My WTF lightbulb moment Michaela Watkins. Photo: Maarten de Boer.

My WTF lightbulb moment

Jenna Simeonov

Artists love it when they hear an artist of another discipline speak about their work, their struggles, and their (many) moments of insecurity. It’s amazing when actors have stories that resonate with writers, when writers’ plights are relatable to singers’, etc. We get to hear common tales of working hard without any recognition, of taking depressing jobs to pay bills, of getting That Big Opportunity, and whether or not it led to anything interesting. Solidarity, strength in numbers, that sort of thing.

I was listening to episode 642 of WTF with Marc Maron (if this podcast isn’t on your list, add it now), and actor/comedienne Michaela Watkins (Trophy Wife, Wet Hot American Summer, Casual) was his guest. She spoke about her career, and about her time working on Saturday Night Live, which in her world is considered a Big Opportunity. Maybe it was my mood that day, but it was a familiar thing to hear her talk about feeling small, feeling awkward, comparing herself to others, dealing with unspoken socio-professional heirarchies, feeling yourself regress from driven and confident to discouraged and unsure.

“It wasn’t coming from the cast, it wasn’t coming from the writers,” says Michaela on the podcast. “It was coming from this higher level that was sort of instilling this, ‘be a little off-balance, know your place. You have a job that feels like it’s the centre of the universe, but we’re going to remind you that you’re nothing.’”

If you’ve worked hard at your art, and even gotten to rub shoulders with the biggies in your world, this will mean something to you. The whole thing is worth a listen; for the less patient of you, start at around 1:25:00, where she’s talking about an after party with the Saturday Night Live crew. I do love an honest artist.

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