Q & A with the hilarious Maria Bamford
By: Delaney Geraghty
Out of Arrested Development, Lady Dynamite and Fresh Off the Boat, which show has been the most fun to work on?
I think Lady Dynamite, just because it is my own show and production and I got to have a lot of say in what was said and done. So that was wonderful.
Do you find portraying yourself is more fun than portraying a character, or vice-versa?
I like doing voice-over a lot because I am not as good at physical acting or that just feels like you have to hit your marks and stuff, so- and I am not as coordinated as perhaps others might be- Yeah, I guess I like characters for cartoons but being myself is what I prefer if I am going to do any acting.
As a comedian/actor, you are very recognizable in person. Do you get the same recognition as a voice actor?
I think you’d have to be listening for it, you know I am not super famous by any means, so I think you’d have to be a superfan to be really interested. I am grateful for the work. The nice thing about there being so many different forms of media now, there is relative anonymity in an entertainment career, which is nice!
According to the press release, your comedy acts are known for addressing your own personal struggles with mental health issues, how do you take such a serious topic and marry it with comedy; Is it hard to do or do you find that it comes naturally?
Well, I think it is like any taboo topic, like once you have personal experience with it- I don’t know if you have personal jokes with friends and family- but they may be on darker topics that somebody might not talk about or might not laugh about because it is extremely personal to you, your friends and family. So, I think that is what makes it easier. It is hilarious to me because I had the experience so it is not difficult for me to talk about at all. I also, weirdly, even though I am shy, I do like to share my own opinion to groups and be amplified, so it is a good thing that I have this job to do that.
Does it help you cope with your own issues?
I think health care is the best medicine; laughter is a distant fourth. But yeah, you got to get yourself some health care if you are having mental health issues or any kind of health issues. It might be good to talk to a professional or whatever you can get- any kind of free, terrible health care of some kind is better than nothing. But yeah, it definitely has in terms of once you talk about something everyone goes ‘me too’ or ‘I have that,’ and so then you feel less alone. That is the wonderful thing about discussing something publically, you have a whole giant community that says ‘yeah, I feel that way too,’ and that is nice.
Can you tell me what you have planned for your show on Oct. 4 at the Stevens Center?
Oh yes, it is purely stand-up- I always tell people to Google it before you go- I have a lot of swears, I swear a lot and I talk about being married, some mental health stuff but not a ton, because I am feeling so good, I am on a lot of good meds. And yeah, stuff about religion, I love to talk about religion and my lack of it. But always, of course, YouTube your comedian before you go and see them. Don’t put yourself in a disappointing situation when you just watch a few seconds and know you don’t have to come out.
Anything else that you want readers to know about?
I’ll be doing a new hour stand-up special; I am not sure exactly where it will come out. Oh, and I am coming with Laura Faber, from North Carolina, and she is a local woman, she is a great comic and she won, I think, “Carolina’s Funniest” She is a really funny up-and-coming young comic, so I think she will be enjoyed as well. She is the opening act.