AUP S2E2: Amanda Seales is Black Outside Part 2

AUP S2E2: TRANSCRIPT

Transcribed: Albert Parnell

Completed: 8/8/22

Cortney Wills [00:00:00]  Hello and welcome to Acting Up. The podcast to dives deep into the world of TV and film that highlights our people, our culture and our stories. I’m your host, Cortney Wills, Entertainment Director at theGrio and this week we’re sitting down with Amanda Seales. 

Cortney Wills [00:00:19] You know, you made me think about something, and that is that, you know, you do you do stick up for yourself. Like that is something that I have admired about you. I think you and I had something you called me directly years ago about a story that had your name in it.

Amanda Seales [00:00:35] But when I called you, how did I call you, though? 

Cortney Wills [00:00:37] I would say very respect. I would say very respectfully. I would say very respectfully. But no, but this was a person I mean, honestly, that was one of the things that made me like, you know what? I kind of her because you could have called me cursing me out. Right. But you called me as a professional in your profession, calling another professional in her profession like there is a problem with this. Let me explain it to you and then you decide what you want to do with it. But there are a lot of people who would not do that, and there are a lot of people who would fear that speaking up for themselves on social media or to a reporter or to anyone is going to, you know, hurt their brand or hurt their reputation or keep them from getting the gig that they want to get. And you are someone who I think has really leaned into who you are. You say what you mean, and yet you still work on screen, too. You’re not just doing stand up comedy on your own terms. You’re being cast. You know, you were a member of a show that was one of the most successful shows in the last decade. And so I wonder if there was a time where you had to decide that you weren’t going to be scared, that being yourself in this business might affect where you could go in this business? And how did you get through that or come to whatever decision you came to about that? 

Amanda Seales [00:02:01] Well, first, let me just say that I appreciate that when I called you, you were receptive to me as a professional. Right? Because I think that’s the other thing that happens. Like I will stick up for myself and then I’ll see people who would have. Preferred a manager call or would have preferred an an agent or a publicist to call. Right. And even I don’t even the word sticking up for yourself is more so like, hey, like just providing more information, right? Because the truth Is, the truth Is, is that so much just gets away from us on this Internet because there’s so many contributions that are not coming from the actual source. Right. So and I think journalism has significantly changed where folks don’t go to the source. Folks see a story, and then they take from that story and then they make their story right. Whereas once upon a time it was like, Well, we can’t do this story unless we have an actual source that supports this story. And even then it was like, what is the source going to be out loud? Or are they going to be an anonymous source? Because we don’t want I mean, when we look at like, you know, the Watergate scandal like that almost didn’t break that almost didn’t come out because of Deep Throat not wanting to be outed. Right. And so I just appreciate that. But I make that decision about being about not being scared. I make that decision like every week. I make that decision like every week. And it’s like cancer. These are announced. I’m just like it’s like I’m exceedingly emotional, but I make that decision every week and it ends up getting made ultimately because there’s so many folks that will, like, hit me up and say, like, you know, you being honest is helping me with my own self advocacy and, you know, you defending yourself and you really just not backing down from, you know, falsehoods about you, like has given me the empowerment to do the same for myself. But I think also, honestly, girl, like the art is the best part of it. And even that has become so difficult to to get out into the world. Right. Shows get bought. They don’t get made. You know, I was I was just telling my manager this morning, like, there’s and I have this in my book also I talk about just the difference between my book “Small Doses” actually available right here in paperback as well and audible. “Small Doses.” But I talk about just like the difference between your self-worth and your market worth. Like you’ll know that you have the capability to do all these things and, you know, to turn shit around and, you know, to turn people up. But the market oftentimes will not get behind you doing that because you haven’t proven it yet. And so it begins to be one of those scenarios where it’s like you need the experience to get the job, but you need the job to get the experience. And so you keep having to chip away. You keep having to chip away and find new routes and new methods to get you the space to do what you do. Right now, I’m in a place where I’ve had to turned my thinking from trying to get an industry to pay attention to like what I consider to be my self-worth and instead put my energy to really just providing for the audience that’s provided for me. And that feels really much more holistic and much more sustainable to like my mental health because it’s like literally counterintuitive to think that an industry that’s built on so many things that so many of us in the industry don’t even support, right? It’s just that it’s the only method for us to get out our dreams, so to speak. So, you know, I make that decision on a regular basis and I’m constantly just trying to be. Better at demonstrating. You know, I’m constantly trying to be better at not just saying what they would appear and say, like, don’t do as I say, say as I do. Like I’m constantly trying to be better at like, doing as I say. 

Cortney Wills [00:06:01] Yeah. 

Amanda Seales [00:06:02] But when you’re when you’re in the public, it’s. It’s a lonely place. It’s it’s a real lonely place. And when you’re in the public. And you are genuine authenticity is not like the law of this land. This is a country that the words alternative facts were put out there and people like supported it, ate it up and started using it. Like, you know, like the fact that like there was a new synonym for lying and people were like, yeah, you know, let’s, let’s let’s do that. You know, I’m a cancer and I’m a Virgo and I live a very tortured existence in that because I’m a very I’m a very sensitive person in that I’m a super analytical person. So you just find yourself in a in a space of constant vulnerability in a society that does not honor that in any real way. And I’ve had to be better about coming to safe spaces. It felt like a safe space to come on your podcast. You know what I’m saying? And I appreciate that and it’s something that as a person, like not as like a celebrity or whatever. But just as a person, I’ve had to be mindful of. And I think some people don’t understand how big and vast this Internet is and how different being a public person is now than It was. Like, you know, even 15 years ago, you know, like pre MySpace. It’s like you just doing what you do and like, you know, if somebody talks about it, they talk about it. And so in the conversation around like people being afraid to be honest or being afraid to to speak to certain topics because they don’t want to lose their job. Like, I get that because shit travels so much further now and it travels without as many obstacles of ethics. You just don’t have the protection, you know? I mean, like, it’s just it doesn’t have the same thing. There was a situation I was in and people told me that I should that I shouldn’t have taken legal action. And it’s one of the only regrets I have, like in my life I have I have some regrets. But, one of them is not having sued a particular individual for defamation of character, because it follows me to this day. To this day, to this day, to this day. And but but I know that the people who are advising me in that we’re moving in the space of like, oh, you know, things, you know, it’s the world. It’s just that, you know, things happen. It’ll go away. But on this Internet, that’s not the case, baby. So I, I commend, though I commend the folks who not only stand in their truth. 

Cortney Wills [00:08:41] Right. 

Amanda Seales [00:08:42] But who also they publicly support me standing in my truth. And I feel like the one thing that will always bring me back to, like, Amanda, just you got to just be yourself, is the fact that the elders that I respect respect me back. So Matina took a selfie with me the other day. She was like, I want to take a selfie with you. And so, like, honestly, it’s life, really. You know.

Cortney Wills [00:09:07] And everything that you said about like the change in being even a public figure of any kind in the last ten, 15 years is so spot on. But when you talk about comedy, when you talk about comedians, I feel like y’all are like, we don’t deserve you. And I could think of a million examples, whether it’s Chappelle or the shoot at the Oscars, but like, we don’t even deserve this art form that is comedy that has historically helped us grapple with, get through, scratch the surface of and start conversations about things that are just so great and so heavy and so terrifying. There was really no other method to even chip away at them then comedy. And now we’re in this, universe, where you all doing just that. You know, is is very likely to get you canceled or pulled, you. know. I mean, it’s like. It’s like setting you up for failure. Every single time I really like can’t imagine what that must be like. And I’ve talked to several comedians about what it’s like to be a comedian right now. And it’s kind of like it’s a rich time, like there’s lots of material, but it also sucks because it feels like either way you go, you can’t win and that the rules have really changed. The comedy is no longer a place where everybody can laugh and get laughed at with equality and even comedy has been polluted. 

Amanda Seales [00:10:44] Well, you know, the truth is, is that we’re also just a hurt people. Right. And so, like, it’s a lot of people’s trauma that is dictating, like how they respond to certain things. Right. And so if you were teased about something and then, you know, by people who had the worst intentions for you and then a comic who doesn’t even know you, you know, but has the intentions of simply just like let’s, you know, deprecate everybody, including yourself. Right. And that person says something, then it’s very difficult for people to divorce the uniqueness of those situations. Right. And I think that’s really at the heart of it is this divorcing the difference between a comic doing what comics do, which is roasting, which is analyzing, which is self-deprecating and which is, at the end of the day, just trying to get laughter from folks. Right. Like that’s the goal. I think that there’s folks that don’t divorce that from the idea of laughing at someone’s expense, which is a different thing because. When you show up for a comedian to make people laugh, it’s going to be laughing at someone’s expense. Sometimes it’s going to be laughing at their own expense is going to be laughing at, you know, an inanimate object like it. It’s not. But I feel like it’s not at the expense. Like you were just laughing. And the goal is not that we’re laughing at someone’s expense, but that we’re laughing to elevate our endorphins, you know, to get through the fuckery, etc.. I think that there’s a lot of people whose perspective is like if they have something that may not be a part of a mainstream idea of beauty or a mainstream idea of health, etc., and the comedian makes a joke about that. There’s a lot of people who find peace in that. There’s a lot of people who find like connection in that because they’re like it’s it’s a levity that’s being brought to the true gravitas of their experience. And that can be a relief for a lot of people. Right? So a lot of it is also subjectivity. And the truth of the fact is that comedians used to be in specifically comedic spaces. And so it’s like people are going there for that. I think a lot of times also people are coming to comedic spaces not to laugh, they’re coming to critique. It’s like it’s like with anything. These days, a lot of people aren’t reading a book to learn or reading a book to see what this writer wrote. They’re reading a book to talk about all the ways in which this could have been written better. And I it’s a harp, so it’s not just a different place to be. A comedian is a place to be a creative and. 

Cortney Wills [00:13:25] There’s a. 

Amanda Seales [00:13:25] Crisis of conscience that. 

Cortney Wills [00:13:27] Happens when the folks. 

Amanda Seales [00:13:31] That you feel like you’re creating. 

Cortney Wills [00:13:32] For. 

Amanda Seales [00:13:33] When some of them are actually like weaponizing that against you. And it feels like, well, the natural reaction is like, yeah, yeah, I’m saying then then I’m not going to care about your but then your, your integrity and your knowledge of self kicks in and it’s like, well, I can’t let their misleading, I can’t let like their misinterpretation deter me from doing what I know to be the thing I’m supposed to be doing. And I’m not doing and I’m not making that determination in a silo. You know, I think there’s a lot of folks who are telling themselves the same language. Right. But they’re doing so in a silo. They’re doing so without. Having anyone challenge them. Like people love to call me a narcissist, as if I’m just, like, on an island of myself. 

Cortney Wills [00:14:29] I’m just I’m. 

Amanda Seales [00:14:30] Just. I’m just out here just. 

Cortney Wills [00:14:32] With a verbal. 

Amanda Seales [00:14:33] Machinegun and nobody telling me shit, you know? And it’s like, yeah, that’s not that’s not it. Like, I have, I have a team of people that will absolutely be like, Yeah, I don’t like that. You know, I have a man who will absolutely be like, Yeah, I don’t think you should do that. 

Cortney Wills [00:14:47] Like. 

Amanda Seales [00:14:50] And I feel like there’s. 

Cortney Wills [00:14:52] Also. 

Amanda Seales [00:14:52] Just like all these, like, buzzwords that people start using. And so when those are being applied to comedians to I’m just like, I don’t think y’all know what we’re here to do. 

Cortney Wills [00:15:00] I don’t think. 

Amanda Seales [00:15:01] You know, we had to do when the wall Will Smith thing happened. I said what you just said. I said, You know, I think I deserve something. I just need to go watch this is us and get your cry on and let that be. Yeah. 

Cortney Wills [00:15:12] Yeah, let that be true. And that’s funny because I’m it’s funny that this is us because this is us. I inarguably, you know, a beautifully executed show, such talented creatives behind it. I you’re going to be very close with so many of the cast members, but like I don’t watch it because I don’t shoot you cry. But I swear I know it’s good. I’ll read about it, you know, like I’ll tell other people to watch it, but like, that’s not what I do. That’s not entertaining for me. But there are a whole bunch of people who absolutely want to look at misery, to feel better about catharsis. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, you must be so annoying to those people, like people who hate on you. They have. You know, it must be very fun to, like, hate on you, because not only do you have the fact that you are smart, funny and black going for you, but you are very self-possessed, like you will go and can go toe to toe with all of the foolishness and back it up. And that’s just got to be so grating for people. 

Amanda Seales [00:16:23] If I mean, if I had the energy, I would do a show where it’s just like the title would be like, Come at me, bro. And it’s just like, What’s your grievance today? Like, it would be a court show, but like, I’m the defendant every time. 

Cortney Wills [00:16:38] Yeah. 

Amanda Seales [00:16:41] There would be a different judge. Just like every episode that I that we both agree on is a moral standing person. You know, I’ll have J.B. Smoove, you know, one episode. Next episode we have Tabitha Brown. You know, I’m saying it’s just like. 

Cortney Wills [00:16:56] What’s the issue? What’s the. 

Amanda Seales [00:16:57] Issue today? You know, like. 

Cortney Wills [00:17:00] How did Amanda Field offend you today? She was doing backflips on her trampoline and you felt like she was showing off. And, you know, she called you fat, like. 

Amanda Seales [00:17:08] Well, I did a video about being able to still fit my prom dress from 1999 and how excited I was about that. And people were upset and people said, you know, that me being excited about still being able to fit my palm debt from 99 was fat shaming. And that it. 

Cortney Wills [00:17:27] Was. 

Amanda Seales [00:17:28] They said they people said that they felt like it was triggering because. 

Cortney Wills [00:17:33] It. 

Amanda Seales [00:17:34] Makes people who can’t fit their prom just feel shameful. 

Cortney Wills [00:17:38] And I think. 

Amanda Seales [00:17:38] That there’s a that’s a slippery slope when you can’t celebrate something that matters to you. Without it. Without it, then adversely. I’m trying to think this through as I say it, but. 

Cortney Wills [00:17:53] Like I. 

Amanda Seales [00:17:53] Didn’t I didn’t really feel like that was a fair assessment because for me. 

Cortney Wills [00:18:00] It. 

Amanda Seales [00:18:01] Like I wasn’t saying like you should pick your prom dress from 99 to and if you, you know, like that wasn’t in it, it was just like this is something that I was surprised. 

Cortney Wills [00:18:10] I can do. 

Amanda Seales [00:18:11] And I’m celebrating it with ya. 

Cortney Wills [00:18:15] No, you can’t do that. You can’t do that. You can’t say like Happy Father’s Day because there are so many people that do not have fathers. I will probably be edited out of this episode talking about my pregnancy now because there are so many listeners struggling with infertility. Like that’s a real thing that I think is, you know, what is it? I don’t know. But it’s maddening. It’s very hard, you know, it feels, you know, and then you feel like an asshole because you want to sympathize with people who are struggling. Of course, plenty of people don’t have fathers, you know, or have troubled relationships with their fathers. And Mothers Day, of course, is like a hard day for them. But, you know, where do you draw the line between, like not denying your love to me to make other people feel better or. 

Amanda Seales [00:18:58] Even just like asking questions. Right. Like I remember one time I had an editor that I had hired and she charged an hourly rate, but she but I didn’t know that she was breastfeeding while she was editing. And so when I got to the edit, like she spent quite a bit of time breastfeeding and not editing, but I was but I was being charged and I was like, Yeah, I don’t think that’s fair. And I mean, I got lambasted by people who were like, How dare you deny a mother her right to feed her child? And I just felt like if memory serves me correct, that framed it as a question like, is this cool? But I guess people to get like rhetorical. But I just, I mean I like people were a little girl livid like how dare you disrespect. 

Cortney Wills [00:19:52] The. 

Amanda Seales [00:19:52] The necessity of a mother to still make money while feeding her child? And I didn’t feel like I was disrespecting that. I mean, I just felt like there’s, you know, there is a true kind of fairness that we would both have to come to in the fact that, like, I’m paying an hourly rate, you know? And I just felt like maybe the compromise there is like, let’s come up with a flat rate where you can do what you need to do and then be able to still get the edit done. And I don’t feel like I am losing like the fairness of my compensation. But people the whole point of me bringing that up though, was that like perspective is people’s truth. And now it’s become weaponized in so many ways that it makes it. 

Cortney Wills [00:20:40] Hard. 

Amanda Seales [00:20:41] To truly like advance. And if if we’re being super duper honest, so many folks have just banded together in their ignorance that they really found unity in their darkness. And the rest of us, I believe, have found ego in our intellect. And I think that’s honestly been to our detriment. And we have found ego in our virtue. There is so much virtue signaling going back to. 

Cortney Wills [00:21:19] You know. 

Amanda Seales [00:21:21] Of people trying to outdo the other person on who is the better person. 

Cortney Wills [00:21:25] Yep. 

Amanda Seales [00:21:26] It’s wild. And then you have people, you know, who just. 

Cortney Wills [00:21:30] And. 

Amanda Seales [00:21:30] So to me like that ends up becoming. 

Cortney Wills [00:21:33] One. 

Amanda Seales [00:21:34] That ends up becoming us doing the own work to divide ourselves. 

Cortney Wills [00:21:37] And it just it just so is even more division. It’s like never ending. 

Amanda Seales [00:21:43] When I tell you, like, I’m just. 

Cortney Wills [00:21:47] I’m just like, worn out. 

Amanda Seales [00:21:48] I’m worn out and I’m scared. And I’m just like. I’m just I’m looking forward to. 

Cortney Wills [00:21:57] Just. 

Amanda Seales [00:21:57] Being able to actually just be on some stand up shit right now and not be on a set because it also can be, you know, sets can be two different kinds of spaces. They can either be like super duper like familial and, you know, just feeling like a safe space. And then they can also just be like really, really clinical and you know, just like we’re here to work really are 14 hours. We’re going to get it done. I did tab time the other day with Tabitha Brown and it was just so fun to like get to be on some children’s shows. Y’all going to see this episode and be like, Oh wow. Because I was at this octave the entire time. 

Cortney Wills [00:22:33] I. 

Amanda Seales [00:22:33] Leaned in, I was like, you know, just, you know, because for the kids, you know, we exaggerate a little bit. And I was like, You ain’t got to tell me twice. But it was it was a nice break. And then I got to do a Yara Shahidi show on Facebook. So we had a really incredible conversation. She’s just such a light and she’s so brilliant. 

Cortney Wills [00:22:54] Because we got to see her mom, Carrie, there, who’s like equally. Yes. Oh, yeah, that’s Greg here. 

Amanda Seales [00:22:59] He was there. 

Cortney Wills [00:23:00] You’re just like, you know what? I think I’m going to wake up tomorrow, be a little bit better now. 

Amanda Seales [00:23:07] She was there and she really did pour into me like she always does. And I was just like, Thank you so much. And I think it’s just a time where we have to start trying to be better at being better. And then, you know, I just I feel I’m just being genuinely just honest this as I’m I feel safe talking to you. I just I hate how people hate me. I hate it so much. And I know people are like, you shouldn’t care. I’m like, Whatever, I care, I hate it. And then someone will watch this and be like, Well, if you hate it so much, then stop, get the things. And I’m just like, All right. 

Cortney Wills [00:23:44] Whatever. 

Amanda Seales [00:23:45] I just want to make people win. 

Cortney Wills [00:23:47] In the. 

Amanda Seales [00:23:48] End, you got to just like bomb. 

Cortney Wills [00:23:51] Then, and that’s all you can do. 

Amanda Seales [00:23:56] But I shout out everybody listening who has, you know, come to a show or even just like, you know, commented unopposed or who was like corrected me in kindness, unopposed, that those listen, when people correct you with kindness, it is truly revolutionary in the Internet space. 

Cortney Wills [00:24:17] Like when come. 

Amanda Seales [00:24:18] When someone can say like, hey, I see what you were trying to say there, but here’s where you missed the mark, and then they lay it out for you and they don’t at the end say do better. Oh, you know, or they don’t try to just. 

Cortney Wills [00:24:32] Undermine. 

Amanda Seales [00:24:34] It really. And it teaches you that like you can do that too. You know, we, we when that happens, y’all need to understand like I that is the spark of my day is when I mean, when I’m when I’m when I’m showing like someone had some someone had said a nickname to me, someone a certain someone call me Mandy. And I was like, you know, that’s actually just for friends and family. I prefer to be called Amanda. And the person came back and was like, Oh, thank you for, you know, clearing that up. I appreciate it. Big fan and keep doing what you do. And so I shared that because I thought it was actually really dope that they received it without adding any color to it. Right. Because when you’re a direct person also, by the way, like, like it’s not in my nature to like put a lot of cloudy, flowery stuff around things. It’s just not, it’s not about disrespect is just like not in, in how my brain processes things. And so I have to do a lot of work to do that. I have to do a lot of work to come off as like what the society calls us nice. I have to do a lot of like haiku. I have to do a lot. 

Cortney Wills [00:25:44] Of time writing because I. 

Amanda Seales [00:25:47] Really just want to talk like this all the time. I want. I like this all the time. Kourtney I wouldn’t be able to talk like this all the time and not have people think I’m being mean. But you can’t. That’s just not what society is, and I understand that. So I have to meet it halfway. 

Cortney Wills [00:25:58] Lasting, though. 

Amanda Seales [00:26:00] Yeah, it is. And so I say all that to say that when I put it up, people, we’re. 

Cortney Wills [00:26:05] Still still. 

Amanda Seales [00:26:06] It’s still people that were like, that was rude of you to correct her. And it’s like, you’re not going to win those people. And win is not the word, but you’re not going to reach those people aren’t going to get what you’re doing because they have their own ideas about what correcting actually means. 

Cortney Wills [00:26:18] Right. 

Amanda Seales [00:26:20] And as somebody who’s in the profession of notes, you know, like, I can take a note, I can take a note. I love a good note. One of the best directors, Liesl, Tommy girl, Liesl Tommy directed an episode of Insecure. 

Cortney Wills [00:26:32] And she could give you a notes or she could give. 

Amanda Seales [00:26:35] You a no, you know? And it was the kind of notes that made you be a better performer. Prentiss Prentiss can give you a. 

Cortney Wills [00:26:42] Note. 

Amanda Seales [00:26:43] Because it’s Prentice. Penny was our showrunner on Insecure. He also is executive producer of APPLAUSE with Sam Jay. And I love how Prentice can correct. And it’s always enhancing you without demeaning. Wishing you. That’s something I am, like, really striving in my heart to be better at, you know? Like, I feel like in my mind, Maya Angelou was like a gift that I don’t know if that’s true, but in my mind, I feel like she was. I feel like she was. But, yeah. You know, the other thing, too, is that when you’re doing press and you promoting stuff like you’re just in conversations and you know, people take those conversations and do what they do with it. And, you know, all you can do is just continue to be true to self. And I want to see black folks when I really just want to see I want I want so much for us. I want so much for us. And in the in the non monolithic ness of us, not everybody wants the same things for us. And that’s kind of the catch 22. 

Cortney Wills [00:27:38] So much to be exhausted about right now. 

Amanda Seales [00:27:40] So how are you? How are you? How do you stay? I’m now this is my interview. How are you staying? How do you stay, like, upbeat and like as a parents with all of this going on? Like, it’s so important to also protect your energy and try and keep the protons poppin in the atomic makeup of the babies. 

Cortney Wills [00:28:01] Yeah. How do you do it? You know, I think I’m not because there’s just nothing that I can do to kind of squelch, you know, this fire. But it’s interesting that you say that. 

Amanda Seales [00:28:11] You mean to say squelch. I love a one syllable vocab word squared. 

Cortney Wills [00:28:18] Yeah. No, it’s true. Like I. I am watching a lot more content for fun instead of work, because so much of my content for work is like slavery, oppression, abortion, police brutality. So I’m watching, you know, things that I usually don’t have time for, like. I love that for you. I love that show. I don’t know if you’ve seen it, but it’s really funny. And I am. I’m also just embracing my attitude, like I have a knack, like, you know, oh yeah, I have an attitude. It’s like, shit is why I have an attitude, but that’s what it is. Oh. 

Amanda Seales [00:28:48] We made that. I really have been dancing with that concept. Cortney I’m just like, I have an attitude. It’d be different. 

Cortney Wills [00:29:00] If. 

Amanda Seales [00:29:00] I felt like if if my work was about people not having attitudes, then I could see the anger in me having an attitude because it’s like you’re being a hypocrite. But that’s really not where I challenge folks from. I, I, Cortney I too have an attitude and I’ve had one because I came out of my mother’s womb with a furled brow. She literally said she said that I literally came out, didn’t cry first, but my eyes were wide open. And I looked around like, what is in here? And then was like, I will grace you with a cry. But really, she said, I assessed. She was like, I literally came out and assessed the room and then cried. I looked all the way around. She was like, It was bizarre because you your eyes opened and most baby’s eyes do not open for you like your eyes opened. You had a full head of hair. You look all the way around. And my mother has always very firmly believed that I came here as another stop on my soul’s journey. She’s always believed like and she was never someone who was like a believer in reincarnation. And so, like, I got here and she was like, I absolutely know that you were here before and that I was a vessel for you to come now. 

Cortney Wills [00:30:12] That’s pretty awesome. 

Amanda Seales [00:30:14] I feel like I’ve had an attitude, though, because I’m just like. I’m. I’m. I’m coming here. Worn out. 

Cortney Wills [00:30:22] I can’t believe I’m back here again. And this shit is still messed up. Yeah. No, tell. And your mom’s from Grenada, right? 

Amanda Seales [00:30:27] Yes. My mother is from Grenada. In the crew favorite. 

Cortney Wills [00:30:31] Place on the planet. 

Amanda Seales [00:30:33] Damn, Cortney, I’m about to. And I’m about to own that. I just have attitude. 

Cortney Wills [00:30:37] Embrace your attitude. I have it. I’ll let you know when you can. Let yourself know when it’s gone because you’ll feel it. But right now it’s here. Except it. And it is what it is. Because that’s really just like all I have. That’s all I have for you right now. That’s kind of how I feel. 

Amanda Seales [00:30:51] I just, you know, people are like, you’re angry, you’re bitter. And it’s like, I’m just I just know. I just know a lot. And it weighs on me a lot. And I do a lot of work to try to not bring that to people that it has nothing to do with. And that’s not always like, I’m not always good at it. And then that’s when the story comes. Like Amanda Seales was staying and I was like, I probably was. I probably was staying that day. I probably was. 

Cortney Wills [00:31:14] Like, Why are you not staying? Like, why are you. No, I but yeah, but why are you not? Okay, that’s really how I feel. 

Amanda Seales [00:31:26] Like, Oh, this sounds like a bit I need to develop this as a base. But no, my mother is from. 

Cortney Wills [00:31:31] Grenada, but I was going to tell you I was in Grenada for two weeks last year. My friend had a birthday party. 

Amanda Seales [00:31:38] Why? 

Cortney Wills [00:31:40] My friend Yvette turned 60 and she’s from Grenada. She had, like, this big. 

Amanda Seales [00:31:43] Are you, like, talking to me, even though I’m sure? 

Cortney Wills [00:31:45] Yes, yes, yes, yes. Okay. So she took me to Grenada and I can’t stop thinking about moving there. I mean, I know they don’t want me and I don’t deserve it there, but I like every day I’m like, Why am I here? I’m out there. It’s just such like a magical, beautiful place with people that as a whole I’ve never met. More like welcoming, loving, adoring people. And I just like it boggles my mind that, you know anyone I know why but why anyone would leave there and come here. And we’re so ungrateful for, you know, not realizing the things that we as a country have to offer that other people don’t. But right now, I’m like, Man, I wish I could learn some trade that would be useful on Grenada and contribute to their society and they would let me in. 

Amanda Seales [00:32:35] Agriculture baby get you. You better learn how to how to grow some nutmeg. How to grind some. 

Cortney Wills [00:32:42] Eggs, chef. Yeah. Yes. Oh, gosh. But I when I was there, I thought of you because I knew you were the only person, other person I knew that. Whose family was from there. 

Amanda Seales [00:32:52] Well, you know, Grenada just got a new prime minister. It’s a very big feat in Grenada’s political movements. You know, we’ve had the same prime minister in Grenada, Keith Mitchell, for dictatorial levels of time. Okay. And to see a new prime minister come into party from come into place from an opposing party, you know, a younger person, I’m not trying to be nice, but, you know, I think there is validity to the fact that the world is ever changing and that if people are not going. 

Cortney Wills [00:33:27] To. 

Amanda Seales [00:33:29] Continue to grow and change with the times, then they need to move over. You know, like my mother is somebody who is 75 and, you know, went to learn how to use her iPhone. Right. And like. 

Cortney Wills [00:33:44] She is. 

Amanda Seales [00:33:45] Making it her business to try to understand, you know, the context of everything that’s continuing to go on in this world that she continues to live in. But a lot of folks get into a position where they don’t have to because they’re in a bubble and that’s that. So, too, to have somebody coming into position that isn’t in that bubble, that’s a former teacher and a lawyer and is of the of the people. I think people are really excited about it. And people in the street and Jazmine and you know, Megan back Angela and whatnot. And I think it was I think it’s going to be well, let me say this. Not to put the cart before the horse, but I think it has the possibility to be a real turning point to do exactly what you’re talking about, though, which is to encourage folks to stay in Grenada and build a life in Grenada and be able to have the resources to do so in a way that they may not have felt they could before. And it also, you know, as a dual citizen, as I look at the decline of this country, I also am very aware of the privilege that I have in being able to possibly say, you know what, you know, that’s a possible option for me were things to go so far left that I didn’t feel like I could sustain here and I would do a Baldwin and get the fuck out. But I just I feel like it’s important to acknowledge, like, I know that that’s a privilege. Like, I know that, you know, I know that. I know that. I know that. And when people ask me, Amanda, where do we go? Where do we go? You know, as a black American community, we are a unique people. We are, I think, in the story of us, because we’re still in a very early stage, in the story of us. But we are a nomadic people. We, you know, and by. 

Cortney Wills [00:35:29] Force. 

Amanda Seales [00:35:30] And by circumstance. And I’m I’m hoping that, you know, we’re we to continue to have to be that it can be by choice. And the problem is that we are in a position right now where it continues to be by force or by circumstance, because if people are leaving this country at this point, it is not because necessarily they want to, it’s because they feel they have to. And that, again, continues to plague our own ass of our own liberation 100%. And that’s you know, that sucks. 

Cortney Wills [00:36:02] And that’s. 

Amanda Seales [00:36:04] That sucks. That’s the understatement. 

Cortney Wills [00:36:08] Of the. 

Amanda Seales [00:36:09] Of the bicentennial. 

Cortney Wills [00:36:10] That sucks. 

Amanda Seales [00:36:11] But I’m about to be 41 on July 1st. 

Cortney Wills [00:36:13] Oh, happy birthday. 

Amanda Seales [00:36:16] Thank you. Shots. All my cancer is out there. You know, we just gonna keep on crying and keep on crying and being. 

Cortney Wills [00:36:26] Loyal. 

Amanda Seales [00:36:26] To a fault. That’s the other part. It’s like, I hate me as much as you. Well, I’m still right. Like. 

Cortney Wills [00:36:35] We just. We lie. 

Amanda Seales [00:36:36] Like, once we. 

Cortney Wills [00:36:37] Once. 

Amanda Seales [00:36:38] We end it, we like. 

Cortney Wills [00:36:39] We’re here. 

Amanda Seales [00:36:40] So that’s what it’s gonna be. But I’m excited to get on this road, girl. I really I really those shows in Bria, we’re just, you know, with the shows and Bria showed me show me that I’ve become a better comic and that was cool to see because, you know, you oh like so yeah like I can I really still like get better at things but after the first show on Friday night, I was like really tired and I just kind of decided like, Oh, I guess that’s it. Like, I’m not going to, like, have anything else to give this next audience. I’m just going to have to figure it out. But then something in the back of my head was like. I mean, just have a good time, like, you know, and I had like I had like written down some premises of things I wanted to talk about. And I went on stage and I talked about those things that I had written down, and I had a great time and being like an exceptionally good show that was exceeding the bar that I had already set for myself, which is really high. But it was like it’s like a, like when you can call upon your magic, that always feels like really empowering. That’s that. So if you want to come to a show and see me, call upon my magic. 

Cortney Wills [00:37:51] Yeah. It was nice to see you in your element again. 

Amanda Seales [00:37:53] Thank you. But if you want to come see me in my element like Cortney got. 

Cortney Wills [00:37:58] To then. 

Amanda Seales [00:37:59] Go to Amanda sales dot com. The Amanda’s deal tour is going down we are doing not just stand up shows but also. 

Cortney Wills [00:38:06] My. 

Amanda Seales [00:38:06] Variety game show smart, funny and black. It is a incredible community loving and hilarious experience. I’m hitting the Midwest, I’m hitting the South and even hitting the Northwest. So that’s how it’s gonna be. Make sure you continue to check because we’re adding dates now. You may look at the dates and be like, Where’s Chicago? Where’s Dallas? Where’s the bay? We’re working on it and we’re getting it there for you because you asked. 

Cortney Wills [00:38:30] Thank you so much for joining me today, Amanda. I could talk to you forever, but I know I have to let you go, but this was such a pleasure. So nice to catch up. So great seeing your show and I’m so happy that you continue to do the work that you do that we all so desperately need and admire. 

Amanda Seales [00:38:45] Thank you. And you know, if you’re not able to make it out to a show, you can listen to Smart, Funny and Black Radio every Monday at 7 a.m. Pacific, 10 a.m. Eastern on Sirius Satellite Radio. And if you don’t have a subscription, you can still listen to us wherever you get your podcasts. So just look for smart money and black radio.