Amy Miller [Interview]


I’m just going to be straight with you all right off the bat: today we are featuring my absolute favorite comedian working today. You know that feeling when you just absolutely KNOW in your heart of hearts that somebody is a genuinely nice person, yet you have never met them? When I think about a feeling like this, I instantly think of the great Amy Miller. I’ve never actually met this amazingly talented woman. Hell, I haven’t even watched her perform live. But, I have spent hours upon hours just listening to her be her best hilarious self.

Now, I know that might sound a bit stalker like, so let me explain. I have managed to find Amy Miller in several variations of podcasts that I have been always enjoyed. I first found out about Amy the same way I have discovered several other hilarious folks who have appeared on this site. From a little show called Doug Loves Movies. I always knew that when I saw her name on the episode title, it was going to be a fun one. I felt the same way about a guy named Sean Jordan. And as it turns out, Sean and Amy had a connection to not only each other, but to the city in which I (sort of) hail from, the great Portland, Oregon. And this led to me hearing Amy appearing several times on All Fantasy Everything, which Sean Jordan is a co-host on, which would lead me to be a huge fan of her own podcast, Who’s Your God. Basically, I just want Amy to know that she is KILLING IT in the podcast game, and it is working for her, and she should do even more. But, that is just me being selfish.

Alright, that is enough rambling from me. I’ll just reiterate that Amy Miller is my absolute favorite comedian working today. She is a hilarious person who inspires me personally with her drive and determination to succeed in a business/world that can sometimes get you down simply because you weren’t born with a useless flesh stick. It’s because of people like Amy that I am determined to make sure that my daughter’s know that they can be whatever the hell they want to be in life. And for that, I have to say, thank you Amy!

So ladies and gentlemen, please enjoy some amazing words from the brilliant Amy Miller!

What inspired you to jump into the insane world of stand up comedy? When did you realize that you were a hilarious and you could use that to make a living?

I sort of had a life crisis and was depressed but also needed a shake up and to conquer my extreme social anxiety and fear of public speaking. So I just dove in like a lunatic. Im still not sure I can make a living from it, but nevertheless, I persist!

You have been appearing consistently across the country, performing just about everywhere. So what are some cities that you love, that many people may not realize is actually a pretty great spot for comedy?

I love the crowds in Portland. They’re super supportive and ready for comedy, and Portland is much more varied than people realize, especially if you go out to Beaverton or Tigard or Gresham. While the town itself is VERY white, they’re not all bicycle riding flute player baristas or whatever the cliche is. Portland proper is surrounded by working class towns and people who wear Ed Hardy and voted for Trump. I do well with white trash crowds because it’s what I know and what I am. Not the voting for Trump part obviously. I also love working in Denver, Minneapolis, and Oakland where I started. The longest set I ever did was in Birmingham, Alabama. I loved that crowd but they really should have made me stop talking.

After a solid 3 years of working your way to becoming one of the biggest acts of the fair city of Portland, and rightfully moving on to bigger things, what is it like to go back? Does the reception from audiences feel the same now that you aren’t a physical residing in there?

When Sean Jordan and I moved out of Portland, 600 people came to our going away show. We sold out a theater. Portland’s support has never made much sense based on how much shit I talk about the place. But it’s real and it’s followed us to our podcasts, shows in other towns, TV appearances, etc. Portlanders like to see a local girl make good and they stay loyal. Im very grateful for it. Even tho Portland sucks and Im not from there. Heh.

And for the question I hate that I have to ask, but I feel it needs to be addressed whenever possible: What are some of the worst challenges you face as a woman in the world of stand up? In your experience, does it seem as though we are getting any closer to any resemblance of equality in the world of comedy?

Uhhh. I mean. The challenges I’ve faced as a woman in comedy haven’t been much different than what I faced working in music or tech, or any workplace I’ve ever had, from non-profit work to a cake shop. Misogyny and discrimination are everywhere and only amplified in comedy or other areas of entertainment because people/ comedy fans feel like they know comedians, they KNOW actors, because we lead semi-public lives. In some ways it’s an advantage for ME that people are talking about harassment in entertainment so much right now but it doesn’t address the fact that it’s rampant everywhere. Like nobody is writing think-pieces about the harassment my sisters have to deal with in their regular jobs. I think there’s more work for me than there may have been 10 years ago because a lot of the old farts who don’t REALLY care about diversity in booking or having a woman’s perspective are starting to finally just do it out of obligation, so that’s nice. But the day to day bullshit Im putting up with is still mostly the same and much of it perpetrated by my very liberal/ wanna-be feminist male coworkers. They still interrupt me, alienate me, mostly only help each other, tell shitty jokes about women, and talk about women in gross ways. But what am I gonna do, stop? (Editor’s Note: NO! DEFINITELY DON”T STOP!!!)

We have spoken with quite a few folks who also appear on Doug Loves Movies quite often. And this is actually where I heard you for the first time. With that, I am always intrigued to ask what it is like to do this show? Is it as much fun to do as it is to listen to?

It’s super fun! Yes. However I’ve always been sort of a teacher’s pet so while I am having a lot of fun Im also always worried about breaking Doug’s rules or structure. For the poster boy for weed, he’s much more regimented than I think people realize. This has become a bit now, where I just say “sorry, Doug” to him a lot when I think I’ve fucked up. But I love the people he picks to do the show, and many of them are my good friends, and it is a fun and silly time. It’s also a place where I never have to talk about or joke about politics or rape. So that is nice.

You also happen to have a new(ish) podcast entitled Who’s Your God? which is fantastic and very funny. But, it also gets very deep. So what inspired you to start to do this show? And how has the experience been for you? What has been your favorite part of creating WYG thus far?

I grew up very religious, as did my two co-hosts, and religion and beliefs aren’t things comics spend a ton of time talking about, either professionally or in casual conversation. Partially because any comic who DOES have religious or spiritual beliefs is often mocked by peers. So we wanted to create a space where people could really examine their universal VALUES. Comedy as a job can be so all-consuming that I think it’s hard to sometimes even take time out and think about the big BIG picture. Not like, “I want a TV show one day” but “why do we all exist.” My favorite part has been people feeling comfortable enough to open up about their own existence while we all navigate a job based on surface, survival, outward appearances, and narcissism. It’s big stuff!

If you were given the chance, after vomiting out all the nerves, to have a nice dinner with the amazing Dolly Parton, who I hear you adore quite a bit, what would be some conversation starters you would begin with? How do you think that dinner would go?

Dolly is extremely charming and we both have excellent social skills so I don’t think it would be that weird. I think it would feel normal. She is a very calming presence. I think the dinner would go like many other dinners with a friendly person would go – maybe we would talk about big stuff but maybe I would just ask for her biscuit recipe.

What does 2018 hold for you? Anything cool coming up that our reader’s should know about?

I wish I knew! Let’s hope this vision board works.

What was the last thing that made you smile?

A friend just told me that after she farted in front of her boyfriend for the first time, she said “I guess Time really IS up.” Im still laughing about it.

Find out more about Amy Miller and when she may be in a city near you at amymillercomedy.com.  And if you reside in the L.A. area, make sure you make your way to her show Two Doors Down on January 22nd to catch her, another co-host of the aforementioned Who’s Your God Steve Hernandez, and several other hilarious folks!


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About rontrembathiii
write. write. write.

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