve had a lot of ups and downs with the Chronicles like it’s never been easy, which I didn’t expect it to be and it should never be easy, but it taught me a lot. You know, I had opportunity to meet and connect with a lot of different people while making the project including, you know, professional actors. Our first episode, I had john kennedy to read Who lives in Philadelphia? And the weird thing about john Canada tomorrow is that I had been seeing him around Philly for a while, at different places where I would go places like just socializing that are connected to the arts. And I would see him and I would look at in the first time, so he looks familiar. Why does he look familiar? So the Grammys party like a chapter party in Philly, not where all the big celebrities go. But on a couple occasions, Patti LaBelle had been invited to these, these Grammy chapter parties. And on one occasion, I actually had opportunity to meet Jimmy Jam, which is one of Janet Jackson’s famous producers, as well. And so additionally, Kenny gamble was around Philly, as well. And so going back to john kennedy era was seen around Philly. And I remember after he made an appearance, so he wasn’t there to be seen. He just happened to be cited in the audience. And then after It drew a lot of attention. He is an actor who’s been in Spike Lee’s. She’s got to have it. And he’s also been in boomerang. And he’s also been in the five heartbeats. Robert Townsend film. And so I happen to know of a gentleman who knew him. And we were able to connect. And I had an opportunity to meet him. And he had me come over and I met him and Chris didn’t go home. But I had a script. And it was really cool to be seated before this professional actor who’s been in iconic African American films, who was just being in the same presence with him and having him read my script, having my script in his hands and having he looked at a script and saying to me, you know, I like what you got going on here. Yeah, I want to be a part of it, you know, and that was awesome, because it didn’t have to happen. So maybe there’s a little bit of Beginner’s luck with the first episode. But it was it was just only thing I regret is if we didn’t have the best equipment To work with at the time and that came later on, not too long after that episode, but I wish that we could have had better angles and better shots with john Canada Terrail and but you know, it is what it is. But it’s it’s still nonetheless a memory and it was a great experience to be able to connect with him for the time that we did. And it was exciting because when I was in undergrad, I used to be friends with a young lady. And we used to watch the five heartbeats every weekend. And we used to, we used to sing all the songs and we would watch I was like actually getting to know an actor who was in the movie. And it was weird. It was like, wow, how does that happen? It was just like, it was, I don’t know how to describe it. But it was like I would have never expected that in all my life that I would meet an actor affiliated with a film that I used to just like, just look up to just with the talent and the director and have that experience.


HOST  58:54

That’s so great that you got to have him in your web series. What a great opportunity.


GUEST  59:00

Great I’m it’s invaluable for me are so


HOST  59:04



GUEST  59:05

And it’s great because it’s great because we you meet people like that and especially when they like you and is natural and you don’t have to do anything but be yourself it makes it even better when there’s like a genuine resonance. And all you basically are doing is just being yourself and they they they get you and they bond with you. I think those are the best experiences.


HOST  59:28

I would argue that those are the only experiences that like that like if you are working on a project and you don’t feel like that you don’t have to work on that project. You know what I mean? Like, like if you’re not like jammin with every person that you’re in a project with if it’s not like fitting totally right you can you can find somebody else like you don’t get her have to. I love that. I love it when you and the actors that you are working with or whomever you know Everybody really gets each other. And I know that it doesn’t always work, you know, and you just kind of get to make it. But it’s like, that’s the ideal man. That’s the true ideal.


GUEST  1:00:09

I agree. But I have had experiences, you know, being a producer, and the Creator, producer, writer, and star and manager and editor like I wear so many hats. Creating the core Chronicles that I do it all, you know, and even with securing the locations, and down to suggestions on how we should look and all of that put so much effort and energy and work into the career Chronicles. And I’ve had instances where I’ve had actors where it didn’t work out and I had to make that executive decision and be able to make that decision without being determinative or debating, maintaining a certain level of professionalism and keeping it moving and I’ve done that and I how I’ve handled those situations. I’m proud of myself how I handled those situations because I’ve always treated everyone that I work with on my project with the utmost respect. Now, it wasn’t always reciprocated with everyone, or you know, appreciate it. But I always made sure I treat everyone with respect and create an opportunity for those who were a part of the project to be able to have something that they could use to carry them on to their next stepping stone.


HOST  1:01:26

Totally. He seemed like a business lady with a direct point of view. So you’re you’re providing people with a service when you allow them to work in your projects,


GUEST  1:01:38

of course, whether they understand it or not, but there are some that didn’t understand the value of what we were doing even in the beginning. If they’re, you know, some people they are indecisive, they don’t always know if it’s the thing that they should do. I’ve had actors get cold feet and you know, and I’ve had crews not show up and I’ve had, I’ve been experience at all, you know, working with different having males, this is interesting talk about sexism, I’ve had that as well dealing with men behind the scenes who are on the crew who had problems with taking direction from a woman, I’ve experienced that too. And, and it’s, it’s a learning curve. So you know, cuz everyone’s personality is different and everyone’s temperament is different. And so you may at times, you may even if that’s not something that you’re for seeing you could potentially clash with someone and you’re not trying to it’s just that maybe me being a strong minded person, I’m very, I have a specific vision for what I want. And especially if I understand is my project I’m entitled dad, that vision, especially if you agree to be a part of the project. You already understand at the gate that I’m the producer and the creator of the show, in addition to the writer and the star. So I’ve had to deal with people who would come in on the set and they want to take over And I’m like, wait a minute you’re the actor fallback, you know, what are we doing? What’s going on here? You know so that in doing that tactfully so that and if people couldn’t it didn’t register with their position was then they were gone and but they you know getting rid of them or docking pay doing that, but I would never debase anyone or make them feel less than even if I had to be so called the boss, you know, that kind of thing. Yeah. Because these people are my peers, like the people that I’ve and even if they weren’t, they were a little older, some were younger, many of them some were older, some were about the same age and younger and I was like, there’s no reason for people to be at odds on a project like this is like for the most part that we did have some some good times with some people I work with and we did have these moments. I really enjoyed the rehearsals. Amy, the rehearsals are like, just as fun as shooting on when it’s time to shoot for production day of production and something about the rehearsals you get to stretch In ways and try this and try that and, and then it helps more, the more you rehearse so that you feel more relaxed and comfortable in front of the camera when it’s time to really, really perform.


HOST  1:04:11

Yeah. I don’t find in a lot of projects I’ve been part of, and in a lot of projects I’m aware of other people making, I find that people don’t use rehearsal as much as they should, you know, like, they will just go and do a scene and like, run it twice. And that was it. Okay. See you later. And I’m like, Really? That’s what you want. Like, if you ran that to three more times, you probably get some better out of it. You know, but yeah, it’s interesting. I find I’ve seen a lot of that. Like, I think it’s admirable that you do rehearsals for sure, because


GUEST  1:04:49

I worry that I make it mandatory. And when I am eating accuracy, like they have to come to rehearsal there. They won’t make it to production. Like that. They they understood that and what I were spending The most were those who took that seriously. And those who would put in that commitment to come to rehearsals and there is no pay for rehearsals there would be paid eventually for production but not rehearsals. And I love having actors who working with them. And they were committed to learning the words that I had written on the page, and they commit to that, and I did have a few actors couple who tried to test the waters, they want to add lips, uh, hey, you need to stick to the script, okay. You know, I know you went do your thing. But you know, you ad lib too much, you know, I’m going to cut that but you need to stick to the script. So I have more respect for the actors who understood the value of the writer as well and understood that, you know, it’s not about them, but you know, sticking to the script, like if it worked, it worked, but don’t feel that you’re just gonna, you know, ad lib everything, learn your lines, learn your lines, you know, and so I have actors who understood that especially, I work with actors who have thespian experience. So they understood that Do you know play when it comes to that you learn Your lines, you know?


HOST  1:06:01

Yeah, you gotta say them 45 shows in a row.


GUEST  1:06:06

And this is easy compared to like doing theater like a web series like this. It’s not anywhere near theater. You know, it’s like a walk in the park compared to theater. So learn your lines, you know?


HOST  1:06:16

Yeah, absolutely. Film and whatnot is just so much easier when it’s like, you could literally look at that paper two seconds before you have that conversation on film.





HOST  1:06:29

you know, it’s good that you’ve had so much experience because I find that it’s, I’m happier to have been through the tough parts and now know how to navigate through them. I did a sketch show that I produced a monthly sketch show for eight years. And the only person that stayed consistent throughout the whole time was me. So like the actors change, the writers changed the whole group would Evan flow there we different groups, and I was the head of it. So Got to decide who came in who went. And it was, you know, I was, I was always like insisting certain, you know, like, I would allow certain people to not know their lines or whatnot, if they were particularly, you know, a fan favorite. The the audience really likes them. Okay, they can stay. But like, I wouldn’t cast them in any roles that required any level of like, real work when it came to the jokes. You know what I mean? Like if you’re the one who’s in charge of the joke, you have to say the words because that’s the joke. So you have to rehearse and know what that is. Yeah, it’s such a hard to and this was a live show and we did like we did like sometimes we did at once which stunk but sometimes we did two or three different times the same show over and over. And you know, you could see how by the third show, they finally got it. They’re finally because they like Except did they use the show as the rehearsal they should have gotten before. But instead they just like, oh, the show ended up being there, like trial by fire rehearsal in front of the first audience.


GUEST  1:08:13

Hey, it’s people have to learn, you know, even if it’s in the midst of failure for how not to do something, so


HOST  1:08:22

totally, I feel most of my life but um, so you have been working on your writing and, you know, you said you’re publishing under various pen names and you’re working just one different one


GUEST  1:08:39

pen name, just one pen name. Welcome.


HOST  1:08:43

Well, you have lots of things out there in the world. And and you’re writing all sorts of different kinds of projects. What, what kind of advice would you give to other writers who are interested in creating maybe they feel tied to work JOHN Ross or maybe they feel tied to one style. You know, how do you what advice could you give them to let them know they’re free to to live the sort of exciting writing lifestyle you have?


GUEST  1:09:15

Well, I would start with the advice that was given to me by my fiction professor who said everyone is entitled to a shitty draft. I don’t mean to swear on your program, maybe. Okay. So, when it comes to what the limitations are, that is totally up to the individual, but there are some who would give the advice namesake Come on, you can’t do every genre. So don’t think that you’re going to be good in every genre. I think you should be true to the genre that you know, that you can be pretty much passionate about. And that begins with passion because if you don’t have genuine passion, we forget the genre, but just beginning with the passion that you have like this is something that you Do even when you don’t feel well or something you I, I’m gonna give you an honest insight. Word of the Day starting my, my podcast the day I’ve been dealing with being under the weather, but I’ve still created it, even though it didn’t feel very well. You know, that’s how determined I am to pursue what I’m doing and and you know, still going through basically, I assume many characters on the show for the sketches and whatnot is totally a one woman show, with the exception of having interviews and whatnot. And it was not easy perform when you don’t feel well, but I’ve heard stories of like even superstars who sometimes they have to perform and they don’t feel well because especially when the day happens to be a really huge engagement, like, you know, if they’re performing for the Grammys, you’re gonna cancel on the Grammys when you’re the star, like when we think that you know, so you find some way to get around that unless you feel like you’re near death’s door, but So you have challenges like that you have experiences where you have to find ways to persevere and learn to focus. And I’m not saying you know, if you’re not, if you’re feeling so badly, don’t go to the doctor or something like that, but it’s just, it’s just, you know, generally what I’m speaking of is just that. I’ve continued even with the core Chronicles, the loss of my father with early on in the series, and I remember when I found out he passed, and the next day I had a shoot, and I was like, well, he’s gone. I have a shoot, I’m gonna go shoot tomorrow, you know. And so, you know, I had a really good relationship with my dad and my daddy died from a terminal illness and whatnot. So it was sealed. He’s almost 80 years old when he passed. And so I needed that. That shoot the next day to place my mind somewhere because after that shoot was over. I was gonna have to deal with Reality anyway, bye bye Monday later at the end of Sunday and Monday because she was on Sunday. And so I’ve, I’ve had to deal with a lot of challenges, lots of curious, weird circumstances, I, you know, dealt with a lot of personal things like battling depression, living with a autoimmune condition that, you know, I’m not always like, sick all the time, but I have moments where I get winded and I have to know to like, take breaks and stuff. And I still don’t allow those things to hinder me. Even though I have moments where I may have to kind of like, step back a moment, but I will still find myself in the midst of what I have to do and it’s okay well, because I know is when I’m working on set. Like I’m not depressed at all when I’m keep going. And I’m like working on like, projects and stuff like that. But um, yeah, sorry. I just hope I answered your question because that’s another thing I wanted to share. And it’s not Something I don’t always, um, people feel you shouldn’t talk about things like that. But, um, sometimes people need to know like, you can still have like an autoimmune condition and still pursue your passion.


HOST  1:13:13



GUEST  1:13:14

And yeah, and especially if you’re independent artists there, there’s no worrying about whether or not someone’s going to hire you or they’re going to fire you because you’re sick and I don’t even worry about that, you know, I understand it’s a fear and concern some people have with not wanting to put too much of their business out there. But um, you know, I’ve had many periods in time with maintaining my health with not even having a problem with you know, my my condition, like Toni Braxton suffers from lupus, you know, and so, sometimes she has to take time out and take care of herself, but she also has a very active busy career at the same time. So it’s like you learn how to adjust you make the adjustment. So I’ve been able to do that and, and keep things going and understand sometimes people they’ll judge you for that or they don’t understand or they’re ignorant. And it’s not something I disclose is probably the first time I’ve ever disclosed and I do talk a bit about it in my book as well. But I wanted to share that only to encourage people who may have a disability or if they are living with some type of autoimmune condition, or some type of element but there’s still creative people and they still have the will and the passion to pursue their their artistry, you can still do that. I’m proof of that. I’m an example of that.


HOST  1:14:32

Absolutely. Especially these days if you’re, if you really do have, you know, a disability such that you can’t leave your house. Well, that’s okay. Because there’s plenty of technology and now there’s, you know, at this point, I would say there’s tons of opportunities to get out there and perform if you want to, from your desk from sitting right there in your chair. You can turn on your computer and be in an improv jam with People in India if you want, you know, like, you can meet people all over the world. That’s the nice thing about technology. Don’t let it hold you back. I like that. And thank you for sharing. I appreciate, you know, you sharing that tidbit about yourself. There are lots of reasons lots of things that hold us back. But that’s a pretty big one. And I can I can see a person feeling like they have a truly justified reason not to pursue this dream. Well, you know, I can’t be doing this because XYZ. But here’s the thing, if your total happiness is drawn up in being able to be a writer, or, you know, be an actor or figure out how to perform in some way, well, you just have to find a new and different way. Like we were talking about the Broadway thing. It’s not always as direct as you think there’s a lot of sideways to get into doing stuff. There’s a lot of different kinds of jobs that you can have or or opportunities you can take To let yourself be out there, but also still feel safe at home, or, you know, just close by whatever medicine you might need. Right?


GUEST  1:16:12

And the show the show goes on even if it’s like you’re the one woman show, the show can still go on. Absolutely.


HOST  1:16:18

Especially if you’re the one woman show, doing 1000 things, interviews and sketches and songs and whatnot. Yes, absolutely. You’re kind to even like your, your suite to think about your audience when it comes to like, Oh, I wasn’t sure if I was going to provide something for them. If I were very sick, I’d be like, you can wait a week. But though that being said, when I do record, I, as we’ve discussed earlier, like I record ahead of time, so your episode is going to come out later than the day that we’re, you know, recording it right. But I do that so that if I’m having a tough time, or if I like can’t do anything While, you know, because sometimes that happens sometimes I do two or three podcast interviews a week, and sometimes I can’t do anything.


GUEST  1:17:09

Well, this is the thing even if you’re someone that’s a generally healthy person, no one is immune from like the flu or covid 19. Okay, and I don’t want to strike fear, and by by suggesting or just elaborating more on what I’m saying, but all of us have had to deal with a health scare or just, you know, if we maybe sometimes, you know, some people may spring their ankle or their foot or tear their Achilles you know, so even if you don’t have like an autoimmune condition, we’ve all had to contend with what it is like to have a challenge in our lives. It could be something personal, it could be like, you know, relationship, if you’re married, you have a spouse or something or you have a child that’s going through something. There are a lot of things obstacles that can present themselves within life and and it’s just how you deal with it. You know, there are some times you will Need to sit out and just kind of wait and get yourself together, you know, I’m not saying you need to, you need to also have some common sense know when to sit down and when to, you know, take that time in solitude or to regroup and to gather your strength. And if you know if you’re somebody you need to seek whatever type of medical attention you need, and there’s no shame in that either. But it’s just having being true to yourself having some enough awareness to know when when it’s good to go and when it’s good to have a seat. And I think I have a good balance of understanding both and knowing you know, when it’s good to go when it’s time to have a seat, but I think with having the podcast, the podcast allows you to be able to, you know, even if you don’t feel the best sometimes you can still like perform, you know, it’s just a matter of it just depends, you know, it’s just that gives you that freedom and that flexibility Now, sometimes being on camera, you know, you may not always want to be On camera so another thing that I do also make other types of videos besides the Chronicles I make reaction videos when I know that I’m not ready to do the reaction videos wherever the reason I don’t make them and you know, but I’m always doing something like I can’t like with my, my whatever I’m going through, nothing ever keeps me from writing so if I’m not writing working on my novels or my novellas, or my short stories, I’m journaling. So I’m always doing something creative, you know, and I began journaling in Spanish I want to take to the next level so I was going to journal in Spanish


HOST  1:19:34

Do you still journal in Spanish?


GUEST  1:19:36

Yeah, I write my journals in Spanish now.


HOST  1:19:39

Your your education Look at you, man, so many of us have useless degrees but now you



know I used to use


HOST  1:19:50

it all and and you’re communicating in Spanish.


GUEST  1:19:54

And while in quarantine Amy I took up learning another language. I begin learning Portuguese these past few months. Wow, really? That’s


HOST  1:20:03

awesome. Yeah, yeah. I have some friends in Rio de Janeiro. We’ll get you down there. It’ll be great. And to the BEM movie great. Hey. So fun. Hey, listen, thank you so much for being on the podcast. It’s been really great to talk to you about your projects and you know all the hard work that you’ve put into building projects and then just the creativity spilling all out. Thank you so much for sharing your stories. I really appreciate you being on the podcast.


GUEST  1:20:38

Thank you so much for having me. Amy. It was awesome to be on. Yes, but why podcasts?


HOST  1:20:45

And yes, don’t forget everyone read all of the cork. Various things go and watch the cork Chronicles. On on the YouTube and then go and get your wherever you get your podcasts. You can get the cork of the day. podcasts and and the book I quirky girl is is available now or will be available in September


GUEST  1:21:08

it will be I Quirky Girl will be available in towards the end like August September just before fall so I’d said it would come out in the late in summer so it will be before fall should be great and I’ll have more information on my handles I’m @ thequirkchroni1 on Twitter, you can type in the Chronicles. We have a website, TheQuirkChronicles.com This the official website for Chronicles and we’re also on Facebook, Philly crickey girl, I’m on YouTube, the Quirky Chronicles and I’m going steerable I’m on podcasts and anchor with me being hooked into anchor I am on a lot of different podcasts, distributor distributors like Apple podcasts. I’m on that as well. I’m on Stitcher now.


HOST  1:21:54

Huh. It’s nice that they spread you out.


GUEST  1:21:57

Yeah, I’m spread out pretty low on things like I’m wanting to Google were on the line if you just go to anchor you will see all the handles I don’t want to elaborate too much sorry but


HOST  1:22:06

yes look are all up and we can find it. We’ll have all the links in the website post as well.


GUEST  1:22:12

And last but not least, I have one more thing I wanted to plug I do have a fragrance titled Quirky girl coming out and I have the book I quirky girl and a fragrance inspired by the sitcom web series. And you know, so is this a little extra, but usually, you know, a lot of people when they begin doing their projects, they begin to find ways to monetize and usually get a groovy t shirt and I thought about having a groovy t shirt. But also like I want something a little more than a journal and a T shirt and pencils and pens and key chains and hats and caps and stuff like that. So I was like oh, how about a fragrance I know it was a little over the top but it’s just people like to smell good especially women. So quirky girl the fragrance will be coming around like sometime in December of this year, but I present We have samples. So I would love to send you a sample Amy. Oh great. I love it all right very sweet


HOST  1:23:18

thanks for listening to yes but why podcast! Check out all our episodes on yesbutwhypodcast.com or check out all the content on our network HC Universal at HCUniversalNetwork.com


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